International Translation Day 2022

International Translation Day 2022

International Translation Day is an opportunity to celebrate language professionals all over the world. The work of these talented linguists is vital in helping to bring peace and prosperity to communities throughout the world.

Much of the population are unable to bridge societal and linguistic gaps, but work undertaken by translators helps to create a stronger and better society for us all. 

In this blog we’ll be talking with Mary Gilbey, the Managing Director of Anglia Translations Ltd, about some of this amazing work – from those working on the front line in war zones to those that give us opportunities to enjoy the latest Netflix shows.

Translation Over Time

“Translation is so vital to ensure the spread of new information and ideas around the world,” says Mary Gilbey. “Without this, we would be limited in learning and understanding of the cultures we’ve now grown to know so well.”

There have been many examples of historical and cultural ideals that have been able to live on thanks, in large part, to the skill of translators around the world.

For example:

  • Arabic translators were able to keep Greek philosophies and ideals alive during the Middle Ages.
  • The Bible has been translated into more than 500 different languages over the course of hundreds of years.
  • The Chinese monk Xuanzang is widely regarded to have translated more than 70 volumes of Indian Buddhist scripture into Chinese in 645 AD.
  • The British translator Constance Garnett translated some of the most widely-read Russian literature into English at the end of the 19th Century, this included works by Chekhov and Tolstoy.

Translation in Literature

“The remarkable thing about translating literature is that someone in Germany could pick up a Harry Potter novel and lose themselves in the magic, whilst still grasping the exact nuance and wonder the author intended when she wrote the original novel in English,” says Mary.

“The very essence of world literature is wholly dependent on skilled and creative translators with a lot of talent and dedication.”

In fact, there are now many classic works that many people around the world may not even realise were originally written in a completely different language. For example, The Three Musketeers was originally written in French, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in Swedish and All Quiet on the Western Front in German.

Translation in Media

It’s estimated that Netflix now has more than 200 million active users in more than 190 countries around the world, giving us the platform to explore new media styles. 

“It’s largely thanks to streaming platforms like Netflix, that we’re no longer limited to TV and films in our native language – even if what you’re watching isn’t dubbed, you’ll have access to subtitles.” Says Mary.

We can enjoy series like Squid Game and Lupin, and even programmes in English, such as the highly-acclaimed series Better Call Saul, which has large portions of Mexican Spanish dialogue.

“There was once a time where these options simply weren’t available to you, unless you were a diligent follower of foreign cinema.”

Translation in Journalism 

“Journalism relies on the spread of information, and without translation we would have very little knowledge of the news occurring in other countries besides our own and those speaking common languages,” says Mary.

“Journalism translation can open up a variety of new worlds, cultures, opinions and ideas that we may not otherwise be exposed to.”

It is also a means for us to learn about foreign policy, conflict, international relations. In some cases, journalism helps us understand the value of free and independent media in countries that often don’t have the luxury of freedom of speech and press.

Translation in Education

The availability of free information, of course, starts with solid foundations in education. Children can now understand and learn about different cultures and viewpoints in a way that is far more comprehensive than ever before.

“Translation has brought a multi-cultural viewpoint to the classroom. As an example, the UK is one of the most diverse countries in the world, and it’s incredibly important that we’re now able to, not only help children learn about different cultures, but also help those of different backgrounds feel accepted and settled more quickly.” Says Mary.

Translation in Business

“Without effective translation, our economy would be unrecognisable to the point of stagnation. The global economy is underpinned by translation to help us understand each other better.” Says Mary.

Think of any big company, from Nike to McDonald’s, and you’ll notice they all have strong relations with numerous international touch points

These bring countless benefits to these businesses, including:

  • Lower production overheads.
  • Local employees that understand the territories in which they operate.
  • Wider markets to invest.

Such activities require translation and interpretation specialists, when it comes to meetings, contracts, sales and negotiations. 

“This is also important when it comes to understanding business etiquette in other countries, particularly in Asia and the Middle East.” Adds Mary.

Translation in Foreign Aid 

Translators without Borders - CLEAR Global

Translation is also required on the ground as a response to war and other crises. The war in Ukraine and COVID-19 are just a couple of examples of where this might be necessary. 

At Anglia Translations Ltd, we work alongside Translators Without Borders, a global community of translators, language specialists and interpreters who lend their skills and expertise to aid groups working in often hostile and difficult situations.

With the help of sponsors like ourselves, Translators Without Borders, now known as CLEAR Global, is able to work to raise awareness of key language barriers that can prevent the spread of disinformation and save lives and entire communities as a result of humanitarian crises.

Each year the charity translates over twenty million words in over 200 languages to improve local services, education or inform people of their rights. 

One of their most recent projects has been to support the millions of Ukrainian people that remained in the country at the outset of war. 

So far, the community has translated many diverse documents relating to the Ukrainian crisis, such as:

  • Migrant safety, protection and access to vital services.
  • Public-facing and humanitarian aid documents.
  • UN guidelines.
  • Documents available to open and free access.

“We’re proud to support such a wonderful organisation, and International Translation Day is such an important occasion for us to highlight what an incredible role charities like this are playing in today’s society.” Says Mary.

Aimee Ansari, CEO of CLEAR Global had this to say, “CLEAR Global is grateful to our sponsors. Without them, nothing we do would be possible.” 

“They help us to harness the power of the community to do more good. They make it possible for us to respond quickly when there’s a crisis.”

Aimee continues, “Critically, they provide the kind of support that we all need these days; encouragement and the proof that there are good people in the world who want to do good.”


If you’d like to find out more about anything in this blog, or if you’re interested in any of our services, why not contact us today to see how we can help you?