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11 Reasons Everyone Should Celebrate Translation

By Savannah Whiting

September 30 is International Translation Day, celebrated annually on the feast of St. Jerome, the patron saint of translators. Today we’re giving thanks for the worldwide network of writers, translators, publishers, and organizations that make the translation community so vital, and asking you, loyal WWB readers, to share your love of translation with the world!

Read on for our favorite reasons to celebrate translation on International Translation Day and every day.

1. We’ll need translators in order to communicate when aliens touch down: Three Translators Respond to “Arrival”


2. Sometimes the language of love isn’t your native tongue—but you can still find love in other languages: Love in Translation


3. Like “squeezing a jellyfish,” massaging language and grasping at slippery meanings is not for the faint of heart: 36 Metaphors for Translation


4. We wouldn’t think to call a wine “as smooth as a baby Jesus in velvet knickerbockers” without a little help from the French: Eleven of the World’s Quirkiest Phrases


5. Translators are so gorgeous, some people commission their portraits: Introducing Culture Trip’s 20 Translators Under 40


6. The gaps between languages always leave something to the imagination: This Instagram Artist is Illustrating Untranslatable Words and the Result Will Make You Feel Ambedo


7. No matter how good machine translation gets, human ingenuity prevails: Humans Triumph Over Machines in Translation Competition


8. With subtitles, TV becomes an immersion in different cultures. Couch potato? More like cosmopolitan: Translating the World’s Best Television: An Interview with Walter Iuzzolino


9. Translation fosters creativity and collaboration at any age: Visiting the Real America, Where Seven-Year-Olds Translate Don Quixote


10. Translators have superpowers! How else could anyone publish eight books in two years?: The Making of a Tireless Literary Translator


11. New translations keep classics accessible and fresh—and sometimes greet the birth of new languages: “El Little Príncipe”—Translating Saint-Exupéry’s Classic into Spanglish


If you, like us, couldn’t imagine life without translation, please take a moment today to share this article or your own reasons for celebrating translation.

And if you want to mark the occasion by showing your support for groups promoting literature in translation, here are some organizations that stand out to us in this ever-growing community:

Magazines & Journals

91st MeridianAgniAnomalyThe Arkansas InternationalAsymptoteBuenos Aires ReviewCipher Journal, Guernica, InTranslation (The Brooklyn Rail), Litro, A Public Space[sic]Silk Road ReviewThree PercentTrafika EuropeWords Without BordersWorld Literature Today.


Akashic BooksAmazon CrossingAnd Other StoriesAnomalous PressArchipelago BooksBalestier PressBiblioasisBOA EditionsCoffee House PressDalkey Archive PressDeep Vellum PublishingDoppelHouse PressEuropa EditionsGraywolf PressHispabooksLes Figues PressThe Margellos World Republic of Letters (Yale University Press)Melville House BooksNew Directions PublishingNew Vessel PressNew York Review BooksOpen Letter BooksOneworld PublicationsOther PressPhoneme MediaPushkin PressRestless BooksSeagull BooksSeven Stories PressSwan Isle PressTin House BooksTransit Books, Twisted Spoon Press, Two Lines Press, Ugly Duckling PresseVerso BooksWakefield Press, Weyward Sisters PublishingWhite Pine Press, Zephyr Press.

Published Sep 29, 2017   Copyright 2017 Savannah Whiting

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