Te Rā Aowhānui o te Whakamāoritanga - International Translation Day 2015

Date
Sep
30
20150930

Te Rā Aowhānui o te Whakamāoritanga - International Translation Day 2015

Today, 30 September 2015, is International Translation Day, or Te Rā Aowhānui o te Whakamāoritanga in NZ Māori. Naturally it’s a big day for the international translation and interpreting profession and especially for Aotearoa, New Zealand in the support of our official languages – Te Reo Māori, New Zealand Sign Language, and English.

The theme of this year’s International Translation day is “The Changing Face of Translation and Interpreting”, or Te Ao Hurihuri o te Whakamāoritanga ā-Tuhi, ā-Waha, in Māori.

Since European settlers arrived in New Zealand, translation and interpreting has played an important part in forming the bridge between the indigenous Māori culture and the culture introduced by the Pākehā.  Today, that role is just as important, and additionally translation plays a role in preserving the use and development of Te Reo Māori.  Every day translators and interpreters around Aotearoa contribute to this by translating a myriad of things between English and Māori, and NZTC is also pleased to be at the forefront of this.  Key areas of Māori language work NZTC is involved in include supporting the everyday use of technology, such as translation for popular software user interfaces and we also translate content in Te Reo for the New Zealand Government, including information for public information and education.

Around the world, similar efforts take place on a phenomenal scale, whether it is for multiculturalism, diplomacy or global business.  This day to celebrate translation and interpreting was originally launched and made an official day in 1991 by the International Federation of Translators (FIT) and we feel this year’s theme is well expressed by Marion Boers, a former FIT President, in the following extract:

“From fountain pens to typewriters to speech recognition. From index cards to electronic dictionaries and the knowledge highway. From the Nuremberg trials to telephone and video remote interpreting.”

“What will the face of Translation and Interpreting be in the future? For millennia, living and breathing translators or interpreters have been the embodiment of unparalleled linguistic skills, specialised training, professional conduct and a passion for their work. The best equipment can help them do an even better job, but cannot get to the heart and soul of a text or the nuances of negotiations. On International Translation Day 2015, therefore, let us celebrate the great advances that have been made in translation and interpreting, but most importantly celebrate the individuals who are at the heart of this profession and who make it possible for the world to be a global village but at the same time a universe full of possibilities in the past, at present and in the future.”

We take this time to thank all translators and interpreters and celebrate our collective efforts in making this world a more harmonious place!