World Translation Day

T. Vijayendra

Today, September 30 is celebrated as World Translation Day. Translators can be called unsung heroes and heroines of communication. Even when people enjoy reading translations of great works in foreign languages, we rarely notice the translator’s name and even when we do it is rarer still we register them or know anything about them. So it is good to celebrate at least one day in a year and understand their importance in literature, particularly for a developing country.

The father of modern Chinese literature, Lu Xun, in his famous essay, ‘Waiting for a Genius’, compared the work of a translator as someone who builds soil which can nurture a new audience to great literature. He was writing in the early part of the twentieth century and building grounds for the birth of modern literature. He himself, most of his life, translated and helped young authors. Many great modern authors of our sub continent began their literary career by translating.

Translators are doing a great service to their mother tongue. They are creating an appreciation of great literature among their own people and thus paving ground – building soil – for the birth of new and modern literature in their languages.

At a personal level they come across with a great understanding and appreciation of literature. I feel fortunate that I know so many of them personally. It has given me great pleasure, knowledge and helped to write. So thank you to all of you translators. More power to all of you.

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Sep 30, 2020

T. Vijayendra

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