International Translation Day 2019

Every year on the 30 September, language professionals around the world celebrate International Translation Day.

“International Translation Day is meant as an opportunity to pay tribute to the work of language professionals, which plays an important role in bringing nations together, facilitating dialogue, understanding and cooperation, contributing to development and strengthening world peace and security.”

For 2019, this theme is Translation and Indigenous Languages in celebration of the UN International Year of Indigenous Languages.


We would like to use today as an opportunity to celebrate the work of language professionals around the country whose work facilitates understanding and cooperation between different cultures.

As a translator or interpreter, you provide a vital service that ensures those with language barriers are provided fair and equal access to participate fully in the community, and engage in health, legal, and government services and programs.

“Transposition of a literary or scientific work, including technical work, from one language into another language, professional translation, including translation proper, interpretation and terminology, is indispensable to preserving clarity, a positive climate and productiveness in international public discourse and interpersonal communication.”

However, the work of translators and interpreters is widely misunderstood and often undervalued.

What many people fail to realise is language professionals perform a vital service for Australia’s culturally diverse community. They contribute their skills and expertise to ensure those from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds are given fair access to essential services,

What happens when a language professional should be engaged and isn't?

In health settings, lives may be endangered, and an unnecessary burden may be imposed on the health care system. In a legal context, the effects can be miscarriages of justice, misunderstood community orders or inappropriate jail terms. If language professionals are not properly engaged, it could result in failure to access government programs and services or the documents that underpins them.

What is clear is that translators and interpreters play a key role in maintaining the integrity of the judicial system and ensure access to health and human services to the communities they serve.

Today, Professionals Australia would like to say thank you to all translators and interpreters for their continued hard work and dedication to their profession! Without you, many wouldn’t be able to access essential services and fully participate in the community.

As your union, we are committed to improving the working conditions of all language professionals so that they and the communities they serve may have a sustainable future.