Translation as Intercultural Communication

2012 is probably the most 'controversial' year in human history. It is loaded with a host of symbols, myths and meanings. Apart from Biblical predictions relating to the Apocalypse, 21 December 2012 has been declared Doomsday according to the Mayan calendar and December 2012 as the End of the World by some researchers of the 3,000-year-old Chinese I Ching (The Book of Change). Numerology also tells us that at 11:11 pm of 21 December 2012, all the planets surrounding the Sun will align to form a single straight line, causing strong oceanic movement that may lead to gigantic tsunamis and other catastrophes …

Whether we choose to see these 'predictions' as narratives of prophecy or stories of pseudoscience, what is significant is that we as human beings have always been deeply concerned about our world and our future.

These predictions from different languages and cultures do seem to communicate messages of anxiety, despair and hope. For most of us living in today’s globalised world, 2012 is not only a year full of international instability, financial crises, political conflicts, cultural clashes and social unrest, but also a year full of hopes, possibilities and opportunities. As the biggest non-profit international organization for professional translators, interpreters and terminologists working for the wellbeing of the international community, FIT in 2012 will continue to build bridges among diverse cultures and facilitate intercultural communication that creates prosperity and cultural enrichment for all.

In his new book Language: The Cultural Tool (2012), Professor Daniel Everett argues that language is a tool to solve a common human problem – the need to communicate efficiently and effectively. Indeed, one of the most important activities that help people of diverse ethnic origins and different political and cultural
backgrounds to communicate is translation, a distinctive feature of which is the crossing of the boundaries between Self and the linguistic and cultural Other. In other words, translation, as intercultural communication, is a means of transporting the ways of life, customs, attitudes, mindsets and values of one particular culture across time and space to another culture or other cultures.
Facilitated by the major changes and shifts in the global economy, culture and information technology in the last three decades, we now have a radically altered linguistic, socio-political and cultural context for intercultural communication. If 'to be or not to be ... global' is hardly a question for people and nations in the contemporary era, then 'to live or not to live … in translation' is no longer an option but a reality of our everyday life.

As brokers of peace and mutual understanding, FIT members will, in various ways and through different channels, celebrate International Translation Day (ITD) 2012 with the theme of 'Translation as Intercultural Communication'
We in FIT are committed to supporting the translators, interpreters, and terminologists around the world working to bring greater intercultural understanding through their professional efforts.

About FIT
The International Federation of Translators is a world-wide federation of professional associations bringing
together translators, interpreters and terminologists. With more than 100 members in 55 countries, it
represents the interests of nearly 100,000 language professionals. Further information can be found on the
FIT website: www.fit-ift.org.

Dato : 30.09.2012
Tid : - til -

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