Today, 30 September, is an important day for translators and interpreters all over the world. Today, we celebrate International Translation Day.
Why on 30 September? Because it is the feast of St. Jerome, the first translator of the Bible. If you want to learn more curious facts about the translation history, click on this video.
Both professions have a common goal: enable communication.
There are lots of different situations where the task of translators and interpreters has been crucial to save lives, to decide if a person is guilty or not, and even to avoid business blunders. You can find a few on the book Found in Translation, which we talked about long ago in this blog.
We have asked our staff to let us know some words they like, either in their mother tongue or in any foreign language they speak, and we are surprised by all the different words they came up with.
Some are a reflection of their character and the things they like most. For example, Isabel, one of our PMs in Spain, chose the English term wanderlust and the French one dépaysée, two feelings shared among many travellers who, like her, love to feel out of this world when they are in a place completely new to them.
Our CEO, Brian Jensen, is a very practical person, and he always tries to follow this approach: KISS (Keep IT Short and Simple). Maybe this is why he chose two words: sinasaappelsap, a Dutch term for orange juice (is there anything simpler than an orange juice?) and hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliafobi, a Danish Word meaning phobia to long words.
Just before we finish, we want to talk about the Spanish Word “chícharo”, selected by our project manager in Spain Susana Villodres.
Chícharo is a word used in some regions in Spain and Latin America, and it is another word for guisante (pea in English). The story behind this name is kind of interesting.
Chícharo comes from Latin term cicer – ciceris, meaning chickpea. Romans used this name because chickpeas are rounded and have a small protuberance. As the Roman politician and philosopher Cicero had a bump on the tip of his nose, people started to call chickpeas cicer.
When Romans conquered Spain, the meaning of the word evolved to chícharo due to the Mozarabic dialect, but it lost the sense of chickpea and preserved the meaning of pea.
We hope you enjoyed this curiosity about etymology. We want to wish translators and interpreters all over the world a Happy International Translation Day and want to thank them for their hard work to enable communication between people and cultures.