September 30 was christened “International Translation/Interpretation Day” by the United Nations in 1991. Since then, the date has been used to commemorate the role translators and interpreters play in connecting nations, as well as fostering peace, understanding, and development.
For nearly 40 years, we at LanguageLine Solutions have had a front-row seat to witness the miraculous work that linguists do each day. There is quite literally no sector of life that they don’t impact for the better.
On any given day, interpreters and translators help ensure justice, save lives, welcome newborns, and build futures. They are passionate about seeing people smile when they are understood and their full voice is heard. This is the experience for which they live.
Never has this been truer than in 2020, a year for which there is no apt description. Fortunately, they have been there to provide the words that build a bridge to understanding. Their work is more vital than it has ever been.
'We are here for you': Watch a video message from our LanguageLine interpreters
At LanguageLine, we say that “words contain worlds.” This is because language access is far, far more than transactional. It is not the mere exchanging of words, much as one would exchange one currency for another. When done right, language access is transformational.
Our linguists are special because of the degree to which they enable limited-English speakers, the Deaf, and the Hard of Hearing to express their own specialness. Each of us in this society is of equal importance and not better than anyone else. Our team of interpreters and translators empower people to express their individuality.
Thanks to our linguists, we understand not just what people say, but what they mean. This is a gift to all concerned. For this reason, we salute interpreters and translators every day, and especially on September 30. This year especially, it is a distinct honor to be your colleague.
Scott W. Klein is president and CEO of LanguageLine Solutions.