UN General Assembly Resolution on the Role of Professional Translation

For all of us working to enhance the professionalisation of legal translation, and the recognition of the legal translator’s role, yesterday’s United Nations General Assembly Resolution on the role of professional translation in connecting nations and fostering peace, understanding and development is excellent news.

Whilst some of us might like to tweak the language (“trade” raises questions for me), it is most certainly a big step in the right direction.

Much has been made of the fact that the Resolution officialises International Translators’ Day on 30 September each year, but for me the most important aspect is the wording of the Resolution’s title – “the role of professional translation“. Full recognition, even understanding, on the horizon at last?

I particularly like points 1 and 4:

  • 1. Affirms that professional translation, as a trade and an art, plays an important role in upholding the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, bringing nations together, facilitating dialogue, understanding and cooperation, contributing to development and strengthening world peace and security; 
  • 4. Requests the Secretary-General to continue to preserve high quality and excellence in the work of language professionals in the United Nations.

And I believe strongly that we are to understand that last “United Nations” in point 4 as in the Nations and not only in the UN as a body. 😉

To read the full text, in English, Spanish, French, Russian, Chinese, and Arabic, click here.


Credit: UN Photo/Loey Felipe


One thought on “UN General Assembly Resolution on the Role of Professional Translation

  1. Hello!

    You wrote:

    “I believe strongly that we are to understand that last “United Nations” in point 4 as in the Nations and not only in the UN as a body.”:

    why would it have a different meaning than earlier in the same text, as in “channelling talent towards the United Nations language services”?

    Unfortunately, it only means the UNO, of course.

    Moreover, the Secretary-General probably does not have any power in translation matters outside of the UN organisation.


    Because, as I have been thinking for many years, if changes have to (finally!) happen in the translation sector, they should be made world-wide at once, of course, otherwise countries would be competing against each other (as they already are, with different standards of living, thus different prices for more or less the same service).

    Only the UN can protect translators world-wide against the 99% of non-translating translation intermediaries who are infesting the translation market, disinforming OUR clients about fuzzy match rebates, CAT tools and machine translation.

    Unless we finally decide to unite and sue all those crooks with a class action…

    Then we will have bug-free CAT tools aiming at improving translation quality, thus entailing higher prices.

    The present logic is based on partial segment repetition and not on time: those CAT tools make us work MUCH MUCH MUCH MUCH MORE SLOWLY ON THE WHOLE than just using MS Word with AutoCorrect.

    Those CAT tools were conceived first and foremost so as to spot any full or partial segment repetition, so everything is separated in little boxes – which is what slows us down.

    Moreover this separating everything in little boxes kills creativity and fluidity. Thus it actually DECREASES QUALITY.

    The PSYCHOPATHS who conceived that system ONLY HAD SHORT-TERM VIEWS:

    they aimed at making huge profits in the short term, squeezing lemons until there is no more juice.

    Thus this system is aimed at driving freelance translators to bankruptcy.

    It can ONLY be a system conceived by PERVERT and PSYCHOPATHIC, i.e. highly dangerous murderers, and I have name those hiding in the SDL hierarchy.

    SDL MultiTerm 2017 is full of bugs, thus WORSE than previous versions.

    Whenever you complain to your usual salesperson, he pretends you can “Repair” the lost index files without a word of explanation, because he doesn’t know the product he is selling and confuses with the “Match Repair” function that has been introduced in the 2017 version.

    And he gives you a link to a helpdesk for licensing and installation, not to report bugs.

    Then that licensing & installation helpdesk tells you to report your problem on their FORUM!

    Then you receive 2 e-mails asking you to take the time to answer POLLS on their helpdesk system!!!!!

    Obviously, SDL is just playing with us, whereas we are trying to make a living.

    They are pervert psychopaths.

    I want the world to know.

    And the UNO to do something OUTSIDE OF ITS ******* ORGANISATION.

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