“Come on, Snowy! … We must hurry to warn
the King of the danger he’s in…” It was translation that made Tintin a universal
phenomenon. In today’s globalised world, we need translators
to help us communicate across linguistic and cultural barriers. If you think about it, you can find translation everywhere: from famous films and books to street signs and even instruction manuals. Translators have been at the heart of the
European project since the beginning. Did you know that the very first legal act
of the European Economic Community determined the languages that would be used by the European institutions? Nowadays, the members of the European Committees represent the voice of civil society and local and regional authorities at EU level. Translators play a key role in this process,
translating members’ opinions into all 24 EU languages. This means that citizens throughout Europe can play a part in the decisions that affect their lives. The role of translators is increasingly recognised, which is why the United Nations has declared the 30th of September International Translation Day – to raise awareness about the importance of translation and to celebrate the work of translators around the world. The way that translators work has changed a great deal over the years. Technology has come a long way, and the Committees have always been at the forefront of these changes. So what about the future? Will translators
be replaced by robots? On the contrary, in many ways technology is changing the role of translators for the better, helping them to produce high-quality work more efficiently. The Committees’ translators play a key role in making the EU accessible to its citizens, and that role has never been more important than it is today.