Translation and the Transformation of Contemporary Society

Throughout history, translation has retained a communicative function across languages and cultures, offering its services for the benefit of humanity, catering to multifarious social, economic, political, linguistic and cultural needs, going beyond the mere conversion of texts from one language to another, from one culture to another, from one geography to another, producing changes in the receiving languages and cultures and accordingly metamorphosing the targeted societies by opening their horizons to new words, terms and expressions and necessarily to what they convey in terms of novel –sometimes odd- ideas, behaviors, views, knowledge and life experiences.

In our present era, translation rhymes with transformation, mutation and conversion, and accordingly participates in large- scale projects- to attain noble objectives. By means of texts, it seeks to enrich life, know and make known the ‘Other’, defend the common and shared living of individuals and peaceful societies, keep abreast of global transformations and bridge the gaps caused by antagonisms, tensions and conflicts. 

As a result of the substantial change that translation has witnessed during the last decades, after its permeation of academia and the emergence of various translation theories and models, the attention is now focused on formal translation training. Specific programs and special pedagogical methods aim to bring translators closer to the professional world and adapt to the needs of individuals, governmental institutions and international organizations by producing translators fluently using their languages and mastering the technological aids that help improve the translation product and services and accordingly make them effective actors and stakeholders in the transformation that the world is witnessing.