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Does translation bring people together?

June 13, 2017

After recent events in London and Manchester, the one thing that stood out was the coming together of families, communities, cities and even the whole country in unity and support of one another. Watching the love and support that grew between people from all backgrounds and situations, a question started to emerge, what unites us? 

 

One thing that became evident immediately was that the news of what was happening was being translated into hundreds of languages, spreading the word across the world, through news channels but also social media and word of mouth. Although the message this time was of a sad story, the realisation dawned that translation is making this spread of information possible. It also became clear that translation helps spread positivity and love across the world which can surely only help to unite people. Happy stories in the media come from a multitude of countries and cultures, sharing ideas, reactions and emotions, not just from world events but from smaller events that affect individuals.

 

This sharing of information, in whatever form it takes, is a powerful tool to shorten the distance between people and to encourage understanding. For example, take literature; novels and poetry have been translated from many different languages for many years, so that stories from around the world can be shared with each another. This sharing of stories from other cultures helps to create a better understanding of a part of that country and culture.

 

It is not only the media and literary fields where translation has a huge impact on the sharing of information, but also in business, technology and medicine. Advancements and vital information from all of these fields can be shared quickly and efficiently creating an environment of shared international knowledge, and hopefully development.

 

The power of translation is that it spreads information, good or bad, interesting or not, happy or sad, individual or general and creates a world where there is more information than ever at our fingertips. Although there is always a counter argument, and one could claim that translation not only allows the sharing of ideas, stories and advancements that unite us, but also those ideas that divide us, it would appear that in more cases than not, and especially after the events of the past few months, translation brings communities all over the world together, and is perhaps underestimated in its power to unite.

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