Marta Saavedra

Designer of the winning poster for ITD 2023.

This year, FIT chose “Translation unveils the many faces of humanity” as the central theme of its International Translation Day (ITD) celebrations. We would like to tell you a few things about Marta Saavedra, the designer behind the winning poster.

Marta was born in Concepción, Chile, where she lived with her parents until they moved to Santiago in 1979. She always enjoyed drawing and all kinds of handicrafts and chose to study graphic design, although she is also a keen and talented linguist. She has worked for design agencies for more than 20 years, particularly in the fields of packaging and editorial design.

Marta found out about the FIT poster competition through her cousin, Cristián Araya, who is a professional translator, Vice President of the Colegio de Traductores e Intérpretes de Chile (COTICH) and a member of the executive committee of FIT LATAM, the regional centre for Latin America.

She has always liked languages and understands what translators and interpreters do, viewing their work as “important and essential to the chain of communication, learning, education and interpersonal and international relations”.

This is the first competition that Marta has ever entered, having been encouraged to do so by her cousin. The theme greatly inspired her, and she explains that, conceptually, she tried to “represent everything that goes into a translator’s work through an open book that illuminates part of the planet, revealing various faces that depict different races, sexes, ages and expressions”. The idea of unveiling is conveyed through the contrasting colours applied to each face when compared with the colour palette applied to the rest of the planet.

Marta is certain that without translation we would have no access to knowledge, especially of humanity, its diverse cultures, idiosyncrasies, expressions, contributions and multiple realities. She told us that this design could be seen as her own contribution to making the work of translators and interpreters visible.

FIT would like to thank Marta for taking the time to talk and, in particular, for sharing her talents with us to celebrate ITD.

Interview by Gretchen González Nieto, FIT Council Member.

International Translation Day

“Translation unveils the many faces of humanity” – Celebrating ITD in 2023

To celebrate the theme for International Translation Day 2023: Translation unveils the many faces of humanity, FIT Council is pleased to present its ITD Poster for 2023. This year’s poster pays tribute to the many human faces and stories made visible through translation.

Download the poster

FIT Members are encouraged to use the poster to promote their ITD events. Download the poster in the following formats: small image, medium image, large image, print resolution, email signature.

To honour International Translation Day (ITD) this year, we wish to recognise the important role that translation plays in our lives, and celebrate our shared humanity.

Translation unveils a world of human experience, allowing us a window into cultures other than those we know. As climate and geopolitical shocks resonate across the globe, it also plays an important role in addressing threats to the peace and security, in diplomacy and multilateralism, sustainable development and humanitarian aid, human dignity and human rights.

The capacity for structured language is uniquely shared by humans, fulfilling our need to communicate with one another; to share information, ideas, and emotions. With thousands of languages spoken on the planet, failure to communicate effectively can be a major barrier to cooperation and mutual understanding.

Language also gives us the capacity for expression and connection, so essential for society and well-being.

Language rights are human rights – everyone has the right to use their language of proficiency. For many, this is only possible with the assistance of a translator or interpreter. Leaving no one behind means speaking to everyone, especially in times of hardship and crisis, where the need to understand what is going on around you, and be understood, can be a matter of survival. Translators and interpreters make this possible.

In humanitarian settings, translators and interpreters are a lifeline for the world’s most vulnerable people. Compassion and humanity are represented in the faces of the individual translators and interpreters who assist those fleeing crisis, whether caused by war, famine, disaster, or climate.

They accord those in crisis their humanity, giving them access, agency, dignity and the chance to connect. They are the human faces of advocacy and diplomacy, keeping communication flowing in the difficult circumstances.

Thanks to their grounding studies in the humanities, translators and interpreters understand deeper cultural and political issues, and issues of ethics, equity and tolerance. They care deeply about their work and the people they assist. During the height of the pandemic, interpreters stayed at their hospital posts to ensure patients could understand their doctors, and doctors could treat their patients, at risk to themselves.  Culture, global development, security and lasting peace, are human concerns, and are well served by professionals who know and care about their role.

Translators bring people in opposite corners of the world face to face, through stories and the simple act of reading. Literary translation lifts the barriers of culture and language, to unveil the face behind the story, allowing the readers to see themselves reflected in the text, despite not speaking the author’s language.

Translation also helps to preserve cultural diversity and promote cross-cultural understanding. By making literature, art, music, and other cultural works accessible to people who speak different languages, translation helps to create a more interconnected and diverse world where people can appreciate and learn from each other’s cultures.

Each author has a unique voice, a unique story that no one else could create, it belongs solely to them. Similar individual scientific contributions might be made by two very different scientists, but no two authors would tell one story in quite the same way. Our capacity for creative and cognitive thought means each contribution is unique to the individual. If Shakespeare had never written, Hamlet, Desdemona, Romeo and Juliet would not have existed in the collective consciousness. While the themes are universal, the words, the characters, the peculiar plot twists of each story, are a unique expression of common experience that speaks to us all. We each have our own stories, and translation lets us each connect with universal human experience, through discovery of individual stories as they play out across the globe.

And in this 70th Anniversary year since the founding of FIT, it also gives us a chance to celebrate the many faces that make up the history of FIT. Since 1991, FIT has celebrated ITD, creating an annual theme as the basis for the celebrations.

During its 71st Session, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted Resolution A/RES/71/288, declaring 30 September to be International Translation Day, a day to be celebrated across the entire UN global network. It honours the contribution of professional translators, interpreters and terminologists in connecting nations, and fostering peace and global development and translation’s important political and cultural role in multilateralism and multilingualism.

So let’s celebrate all that our profession contributes to the global, cultural existence; let’s unveil the role of translation in all its facets. One FIT, many faces. Happy ITD!


Each year, translators, interpreters and terminologists celebrate International Translation Day on 30 September, the feast of St. Jerome. A unifying theme is chosen each year and a competition is held to design a poster for FIT members to print and use to promote the day and join together in celebrating our professions.

In 2017 we achieved an historical milestone for all professional translators, interpreters and terminologists, with the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopting Resolution A/RES/71/288, recognising the role of professional translation in connecting nations, and fostering peace, understanding and development. In the same resolution, the United Nations General Assembly declared 30 September to be UN International Translation Day, celebrated across the entire UN network.

Themes and posters of previous years

Farewell to Beatriz Rodriguez, a beloved colleague

Our dear friend and colleague Beatriz Rodriguez, president of the Colegio de Traductores Públicos de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires (CTPCBA) and former FIT Council member, passed away suddenly on 24 May 2023. The list of her positions, work, and accomplishments is almost endless. So too were her qualifications, not to mention her virtues and qualities – both as a professional and as a person. She had a long and illustrious career at the CTPCBA, at the University of Buenos Aires (UBA), and in the national and international world of translation. In 2003, she co-founded FIT CRAL, which later became FIT’s Regional Centre for Latin America (FIT LatAm), and served as its first chair. She also served on FIT Council from 2011 to 2014.

Beatriz specialised in legal, medical, and financial translation. She was also an attorney and a teacher of French. In 2015, she became the director of the sworn translation degree programme at UBA and she started her third term as CTPCBA president in 2021. She transcended both the academic and professional worlds, so much so that in 2005, she was named Chevalier de l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques by the French government, and in 2023, she received the Saint Jerome Medal from the Colegio de Traductores del Perú (CTP).

For 39 years, Beatriz worked as a French–Spanish translator and university lecturer, both in Argentina and abroad. She was a regular speaker at national and international conferences. She led the organisation of the Latin American Congress on Translation and Interpreting (held seven times since 1996) and, jointly with the UBA School of Law, the University Congress on Translation and Interpreting Training, held for the third time in 2022.

She translated La Théorie Interpretative de la Traduction by Marianne Lederer into Spanish and, together with sworn translator Alide Drienisienia, the Civil and Commercial Code of the Argentine Republic into French.

The CTPCBA was her second home. She was a member of the Professional Practice Committee – just one of the many ways she served. During the CTPCBA elections in 1994, she was the legal representative of the list of candidates that did not win, but she nevertheless encouraged them to persist. In 1996, she was appointed secretary general by the Board, and she became president for the first time in 2000. She was re-elected in 2008 and 2021. The roles she held within CTPCBA stand out because of her ongoing and profound commitment to the professional development of sworn translators in Argentina in particular, and to the translation profession as a whole.

Beatriz is survived by her dear family and many, many friends.

She left an everlasting impression on the CTPCBA and its members and on the hearts of all those who were fortunate enough to meet her or work alongside her. She will be missed.

CTPCBA Board and FIT


Campaign for the protection of Translators and Interpreters working in Conflict Zones 

“When we went out beyond the wire with him, and with the other interpreters, we put our lives in their hands. They never betrayed us, they saved us countless times. And now they need us, where are we for them? 

The Locally Engaged Employee process has been plagued with lengthy processing times from the beginning. Some have taken six years! …It shouldn’t take six years, for a bureaucratic check on character. We know them. We fought with them. We answer for their character. With the Taliban there, they don’t have time for bureaucracy. They need action.”

Captain Jason Scanes, Forsaken Fighters

Following the FIT Resolution adopted by the Berlin Statutory Congress in 2014, calling on the international community to protect linguists working in conflict zones, FIT continues to advocate for the rights and safety of conflict zone linguists, working with its partners Red T, the International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC), World Association of Sign Language Interpreters (WASLI), the International Association of Professional Translators and Interpreters (IAPTI) and Critical Link International. Together we call for a UN Convention and/or an international safety resolution for the protection of linguists working in conflict zones during and after their service. 

As most linguists working in areas of conflict are locally engaged, they and their families need specific protection and support. FIT urges all governments to extract local personnel and their families. Abandonment to insurgent forces after troop withdrawal is no recompense for faithful service. 

Translators and Interpreters have a human right to life, to work, to freedom from torture, and to freedom of expression.

11 November 2022. On behalf of the world language community, this letter from the international language community coalition, including translator and interpreter associations, urgently calls attention to the ongoing violation of the human rights of translators and interpreters (T/Is) across the globe and asks Volker Turk, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to record human rights violations against T/Is.