UNESCO suggests that the activities organized in conjunction with this year’s World Book and Copyright Day focus on the themes of books and translation.
Translation is the first step towards the rapprochement of peoples, and is also a decentralizing experience, teaching diversity and dialogue. Translation is one of the driving principles of our creative diversity, which enriches each language through contact with all the others.
23 April is a symbolic date for world literature, since 23 April 1616 was the date of death of Cervantes, Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega. 23 April is also the date of birth or death of other prominent authors such as Maurice Druon, K.Laxness, Vladimir Nabokov, Josep Pla and Manuel Mejía Vallejo.
This is why UNESCO chose this date to pay a worldwide tribute to books and their authors on this date, encouraging everyone, and in particular young people, to discover the pleasure of reading and to gain a renewed respect for the extraordinary contributions of those who have furthered the social and cultural progress of humanity.
The idea for this celebration originated in Catalonia (Spain) where it has become a tradition to give a rose as a gift for each book purchased.
The success of the World Book and Copyright Day will depend primarily on the support received from all parties concerned: authors, publishers, teachers, librarians, public and private institutions, humanitarian NGOs and the mass media.
They have been mobilized in each country by UNESCO National Commissions, UNESCO Clubs, Centres and Associations, Associated Schools and Libraries, and by all those who feel motivated to take part in this celebration of books and authors around the world.
The year 2012 also marks the 80th anniversary of the Index Translationum. This international bibliography of translation provides a unique tool for the monitoring of translation flows in the world. UNESCO will celebrate this anniversary by organizing a debate on this instrument. This meeting, which will take place at UNESCO Headquarters on 23 April 2012, will bring together researchers and users of the Index Translationum as well as specialists in the field of translation and book markets.