The recent European Commission Conference on Literary Translation and Culture included authors, publishers, academics and literary critics, as well as theater, cinema, and music professionals. The event aimed at encouraging more translations to help Europeans get to know each other better.
According to a euronews report of the event, Europe spends 1% of its budget on translation and interpretation, or more than one billion euros every year.
That is a huge amount of money! But according to Leonard Orban, European Commissioner for Multilingualism, it is money well spent. He was quoted as saying
"European translation has made a decisive contribution to the consolidation of the European idea. It has made it possible to reconcile discovery of and respect for diversity with the awareness that we have a common cultural heritage. It symbolises opening up to what is different".
Translation is a key instrument of understanding and communication between different languages and cultures. It is nice to see this importance recognized!