At the time of the writing of this article, my son is two months old. Before he was born, my girlfriend and I discussed which language we should use to speak to little Ezio-Eero. I am Italian, she is half French and half Finnish, we speak English with each other, and we live in Switzerland. These are a lot of languages for a new-born, and we spent a lot of time thinking about which would best suit him. After these two months, I realised that is not important which language we speak, because he has no clue of the linguistic difference between Italian, French, English, German, or Suomi.
Thus, when it was proposed to me to write an article about the importance of translation, my first thought was of my son, and I posed to myself again this question: to what extent is a universal language more important than our national tongue? My answer is simple: it is not. We need a language that connects us all, as much as we need to remain anchored to our origins. We need to comprehend each other easily, but we cannot forget the language of our ancestors. Every day we get more and more used to a multi-ethnic, multicultural, and plurilingual Europe. Borders have been erased. Europe is an institution that protects national identities, while recognising English and French as “institutional languages.” My grandmother speaks Italian, my father added French, my girlfriend is already at four, and our son probably will learn five different languages. And if I am lucky, my son will translate his comic books to his great-grandmother, and they will laugh together while he will learn typical Sardinian proverbs from her.
Thus, we thought: how could we reach everybody? And the answer came easily: we will translate our forthcoming programme, “Illustrate Our Rights”. It matters that we utilize our maximum resources to reach the highest number of people and migrant workers we can. We are currently working on Gaelic, Hindi, Italian, French, Romanian, German, Greek, Russian, Spanish, Mandarin, Dutch, and Arabic translations, and if any of you readers would like to contribute, I invite you to contact us! Writing us an email letting us know which languages you speak and help us translate the programme! Let’s do this together, let’s be united….as a plurilingual family.
Thank you for your help and support,