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“Nation Building” has always been linked to national integration and the creation of national identity. For a country like India, it is a very delicate and challenging matter to deal with a national identity that derives its strength from its multiple layers of social, political, religious, economic, cultural, ethnic and linguistic diversity. However, the communication gap which inevitably arises out of such a diversity of boundaries is constantly being bridged by the people themselves, whose day to day reality is, for the majority, living in a multi-cultural society and interacting in a multilingual manner.
Translators have always played a pivotal role in social and cultural change in society and they continue to play a major role in dissemination of the ever expanding knowledge and information available today. The role of translation becomes more important in the Indian context as this new knowledge spreads to all corners of Indian society with their mosaic of sub-cultures and sub identities spread across different linguistic regions, their literature and their lifestyles.
The six decades since the end of the Second World War have seen an explosion of (intra) national development, as nation after nation gained independence or restructured their societies and (re)defined their identities. Paralleling this has been equally dramatic development at the international level, with the growth of supra national identities: the European Union immediately after the war and, later, trade blocks such as NAFTA, SAFTA, MERCOSUR, SICA, ANDEAN PACT, ASEAN, BRIC, IBSA.
Most observers take for granted the translator\'s crucial role at the (intra) national level but are less aware of their equally pivotal place as mediators at the international and, potentially, in the creation of the even larger and comprehensive global supra national identities which seem destined to follow in the future.
Moreover, it has become almost mandatory for content producers to translate their text into different languages in order to both globalize and localize their reach. Whether it is a matter of bilateral relations or multilateral relations between countries or a matter related to international conferences, buyer-seller meets, corporate mergers, buyouts, technology transfers or joint ventures, translation is always a necessity without which such communication would fail.
In a rapidly changing world, the demands on the translator are also changing. Translators can no longer rest on their laurels but, like any other service provider, must continuously upgrade themselves by coming to terms with an ever developing technology (including IT resources such as CAT tools) and adapting to increasingly stringent professional demands involving good commercial practice and the implementation of quality standards.
It follows that there is an urgent need to regularize translation by professionalizing its providers and according them an appropriate status which will further the developmental opportunities of the country as a whole.