Utah Translators and Interpreters Association
Utah Translators and Interpreters Association (UTIA) is a group of working translators and interpreters.

Utah Translators and Interpreters Association (UTIA) is a group of working translators and interpreters in Utah.

UTIA is a non-profit organization comprised of, and formed by, language professionals in the state of Utah, and it is an affiliated group of the American Translators Association.

UTIA’s goal is to advance and elevate the quality and availability of language services in Utah, and work for the development of our profession.

This association is driven by dedicated professional volunteers and would love your help too. We are also looking forward to cooperating with peers in other translation and interpretation organizations and entities.


History of the Translation and Interpretation Profession

By Ingrid Oseguera

Tower of Babel

According to the Bible, the descendants of Noah decided, after the great flood, to settle down in a plain in the land of Shinar. God, recognizing their wish, regained control over them through a linguistic stratagem. Do you remember what happened next?

The Tower of Babel
God confused the tongues of the people so that they could not cooperate to continue the building of the tower.

Researchers mention that writings on translation go back to the Romans. Eric Jacobson states that translation is a Roman invention (see McGuire: 1980). He points out that Cicero and Horace (first century BC) were the first theorists who distinguished between word-for-word translation and sense-for-sense translation.

Alexander Fryer Tayler’s volume of Principles of Translation (1791) is one of the most influential studies published at the time.

The invention of the printing machine in the fifteenth century played an important role in the development of the field of translation.


The first record of an interpreter is found in ancient Egypt, around 1330 BC in a dipiction of  King Horemheb’s life.

Saint Jerome Writing
Jerome translated parts of this Hebrew Gospel into Greek. Translating much of what became the Latin Vulgate Bible would take many years and be his most important achievement.

St. Jerome was a 4th Century Doctor of the Church who translated much of what became the Latin Vulgate Bible.

1548, in Spain, Governor Mendoza

La Malinche…

La Malinche interpreting for Hernán Cortés.
La Malinche was the interpreter of Hernán Cortés.

Malinalli, also known as La Malinche or Doña Marina, was among 20 women that were given to the Spanish by a Mayan tribe after defeat in battle. Malinche spoke various languages and was instrumental in the conquest of Mexico.

Colonial Legislation in the U.S.

Had 14 laws regulations for interpreters:

  • Interpreters for the Indian languages shall have the necessary capacities and qualities.
  • The interpreter shall not accept or ask for gifts.
  • The interpreter shall not hold private meetings with Indian clients.
  • The interpreter shall not act as advocates for the Indians.

The Profession is Established

League of Nations
Chinese delegate addresses the League of Nations after the Mukden Incident, 1932.
  • The League of Nations: French and English
  • Geneva, Switzerland, 1927 (SI Labor Conference)
  • Andre Kaminker, invented first SI equipment, which debuted at the famous Nuremberg Trail for World War II war criminals, 1945
  • Conference interpreting established as a profession: high-level government, diplomatic and corporate sectors.
  • Video: Siegfried Ramler

Later in the 20th Century…

  • Court interpreting
  • 1978 in the US: Court Interpreters Act
  • Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
  • 1970 in Australia, Community Interpreting
  • 1980-90 Community Interpreting spread to Europe, The U.S. and Canada
  • 2014