From Babel to EIZIE by way of the Pentecost
Kaxildo Alkorta

Translation: Kristin Addis


This article, which is obviously metaphorical, mentions two passages of the Bible. The first, from the Old Testament, shows how the necessity for translation arose and, as a result, the necessity for the Association of Translators, Correctors and Interpreters of the Basque Language (Euskal Itzultzaile, Zuzentzaile eta Interpreteen Elkartea, EIZIE) and other similar associations, as well as for other professions having to do with languages and translation. This is the story of the tower of Babel.

The second passage is from the New Testament and tells how on the day of the Pentecost, a sound from Heaven caused all the people gathered there, from all nations, to begin to understand the divine message, each in his own language, from the mouths of people that supposedly did not know those languages. Had that situation continued, there would be no need today for the profession of translator and EIZIE would never have been formed.