Does Europe have a Fourth of July?


I guess it depends on the meaning of the question. Certainly July 4th shows up on European calendars, but it doesn’t involve cookouts, fireworks, picnics, parades, Sousa marches, boating, swimming, or any of the other activities that we associate with our holiday. They don’t celebrate anything on the day that we Americans celebrate the signing of our Declaration of Independence in 1776.

But although our most patriotic holiday stands alone on its calendar day, it is far from unique. France has Bastille Day, aka La fête nationale or Le quatorze juillet (July 14th). England commemorates Guy Fawkes Night (or Day), aka Bonfire Night in remembrance of the November 5, 1605, plot to assassinate King James I by blowing up the House of Lords. Canada keeps Canada Day, formerly known as Dominion Day; Mexico remembers Cinco de Mayo, the anniversary of the victory of the Mexican army over the French at Puebla in 1862; Namibia observes Independence Day on March 21; and I could go on and on thanks to DuckDuckGo, Wikipedia, and the rest of the Internet.

What meaning can we glean from this? First, that basically all countries have a history of struggle and citizens who are proud of their heritage. Second, that humans need to celebrate, we need a common cause, we need a raison d’être (reason for being). Third, that we love a parade, fireworks, food, and music. Fourth, that everybody loves an additional day or two away from work. (My hat is off to those who can’t get the day off—first responders and our military in particular, but also many others.)

For many people, these holidays simply involve sleeping a little later and being at play rather than at work. However, for others, they can present a significant issue. At Tembua, the global nature of our industry means that we have to plan carefully. We have to make sure that if we contract with a translator from Nepal, the due date for the project doesn’t fall on one of their 35 holidays (but Saturdays are OK). Right now, we know that Canada (July 1) and the USA (July 4) are in half-speed mode until the middle of next week, and many of our linguists are on vacation, so we have to think ahead to meet our clients’ needs.

What’s the point of this post? Happy July 4th/Canada Day/Bastille Day or the equivalent to everybody, whenever and however they celebrate their national holidays. Enjoy!

Bob May, Guest Blogger, CTO

Tembua: The Precision Language Solution


About tembua

Tembua: The Precision Language Solution provides comprehensive linguistic services for 100 languages to private industry and government agencies on a global scale. Services include document and website translation and localization; conference and 24/7 telephonic interpretation; glossary development; proofreading, text adaptation, editing, multilingual design and DTP; transcription; technical / custom authoring editing, foreign search engine optimization; translation memory management; subtitling.
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