Groups > Translators Association

Translators Association

The Translators Association (TA) was set up in 1958 to provide literary translators with an effective means of protecting their interests and sharing their concerns.

Celebrating sixty years since the founding
of the Translators Association. #TA60

The TA is a source of expert advice for individual literary translators and also a collective voice representing the profession as a whole.

Translators automatically become a member of the TA on joining the SoA. It is run by a committee of 10 elected members with day-to day-administration by Group Secretary Catherine Fuller.

The TA is actively involved with the Literary Translation Centre at the London Book Fair and the annual International Translation Day event run by English PEN at Free Word.

The group was instrumental in the introduction of Public Lending Right for translators and also introduced a basic publishing agreement for translation contracts, which is now used widely.

Reasons to Join the TA

  • Contract vetting: individual advice on your publishing contracts.
  • Business advice and support on professional issues.
  • Meetings and events on literary and professional topics, and social events.
  • In addition to The Author, the SoA's quarterly magazine, TA members receive In Other Words, the journal for literary translators published by the National Centre for Writing.
  • A regular TA e-newsletter with news, events and opportunities
  • Access to the free TA email discussion group for members only.
  • Free guides and articles on a range of topics of interest to all writers, including Copyright and Moral Rights, Libel, and Publishing Contracts.
  • Free Guide to Translator/Publisher Contracts contains a basic agreement and is also available to non-members for £10.
  • Free Guide to Author-Commissioned Translations. This guide is available to non-members for £10.
  • Free Guide to Relay Translation. This guide is available to non-members for £6


The negotiation of fees is a matter for the individual translator and publisher to resolve. You should always feel comfortable about asking to be fairly paid. In the SoA’s experience, UK trade publishers will pay in the region of £95 per thousand words for a prose translation. The word count can apply to either the source or target language.

The agreed sum may come as a flat fee, an advance against royalties, or a fee plus royalties from the first copy sold. For poetry we have observed payment in the region of £1.10 per line with a minimum of £35 per poem.

When negotiating a contract you and the publisher will want to consider a number of factors. How long will it take you to complete the translation? As well as the word count consider your experience, the complexity of the translation and if any additional research is required. Does the publisher need the translation by a very tight deadline? Is there grant funding available to support the costs of your translation? Will you get a royalty on sales?

You can also find further information and guidance on our Rates and Fees pages.

Don't forget that TA members are always entitled to unlimited advice and vetting of individual contracts from the SoA advisory team.

For further advice contact Catherine Fuller.

Follow members of the TA on Twitter



Posted: 15 January 2019

The TA AGM 2018 took place on 13 November.  Read the Co-Chairs' Report.

Authors Guild Report on Translation Pay

Posted: 11 January 2018

A new report released by the Authors Guild shows that more than 65% of the literary translators responding to the survey earn less than $20,000 per year and only about 7% earn 100% of their income from translation work.