The Translators Association (TA) provides a source of expert advice for individual literary translators and is also a collective voice representing the profession as a whole.
Translators automatically become a member of the TA on joining the SoA
Our current campaigns include #Namethetranslator and increasing the eligibility, recognition and rewarding of translations in literary prizes.
It is run by a committee of 10 elected members with day-to day-administration by Group Secretary Catherine Fuller.
Interested in joining the committee? We have four vacancies to join the committee at the AGM in November. Find out what's involved and how to make a nomination.
I love being around translators because it’s a generous, friendly and forward-thinking community. Being on the TA committee has allowed me to think about the practical ways in which we can make literary translation more prominent in literary culture and make translators’ working lives easier.
Reasons to Join the TA
- Contract vetting: individual advice on your publishing contracts.
- Advice and support on professional issues.
- Access to the free TA email discussion group for members only.
- Meetings and events including the annual 'LBF-1' day before the London Book Fair.
- A regular TA e-newsletter with news, events and opportunities
- 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
- 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. [Publication currently suspended whilst NCW review a move to a digital platform]
Remuneration is a matter for negotiation between the translator and publisher. In our experience, translators and publishers negotiate fees starting in the region of £95 per thousand words. This fee may be considerably higher, depending on various factors including the translator’s experience, the timescale for the translation, the difficulty of the prose, the amount of research required and the availability of translation funding.
The word count can apply to either the source or target language.
Read our Negotiating Payment for Translations blog
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