The Translators Association was set up in 1958 to provide translators with an effective means of protecting their interests and sharing their concerns. The TA is a source of expert advice, a representative for individuals, and an advocate for the profession as a whole.The TA is run by a committee of 11 elected members and is served by a professional secretary, Sarah Burton.
Six reasons to join the TA
- Contract vetting: individual advice on your publishing contracts
- Business advice and support on professional issues
- Meetings and workshops on literary and professional topics, and social events
- In addition to The Author, the Society's journal, TA members receive In Other Words, the journal of the British Centre for Literary Translation
- Publications: The Society produces a number of resources on a range of topics of interest to all writers, including Copyright and Moral Rights, Libel, and Publishing Contracts. The Guide to Translator/Publisher Contracts contains a basic agreement and can be download from the resources section of this website once logged in. The Guide is also available to non-members for £10. To order your copy click here
- Access to a free email discussion group run by member Trista Selous.
For further information about the business of translation, see our Translation FAQS
How do I Join?
The TA is a group within the Society of Authors. To join you must have one full-length work, or its equivalent, published or accepted for publication. Membership of the Society costs £95 per annum (£68 if you are under 35). You can download a form from the membership page, or contact the office if you would like us to post the form to you.
Connect with us
- Find us on Twitter @Soc_of_Authors
- Follow the Translators Association Twitter list
- Join our members-only discussion forum on LinkedIn
The TA is represented on the following international bodies:
- CEATL (Conseil Européen des Associations de Traducteurs Littéraires): The TA's representative at annual meetings is Shaun Whiteside. Click here to see CEATL's Hexalogue, six commandments for "fair play" in literary translation.
- FIT (International Federation of Translators): The TA sends a representative to the triennial FIT Congress
The Society of Authors administers prizes for published translations from Arabic, Dutch/Flemish, French, German, Italian, Modern Greek, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish. The prizes are awarded at an evening event, featuring readings from the winners and a discussion on the subject of translation. Click here to find out more.
There are a number of translation prizes run by other organisations, including those for translations from Hebrew, from Russian, of children's literature, dramatic works, and fiction.
Emerging Translators Network
The Emerging Translators Network (ETN) is a forum and support network for early-career literary translators which shares information and offers professional support. The ETN is an email-based discussion group, where you can ask questions, seek and give advice, exchange tips and resources, post details of events and opportunities, even pass on work! Regular meetings are held every two months in London, as well as occasional socials, events and workshops. Members outside London also organize meetings in their own areas.
It’s free to join, but prospective members should demonstrate a genuine interest in developing a career in literary translation. Click here for more information as well as details on how to join.
The negotiation of fees is a matter for the individual translator and client to resolve. In the Society's experience of reviewing contracts, we have found that UK publishers are prepared to pay in the region of £88.50 per 1,000 words. For further advice, members should contact Sarah Burton.
Translation in Practice
A must-read for all translators!
We are pleased to announce that in partnership with Dalkey Archive Press, the British Council, Arts Council England, and the British Centre for Literary Translation, the Society has published Translation in Practice: A Symposium, edited by Gill Paul. Based on a conference held at the British Council in London in February 2008 it is an attempt to establish “best practices” for writers, editors, translators, and anyone else involved in the business of literary translation.
50 Outstanding Translations
In 2008, to mark the 50th anniversary of the TA, the Committee compiled a list of 50 outstanding translations from the last 50 years – a sampler, to provoke thought, and get people talking. It’s by no means definitive, and many wonderful translations and eminent translators are missing, but here's our list.