Translators Associations Europe: BCLT

Where literature finds new meanings

Translation Association Europe: BCLTHaving been founded in 1989 by writer W G Sebald – author of the acclaimed novel Austerlitz – the British Centre for Literary Translation (BCLT) has become “Britain’s leading centre for the development, promotion and support of literary translation”.

They are proud to announce this translators association has something to offer for any kind of person, whether you’re a professional translator, a student, an arts industry professional or “simply looking for something new to read”.

The BCLT is based in Norwich, at the home of the University of East Anglia. It is supported by by Arts Council England.

One of their missions is to offer support and provide literary translators with professional development and upgrade, throughout all the stages of their career. Another objective is to develop new audiences. For that, the BCLT is counting on the popularity of its events and publications.

This translation association wishes to provide information and advice, at the same time as it helps to stimulate both public awareness and interest in literary translation. In the end, they would also like to generate and encourage academic debate around everything concerning translation, with literature at the centre of it.

The BCLT is part of RECIT, the international network of literary translation centres. It also works regularly with partners in the East Anglia region, but also nationwide and abroad. The English PEN is one of those partners.


Because it was founded by a novelist but also as it is an association dedicated to literary translation in particular, the BCLT puts a lot of emphasis on its publications.

In Other Words is the appropriate name of their journal. This seasonable publication is made for “practising translators and for anyone interested in them and the world in which they work”. They also welcome contributions from anyone who has ideas on the subject.

The BCLT also has two publications dedicated to new books published in foreign languages.

New Books in German is published twice a year, coinciding with the London and Frankfurt book fairs. It is aimed at British and American editors in particular, especially those who wish to publish more translations but would gladly appreciate an independent helping hand that will guide them to find the right title among the thousands published in German, every year. This publication has the contribution of institutions like the Foreign Ministries of Austria, Germany and Switzerland, and The Goethe Institut.

New Spanish Books is the equivalent to the above-mentioned but obviously focussing on Spanish as a source-language. It is funded by the Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade (ICEX) and it includes insight on rights and translation grants as well as independent reviews on titles chosen by a UK panel of experts.

The importance of academic debate

The BCLT encourages and organises opportunities for academic debate about the practice of literary translation, both in theory and in practice, as well as the way it is taught at school.

The British Centre for Literary Translation is part of the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing, whose mission is to study and practise writing in all of its many forms, from recovering the history of writing to “exploring the interface between the critical and the creative”.

Organised by the University of East Anglia and the BCLT, there are regular translation workshops, free and open to everyone.

Keep in mind that English has 508 million native speakers. In the United Kingdom alone, there are around 55 million people whose mother tongue is English.

As a member of Lexis, you automatically become a official provider. Check it out. Lexis – Connections with meaning

Read other European Translators Associations news

back | print


Are you a language service provider?

Become a member of the LEXIS professional community and an official SYNTAX provider