Translators Associations Europe: TA

A simple name: Translators Association

Translation Association Europe: TAThe UK Translators Association (TA) was established by the British Society of Authors in 1958 “to provide translators with an effective means of protecting their interests and sharing their concerns”. TA is a source of advice given by experts, a representative organ for individual professionals and “an advocate for the profession as a whole”.

This British translation association is run by a 10-member committee, all of them elected, and served by a secretary.

According to the Translators Association, there are six main reasons to join the organisation. One of them has to do with the law, more specifically, contract vetting, as TA provides its members with individual advice on publishing contracts. There is also business advice and support on all professional issues.

TA organises regular meetings and workshops on both literary and professional topics. Other than these, there are several social events for members to attend. Associates of the Translators Association receive the journey of the Society of Authors, The Author, as well as In Other Words, the British Centre for Literary Translation’s journal.

Other publications by TA include a wide range of resources on numerous topics of interest to all writers. These include “Copyright and Moral Rights, Libel and Publishing Contracts”. There is also a Guide to Translator / Publisher Contracts, which includes a basic agreement and may be downloaded from the resources section of TA’s website (once you are logged in). Non-members can acquire the Guide for £10. As a member, you also gain access to a free email discussion group run by TA member Trista Selous.

As the Translators Association is part of the Society of Authors, to join it you must sign up for the society. You must also have a full-length work (or equivalent), published or that has been accepted for publication. Membership of the Society is £90 per annum, except if you are under 35. In this case, you will get a discount which means you only have to pay £64. If you’re interested, you may download a form from TA’s website or get in touch with the association’s office if you need the form to be posted to you.

Translation Prizes

The Society of Authors is responsible for several prizes aimed at published translations from Arabic, Dutch / Flemish, French, German, Italian, Modern Greek, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish. Prizes are awarded at the annual Sebald Lecture, an event organised in partnership with BCLT (British Centre for Literary Translation). Winning books will have extracts read during the ceremony.

Translation in Practice

The Translators Association, in partnership with Dalkey Archive Press, the British Council, Arts Council England and the British Centre for Literary Translation, has published Translation in Practice: A Symposium, edited by Gill Paul. The book, based upon the conference held at the British Council in London, in February 2008, “is an attempt to establish “best practices” for writers, editors, translators, and anyone else involved in the business of literary translation”.

50 Outstanding Translations

Also in 2008, to mark TA’s 50th anniversary, the committee compiled a list of “50 outstanding translations from the last 50 years”. It is a sampler, thought-provoking, which aims at getting “people talking”. According to the Translators Association, “it’s by no means definitive, and many wonderful translations and eminent translators are missing”. You can check it out on the organisation’s website.

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.

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