Translators Associations Europe: SFF

A translators association within the Writers Union

Translation Associations Europe: SFFThe Translators Section of the Swedish Writers Union (SFF) is a translation association within the larger professional organisation. It is aimed at everyone who works as either a writer or a literary translator. The SFF has been around since 1893. During this time, the SFF has gathered a “long and solid experience working with business, legal and social issues” that relate to the professions it represents.

Members of the Swedish Writers Union – and of its Translators Association – are Swedish citizens and foreign nationals who reside in Sweden and have published texts of artistic and scientific value.

Anyone wishing to become a member of this writers and translators association may request so. The board of SFF, an elected organ, will assess the material submitted by the applicant and recommend acceptance or rejection. However, there are different conditions whether you’re a writer or a translator.

To be a member of the translation association, you must have translated at least two works from or into Swedish, both of which must have been published. Both original and translated materials must be attached to the membership form for assessment. If your application arrives in the office of the SFF by the 15th January, it will be analysed in time for spring, whereas applications received by the 15th August, the assessment will be conducted until the following Autumn.

Submitted works will be analysed by two members of SFF who are appointed on purpose for the occasion. They will recommend whether to refuse or accept the applicant. Final decisions are made by the board after examining the files. Fiction and non-fiction submissions must have a total of at least 240 pages. Drama submissions must comprise two full-evening performances with a total of at least 200 pages. Poetry works submitted to the translators association are not limited in terms of length but must be accepted by the board.

Criteria used in the assessment of an applicant included his / her capability to deal with his / her own language and that the translation remains faithful to the original, in genre and character. All submitted work are treated with full confidentiality. When returned, submissions will include an overall assessment of the translation, an account of the merits and demerits of the work, the decision to approve or deny the entrance. It is important that translations obey certain rules, that they are correct and accurate, with no inaccuracies or discrepancies. It is also imperative that the translated work reflects the style of the original, that there is not an excessive normalisation of the contents.

Membership at the SFF – and the Translators Association – for anyone whose native and working languages are other than Swedish is also available and they should submit at least two works or two translations.

As a member of SFF, you can benefit from receiving the Swedish Writers Union magazine, an “obvious information agency” for those who write and translate books. The magazine publishes information on working conditions both in Sweden and abroad, as well as issues like copyrights, freedom of speech, arts and culture, books and publishing and library-concerned articles. Other than that, the SFF magazine provides information on scholarships, prizes and literary activities around the country. Besides being read by members of the Writers Union and its translators association, the magazine is also subscribed by many libraries, cultural organisations, government agencies, companies – translation companies in particular – and people interested in books.

A bit of history

The Swedish Writers Union was formed in 1893 and it originally covered all kinds of writers. It was in the 1930s that it changed the statutes so that translators and technical writers were included. Thus was formed the Translators Association within the Union.

In 2008, SFF organised the Stockholm Writers and Literary Translators International Congress, WALTIC, attended by 600 people, between writers, translators, professionals representing translation agencies and researchers from all around the world.

Keep in mind that Swedish, a North Germanic language, is spoken by approximately 10 million people, mainly in Sweden but also in parts of Finland, especially along its coast and on the Åland islands. It is largely mutually intelligible with Norwegian and Danish.

Lexis is happy to receive and publish news on events and other initiatives by your translators association. Please send us the press releases by your translation association to the email address Lexis – Connections with meaning

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