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The secret life of the literary translator Ros Schwartz.

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Presentation on theme: "The secret life of the literary translator Ros Schwartz."— Presentation transcript:

1 The secret life of the literary translator Ros Schwartz

2 Who are literary translators?

3 Skills  self starter  contract negotiation  computers/technology  understanding publishing  accounts, tax and social security, sickness insurance, pension  making a living as a translator  professional development  networking

4 Getting started

5 Proposing books to publishers  Check translation rights available  Contact the foreign rights manager of the publishing house  Request permission to seek a publisher for your proposed translation

6 Identify potential publishers via:  publishing directories  book fair catalogues  visit international book fairs

7 Presenting to publishers  Write to a named editor  Put together a ‘pack’ including: introductory letterintroductory letter synopsis and sample translation (2-3,000 words)synopsis and sample translation (2-3,000 words) facts and figures:facts and figures: Length (number of words/pages) Length (number of words/pages) Sales figures/bestseller placings Sales figures/bestseller placings selected press cuttings selected press cuttings information about the author:information about the author: previous books/sales history/prizes/films previous books/sales history/prizes/films your own résuméyour own résumé

8 Factors influencing the publisher:  Length  Cost of translation  Skill of translator  Is the author alive, ‘promotable’?  Is the book part of a series?  Is the country of origin fashionable?  Can the editor read the language?  Are translation subsidies available?

9 Information on subsidies  Translators Companion website  Cultural Attaché of the embassy concerned  For EU subsidies contact the European Commission cultural contact ontacts/national_pts_en.html ontacts/national_pts_en.html

10 Cultural Contact Point Greece  Directorate of European Affairs Demetris Antonopoulos Ministry of Culture 17 rue Ermou Athens Tel / Fax

11 Negotiating contracts

12 The “Decalogue” 1. A license contract by which the translator will retain the copyright. 2. A fair remuneration for the translation as commissioned. 3. Royalties should be paid in the event of sales passing a trigger, to be specified in the contract. 4. Payment for all subsidiary exploitation of the translation. 5. Protection of moral rights: the naming of the translator with suitable prominence and respect for the integrity of the translated text;

13 The Decalogue 6. Translations should be commissioned from the original language. 7. Rendering of an annual statement of account by the publisher to the translator. 8. The translator should be held harmless from any libel suit. 9. The publisher should ascertain the professional competence of the translator. 10. The payment of all subsidies for translation should be subject to these general principles and the translator should be informed of the amount and conditions of such subsidies.

14 Computer equipment and skills  present your work in the required format  back ups  online resources for research (dictionaries, glossaries, libraries useful websites, translator forums)  technical assistance  keep up to date with developments

15 Understanding the publishing process

16 Accounts, taxes, insurance  be aware of your tax status  keep proper accounts  plan ahead: sickness insurance sickness insurance pension pension

17 Professional development  national translators’ association events  workshops (language- or subject-based)  translation centre residencies

18 RECIT RECIT (a network of 10 European literary translation centres) residencies for translatorsresidencies for translators events bringing together writers & translatorsevents bringing together writers & translators WorkshopsWorkshops summer schoolssummer schools

19 Networking  join your national association  network with colleagues  professional events  conferences  mentoring  other professional spheres

20 Working conditions for the freelance literary translator

21 Making a living as a freelance literary translator

22 The advantages of being freelance  doing something you love  independence, being your own boss  no commuting  compatible with having a family  translation community supportive and generous  you never stop learning


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