This section, which shall soon be extended, contains best practices from our member associations and other successful initiatives that could serve as an example.
- > Finland: literary translators ask for fair compensation
- > Turkey: translations in search of a new publisher
Finland: literary translators ask for fair compensation
As the 2008 CEATL survey (http://www NULL.ceatl NULL.eu/current-situation/working-conditions/) shows, Finland ranks among the worst countries in Europe to make a living as a literary translator. The following editorial by Finnish translator Tarja Roinila appeared on the Finnish literary criticism website Kiiltomato.net (http://www NULL.kiiltomato NULL.net/?cat=editorial) in March 2009.
Since then, the community of Finnish literary translators has banded together in a dramatic publicity campaign to raise public awareness of their situation: Kaijamari Sivill, current president of the Finnish Association of Translators and Interpreters (http://www NULL.sktl NULL.net) (SKTL), and translator Tarja Roinila appeared together with a publisher’s representative on a cultural program of the national radio; Heikki Karjalainen, chair of the SKTL’s literary division, was interviewed on another major radio program; Sivill and a representative from a different publishing house were interviewed on a popular television talk show. Newspapers carried the story.
The public responded sympathetically to the translators’ dilemma, and publishers, too, expressed concern. The major Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat ran a summary in English. This is just the latest instance of coordinated activism among Finnish translators. Their prolonged efforts have led to official recognition of literary translation as art. Read more » (http://www NULL.ceatl NULL.eu/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/Finland NULL.pdf)
Turkey: translations in search of a new publisher
There can be many reasons why a translation is not, or is no longer available for interested readers. Sometimes the publishing house has gone into liquidation, sometimes it is expected that a reprint would no longer be profitable. In some cases commercial (or other) reasons lead a publisher to refrain from printing a book from the start, and thus a book translation ordered by the publisher and finished by the translator can be stuffed away in drawers without ever having been in print at all.
In order to keep or make these titles available for Turkish readers, the Literary Translators’ Society Turkey, Çevbir (http://www NULL.cevbir NULL.org), tries to find new publishing houses for out of print translations by its members. Members who wish to do so can send information concerning the title to Çevbir’s e-mail address. Çevbir’s website offers a regularly updated list (http://cevbir NULL.org/) of these titles, usually accompanied by a summary of the book’s content, and an indication of its number of pages.
Publishers interested in printing one of these finished translations can contact Çevbir’s office. On the condition that the publishing house complies with the standard contract adopted by Çevbir, the Association mediates between the new publishing house and the translator. Çevbir gives no guarantee of the quality of the translation. A letter (http://cevbir NULL.org/) explaining the procedure and conditions to interested publishers is also available on the website.
So far, over 100 titles have been published on Çevbir’s website; five of them have been (re)printed by another publisher; another eleven titles are presently under consideration.