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Survey on Working Conditions of Literary Translators in Europe
Survey on Working Conditions of Literary Translators in Europe
11 Jul, 2022

The European Council of Literary Translators‘ Associations (CEATL – Conseil européen des associations de traducteurs littéraires) has issued a general report on the state of working conditions among literary translators in Europe. The report is based on a survey that was carried out from May to July 2020.

The results show that:

  • The professional situation differs a lot from country to country.

  • Even experienced fulltime translators can hardly make a living from literary translation.

  • Besides the basic fees per page, translators also depend on the income from royalties, collecting societies (collectively managed rights, public lending rights) and grants and prizes for literary translators.

  • Comparing the results with previous surveys, it turns out that the income for literary translators has hardly increased over the last decade.

Find a summary of the survey results here

The survey was sent to translators across 28 countries in Europe. In order to ensure the quality and the comparability of the results, based on the participants‘ understanding of the questionnaire, the survey was translated into 24 languages. It was sent both to members of European translators‘ associations and to non-members. About 3,000 translators responded to the survey, which provided a good overall view of the working conditions of literary translators in Europe.

The report covers issues such as basic fees per contract, visibility of translators, rights according to contracts, royalties, public lending rights, rates and more.

The aim of this survey was to collect data from across Europe, to get an overview of the state of the working conditions of literary translators in different countries and to make use of these data to raise the standards for literary translators and to improve their position in terms of author‘s rights, public lending rights and cultural recognition. It is also important that every country documents the working conditions of translators and provides data for national funds.

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