Training and development for literary translation

There are many formal and informal, short term and long term ways to learn the art of literary translation. Your route into literary translation depends on your background, skills and interests. Below are some resources aimed at literary translators working with English, although some will also apply to all literary translators.

Long term options

You can now study translation at Higher Education institutes around the world. But for more informal tips on how to develop as a translator try the following links.

The UK Translators’ Association has some useful FAQs about translation

Translator’s Home Companion: An education resources list

Arabic Literature in English blog: ‘Rules for Translators’

In the UK you can now join The Emerging Translators Network. There’s also the The Emerging Literary Translators’ Network in America (ELTNA). Both share networking opportunities, news, advice and knowledge for translators in the early stages of their careers. They also both run events and meet-ups.

New Books in German have an Emerging translators programme.

There have been a series of panel discussions on the topic of 'Getting started in literary translation' at the London Book Fair's Literary Translation Centre. Recordings of these Q&A sessions can be found on the London Book Fair's youtube account, watch First Steps in Literary Translation or Getting Started in Literary Translation from 2012 or two sessions from 2013 on Becoming a Literary Translator. You can watch the 2014 discussions here which include a session on continuing education for established literary translators.

Short Term options

Literature Across Frontiers runs short-term residential training in translation – most often for practising writers. Read about LAF’s workshop model. Please note: we cannot currently facilitate workshops which are open for application from writers but we may be able to help you set up a workshop. Visit our workshop pages for more information.

In the UK there are now several short term courses in translation:

The Poetry Translation Centre often holds workshops for beginners in London.

The British Centre for Literary Translation – the BCLT – has a summer school and an annual mentoring scheme for emerging translators. They also have some films on their website about ‘Getting Started in Literary Translation’.

And Birkbeck University also have a Summer School also in London.

The Arvon Foundation are now running biennial residential courses in literary translation.

Something we've missed?

If you feel there are other good training opportunities out there for literary translators and you'd like us to feature them, please get in touch.