Europe: A New Residence Map Pinpoints Opportunities for Translators

In News by Jaroslaw Adamowski

The ‘Translation in Motion’ program, under RECIT’s auspices, now has a graphical overview of residence programs for translators.

An image from Translation House Looren near Zurich, one of the residence programs in RECIT’s portfolio. Image: Translation House Looren, Anina Lehmann

By Jarosław Adamowksi | @JaroslawAdamows

See also: 
Translation in Motion: Boosting Western Balkan Literature Internationally
Rare Language Combinations: Translation in Motion’s Residencies in Europe

Today: 51 European Residence Programs for Translators
The European project Translation in Motion is offering a new interactive map of literary translation centers across the Continent, a project intended to help Europe’s  translators navigate professional opportunities, an assist to career development.

Supported by Creative Europe, the cultural program of the European Union, the map was produced by the European Network of International Centers of Literary Translators (RECIT), with plans for regular updating of the online database of residencies.

The program’s first such residence of this kind dates back to 1978, when the Europäische Übersetzer-Kollegium was set up by two translators in Straelen.

Today, that center accommodates up to 29 professional translators at a time, providing them with comfortable conditions for work and networking. In 2000, several translation centers teamed up to form RECIT, which today aggregates 14 such facilities in 13 European markets.

Eva Laderick, a German researcher who authored the map, tells Publishing Perspectives that RECIT invited her to begin her research last summer.

“I started my work on this project by reaching out to translators’ associations in various European countries,” Laderick says, “to access their respective databases, because until now no such database has been available for the entire European continent.

“Today, we have 51 such residence programs for translators in Europe,” she says, and they fall into three categories:

  • Programs intended exclusively for literary translators
  • Programs for writers and translators
  • Interdisciplinary programs for creative professionals, and open to translators, as well
Public Funding Is Important for European Centers

In Arles, a view of the Collège International des traducteurs littéraires. Image: Association ATLAS, Romain Boutillier

Over the course of her research, Laderick says, she has identified a number of commonalities between the currently active literary translation residence programs.

Eva Laderick

“Their availability,” she says, “always depends on public funding, which provides programs with the necessary stability they need to continuously support translators. In one of the countries, Greece, three such programs have disappeared after public funding was slashed.

“The majority of residence programs are the result of individual initiatives by nonprofit organizations, but public cultural administrations often cooperate with NGOs [non-governmental organizations and fund the programs and/or they provide suitable premises.

“Fortunately, many initiatives have a pan-European outreach,” Laderick says, “and can benefit from EU funding. Translation in Motion is funded by the European Union’s Creative Europe, and there are more and more international opportunities for translators.”

European literary translation residencies are becoming more diverse,” she says, “and offer a wide range of residencies for translators, which allows them to choose between more urban and rural settings for their stays.

“The first programs of this type in Europe were located in rural areas. Translators didn’t have much to do there other than work on their projects and interact with other translators.

“This had certain advantages,” Laderick says, “because translators could almost fully devote themselves to translation. But now we also have many residencies in urban areas, big European cities. This lets literary translators work as well as deepening their understanding of the societies they need to know very well to translate their works into other languages.”

The map guides translators to residence opportunities in Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

In addition to this, one of the initiatives, the Traduki network, specializes in southeastern Europe and the German-language territories, its portfolio of markets comprising Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Kosovo, Liechtenstein, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, and Switzerland.

Traduki’s support comes from the ministries of culture in its various participating nations.

Translators interested in looking into currently available residencies can check this page on the RECIT site where, at this writing, there are programs with application information in Zagreb, Bucharest, Montenegro, England’s National Centre for Writing, the “Culture Moves Europe” program, and more.

From the new interactive map of literary translation residencies in Europe from the Réseau Européen des Centres Internationaux de Traducteurs littéraires. Image: RECIT

More from Publishing Perspectives on translation is here, more on the international rights trade is here, and more on Europe and its publishing markets is here.

About the Author

Jaroslaw Adamowski

Jaroslaw Adamowski is a freelance writer based in Warsaw, Poland. He has written for the Guardian, the Independent, the Jerusalem Post, and the Prague Post.