Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Chimaera's Found in Translation Issue

A short story I translated by Swedish author Mats Kempe and a short essay I wrote on translation have now been published online in a new journal called The Chimaera. This issue of the magazine focuses on translation, and I look forward to reading the other works in it.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Translation Studies Summer School

From a translation studies list, I noticed the following information on a summer school that would be useful for those who want to begin to do research in the field:

Announcing a funding opportunity for the Translation Research Summer School

Two full scholarships (covering fees, travel and accommodation) are now available for current or future PhD students to participate in the 2008 Translation Research Summer School which will take place in Manchester, UK, from 16 to 27 June.

The Summer School offers intensive research training in translation and intercultural studies for prospective researchers in the field, over a two-week period. The units collaborating in the Summer School are the Centre for Translation and Intercultural Studies at the University of Manchester, the Centre for Intercultural Studies at University College London (UCL), and the Translation Studies Graduate Programme, School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures, University of Edinburgh.

The deadline for scholarship applications is 22 February.

These scholarships are specifically designed to provide assistance to students from countries with lower GDPs. For further details and an application form please consult the Translation Research Summer School website:

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Times Stephen Spender Prize for Poetry in Translation

On the Modern Languages Research Training list, I saw the following announcement:

for poetry in translation
Translate a poem from any language, classical or modern, into English
Three categories: Open, 18-and-under and 14-and-under. Cash prizes
All winning entries published in a booklet
Last posting date for entries Friday 23 May 2008
For details and entry forms go to
To read last year's winning entries, visit the website or email for a free copy of the booklet

Robina Pelham Burn, Director, Stephen Spender Memorial Trust
3 Old Wish Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex BN21 4JX 01323 452294

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Taking a Break and AWP Conference

For the next month, I will be travelling, so I won’t be posting as often. However, I will still post as possible, so do check back. Also, if you happen to be going to the conference for the Association of Writers and Writing Programs in New York City, let me know. I’ll be on a panel there on February 1 about including translation in MFA programs. Here is a description of the panel:

Translation in MFA Programs. (B.J. Epstein, J.T. Barbarese, Douglas Robinson, Geoffrey Brock, Marjolijn de Jager) MFA programs have proliferated recently, but the majority of them pointedly lack one writing form: the art and craft of translation. And yet, literary translation is a vital and challenging career that demands creativity and poetic skills. In this panel, translators, professors, MFA program directors, and translation studies researchers discuss what translation is, how it relates to creative writing, and why and how to include it in MFA programs.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Raising Rates

The beginning of a new year is when many freelancers raise their rates. I’m interested to know how often this happens (every year, every few years, when you think of it, etc.) and by how much (5%, 10%, a few pennies/pence/kronor/other relevant currency, etc.).

As for me, since I rarely work for agencies and since I don’t generally do just one kind of translation work, I don’t have completely set rates. Instead, I estimate the cost of each project by looking it over and trying to figure out how difficult it is, how much work is required, and how much time it will take me, plus I take into consideration how soon the client wants the work completed. This in turn means that I don’t have an annual increase in rates. Rather, as I get more experience and as I get more compliments and messages of gratitude from customers, I slowly increase my prices a bit. I probably don’t do this often enough, but as I try not to quote prices that are lower than I know I deserve or that I feel comfortable with, I am generally satisfied with rates that are fair both to my customers and to me.

From informally talking to other translators or from seeing messages on translation lists, however, it seems that an annual increase in rates is quite common. Judging by the rates people list, I estimate that their fees go up by about 8% a year. What do you do? Please vote below.

How often do you raise your rates?
Free polls from

How much do you raise your rates by?
Free polls from