Breaking in to the field of literary translations
Thread poster: Anglais Aide

Anglais Aide
Local time: 04:03
French to English
Feb 2, 2011

I would appreciate any helpful advice on the above topic.....

My background is in the teaching of English/French literature and I would now like to use my skills differently.

Is it essential to have a specific translation qualification? If so which one? I have BA Joint Hons English/ French, PGCE and TEFL qualifications only at present + years of experience at the chalk face.

I have lived in France for the past 10 years and wish to work from French into English.

Any tips gratefully received.


S P Willcock (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:03
German to English
+ ...
no particular qualification needed Feb 3, 2011

my experience is that no special qualification is needed - your BA degree and years of residence should be fine.

what you do need, though, is a willingness to work over much longer deadlines and at a lower rate then commercial translations, and a real eagerness to grab publishers by the throat and tell them why they have to publish this book. once you've convinced them of that, they will probably be perfectly happy to have you as the translator.

literary translators have to work, to some extent, as their own agents. choose a book (or several) that you want to translate, find out from the French publisher about the rights, prepare a sample chapter and bombard all the English-language publishers you can find.


Galatea Maman
French to English
+ ...
There are other avenues to breaking in Mar 1, 2011

You can also get work from French publishers wishing to sell foreign-language rights to books on their list. The book fairs are a great place to make contacts. To pass around a ms, they need the first 3 chapters translated and sometimes a synopsis (one of the most difficult types of all writing!)


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Breaking in to the field of literary translations

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