As I just joined the ATLF (after the AAE-ESIT, SFT, Sofia, Scam, briefly the CIoL and NETA and before joining the ATAA someday), let me relay the message from an other
acronym organization, which is also making a great deal in advocating literary translators in Europe : the European Council of Literary Translators' Associations (CEATL). The Council indeed published an "Hexalogue", a code a good practice in six points for all literary translation actors (authors, translators, publishers, etc.). It is reproduced below, and you can also download it on their website. Oh and by the way, don't forget the Youth Book Fair this week-end in Paris.
The Six Commandments of ‘fair-play’ in literary translation, adopted by CEATL’s General Assembly on 14 May, 2011.
1. Licensing of rights
The licensing of rights for the use of the translation shall be limited in time to a maximum of five years. It shall be subject to the restrictions and duration of the licensed rights of the original work. Each licensed right shall be mentioned in the contract.
The fee for the commissioned work shall be equitable, enabling the translator to make a decent living and to produce a translation of good literary quality.
3. Payment terms
On signature of the contract, the translator shall receive an advance payment of at least one third of the fee. The remainder shall be paid on delivery of the translation at the latest.
4. Obligation to publish
The publisher shall publish the translation within the period stipulated in the contract, and no later than two years after the delivery of the manuscript.
5. Share in profit
The translator shall receive a fair share of the profits from the exploitation of his/her work, in whatsoever form it may take, starting from the first copy.
6. Translator’s name
As author of the translation, the translator shall be named wherever the original author is named.
Reminder: this is only a recap of the French article. To read the full post, click on the French flag on the right.
The traditional "Matinale de la SFT" took place last saturday. This monthly breakfast gathers a bunch of translators over a coffee and a particular question. This month, it was all about audiovisual translation.
Animated by Isabelle Audinot and Sylvestre Meininger, vice-president of the ATAA (Audiovisual Translators and Adapters Association), we learned about the differences between subtitling, dubbing and voice-over, for TV or movies, as well as the "reality of a sector in crisis". So if you were thinking about translating movies, please read carefully their website (and blog).
As we were told, this is a hard-stricken sector in France: "it's like translators are chosen by the publishers", "rates dropped by 60% in 15 years", "only 20 translators make their living from movie translation" and "workforce increases by 10% each year".
Nevertheless, I have to say I'd be pretty proud if I heard George Clooney saying the words I wrote!
I would like to come back to the origins, to the initial goal of NJATB: giving advice and useful information about translation. So today, I will tell you how to make a good quote. And tomorrow, we’ll talk about invoices.
But first of all, let me say that what I’ll write here applies only to the French market. There may be some significant differences between countries, whether it is Canada, Belgium or English-speaking countries. Don’t forget to adapt the estimate to the law of the country you are working in.
So what the use of a quote? Better safe than sorry: the worst that could happen is that an unscrupulous client denies having ordered a translation you already sent back. And if you don’t have a quote, a commissioning letter or any written proof, you won’t have anything concrete to prove his bad faith.
Anything written down will do the job, such as an e-mail where a client asks you to translate said text, but a proper purchase order (sent by your client) or a quote (that you establish) is generally better. And it only costs a few minutes...
In France, there are a few mandatory indications to have on a quote: name and address of the translator and client, reception date and deadline, document title, quote acceptance period, rate per word or page, total price, payment terms… and the famous mention “Bon pour accord” from the client.
But rather than letting you in the blur, you can download below a template for a translation quote in French. Of course, you will have to adapt it to your needs, by adding, for example, your terms of service (or the one from the SFT) as well as the terms you negotiated with your client.
Remember that you can also ask for a deposit, as it is often done by various professionals, especially for bigger jobs.
Next episode: invoicing!
Not much news this summer, but let me just tell you three things:
- You can now apply to the Open Competition of the European Commission for Translators (French and English in particular). Deadline for application is August 12 midday.
- The French translators' association SFT just published its report on translation practices (in French). Lots of facts and figures you can't miss out!
- Last but not least, I have finally published my Terms of Service (in French only), inspired by Corinne McKay's book How to Succeed as a Freelance Translator, with the help of the SFT.
You can enjoy the sun, and don't forget your sunscreen!