The European Council of Literary Translators’ Associations CEATL conducted a survey on the legal situations for literary translators in 27 countries. 69 questions, around contracts, and emerging issues (self-publishing, streaming services, machine translation, etc.) shed light on the income and negotiation situation. The first preliminary results have now been published.
Between May and July 2021, CEATL conducted a survey among its member associations about the legal and contractual situation of literary translators.
The first results of the survey show that, in most European countries, the legal framework of the translation contract is relatively weak, and the current situation of literary translators is a far cry from the principles put forward in the DSM directive (and our own recommendations : Guidelines for fair translation contracts), especially when it comes to remuneration and transparency.
* In a majority of countries, literary translators suffer from unfair payment schedules and receive a once and for all lump sum – no royalties, no extra remuneration for secondary uses – regardless of the success of their work.
* In 2/3 of the European countries, literary translators “rarely” or “almost never” receive exploitation reports on their works, and no minimal level of transparency has been defined by law or through collective bargaining with the publishers.
These results will now be further refined and put into geographical maps.
Read more about European translators’ organisations, their aims and actions: