Residential seminars (SUCCESS STORY)

In literary translation mentoring and lifelong learning it is important to distinguish between the teaching of beginners and professional, peer-to-peer mentoring.
There should be scientific criteria for the marking of students’ work, such as the use of an assessment grid showing different levels of error and attainment (eg. errors of anachronism, of rhythm etc.).


The PETRA-E Framework of Reference for lifelong education in Literary Translation maps the competences of literary translators and levels in the acquisition of those competences. It is based on the experiences of translators and trainers and has been developed for teaching and learning purposes. I aims to help teachers and institutes to create tools and programs to acquire these competences. For students, the Framework helps to detect ‘gaps’ in their training and education.

The Framework consists of five levels (from breakthrough to expert) and eight competences (translating, linguistic, textual, heuristic, literary-cultural, professional, evaluative and research ones) all of which are described in detail. To each level a certain mastery of each competence is assumed.

The Framework is available in Dutch, English, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and Bulgarian.

Peer learning, residential seminars and Stammtisch

British Centre for Literary Translation Summer School – University of East Anglia (UK)

The annual BCLT Summer School brings together writers and translators for an intensive, one-week, residential programme of hands-on translation and creative writing practice.

For most language-specific workshops, groups have the unique opportunity to work on a collaborative translation with both the author in residence and the workshop leader. For translators working from any other languages there are two multilingual workshops, one for prose and one for theatre. These are designed for translators working from any language into English. 

All workshops are designed to encourage collaboration and peer learning in a small group setting (maximum of 10-12 translators in a group).

During the week, the workshops are complemented by creative writing workshops for all participants and also plenary sessions, such as publishing panels and lectures.

Warwick Translates – Summer School at the University of Warwick (UK)

Warwick Translates offers the opportunity to translate texts across the literary genres into English, working with leading professional translators. Groups will be limited to a maximum of 20 students. The course is taught in an all-day workshop environment using a variety of texts including non-fiction (essays, journalism, academic) and fiction (poetry, fantasy, children’s literature and crime writing etc.). There are plenty of opportunities for networking with publishers, agents, Warwick staff and one another.

ViceVersa – peer-to-peer residential seminars

ViceVersa is a bilingual, peer-to-peer residential seminar for literary translators, which has been successfully carried out with translators working with several language combinations.

The ViceVersa Programme an international programme for the continuous training of literary translators working to and from German, was set up by Deutscher Übersetzerfonds and Robert Bosch Stiftung in 2011.

In 2015 a similar programme involving translators to and from Italian was established under the name of Laboratorio Italiano by the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia and Translation House Looren. Such workshops are a unique opportunity for literary translators to meet their colleagues and tackle translation issues together in a constructive and friendly way.

Usually they have from 10 to 12 participants all working with the same couple of languages, half of them in one way and half in the other, meeting for a week. Each participant has the opportunity to present and discuss a three-page extract from one of their current
translation projects and ask for inputs from the colleagues to solve translation problems.

The aim of such workshops is not to evaluate a translator’s job, but rather to encourage lively discussion among colleagues based on actual practice.

AITI (Italy) continuing professional development

Continuing professional development is recognised to be essential for translators.

As to art. 7 of AITI Statute and art. 11 of Deontological code, each member has the duty to keep updated, study and learn as part of her/his professional development and growth, no matter the age.

The Association has established a three years programme with a detailed grid of reference to get a minimum number of credits. If an ordinary member failed in getting the minimum number of credits, he or she will be temporarily downgraded to the aggregate category for the following three years. 

Members send their documentation to the national Commission for Training and Learning through a simple, automatic form.

Members who have an institutional, active role in the Association will get credits for their work.…ua_gennaio_2017.doc_-_documenti_google.pdf

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