Mentorship Programmes

A number of translators’ associations and cultural institutions have established mentorship programmes, where emerging translators or translation students are matched with seasoned professionals to gain practical experience in the field.

Programmes may vary in length, but they generally last four to six months, in which the mentor generously offers their time and expertise to help their mentee(s) start developing their craft, working on a specific text in the mentee’s chosen language pair.

In addition to translation work, mentors introduce mentees to the practicalities of life as a professional translator, such as getting a feel for the country’s publishing scene, understanding translation contracts and negotiations, time management, or tax matters.

Some mentorship schemes offer bursaries, and some may even end in the publication of the mentees’ first translations, but regardless of details, they are a rewarding experience for mentors and mentees alike, and give emerging translators a leg up in starting their career.

For more information on individual mentorship programmes, see, for instance:

Germany (Deutsche Übersetzerfonds)

Italy (Strade)

Spain (ACE Traductores)

Switzerland (Pro Helvetia)

The Netherlands (Expertisecentrum Literair Vertalen)

UK (National Centre for Writing)