Getting started

Photo by Adéla Tilcerová and Roman Tilcer.


Know what you want. Get together. Do your research. Get online. Go outside.

Know what you want

  • Have a clear goal. What is the main thing you want to achieve?
    • Would you like to improve working conditions for translators?
    • Do you seek professional development, and enhance the quality of translation?
    • Do you wish to gain visibility?
    • Do you wish to exchange experiences and information?

Get together

  • You need to start a community. You need to know that there are others who are as committed as yourself. Start with a group of friends, or invite colleagues you know to a drink and discuss your ideas.
  • Contact the most prominent translators in your country and try to get them on board.

Do your research

  • Map the terrain:
    • Is there already an association in your country?
    • Is it operational? If not, is reviving it a lost cause?
    • If yes, read on.
  • Get legal:
    • What regulations are there defining CSO organisations in your country (NGOs, professional organisations, unions, cultural associations)?
    • Are there specific requirements that need to be fulfilled in order to start an association?
    • Find out what type of organisation best suits your needs.
    • Register!

Get online

  • Establish an online presence. It is easy and it does not need to cost anything.
    • Start a blog (a free Bloggger or WordPress blog, similar to this one).
    • Create a Facebook page, also cost-free.
    • Get on any type of social media you can think of (Twitter, Instagram, etc.).
    • Create a Facebook group, a Google group, or another type of email forum for internal chit-chat.

Go outside

  • Organise promotional events. Visit universities. Invite fellow translators to informal gatherings.
  • Locate potential allies and main opponents. Are there institutions who will support you?
    • Other writers’ organisations?
    • Cultural institutes?
    • Universities or research institutions?
    • Individual publishers or publishers’ associations?
    • Librarians or librarians’ associations?
    • Book clubs?
    • Bookshops?
    • Collective management organisation?
CEATL is an ally. Feel free to contact us or any CEATL member association you feel might help.

Check out this success story:

Starting an Association: ARTLIT, established in Romania in 2014