Global Translation Initiative

The Global Translation Initiative (GTI) aims to strengthen support for literary translation and share information between English-language translation communities throughout the world. The GTI project is supported by Arts Council England and works in partnership with organisations throughout the global translation community.

  • Read or Download Flying Off The Shelves, the interim report of the Global Translation Initiative.
  • Read or Download Taking Flight, the final report of the Global Translation Intitiative.

 The crisis facing literary and cultural translation into the English language is a shared problem of all English-speaking countries, yet most efforts to secure greater support for the translation community have been contained within each national community, with the result that the pressing international importance of the issue has not been established.

 The goals of the GTI are:

  • To share information from the various sectors of English-language translation communities throughout the world (including booksellers, writers, translators, media, funders and academic translation programmes)
  • To identify specific obstacles and sites of opportunity
  • To document the current state of translation into English globally and widely disseminate the results

The GTI aims to support writers and translators, build readers and advocate for increased support for translation among funders and policy makers.

In April 2011, GTI partners published and distributed Flying off the Shelves at the London Book Fair’s celebrated Literary Translation Centre. This interim report draws together some of the most innovative and exciting ideas that emerged from discussions and debates about education, training, promotion and funding on International Translation Day 2010.

Discussion at the Literary Translation Centre 2011 built on some of the key themes and issues that are documented in this report. The report also includes a summary of the groundbreaking research by Dalkey Archive Press into the barriers to translation.

Taking Flight, the final GTI report, was launched at this year’s International Translation Day on 30th September 2011. This report brings together eighteen vital and illuminating essays from distinguished translators, authors, publishers and journalists from around the globe. As well as celebrating the many achievements of literary translation, the essays also shed light on the obstacles facing the translation community across the Anglophone world. The values set out in Taking Flight are by no means definitive and are intended as a starting point to fuel debate and discussion.

The ongoing dialogue between translators, academics, teachers, agents, publishers, booksellers, funders, journalists, NGOs and cultural representatives will continue at the Literary Translation Centre 2012.

Here is a list of key GTI activities and publications to date:

Global Translation Survey – an assessment of the current state of translation by Dalkey Archive Press. The full report is published on the Dalkey website and is available for download here.

Interim Report Flying off the Shelves – a short introduction to the GTI and summary of discussions held at ITD 2010, distributed at London Book Fair’s Literary Translation Centre 2011.

GTI report Taking Flight – an enquiry into the current state of translation in the Anglophone world by eighteen distinguished translators, authors, publishers and journalists, launched at International Translation Day 2011.

Event series – a series of events demonstrating and celebrating the value of translated literature; namely the Literary Translation Centre and International Translation Day.

Translators in Residence - Thanks to support from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Free Word and the Translators Association have established their first Translator in Residence programme. Two practising literary translators will join the Free Word Centre in September to research and develop innovative new projects with the local community.

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