Sunday, 10 March 2013

Out in the Field

A small group of Finnish-English translators who hail from both sides of the Atlantic has recently set itself up as a literary "translation cooperative" - FELT.  At present the aims of the new body are somewhat unclear: apparently it's not an association along the lines of SELTA, the long-established association of Swedish-English literary translators, but rather "a community where translators can exchange news, ideas, and working methods with each other and share their work with the public", to quote the official statement on the FELT website. It seems that it also exists, in the words of one member, "to unabashedly promote our own work to general readers, publishers, and agents."

So far so good, and one wishes the cooperative all the best for the future. It's still not clear, however, whether the new community is an open one which all Finnish-English translators may join - in the way that Swedish-English translators have joined SELTA over the past few decades as full or associate members - or whether it's a closed professional club with a fixed and restricted membership and a Facebook window on the wider world. It might perhaps be helpful if the organizers would make this less ambiguous, though one appreciates that the planning of the new organization may still be in the early stages.