Discover the translation work going on in Scotland
By Keira Brown
Communications Executive, Edinburgh
City of Literature Trust
29 September 2023
Scottish Translation Resources
Scotland is an outward looking nation, especially when it comes to our literature.
If you are a writer or literature professional that needs a little steer in terms of where to go for help and guidance with translation, we’ve created this resource for you.
As a UNESCO City of Literature, we see Edinburgh as the gateway to a wider range of resources, businesses and activity across Scotland. We hope this resource helps anyone interested in translation or looking to build their knowledge and contacts in the area.
Ken Cockburn (Poems on the page and in the world) – Translator of contemporary German poetry.
Francesca T Barbini (Luna Press) – Editor, Author, Translator as well as founder of Luna Press.
Eleanor Chapman – Freelance Translator from Italian and French into English, based in Glasgow.
Dr Rebecca DeWald - a bilingual translator with a PhD in Translation Studies from the University of Glasgow, working with English, German, French and Spanish into German and English.
Ashley Douglas - Edinburgh-based researcher, writer, and translator working in Scots, Gaelic, Danish, and German.
Annie Rutherford - She translates from German, French, Russian and Belarusian, and her published translations include full collections by poets Nora Gomringer and Volha Hapeyeva, as well as Isabel Bogdan’s novel The Peacock.
Rachel Rankin - Rachel Rankin is a Norwegian to English literary translator, poet, teacher and PhD researcher based in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Anna Stevenson (Scriever) - Edinburgh-based publishing expert with a wide reach to help with multilingual projects.
Janice McNeillie (Scriever) - Edinburgh-based linguist with the skills and contacts to bring your translation projects to life.
Translators and publishers negotiate fees starting in the region of £100 per thousand words. This fee may be considerably higher, depending on various factors including the translator’s experience, the timescale for the translation, the difficulty of the prose, the amount of research required and the availability of translation funding. The word count can apply to either the source or target language. The agreed sum may come as a flat fee, an advance against royalties, or a fee plus royalties from the first copy sold. For poetry we have observed payment in the region of £1.10 per line with a minimum of £35 per poem. [SoA Translation Association, March 2022].
Charco Press - Bringing the very best of contemporary Latin American literature, into English translation.
Scotland Street Press – a small, independent publisher of fiction, history, poetry, biography and translation based in Edinburgh.
Canongate Books – they pitch the books, build relationships with editors, attend book fairs and negotiate deals, so that the titles can be translated into languages as varied as French, German, Uzbek, Sinhalese and Welsh.
Vagabond Voices - Vagabond is committed to introducing new titles from Scottish authors and translating fiction from other languages.
Publishing Scotland’s Support Resource for Translating to English, Scots and Gaelic – Gaelic and Scots are the indigenous languages of Scotland. They are protected under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, and Gaelic has official status as a ‘national language’ of Scotland under the Gaelic Language Act (2005). The literature of both languages dates back hundreds of years, and today talented writers are producing excellent new books for adults and children. Publishing Scotland have pulled together this useful resource if you are wanting to get your book translated into English, Scots and Gaelic. The Gaelic Books Council is the lead organisation for supporting Scottish Gaelic writers and publishers, and for raising the profile and reach of Scottish Gaelic books in Scotland and internationally. The organisation provides assistance for publishers who wish to publish Scottish Gaelic literature by offering funding opportunities through commission and publication grants. The Scots Language Centre aims to help in any matters related to Scots language and is a great resource tool for the language, which you can find out more about via the link.
Translation Fund from Publishing Scotland - this fund is to support publishers based outside the United Kingdom with the payment of translation fees to translate Scottish writers, encouraging Scottish writers and publishers to get their words across the world. There are annual applications rounds – sign up to the Publishing Scotland mailing list. Or you can contact Lucy Feather at PS if you have any questions regarding the fund or your eligibility: firstname.lastname@example.org
SBI Author International Travel Fund – the Author International Travel Fund is available to Scottish writers who have been invited overseas to promote their work. Applicants can apply for a maximum of £1000 to support travel costs towards their trip. This can allow writers to go to other countries to attend festivals, and can help build international contacts with publishers in other languages.
Cove Park Translation Residencies - Cove Park runs a Translation Programme, in partnership with Publishing Scotland, for two translators of Scottish books for a two-week residency each to Cove Park in the autumn.
PDA Gaelic Translation - The Professional Development Award (PDA) in Gaelic Translation at SCQF level 11 is an SQA qualification covering specialist skills in translation and developing performance as a professional translator.
Scottish Books International (Publishing Scotland) - Scottish Books International works on behalf of the literature sector in Scotland and is dedicated to the international promotion of books, publishers, writers, festivals and organisations. They have a monthly newsletter that details opportunities for working internationally in other countries and languages – scroll to the bottom of their homepage to sign up.
Translators Association (The Society of Authors) – the Translators Association (TA) provides a source of expert advice for individual literary translators and is also a collective voice representing the profession as a whole.
ITI Scottish Network - ITI Scottish Network is part of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI), the UK's professional association for translators and interpreters.
Scottish PEN - champion translation and minority languages, in particular Gaelic writing.
If you are interested in hearing directly from translators or writers writing in translation, then follow the Edinburgh International Book Festival programme.
If there is anything else that you would like to add to this resource on translation, contact us on our email.