Guidelines on the use of translations for Museums, Galleries and cultural institutions

A translation of intellectual property has status as a creative work and is protected by copyright.

As established by the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, Article 2, Section 3: “Translations, adaptations, arrangements of music and other alterations of a literary or artistic work shall be protected as original works without prejudice to the copyright in the original work.”

Navigating copyright can be a minefield, and sensitive and appropriate use of translations is not always intuitive; each case is unique. The International Federation of Translators (FIT) and The Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI) have put together some guidelines to help cultural institutions who may use translated texts understand, at a glance, the best way to approach the use of translations.

The first step? Contact the translator, as a courtesy. It’s always good to be sure the translator is aware and part of the discussion, even if they don’t hold the copyright. In the event they don’t hold the copyright themselves, they will be able to tell you who does.

The Atlas of Translation and Literature

A new resource for literary translators: The Atlas of Translation and Literature. You can take part in building a new resource for lovers of literature and translation. This interactive map of the world includes geolocation of events connected with translation and literature and relevant to those working in the industry. The aim of the map is not to describe the events in detail or to provide in-depth information about them, but to locate them geographically, offering an overview for professionals looking for information.

Add your events to the map via the link: ATL FORM

Share the link with organisations and bodies in your country or region who organise events connected with literary translation: translation awards, literary fairs, ongoing conferences, residencies for writers and translators, training programmes aimed at the industry

The Atlas is a proud collaboration between The International Federation of Translators (FIT) and its Translating for Publishing Houses and Copyright Standing Committee, the Association of Professional Translators and Interpreters of Catalonia (APTIC), the European Council of Literary Translators’ Associations (CEATL), Barcelona City of Literature and the Institut Ramon Llull.

If you have any queries, please write to

Conflict Zone Field Guide for Civilian Translators/Interpreters and Users of Their Services

FIT in partnership with Red T and the International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC), has drafted a Conflict Zone Field Guide for Civilian Translators/Interpreters and Users of Their Services. This document outlines the basic rights, responsibilities, and practices recommended by the three organizations. It applies to translators and interpreters serving as field linguists for the armed forces, journalists, NGOs and other organizations in conflict zones and other high-risk settings.

Brochure for Translation and Interpreting Buyers: Getting it Right

Interpreting: Getting It Right

Many buyers aren’t even sure they need a professional interpreter, especially if they know someone who seems to be bilingual and is willing to help out.
Red alert: working with amateurs or no interpreter at all can lead to serious risks for you and your business. Interpreting, Getting it Right is a brochure that explains the where, why, and how of purchasing professional interpreting services a quick read offering practical, hands-on information for language service consumers.

Other languages: Many FIT member associations have translated these guides and published them on their websites.

Translation: Getting It Right


There are hundreds of ways a translation project can go off track: ridiculous deadlines, misapplied machine translation, poor project management, unqualified suppliers, and much more. If you’re a first-time buyer, you are often flying blind.
Translation, Getting it Right is a handy brochure full of concrete tips to help you get the most out of your budget and get a translation that works. It’s available in a number of languages.

Other languages: Brazilian Portuguese :: Catalan :: German. Many FIT member associations have translated these guides and published them on their websites.

FIT Database of Training Institutions

FIT Database of Training Institutions for Latin America and other parts of the world. Last updated June 2020.

Other Resources

2020: ISO 17100 – FAQS for freelance translators

2015: PEN Club : The Quebec Declaration on Literary Translation and Translators (2015)

2012: Overall costs of non-quality in translation – A report from the European Commission

1963, updated1994: FIT Translator’s Charter