Our membership is open to anyone residing in North America actively involved in or interested in Swedish literary translation into English of all genres, including the performing arts.
Dues are $15 per year; the membership year begins June 1. For more information, please contact us.
President, Paul Norlen
Vice-President, Ursula Lindqvist
Secretary/Treasurer, Rachel Willson-Broyles
Officer-at-Large, Suzanne Martin
How STiNA Got Started
by Laura Wideburg
For over thirty years, British translators of literary Swedish have enjoyed camaraderie and the advancement of their profession through SELTA, but in North America, translators of Swedish to English had no equivalent group. Tom Geddes, the Secretary of SELTA, asked me if I would consider forming such a group for North Americans, so the two groups could communicate and advance the profession together. This was a daunting request, as North American translators are scattered over a huge geographic area, and previous attempts had not met with success. Perhaps, with the advance of Internet technology, success could now be found, so I decided to take on the task. I believed that if I could find ten persons willing to form a group, I would take that as a sign that this kind of resource was also needed in North America.
I entered the field of Swedish literary translation almost by accident, and was unaware of how to develop my career, so I bumped along haphazardly. I had an academic education, but little real experience in translation and practically no connections to the translation world or the publishing scene. As I began to publish my translations, I found I could turn to my friend, Paul Norlen, who had made the jump into literary translation a few years earlier. So when Tom Geddes threw me the challenge of forming an association, I turned to Paul first. We decided that this kind of association would have been very helpful to us when we were starting out as translators, and so we decided to go ahead and see what kind of interest there would be. I wrote a note to the Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Studies as well as the American Literary Translators Association and requested that they put in a notice in their respective newsletters that an association for literary translators from Swedish was in the process of forming, hoping that at least ten people would respond.
First steps to STiNA
By March of 2004, not only had ten translators stepped up and expressed their interest, but three people offered to become the acting officers of the Association: Paul Norlen as President, Robert Greer as Vice-President, and Anne-Charlotte Harvey as Officer-at-Large. I decided to serve the group as the Secretary-Treasurer. So that month we announced the formation of STiNA, The Association of Swedish Translators of North America. By the end of 2004, the Association had grown to 18 members and received a grant from the Consulate General of Sweden in New York to cover some expenses. Our mission was to develop literary translation from Swedish to North American English, promote the professionalism of translators in the field, especially newcomers to the field, promote Swedish literature of all genres throughout the United States and Canada, and communicate with other associations such as our British equivalent group SELTA and the Swedish cultural institutions.
Since our main avenue of communication would have to be the Internet, we decided that a website would be the most important first step. We wanted a place that would serve as a resource for translators, especially newcomers to the field. We found that many younger translators felt as we had, unsure of how to begin and where to find contacts, especially in Sweden, and so we put together a list of resources especially suited for the beginning translator. Our website offers links to Swedish cultural Institutions and SELTA, and lists important funding resources, as well as a list of members in order to further communication between members who are otherwise scattered. The Secretary-Treasurer sends out a monthly letter to the membership, advising them of any important events of possible interest.
Our membership is open to anyone residing in North America actively involved in or interested in Swedish literary translation of all genres, including the performing arts.
A longer version of this article appeared in the ATA Chronicle, and was reprinted in Swedish Press.