FIT (the Fédération Internationale des Traducteurs/International Federation of Translators) is an international grouping of associations of translators, interpreters and terminologists. More than 100 professional associations are affiliated, representing over 80 000 translators in 55 countries. The goal of the Federation is to promote professionalism in the disciplines it represents. It seeks constantly to improve conditions for the profession in all countries and to uphold translators’ rights and freedom of expression.
The Recommendation for the Protection and Improvement of the Legal and Social Status of Translations and Translators, adopted by UNESCO in 1976 at its general conference in Nairobi, marked a milestone in the history of the translating profession. The Translator’s Charter, revised in 1994, specifies the rights and duties of translators and recommends the principles of their organisation into associations. FIT is pleased with the significant progress made in defense of the profession since its foundation, but remains conscious of the need to further develop international cooperation. It will continue to play its vital role in overcoming linguistic boundaries and thus maintaining good communication and understanding between the peoples of the world.
Objectives of the Federation
As reflected in its constitution, the objectives of FIT are:
- to link and bring together existing associations of translators, interpreters and terminologists
- to encourage and facilitate the formation of such associations in countries where they do not already exist
- to provide member associations with information about conditions of work, technological tools, initial and ongoing training, and all questions useful to the profession
- to develop and maintain, among all member associations, good relations that serve the interests of translators
- to uphold the moral and material rights of translators throughout the world.
- to promote the recognition of the professions of translator, interpreter and terminologist, enhance the status of translators in society, and promote translation as a science and an art.
The Federation, through its committees, undertakes to meet the various expectations of its members by addressing matters of training, conditions of work, the various aspects of the profession, and the categories of translators, interpreters and terminologists. To take part in the work of one of the twelve committees is an individual contribution to the profession as a whole.
FIT’s supreme body is the statutory congress, which is held every three years. It brings together delegations from the member associations, and it elects the Council, which in turn elects its Executive Committee and directs FIT until the next world congress. The governing bodies are supported by different committees, which report to the Council annually about their activities, and to the congress. The statutory congress is followed by an open congress, which is an outstanding platform for exchanges among all professionals in the translation sector.
Three regional centres are currently active: FIT Europe, FIT Latin America and FIT North America. A forth centre is being considered in Asia. These centres foster the activities of FIT in their regions, organising meetings to strengthen exchanges between member associations on any questions concerning the profession, and liaising with the FIT Council.
Publications and Public Relations
The journal BABEL and the bulletin Translatio are the Federation’s quarterly publications, and are widely disseminated. Babel is a scholarly publication presenting articles from all round the world. Translatio is the Federation’s information organ, telling members about its activities and those of its committees and member associations. The proceedings of each congress are also published, and serve as a further source of valuable information to those interested in the many facets of the translation profession. In addition, FIT participates, between its own world congresses, in the organisation of seminars, colloquia and round table discussions on various aspects of the profession.
FIT has had a part-time secretariat (20 hours a week) since 1999. The secretariat is the anchor for FIT’s membership administration and activities. The secretariat works closely with the EC and Council and relevant task forces.
The FIT Secretariat has been located in Switzerland since October 2010, after 11 years in Canada, and is run by FIT’s Executive Director, Jeannette Ørsted.