Conceived within the international community of translators and promoted by the International Federation of Translators (FIT) as its contribution to the work of UNESCO, the present manifesto aims to encourage all those professionally engaged in the field of literary translation to commit themselves to an output that is culturally diverse. Those wishing to sign up to the manifesto are requested to signal how in practice they will contribute to the fulfilment of its aims. This manifesto is a call to individual action and each signature must be given in an individual capacity.
A manifesto on behalf of cultural diversity from literary translators, publishers and writers
We, the undersigned, literary translators, publishers and writers, conscious:
of the need to create conditions for a lasting peace in the world via our commitment to the dialogue between cultures;
of the urgent task to work on behalf of cultural diversity by recognising the values of each individual in the context of tolerance, openness and respect for others;
of the fundamental need to safeguard and promote works of the imagination and intellect beyond linguistic frontiers;
of the primordial responsibility of translators as the central players, from time immemorial, in the communication of the ideas and values of humanity;
of the key role that professionals in the world of publishing and translation can play in this respect by creating wider access to a world heritage of literature and knowledge and a diversified output of creative expression;
do pledge, in accord with the values proclaimed by UNESCO:
to spread, through translation, new literatures, privileging in particular works from cultures and languages that are endangered or little known;
to work daily to see the intellectual property rights of translators and writers respected;
to safeguard the translator's need for independence and faithfulness to the text;
to encourage in-service training for translators by supporting conferences and symposia for translators;
to nurture exchanges between publishers, translators and writers;
to respect the Recommendation approved by UNESCO on 22 November 1976, the Nairobi Recommendation, as to the legal protection of translators as well as the Translators' Charter adopted by the International Federation of Translators in Dubrovnik in 1963 and modified in Oslo 9 July 1994;
to extend the interpretation of the terms of this Recommendation and this Charter to new forms of media communication, in particular the electronic distribution of works.