Translation & Resources


Theatre Without Borders compiled this list of individuals and organizations working in the area of Translation. 

Please explore these links to Translation projects and resources to learn more and connect yourself:

The Fence

The Mercurian Journal


ITI Translators Workshop

No Passport

Maison Antoine Vitez

The NY Library for the Performing Arts Theatre Without Borders Collection

Recommended Reading on Translation

  • Bassnet-McGuire, Susan, Translation Studies, Revised Edition. New York: Routledge, 1991.
  • Biguenet, John and Schulte, Rainer, The Craft of Translation. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1989.
  • Gentzler, Edwin, Contemporary Translation Theories. New York: Routledge, 1993 (paper). ISBN 0-415-09172-1
  • Lefevere, André, Translating Literature: Practice and Theory in a Comparative Literature Context. New York: Modern Language Association, 1992 (paper).
  • Lefevre, André, Translation/History/Culture. New York: Routledge, 1993 (paper).
  • Robinson, Douglas, The Translator’s Turn. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991. ISBN 0-8018-4047-3.
  • Steiner, George, After Babel. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1976 (paper).
  • Venuti, Lawrence, Rethinking Translation. New York: Routledge, 1992 (paper).
  • Venuti, Lawrence, The Translator’s Invisibility: A History of Translation. New York: Routledge, 1995 (paper).
  • World of Translation (Papers delivered at the Conference on Literary Translation held in New York City in May 1970, under the auspices of the Pen American Center. New York: Pen American Center, 1987.


International Intellectual Property Rights for Dramatic Literature – A Primer

(For comprehensive information on international intellectual property rights please visit the World Intellectual Property Organization at The attached file is an explanation of all the information listed on this page. 

This primer is intended to provide a basic overview of international intellectual property rights as they currently exist (as of September of 2006) as regards dramatic literature.


As “literary or artistic works”, the rights of authors of dramatic literature have been protected since the Berne Convention entered into force in 1886. Its basic tenets call for mutually reciprocal protective treatment of those works included:

“The expression “literary and artistic works” shall include every production in the literary, scientific and artistic domain, whatever may be the mode or form of its expression, such as books, pamphlets and other writings; lectures, addresses, sermons and other works of the same nature; dramatic or dramatico-musical works; choreographic works and entertainments in dumb show; musical compositions with or without words; cinematographic works to which are assimilated works expressed by a process analogous to cinematography; works of drawing, painting, architecture, sculpture, engraving and lithography; photographic works to which are assimilated works expressed by a process analogous to photography; works of applied art; illustrations, maps, plans, sketches and three-dimensional works relative to geography, topography, architecture or science.” 

In general, works coming from any of the 162 member states (a summary of the provisions of the Berne Convention and a list of the member states are appended) must be provided with the same protection as they would be in their country of origin. Since almost all nations are members of the World Trade Organization, the TRIPs Agreement requires non-members to accept almost all of the conditions of the Berne Convention. Comprehensive information regarding copyright law in the United States can be found at Summary of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (1886) (Drawn from the WIPO website)

The Convention rests on three basic principles and contains a series of provisions determining the minimum protection to be granted, as well as special provisions available to developing countries which want to make use of them.

(1) The three basic principles are the following:

(a) Works originating in one of the contracting States (that is, works the author of which is a national of such a State or works which were first published in such a State) must be given the same protection in each of the other contracting States as the latter grants to the works of its own nationals (principle of “national treatment”).

(b) Such protection must not be conditional upon compliance with any formality (principle of “automatic” protection).

(c) Such protection is independent of the existence of protection in the country of origin of the work (principle of the “independence” of protection). If, however, a contracting State provides for a longer term than the minimum prescribed by the Convention and the work ceases to be protected in the country of origin, protection may be denied once protection in the country of origin ceases.

(2) The minimum standards of protection relate to the works and rights to be protected, and the duration of the protection:

(a) As to works, the protection must include “every production in the literary, scientific and artistic domain, whatever may be the mode or form of its expression” (Article 2(1) of the Convention).

(b) Subject to certain permitted reservations, limitations or exceptions, the following are among the rights which must be recognized as exclusive rights of authorization:

  • the right to translate,

  • the right to make adaptations and arrangements of the work,

  • the right to perform in public dramatic, dramatico-musical and musical works,

  • the right to recite in public literary works,

  • the right to communicate to the public the performance of such works,

  • the right to broadcast (with the possibility of a contracting State to provide for a mere right to equitable remuneration instead of a right of authorization),

  • the right to make reproductions in any manner or form (with the possibility of a contracting State to permit, in certain special cases, reproduction without authorization provided that the reproduction does not conflict with the normal exploitation of the work and does not unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the author, and with the possibility of a contracting State to provide, in the case of sound recordings of musical works, for a right to equitable remuneration),

  • the right to use the work as a basis for an audiovisual work, and the right to reproduce, distribute, perform in public or communicate to the public that audiovisual work.

The Convention also provides for “moral rights,” that is, the right to claim authorship of the work and the right to object to any mutilation or deformation or other modification of, or other derogatory action in relation to, the work which would be prejudicial to the author’s honor or reputation.

(c) As to the duration of protection, the general rule is that protection must be granted until the expiration of the 50th year after the author’s death. There are, however, exceptions to this general rule. In the case of anonymous or pseudonymous works, the term of protection expires 50 years after the work has been lawfully made available to the public, except if the pseudonym leaves no doubt as to the author’s identity or if the author discloses his identity during that period; in the latter case, the general rule applies. In the case of audiovisual (cinematographic) works, the minimum term of protection is 50 years after the making available of the work to the public (“release”) or—failing such an event—from the creation of the work. In the case of works of applied art and photographic works, the minimum term is 25 years from the creation of such a work.

(3) Countries regarded as developing countries in conformity with the established practice of the General Assembly of the United Nations may, for certain works and under certain conditions, depart from these minimum standards of protection with regard to the right of translation and the right of reproduction.


Member States of the Berne Convention

Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Holy See, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia and Montenegro, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Thailand, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, United States of America, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


States That Are Not Members of the Berne Convention

Abkhazia, Afghanistan, Angola, Burundi, Cambodia, China, Republic of (popularly known as Taiwan),Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq,Kiribati, Kuwait, Laos, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Moldova, Montenegro, Myanmar (commonly known as Burma), Nagorno-Karabakh, Nauru, Northern Cyprus, Palau, Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Pridnestrovie (also known as Transnistria), San Marino, São Tomé and Príncipe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Somaliland, South Ossetia, Timor-Leste (popularly known as East Timor), Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Vanuatu, Western Sahara, Yemen.


U.S. State Department Patriot Act (2001) 

Treasury Department Response to Lawsuit By Writers and Publishers

—-Changes Its Regulations to Permit Publication of Books and Journals From Authors in Sanctioned Countries—-

(December 15, 2004) – In response to a lawuit filed in September, the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today reversed what was effectively a ban on publishing books and journal articles by authors in countries such as Iran, Cuba and Sudan that are subject to U.S. trade embargoes.

The suit, brought by the Association of American University Presses, the Professional and Scholarly Publishing division of the Association of American Publishers, PEN American Center (PEN), and Arcade Publishing, argued that OFAC’s ban violated both the First Amendment and federal laws making it clear that U.S. trade embargoes should not include information and expressive materials. In October, Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi, the Iranian author and human rights activist, filed a companion case alleging that the OFAC regulations would prevent her from accepting a U.S. contract to publish her memoirs.

OFAC’s new regulations explicitly permit publishers and writers subject to U.S. jurisdiction to engage in “all transactions necessary and ordinarily incident to the publishing and marketing of manuscripts, books, journals, and newspapers in paper or electronic format.” They countermand – but do not revoke – earlier regulations that imposed so many restrictions on editing, marketing, collaborations, and payment of advances and royalties as to make publishing impossible for writers in the embargoed countries.

The revised regulations are “clearly a step in the right direction, permitting the broad range of publishing activities American publishers and authors must be free to pursue,” according to Edward J. Davis and Linda Steinman of Davis Wright Tremaine, lead counsel for the plaintiffs. “We will continue to examine the regulations in detail, but it is plain that significant obstacles have been removed for American publishers and authors who want to work with authors in Cuba, Iran and Sudan. Works of critical importance to the advancement of science and our understanding of international affairs can now be published without threat of civil and criminal sanctions.”