Finnish Literary Translators and the Illusio of the Field

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


Even though contemporary Finnish literary translators are very dissatisfied with the pay they receive from their work, they are very satisfied with their working conditions in general. Thus, in this article I investigate what attracts literary translators to continue working in the field of literary translation if monetary gain is only secondary for them. I employ the Bourdieusian concepts of disinterestedness and illusio to examine why the translators find the field and working in it so attractive that remuneration seems to be only secondary for them. The data were collected in 2016 through an online questionnaire that was distributed only to Finnish translators who translate literature into Finnish. The analysis concentrated on the issues the respondents found either decreasing or increasing their work satisfaction. The qualitative analysis was complemented with quantitative analysis of such variables as age, satisfaction with the fees and whether the respondents work as full-time or part-time literary translators. The results reveal that the translators show tendency for disinterestedness of economic capital as they prefer utilizing and accumulating social and cultural capital over economic one. Thus, for these translators the illusio of the field is in finding satisfaction in the work itself.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNew Horizons in Translation Research and Education 5
EditorsAnne Ketola, Tamara Mikolič Južnič, Outi Palooski
ISBN (Electronic)978-952-03-1585-6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020
Publication typeA3 Book chapter

Publication series

NameTampere Studies in Language, Translation and Literature
ISSN (Electronic)2669-901X


  • Translation
  • Literary translation
  • Capital
  • Field
  • Illusio
  • Lierary translators

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 0


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