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Arbeitsstipendien für Übersetzer Photo (Detail): © Colourbox

Grants to professional translators

The Goethe-Institut’s European Translators’ Residency Programme, in cooperation with the Alfred Toepfer Foundation F.V.S. and the Cultural Foundation of the Free State of Saxony are offering a work grant in Germany to literary translators from abroad.

The purpose of the stay is to devote oneself to a current project in the area of German-language fiction in a quiet, concentrated atmosphere.
For this purpose, the Alfred Toepfer Foundation F.V.S. provides a flat on the grounds of its seminar centre Gut Siggen on the Baltic Sea (Schleswig-Holstein). Another place to live and work is the residency hall for scholarship-holders of the Cultural Foundation of the Free State of Saxony in the garden city Dresden-Hellerau.

Please note our current announcement for grants for 2019.
The deadline for applications is 28 February 2019.
For further informationen please note Grant application.

Application form


A fresh breeze from the sea or splendid baroque architecture, countryside or city life – Dresden-Hellerau and Gut Siggen, the two locations for our grant recipients, are widely different. What they have in common is a friendly, open atmosphere and plenty of opportunity for concentrated working. You can take a closer look here.

Seminarzentrum Gut Siggen - View from the main building Impressions Gut Siggen Seminarzentrum Gut Siggen - View from the main building | Photo: © Fria Hagen
Siggen is one of the oldest estates in eastern Holstein: its history goes back to the Middle Ages. The manor house (1784), which underwent a number of structural alterations over time, and the farm buildings were rebuilt in 1934 after a fire. Since 1970 the Alfred Toepfer Stiftung F.V.S. has been increasingly using the seminar centre for its activities, including summer school programmes, concerts, alumni reunions and conferences. A new ultramodern seminar building was completed in 2007, rounding out the architecturally engaging complex.

Gut Siggen is a quiet, secluded spot about 20 km east of Oldenburg in Holstein, 70 km north of Lübeck and 70 km east of Kiel. There are nice bathing spots nearby along the Baltic Sea strand, which is only a 15-minute walk away.

Apartment Gut Siggen Apartment Gut Siggen | Photo: © Kirsten Haarmann Our translator-in-residence is lodged in a 45-sq-m apartment right on the estate. The flat has two bedrooms with a single bed in each, and an office with a desk, as well as a shower-bath and kitchen. The office is equipped with an Internet connexion as well as a laptop with printer and a basic collection of dictionaries. However, translators should bring any special reference books they need. Translators can also share in the use of the seminar building office and the equipment there, which includes a printer and photocopier. When events are being held simultaneously in the seminar building, the translator should coordinate the use of the office there with the current heads of the seminar. The library in the manor house can also be used to read and work in. Musical instruments, bicycles and sports equipment are available and can be used as needed.
Estate Location Dresden-Hellerau Impressions Location Dresden-Hellerau Estate Location Dresden-Hellerau | Photo: © Peter Hausdorf

Hellerau garden city was built from 1909 on the northern outskirts of Dresden. The basic idea of this estate, which was modelled on English garden cities, was to create a reformist countermodel to urbanization and industrialization by fusing urban and rural life, housing and work, culture and education, in one and the same place. Handicrafts and art figured prominently in Hellerau from the outset. The furniture manufactured at the Deutsche Werkstätte (German Workshops) in Hellerau, for instance, was a milestone in the history of design. The Festspielhaus (festival hall) built by Heinrich Tessenow exerted a Europe-wide influence in the years before World War I. The house of publisher/translator Jakob Hegner became a hub of the German literary scene. The whole historical area is now a listed monument protected by a preservation order.

The Festspielhaus Hellerau (Festival Hall) Photo: Katja Zehrfeld In recent years Hellerau has evolved into an attractive cultural centre in Dresden. The Festspielhaus now holds the Europäisches Zentrum der Künste (European Arts Centre), which presents innovative performances of contemporary music as well as dance projects and media art. The buildings of the Kulturstiftung des Freistaates Sachsen (Cultural Foundation of Saxony) are situated right on the grounds of the Festspielhaus. And there are good transport links to the centre of Dresden (about 20 minutes away by tram).

Translators are housed in an approximately 50-sq-m flat on the first floor of a summer house that was built in 1910 and completely renovated in 1996. The flat has a bedroom, a living room with balcony, a kitchen and bathroom. Use of the garden may be shared as well. It has an Internet connexion, and there is a photocopying machine in the foundation office that can also be used by translators. Dresden is a university town with a great many public libraries. The Saxon Regional and University Library, holding roughly 8.6 million items, is one of the biggest research libraries in Germany.

Grant recipients 2017

Location: Dresden–Hellerau

Ewa Szymani, Poland Photo (detail): © Ewa Szymani Born in Wroclaw in 1970. She is a German graduate and was a lecturer in the Faculty of German Literature pre-1848, part of the Institute of Germanic Philology at the University of Wroclaw from 2000 to 2013. Her research focuses were German post-war drama, the German-Polish culture transfer, the German Early Romantic period and Polish Romanticism, philosophy, and the poetry of Friedrich Hölderlin.
Her translation of the novel Heinrich von Ofterdingen by Novalis was published in 2003. Between 2000 and 2010 she translated theatre texts by Polish author Tomasz Man into German.
Many of her academic and literary translations into Polish have been published in recent years, and she also works as a freelance translator into German. 
Her translation of the poetry collection Miss Suki oder Amerika ist nicht weit by Utz Rachowski was published in 2015. Bilingual readings with Utz Rachowski were held in Wroclaw for the occasion.
She is a founder member of the grass roots foundation Fundacja SKENE. “Stadt der Zukunft” was performed in the Goethe-Institut Krakow’s pop-up pavilion in Wroclaw under the umbrella of the European capital of culture. Utz Rachowski’s short story Sebastian was incorporated into the performance.

In Dresden-Hellerau she translated selected short stories by Utz Rachowski, which were published in December 2017 under the title Targ łakoci.

Location: Dresden–Hellerau

Seong Man Choi, South Korea Photo (detail): © Seong Man Choi Born in Iksan (Korea) in 1956. He studied German and philosophy in Seoul and Berlin. His doctoral thesis was a study on Walter Benjamin at the Free University of Berlin in 1995. He has been Professor of German at the Ewha Womans University in Seoul since 1995.

Alongside Benjamin and Theodor W. Adorno, his specialist research fields include the study and criticism of German literature, as well as modern German aesthetics. In addition to contemporary German literature, he also teaches courses such as "Practising translation of texts about German culture", "German culture in the context of Europe" and "Modernism and Postmodernism".

Since 2007, he has been in charge of a project for the translation of selected works by Walter Benjamin into Korean in collaboration with other Benjamin experts in Korea. By 2017, eight of the total 15 volumes had been published. Most of them are translated by him and have received various awards. Further translations include: Gershom Scholem / Walter Benjamin: Die Geschichte einer Freundschaft, Christoph Wulf / Gunter Gebauer: Mimetische Weltzugänge: Soziales Handeln ― Rituale und Spiele ― ästhetische Produktionen.

In Dresden-Hellerau he worked on a translation of the memoir weiter leben: Eine Jugend by Ruth Klüger.

Location: Dresden–Hellerau

Regaip Minareci, Turkey Photo (detail): © Regaip Minareci Born in Istanbul in 1955. Journalist, editor and freelance translator.

After achieving her Abitur in Munich, she studied electrical engineering at Munich University of Applied Sciences. While she was in Turkey, her roles included foreign correspondent for the daily newspapers Tercüman and Bulvar, publisher and chief editor at Milliyet and Hürriyet, and chief editor at the Hürriyet Doğan Burda newspaper publishing house. Alongside her journalistic activities, she also continued to work as a literary translator, and most recently she was senior editor at the Boyut Verlag. Since her retirement in 2010 she has turned her exclusive attention to the translation of literature. In 2016 she received the “Tarabya Translator Prize” for her complete translation works. In the same year her translation of Kafka’s  Briefe an den Vater was published. In 2017 she was Translator in Residence at the Europäisches Übersetzer-Kollegium Straelen.

In Dresden-Hellerau she worked on the translation of Karen Köhler’s short story collection Wir haben Raketen geangelt.

Location: Gut Siggen

Alexandra Gorbowa, Russia Photo (detail): © Alexandra Gorbowa Born in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) in 1988. She studied Romance languages and German at the State University there, and did her Master’s degree in Comparative Literature. Since 2011 she has worked as a freelance translator and proof-reader, and she teaches Spanish and German. Her literary translations include the play Constellations by Nick Payne, the autobiographical work Sieben Jahre in Tibet (Seven Years in Tibet) by Heinrich Harrer and the novels Inés del alma mía by Isabel Allende and Tschick by Wolfgang Herrndorf. Her translation of Tschick was awarded the Merck Translator Prize in 2016, and the play based on this novel, which she also translated, is currently showing in several Russian cities.

Alexandra Gorbova’s work focus is literature for children and young people; she is involved in the translation of the series Die Kinder-Uni and was one of the proof-readers for Finn-Ole Heinrich’s Die erstaunlichen Abenteuer der Maulina Schmitt (translated by Vera Komarova).

In Gut Siggen she worked on the translation of the children’s book Der Hummelreiter Friedrich Löwenmaul by Verena Reinhardt.

Location: Gut Siggen

Tomasz Ososiński, Poland Photo (detail): © Tomasz Ososiński Born in 1975. He is an academic teacher, author and translator; he works in the National Library, at the University of Łódź und at the School of Applied Linguistics in Warsaw. He is an author of both academic and literary texts for the Zeszyty Poetyckie publishing house, and has published his work  Fünf Fabeln. The Wydawnictwa Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego publishing house published his monography on the concept of irony by Friedrich Schlegel under the title Ironia i jednostka. Tomasz Ososiński is the founder and chairman of the Polish Association for Literary Translation. He has translated works from Latin and German, by authors including Friedrich Schlegel, Johann Georg Hamann, Rainer Maria Rilke, Gottfried Benn, Paul Celan, Judith Hermann, Elfriede Jelinek and Jan Wagner. His translations of Schmargendorfer Tagebuch by R. M. Rilke and Rilkes Briefwechsel mit Clara Rilke-Westhoff have been published recently. He organises cultural events, including conventions for translators of German literature, and he works closely with the Robert-Bosch-Stiftung and the Goethe-Institut.

At Gut Siggen he worked on the translation of  Rilkes Duineser Elegien by Hannah Arendt and Günther Stern-Anders.