Translation programme

Goethe-Institut translation funding Photo: Goethe-Institut/Loredana La Rocca

The Goethe-Institut’s grant programme “Translations of German Books into Other Languages” supports non-German publishers in publishing German-language literature, with the aim of making accessible to non-German speaking readers current works of contemporary literature, literature for children and young people, important academic titles and non-fiction works.The programme serves cultural policy goals and is an important guiding instrument for cultural and educational foreign policy.

In cases where an application for a translation grant is successful, the Goethe-Institut contributes part of the translation costs to the publisher, payable on publication of the translated work. It is not envisaged that the Goethe-Institut will finance the full costs of the translation or printing or editorial costs.

In the nearly 40 years of its existence, the programme has provided financial support for the publication of approximately 6000 books in 45 languages.

Only non-German publishers are eligible to apply.

The Goethe-Institut in your country will evaluate your application and forward the documents to the central office of the Goethe-Institut in Munich. There a committee will decide on the sum to be granted.

The committee meets four times a year as follows:
  • Beginning of February: fiction; literature for children and young adults
    application deadline: 15 December
  • End of April: all categories
    application deadline: 15 December for academic works*,
    15 March for the other categories
  • End of July: fiction; literature for children and young adults
    application deadline: 15 June
  • Beginning of November: all categories
    application deadline: 15 June for academic works*,
    15 September for the other categories 
* For academic works an expert evaluation must be obtained from the “Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft” (German research organisation). This may delay the consideration of your application.
  1. The Goethe-Institut supports the translation of works by German authors which have been published in print form by a German language publisher.
  2. The translation must be made from the original German-language text.
  3. Translations are only eligible for support if they have not yet gone to press at the point when the grant contract is signed.
  4. The publisher of the translation must name the Goethe-Institut as sponsor in the book’s imprint and must reproduce the Goethe-Institut logo. If this requirement is not met, the Goethe-Institut reserves the right to withhold payment of the grant.
  5. If a grant is awarded, only such translation fees as will already have been paid to the translator by the time of publication may be taken into account when the amount of the grant is being determined.