Translation programme

Books on a shelf Foto: © Goethe-Institut Budapest

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

The Goethe-Institut in your country will evaluate your application. If it approves your application it will send its recommendation to the headquarters of the Goethe-Institut in Munich.

The translations to be funded are selected by a six-member panel consisting of two literary critics, one publishing house employee from the Rights & Licensing Department who changes annually, and three employees from the Literature and Translation Funding Department of the Goethe-Institut.

The committee meets four times a year on the following dates:
  • Beginning of February: application deadline: 1 December
  • End of April: application deadline: 1 March
  • End of July: application deadline: 1 June
  • Beginning of November: application deadline: 15 September
  1. Publishing houses: Only foreign publishers are eligible to apply.
  2. Published works: Funding is available for translations of works by German authors that have been published in printed form by a publisher in the  German speaking world. 
  3. Translation from the original: The translation must be made from the original German text. 
  4. Publication date of the translation: The project must not be in the printing stage yet at the time that the funding agreement is concluded so that the Goethe-Institut can be named as a sponsor in the book edition of the translation and the Goethe-Institut logo can be printed.
  5. Subsidy towards translation costs: In the case of a grant, the Goethe-Institut will reimburse the foreign publisher for part of the translation costs after publication of the foreign language editon. Full payement of translation costs and the fnancing of licensing, printing or editorial costs are not envisaged.
  6. Mention of the Goethe-Institut and printing ofthe logo: The foreign publisher is required to name the Goethe-Institut as sponsor in the imprint and to print the Goethe-Institut logo. Should the publisher fail to do so, the funding will not be made available.
  7. Translation fee: In the case of funding, only those fees that the translators receive at the latest when the translation is published can be used to determine the funding amount.
  8. Translations as e-book in Onleihe: The Goethe-Institut would like to make translations that are also published as an E-book (electronic book) available for borowing in its Onleihe for registered users. The foregn publisher undertakes to make the translation available to the Goethe-Institut in epub format.
Herewith please find the logo of the Goethe-Institut for reprinting in funded translations: