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 selection of the translations to be funded is made by a jury of six, consisting of two literary critics, a foreign rights director of a major German publishing house (this position rotates every year), and three members of staff from the Literature and Translation Funding department of the Goethe-Institut.
The committee meets four times a year as follows:
- 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
- Publishing houses: Only foreign publishers are eligible to apply.
- German works published in print form: The Goethe-Institut supports the translation of works by German authors which have been published in print form by a German language publisher.
- Translation from German original: The translation must be made from the original German-language text.
- Publication date: Translations are only eligible for support if they have not yet gone to press at the point when the grant contract is signed.
- Partial subsidy of translation costs: 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.
- Printing of a credit line and Goethe-Institut's logo: 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.
- Translator's fee: 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.
- E-books of translations in the Onleihe: The Goethe-Institut would like to make translations that are published with an additional e-book version available in its Onleihe (an eLibrary) so that its registered users have access to it. The publisher commits itself to providing an ePub format of the translation to the Goethe-Institut.