Translation Grant Program

Goethe-Institut Translation Grant Program © Photo: Goethe-Institut/Loredana La Rocca  Goethe-Institut Translation Grant Program Photo: Goethe-Institut/Loredana La Rocca

Books First

The new Goethe-Institut grant program aimed at US publishers for the translation of contemporary German-language literature into English in the context of the 'Deutschlandjahr in the USA' between October 2018 and October 2019.

The Goethe-Institut’s grant program “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 program 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 program 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. 

New Books in German Translation Grant

Special arrangements are in place for English-language translation grant applications for titles featured in New Books in German, a twice yearly journal aimed at US and UK editors. New Books in German offers publishing professionals independent help in finding the right titles from among the thousands published each year in the German language.

Sample translations may be available for German fiction titles featured in New Books in German.

Any title by a German author that was featured in an issue of New Books in German in the last 5 years and acquired by an English-language US publisher is guaranteed a translation grant of approximately 50% of the translation costs.

Applications are accepted year-round with no specific deadlines. We strongly recommend US publishers contact us regarding translation projects involving New Books in German titles at the earliest possible date.