Translation Programme

We would like to make it easier for audiences in Southern Africa to access contemporary German-language literature, non-fiction and books for children and youth.

The Goethe-Institut's funding programme supports foreign publishers in translating German-language books in the fields of fiction, children's and young adult literature and non-fiction.

Goethe-Institut translation funding  

To date, the publication of more than 6,000 titles in 45 languages has been financially supported.

Funding procedures and conditions

We support publishers based in Southern Africa who wish to translate German-language books. The programme focuses on current fiction, comics, children's and youth literature as well as non-fiction books on current socially relevant topics. 

The Goethe-Institut in your country will give an opinion on your application. If it approves the funding of your project, it will send its recommendation to the Goethe-Institut's head office in Munich.

The translations to be funded are selected by a jury of six, 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 Promotion department of the Goethe-Institut.

There are a total of four application periods within a year in which an application can be submitted. The selection jury then deliberates four times a year on all applications received.
  1. Application period: 1 February to 1 March, jury meeting end of April/beginning of May
  2. Application period: 1 May to 1 June, jury meeting at the end of July
  3. Application period: 15 August to 15 September, jury meeting at the beginning of November
  4. Application period: 1 November to 1 December, jury meeting at the beginning of February of the following year.

  1. Publishing houses: Only foreign publishers are eligible to apply.
  2. 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.
  3. Translation from German original: The translation must be made from the original German-language text.
  4. 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. 
  5. 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.
  6. 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. 
  7. 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. 
  8. 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.

Step 1: Registration in the application portal
Please apply via the Goethe application portal. The application is possible in German or English. Before submitting the first application, the applicant publishing house must create an account. When creating the account, please choose an account for organisations / companies and not the account for individuals. Please fill in at least the mandatory fields marked with *.

A valid e-mail address and password are required for registration. After the first registration you will automatically receive an activation e-mail.
To the application portal

Step 2: Submitting an application
Please inform yourself about the funding requirements in advance on this website or get in touch with our contact persons. To enter an application, you must have a user account. You can use the same account to create and submit all your funding applications. Fill in the relevant fields and upload the required documents! 

The application portal saves your details, which you can add to at any time before submitting the application.

Required documents:
  • Licence agreement with the rights holder (if not a public domain work).
  • Contract with the translator
  • PDF of the German book or text

Step 3: Decision on the application
After the jury meeting, you will be informed by the Goethe-Institut head office or the locally responsible Goethe-Institut about the result of the consultation. If you have any questions about current applications between the time you send your application and the time the Goethe-Institut replies, please quote the application number you received after sending your application. 

If your application is approved, you will be notified of the funding amount and sent a contract. In this contract, you will also agree on the deadline by which the translation must be published in order to maintain your entitlement to funding. The publication project must not yet be in the printing stage when the funding agreement is concluded! Please inform yourself about these and other conditions on this website.

Please find here the Goethe-Institut’s logo to be printed in the foreign language edition:


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