Literary translation

Target group
Institution in Switzerland
Submission deadline
Open year-round


Translation of recent contemporary literature from Switzerland

For Whom

Publishing houses

Selection Criteria

  • Appropriate fee for translators in line with standard national rates
  • The translated title is a current contemporary literary piece from Switzerland
  • The translator must have already completed a literary translation in the language combination
  • Quality of the submitted text sample

In addition to these specific criteria, the apply.

Financial Contribution

  • The support is based on the translation fee in line with standard national rates
  • For translations of illustrated children’s and youth literature, half of the license costs in addition (maximum grant CHF of 2,000)
  • For translations of comics, an additional contribution towards lettering/inscription
  • Additional funding for editorial work and promotion projects in connection with a translation application is available for a maximum of two times per year (maximum contribution of CHF 2,000 per editorial work / promotional project)
  • In the case of translations from Romansh, bilingual or multilingual first publications may be considered

Content Of Application

  • Project description
  • CV of translator
  • Publication date and location
  • Twenty proofread pages of the translation and the corresponding original text
  • Signed license agreement
  • Signed translation agreement. The passage with the agreed fee must be written in German, French, Italian or English
  • Details of editorial challenges (if applying for an editorial grant)
  • Details of planned promotion activities (if applying for a promotion grant)

Format-specific Exclusion Criteria

Translations into Southeast European languages are supported through our partner network Traduki. Applications, including those from French, Italian and Romansh, are to be submitted directly at

Application Deadlines and Decision Timelines

Submission deadlineOpen year-round
Earliest start date for the projectEight weeks after submitting the application
Notification of decisionWithin eight weeks

Additional Information

Texts by recently deceased authors from Switzerland may also be submitted.

Image by Dirk Koy

General Requirements


Pro Helvetia promotes the professional contemporary Swiss art and cultural production (without film) with a view to diversity as well as national and international reach. It supports the creation of new artistic works and productions, the exchange between Switzerland’s various linguistic regions, the dissemination of Swiss art and culture outside Switzerland and international cultural exchange. As a national foundation, Pro Helvetia supplements the promotional activities of Swiss cantons and municipalities and only supports projects that are cross-regionally or internationally recognised.

Pro Helvetia will only consider funding applications if they are complete and have been submitted on time.

To be eligible for support, projects must

  • have a clear connection to Switzerland
  • be of nationwide importance
  • be adequately co-funded by other public or private means
  • respects/guarantee fair working conditions

Connection to Switzerland

A connection to Switzerland is given, if one of the following conditions is met:

  • The production or project in question is developed or implemented by artists and cultural practitioners, who verifiably hold Swiss citizenship or are permanent residents of Switzerland and who are regularly artistically involved in relevant events in Switzerland.
  • The project is created, developed, or implemented by an independent group or cultural institution whose place of production is in Switzerland and who is regularly and publicly active in Switzerland.

Nationwide relevance

Nationwide relevance is given, if one of the following conditions is met:

  • The art and cultural practitioners participating in the project are regularly involved in programmes of nationally recognised art and cultural institutions in Swiss regions other than their own or abroad, and the project in question has a transregional appeal.
  • The artistic potential of an emerging art practitioner involved is exceptional in terms of a national or international career.
  • The project makes a significant contribution to the development of Swiss artistic and cultural production and its dissemination.
  • The project is of significant importance for the exchange between Switzerland’s various linguistic regions.

Assessment of content and quality

Within the framework of the available funds, Pro Helvetia prioritises projects that most comprehensively meet the funding criteria. The Foundation assesses whether

  • the project demonstrates high degree of independence and professional competence as well as social and thematic relevance
  • the project is implemented according to professional standards
  • the costs are commensurate with the expected impact
  • a lasting impact can be expected

Furthermore, the Foundation attaches great importance to the following aspects:

  • The project has an appropriate commitment to diversity.
  • Resources are used in an ecologically responsible manner and work and production are planned sustainably.


Pro Helvetia is unable to consider funding requests if

  • the same part of the submitted project is already received funding from other federal bodies (e.g. Federal Office of Culture, Presence Switzerland, Swiss National Science Foundation, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation)
  • the project is part of a school or university curriculum/basic training or continuing education programme (including dissertations, diploma projects, university scholarships, etc.)
  • funding is intended to cover infrastructure and equipment costs, as well as the costs of operating cultural facilities, archives and collections
  • the project does not depend on funding from Pro Helvetia

Status: January 2024