Our Offices & Partners Abroad

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Translation – Funding and Support

Application deadlines

Ongoing, up to 8 weeks before the first event/the date of printing

Pro Helvetia aims to make contemporary Swiss arts and culture accessible to audiences in different linguistic regions, both within Switzerland and abroad. We support the translation of books from one of Switzerland’s national languages into another to foster exchange between the country’s various linguistic regions. In order to raise international awareness of Swiss arts and culture, we support the translation of Swiss literature and publications on topics related to Swiss arts and culture into languages from all over the world. A key condition for the granting of support in the field of translation is the involvement of renowned and professional publishers or event organisers in the realisation of the project.

Literature

Pro Helvetia supports:

  • the translation of contemporary works of literature written by Swiss authors (all genres, including children’s and youth literature, comics, graphic novels, and drama);
  • copy-editing/proofreading work by Swiss publishers in the case of particularly demanding projects, in connection with a regular application for translation support (2 per year and publisher at most);
  • promotional measures by Swiss publishers planned; in connection with a regular application for translation support (2 per year and publisher at most);
  • translation-related events (incl. appearances by translators);
  • offers regarding networking and the enhancement of professional qualification for translators (incl. workshops and work residencies in connection with current translation projects);
  • (on request by Swiss translators): the translation of international literature and major translation projects in the field of Swiss literature.
  • research and referral work by translators: for large-scale research and for the referral of a Swiss text to a publisher willing to purchase the publishing rights for the translation.
Conditions

Support is granted to the translation of significant pieces of contemporary literature by a Swiss author. Swiss translators are eligible to apply for support in connection with the translation of international literature and with major translation projects in the field of Swiss literature as well as for research and referral work. To qualify for a translation grant, the translator in question must have had at least one literary translation already published by a recognised publishing house. Offers regarding networking and the enhancement of professional qualification for translators must have a clear connection to Switzerland.

Modalities

The application for support may be submitted by the publishing house or the Swiss translator concerned. In the case of translation-related events or offers regarding networking and the enhancement of professional qualification for translators, the application is to be submitted by the event organiser.

Dossier contents

Licence and translation contracts, as well as a significant part of the proofread translation manuscript and the corresponding original text.

Amounts granted

Amounts granted are in line with standard rates for literary translation applicable in the translator’s country of residence. Swiss translators are compensated in accordance with rates prevailing in Switzerland. If they are working for a foreign publisher, Pro Helvetia may raise the fee paid by the publisher to a level appropriate for Switzerland. In the case of translation-related events and offers regarding networking and the enhancement of professional qualification for translators, Pro Helvetia, as a rule, grants lump sums commensurate with the overall budget and the relevance of the event in question.

Complete Guidelines for Applicants Literature

Theatre

Pro Helvetia supports surtitling at theatre performances by theatre groups with a transregional impact at a renowned venue, festival or platform abroad or in a linguistic region in Switzerland other than their own.

Conditions

The translations for surtitling must be the work of a qualified translator.

Modalities

The application for support may be submitted by the theatre group concerned or the event organiser. As a rule, it is submitted in combination with an application for financial contribution towards a guest performance or tour. For support to be granted, a confirmation by the hosting venue affirming a minimum number of performances is required.

Dossier contents

Cost estimate for the translation and the technical preparation of the surtitling, the translator’s professional CV, information on the theatre production concerned.

Amounts granted

Amounts granted are in line with standard rates applicable for literary translations. An additional contribution for the technical preparation of the surtitling may also be granted.

Complete Guidelines for Applicants Theatre

Visual Arts

Pro Helvetia supports the translation of theme-based publications of national significance with a clear art-historical connection to Switzerland, as well as monographs and œuvre catalogues of Swiss artists, irrespective of the author’s nationality.

Conditions

A monograph must contain a substantial art-historical or art critical text focusing on the artist concerned, documenting a period of artistic creation of at least ten years, and integrating fresh academic research and insights. A theme-based publication must have a clear and well-researched art-historical connection to Switzerland.

Modalities

The application for support is to be submitted by the publisher.

Dossier contents
  • List of contents, complete text or essential parts of the text;
  • visual material, layout and/or dummy;
  • copies of publisher’s contracts with author, editor, translator;
  • excerpt from the translation and cost estimate.
Amounts granted

Amounts granted are in line with standard rates for literary translation applicable in the translator’s country of residence.

Complete Guidelines for Applicants Visual Arts

All other domains

Pro Helvetia supports the translation of theme-based publications dealing with relevant Swiss topics of arts and culture from a contemporary perspective (literature, music, dance, theatre, visual arts, interdisciplinary arts, culture and society). The translation of works by Swiss authors on socially relevant topics – not necessarily relating to Switzerland – is also eligible.

Support is granted to the translation of publications that provide fresh impetus to a current arts and culture related discourse and appeal to a broad readership.

Modalities

The application for support is to be submitted by the publisher.

Dossier contents

Licence and translation contracts, as well as a significant part of the proofread translation manuscript and the corresponding original text.

Amounts granted

Amounts granted are in line with standard rates for literary translation applicable in the translator’s country of residence.

Factsheet on the promotion of non-fiction book Projects

Status: January 2018

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