Our Offices Abroad

Translation – Funding and Support

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, artists and culture into languages from all over the world. Conversely, we also support Swiss translators working on the translation of foreign literature. Our range of promotional measures also includes support for translation-related events and offers regarding networking and the enhancement of professional qualification for translators. 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.

In the following you will find an overview of the types of translation projects that Pro Helvetia supports in the sectors of literature, theatre, culture and society, and visual arts. Information on application deadlines and the time until decision is taken can be found in the complete versions of the guidelines.

Literature

Pro Helvetia’s Literature section supports

  • the translation of individual, contemporary works of fiction written by Swiss authors (all genres, including children’s and youth literature and drama);
  • 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.
Conditions

The work to be translated must be a significant piece of Swiss literature by a Swiss author. Swiss translators are also eligible to apply for support in connection with the translation of international literature and with major translation projects in the field of Swiss literature. 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’s Theatre section supports surtitling at theatre performances.

Conditions

Surtitling can be financially supported if the production concerned is performed by a theatre group with a transregional impact at a renowned venue, festival or platform abroad, or if the group is giving a guest performance in a linguistic region in Switzerland other than its own. 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.

Amounts granted

Amounts granted are in line with standard rates applicable in the translator’s country of residence. An additional lump sum for the technical preparation of the surtitling may also be granted.

Complete Guidelines for Applicants Theatre

Culture and Society

Pro Helvetia’s Culture and Society section supports publications by Swiss authors on topics related to Swiss culture, arts and folk culture.

Conditions

The work to be translated must have a Swiss author and deal with relevant, Switzerland-related topics in the fields of culture, art or folk culture from a contemporary perspective.

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.

Complete Guidelines for Applicants Culture and Society

Visual Arts

Pro Helvetia’s Visual Arts section supports theme-based publications of national significance with a clear art-historical connection to Switzerland, as well as monographs and catalogues of the œuvre 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

Status: May 2016

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