Last update 22.02.2021
The Ministry of Culture grants subsidies for translation costs to:
- contribute to the development and dissemination of Luxembourg literary heritage by supporting the efforts of foreign publishers to translate Luxembourg literature;
- enrich the Luxembourg publishing landscape by subsidising translations of foreign authors for publication in Luxembourg in order to promote cultural cooperation with other countries.
Subsidies are awarded as a full or partial reimbursement of the cost of translating a literary work.
Who is concerned
Luxembourg or foreign publishers (commercial companies) may apply for a subsidy for translations costs.
This grant from the Ministry of Culture is not intended for:
- private individuals;
- communes and associations of communes;
- educational institutions;
- any association or establishment that is party to a convention with the Ministry of Culture.
Eligible publication types
Subsidies for translation costs are intended for:
- translations of published literary works by Luxembourg national or resident authors into a foreign language;
- translations of foreign literary works into one of Luxembourg's official languages (German, French and Luxembourgish) or English.
All foreign languages are eligible. However, priority may be given to more widely spoken languages, or particular languages on the basis of cultural agreements and/or international promotional campaigns.
The following literary genres are eligible:
- literature for children and young adults;
- literary essay;
- literary anthology.
Priority is given to contemporary literature by living authors published in the last 15 years.
Ineligible publication types
The Ministry of Culture cannot grant subsidies for translation costs for translations of works that:
- meet the selection criteria for a different subsidy granted by the Ministry of Culture;
- are intended to raise funds for charity;
- are commissioned by an association or establishment that is party to a convention with the Ministry of Culture;
- form part of a primary school, secondary school or university curriculum;
- were self-published or published at the expense of the author;
- are not first editions;
- are works of non-fiction.
Publishers wishing to receive this subsidy from the Ministry of Culture must submit a complete application postmarked no later than 2 months prior to the publication date of the translation. Applications submitted after the translation has been published will be rejected.
Example: for translations scheduled to be published on 1 June, the application deadline is 1 April.
How to proceed
Filing an application
The application must include the request form for a subsidy for translation costs, in addition to the following documents:
- a catalogue of publications by the publishing house;
- a detailed projected budget of the translation project indicating the translation price per word and the number of words of the book to be translated;
- a copy of the agreement signed between the publisher and the translator;
- a copy of the agreement signed by the holder of the translation rights;
- a copy of an agreement signed by the author granting the right to translate the work;
- the translator's curriculum vitae and a list of their publications, as well as those of the reviser, if any;
- one first edition copy of the publication if it was not published in Luxembourg.
Applicants must complete the application form:
- using a computer;
- in French, German, Luxembourgish or English.
Applications must be submitted to the Ministry of Culture:
- by post; or
- by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once it has received the application, the Ministry of Culture will send the applicant one of the following documents:
- either a confirmation of receipt, if the application is complete;
- or a letter listing the documents still to be submitted in order to complete the application. In the latter case, the applicant must complete and sign the required form and return it together with all of the requested documents. Incomplete applications will not be considered for a subsidy.
Each application is reviewed by the translation cost subsidies committee, a working group of the Luxembourg National Literature Council (Conseil national du livre) tasked with advising the Minister for Culture on the translation subsidy requests received by the Ministry.
This committee is composed of 2 officials from Ministry of Culture, one representative of the National Literature Centre (Centre national de littérature) and one publishing sector representative. The committee meets as often as necessary and reviews applications based on the following criteria:
- the cultural added value generated by the translation, i.e. ways in which the author and/or the publisher will benefit from the translation, as well as the target language's reach and relative significance;
- the economic and commercial viability of the translation project, i.e. whether it is ensured that the distribution of the publication will meet professional standards of quality (retail price, target readership, publishing landscape in the publisher's country, distribution network, marketing campaigns, continuity of the publishing house's programme of publications);
- the literary quality of the work to be translated, i.e. the media resonance of the work to be translated and of its author, possibly as indicated by one or more literary awards or other major literary accolades;
- the translator's professional experience based on their curriculum vitae and list of publications, which will provide information on their experience, the authors and genres for which they have translated, the renown of the authors and publishing houses, and relationships with culturally significant people or institutions;
- the level of focus on foreign policy goals and international commitments by Luxembourg.
The Ministry of Culture also verifies that the following documents have been drafted:
- an agreement with the author, to ensure they are aware that the work is being translated;
- an agreement between the translator and the publisher, to ensure that the translator will receive a portion of the proceeds and is not being paid less than a standard rate in the country of publication;
- a licence agreement with the publishing house or other rights-holder, to ensure that the translation rights have been granted.
Amount of the subsidy
Subsidies are awarded as a full or partial reimbursement of the cost of translating the work. The subsidy amount is calculated based on the translation price per word.
Only costs indicated in a written agreement with the Ministry of Culture may be reimbursed.
No subsidy will be paid before the project, for which the application was submitted, has been completed.
Obligations of recipients of a subsidy
Recipients of a subsidy are required to meet the following obligations:
- they must print "Avec le soutien du ministère de la Culture" (Supported by the Ministry of Culture) together with the Ministry's logo in the published work;
- they must inform the Ministry of any major change at the requesting entity (address, task, legal or administrative corporate structure, etc.);
- they must provide the Ministry with all documents and information deemed necessary to process and review the application file (change of publication date, cancellation of the project, etc.).
In addition, the Ministry will only pay subsidies once:
- it has received 5 copies of the subsidised translation after it is published, in addition to an invoice for the translation addressed to the Ministry of Culture, signed by the publisher and countersigned by the translator;
- it has verified that the Ministry of Culture has been credited as a sponsor of the work.