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Applications for funding to translate titles from Italian will be accepted until 5 May

Publishers from Germany, Austria and Switzerland have until 5 May 2023 to apply to Italy’s cultural institutes for grants to translate titles that will be published in conjunction with Italy’s appearance as Guest of Honour at Frankfurter Buchmesse 2024. The offer is also valid for translators, literary agents, cultural institutions and companies responsible for production, distribution, dubbing and subtitling. Equal consideration will be given to books from all genres, with the exception of school textbooks. Decisions on which titles will receive support and the amount of the funding will be taken by July 2023. Each grant will be paid out as soon as the related title is available on the market, with the earliest publication date being 1 August 2023.

“Translations into German have priority”

Appearing as Guest of Honour at Frankfurter Buchmesse guarantees the guest country or language region many months of increased media attention and sales on the German-language and international book markets. In view of Italy’s role as 2024 Guest of Honour, projects for translating titles into German are currently being given priority in terms of allocating grants from the Italian Foreign Ministry’s international translation fund, the Culture Department at the Italian embassy in Berlin announced. If a project is approved, publishers can receive a grant covering up to 100 percent of translation costs, contingent on the availability of funds and the need to consider all eligible applications.

“Being Guest of Honour in Frankfurt is an outstanding opportunity for our country to show the richness, diversity and quality of Italian literature across all fields, from fiction to nonfiction, from children’s literature to scientific publications,” says Italy’s ambassador to Germany, Armando Varricchio. “This will make it possible to reveal the many facets of Italian culture and creativity. This identity is rooted in a series of unique historical moments and is therefore continuously shaping the future.”

“In recent years, sales of foreign rights have increased constantly and markedly,” explains Ricardo Franco Levi, the government representative for Italy’s appearance as Guest of Honour at Frankfurter Buchmesse 2024 and president of the Italian Publishing Association. “Now, however, we are hoping the rights business between Italy and Germany and with the rest of the world will grow further due to the book fair. Our goal is to close the gap between the number of titles purchased and the number of those sold abroad. Here, we can count on the publishers’ commitment and the extensive support for translations provided by our institutions. This book fair, where we will once again take centre stage after 36 years, will be a grand exposition of Italian culture.”            

“Behind every Guest of Honour is probably the largest translation-promotion programme in the world,” says Juergen Boos, president of Frankfurter Buchmesse. “This also applies to Italy, which was Guest of Honour once before in 1988. Together with our Italian partners, we will again be shining a spotlight on translators at the book fair, as can be seen in our motto Translate. Transfer. Transform. That’s the motto we used last year to present our International Translation Centre, which featured its own stage. The focus is not only on literary translations, but on translating as a communicative act. After all, without translators there would be no international bestsellers and communicating across borders would be much more difficult. I am therefore especially pleased to welcome Italian literature’s new voices to Frankfurt.”     

Applying for grants: contacts at Italy’s cultural institutes

Applications for funding can now be submitted at the relevant Italian cultural institute. The application form can be downloaded from the Italian embassy’s website: Also required are a project description, the translator’s CV and a financial plan. Detailed information on the requirements can be found on the website.

Contacts vary depending on where the publisher applying for funding is based:

Applications from Berlin, Brandenburg, Saxony, Saxony–Anhalt, Lower Saxony and Thuringia: IIC Berlin
Kathrin Fuechtemann (, +49 30 26994110)

Applications from northern Germany, including Mecklenburg–Western Pomerania: IIC Hamburg
Luigina Frusciante (, +49 40 39999130)

Applications from North Rhine–Westphalia and Hessen: IIC Cologne
Birgit Otten (, +49 221 9405610)

Applications from Bavaria: IIC Munich
Maria Cristina Salati (, +49 89 7463210)

Applications from southwestern Germany: IIC Stuttgart
Cesare Ghilardelli (, +49 711 1628110)

Applications from Austria: IIC Vienna

Ernst Kanitz (, +43 1 7133454)

Applications from Switzerland: IIC Zurich

Sonja Witzke (, +41 44 2024846)

For more information, please visit: