Finding, selecting and supporting translators from Dutch

28 February 2024

The Dutch Foundation for Literature extends subsidies to foreign publishers for translations of Dutch literature (fiction, non-fiction, poetry and children’s books), provided the translator is on the Foundation’s List of Approved Translators.

If that is not the case, the Foundation looks at whether it would be worthwhile inviting the translator to provide a sample translation, which will then be assessed by one or more experienced literary translators, on an anonymous basis. Such assessments take an average of four to six weeks.

If the assessment is positive, the translator’s name will be placed on the list. Initially at least, the Foundation will monitor the translator’s development and ask for another sample translation each time a new project is taken on. Translators who cannot immediately be put on the list will be advised to gain more experience, for instance by participating in translation workshops.

Details of translators who have been approved are made available to interested foreign publishers who wish to be sent the List of Approved Translators, which is regularly updated. This enables the Foundation to act as an intermediary when a foreign publisher is choosing a translator. The choice of translator nevertheless always lies with the publisher.

Workshops

To bolster the quality of the available translators, the Foundation organizes translation workshops annually, both into and out of a number of languages, often in cooperation with the Expertisecentrum Literair Vertalen (Centre of Expertise for Literary Translation). In the case of publication by a foreign publisher, a mentor may be available if the translation merits the provision of additional support.

Frequently asked questions

Camilla Pargentino