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Contemporary literature from Greece, Moldova and more to be translated into Finnish
seitsemän kirjan kantta vierekkäin
Books published in Finnish so far with support from the World Literature Translation Grant.
The Translating world literature into Finnish grant facilitates the translation of works from languages that are less common in Finland. The grantees 2024 are introduced below.

The source languages of the nine new books to be translated include Spanish, Ukrainian and German, and, as a first for this grant, Greek and Romanian – among others. Two of the grants went to dramatic texts in book form.  

The Finnish Cultural Foundation created the Translating world literature into Finnish grant in 2022. Targeted at publishers, the funding aims to make world literature available in Finnish – particularly, works from source languages that are less frequently translated into Finnish.

The sum granted in 2024 was 100,000 euros. The total to be awarded over ten years, 1 million euros, will allow for one hundred high-quality works from around the world to be made available in Finland. A list of the books published until now can be found at

Nine new books

Finnish translations of contemporary Greek literature are very rare, but the grant will allow the Enostone publishing company to release a translation of Η Άκρα Ταπείνωση (The Ultimate Humiliation) by Greek author Rhea Galanaki. Galanaki is a long-standing, highly regarded, award-winning writer, whose works have been translated into fifteen languages. The Ultimate Humiliation portrays the uneasy period sparked by the Greek financial crisis with humanity and wisdom.

Siltala will publish a Finnish translation of German author Daniel Kehlmann’s novel Lichtspiel. This psychologically astute, masterfully narrated story is situated in the world of film and propaganda in the Third Reich, also touching upon Hollywood and its cult of celebrity.

Sammakko will publish the novel Інтернат (The Orphanage) by Ukrainian author Serhiy Zhadan. Writer and rock star Zhadan is renowned not only in his homeland but around the world, and The Orphanage has already become something of a European classic. It describes the war-torn reality of a bleak and chaotic city, based on experiences of the war waged in Eastern Ukraine since 2014.

Two dramatic texts will be published in book format. Poesia received a grant for the translation of the Moldovan play Simfonia progresului (Symphony of Progress), which is about Eastern European migrant workers. The documentary-style play examines the treatment of these workers in Western Europe during the Covid-19 pandemic, at the same time shedding light on the problems related to seasonal work in Finnish agriculture from the perspective of a Moldovan picker. Another play, the autofictional Angabe der Person by Austrian Nobel Prize winner Elfriede Jelinek will be released in Finnish by Teatterin Uusi Alkukirjasto. 

Extensive efforts to support reading 

The Finnish Cultural Foundation has long been working to encourage Finns to read more, providing millions of euros in funding to the nation’s literary field. Efforts made by the foundation in recent years have included encouraging parents of small children to read aloud, expanding the book selections of school libraries and making books in plain language available to lower secondary schools.

The grant that encourages publishers to have world literature translated into Finnish forms a part of this continuum, providing adult readers with access to books translated from languages that very few Finns can read in the original. 

Recipients of the Translating world literature into Finnish grant, 2024

  • Aviador Kustannus Oy, for translating and publishing the novel Cometierra by Dolores Reyes (Argentina)                                                                                                     
  • Moebius, for translating and publishing the novel La capacidad de amar del señor Königsberg by Juan Jacinto Muñoz Rengel (Spain)                                         
  • Kustannusosakeyhtiö Sammakko, for translating and publishing the novel Інтернат by Serhiy Zhadan (Ukraine)
  • Kustannusosakeyhtiö Siltala, for translating and publishing the novel Lichtspiel by Daniel Kehlmann (Germany)
  • Osuuskunta Poesia, for translating and publishing the play Simfonia progresului (Moldova) about Eastern European migrant workers 
  • Oy Enostone Ltd, for translating and promoting Gelos, part two in the climate change trilogy by Ana Filomena Amaral (Portugal)                                             
  • Oy Enostone Ltd, for translating and promoting Η Άκρα Ταπείνωση by Rhea Galanaki (Greece)
  • Tammi (Werner Söderström Oy), for translating and promoting the novel Efter åndemaneren by Kim Leine (Denmark)
  • Teattering Uusi Alkukirjasto ry, for translating and publishing the autofiction Angabe der Person by Elfriede Jelinek (Austria) 

Read more

Works funded by previous rounds of the grant, which have already found their way into Finnish readers’ hands, include Haava by Oksana Vasjakina, En pelkää mitään by Beatrice Salvioni and Maailman kauhea vihreys by Benjamín Labatut. All the books published so far under the grant can be found on our website. (in Finnish)

Alaiset (De Ansatte), a novel by Danish author Olga Ravn, was one of the first books to be published with funding from the Translating World Literature into Finnish grant. Read an interview with translator Sanna Manninen .

The next applications for the grant will be accepted in the foundation’s March 2025 round of applications. Read more about Translating World Literature into Finnish.