The Finnish Cultural Foundation has awarded the first “Translating World Literature into Finnish” grants to publishing houses. The funding covers the translations into Finnish of 14 works of literature, for a total of EUR 102,000.
The aim of this grant, which opened for applications for the first time in March 2022, is to allow publishers to translate into Finnish and publish contemporary masterpieces of world literature. The works to be translated may consist of prose, poetry or essays, directed at adult readers.
Nearly fifty applications were received from more than 20 publishing houses.
“We were pleasantly surprised by the number of applications, and by the fact that, geographically, the works reached across the world from South America to Japan,” says author Karo Hämäläinen, a member of the Cultural Foundation’s Board of Trustees.
The work facilitated by the funding includes a translation of the Ukrainian author Andrei Kurkov’s novel Serye pchely (Grey Bees) and a retranslation of the Belarusian author Svetlana Alexievich’s novel Cinkovye malchiki (Zinky Boys). Kurkov is one of Ukraine’s most popular and internationally renowned authors, while Nobel laureate Alexievich is one of the leading lights of the opposition movement in Belarus, who is currently exiled in Berlin.
Also receiving the funding is the Finnish translation of La Malnata by the Italian author Beatrice Salvioni, which is scheduled to appear in the spring of 2023 at the same time as the original in Italy. Lovers of French literature will be able to enjoy Emmanuel Carrère’s novel Yoga and Prix Goncourt winner Hervé Le Tellier’s L’Anomalie in Finnish by spring 2023 at the latest.
“The objective of the Translating World Literature into Finnish grant is to allow the Finnish culture-loving public more opportunities to access high-quality world literature in their mother tongue,” explains Juhana Lassila, Director of Grants and Cultural Affairs at the foundation.
“Publishers have been encouraged to include expenses related to marketing, book tours and so on to their grant applications, to ensure that the translated works also receive the publicity they deserve,” Lassila says.
“In future application rounds, we would be interested in receiving more applications related to contemporary African and Asian works, among others. Many fine works by Nobel laureates and other older writings by classic authors remain untranslated into Finnish, but this grant only pertains to contemporary literature. We would encourage publishers to apply with even more twenty-first-century literature,” Hämäläinen says.
The next applications for the grant will be accepted in the foundation’s March 2023 round of applications. The size of the grant is EUR 5,000–15,000 per work to be translated, for a sum total of one million euros over ten years. The grant must always lead to the publication of a printed book; audiobooks are an additional option for the publisher to consider.
Recipients of the Translating World Literature into Finnish grant:
Aviador Publishing: EUR 11,000 for translating and publishing work by Cristóvão Tezza
Gummerus Publishers: EUR 8,000 for translating and publishing work by Beatrice Salvioni
Kirjallisuus- ja kulttuuriyhdistys Särö ry:EUR 10,000 for translating and publishing work by Andrei Kurkov
Aula & Co Publishing:EUR 15,000 for translating and publishing work by Nino Haratischwili
Otava Publishing Company:EUR 5,000 for translating and publishing work by Olga Tokarczuk
Otava Publishing Company:EUR 6,000 for translating and publishing work by Oksana Vasyakina
Kustannusosakeyhtiö Sammakko:EUR 5,000 for translating and publishing work by Emmanuel Carrère
Siltala Publishing Ltd:EUR 8,000 for translating and publishing work by Elisa Shua Dusapin
Kustannusyhtiö Kosmos:EUR 5,000 for translating and publishing work by Olga Ravn
Oy Enostone Ltd:EUR 7,000 for translating and publishing work by Made Luiga (Mudlum)
Schildts & Söderströms / Kustantamo S&S:EUR 5,000 for translating and publishing work by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld
Tammi (Werner Söderström Ltd):EUR 5,000 for translating and publishing work by Svetlana Alexievich
Tammi (Werner Söderström Ltd):EUR 5,000 for translating and publishing work by Benjamín Labatut