The online literature portal and translation programme was launched in 2003 by the Federal Cultural Foundation (Kulturstiftung des Bundes) and run initially under the auspices of the Goethe Institute together with input from the Frankfurt Book Fair. Since 2009 has been an integral part of the Literature and Translation Support section at the Munich headquarters of the Goethe-Institut, and as such is in a strong position to promote awareness of literature German and to foster its translation into other languages.
One of the core areas of’s work is to provide clear and concise information about the current German book market, thereby offering professionals abroad speedy access to outstanding new publications.’s other key activity is its programme of support for translations of selected German books. This programme is aimed at publishing houses in language areas chosen for special focus for periods of several years at a time, and is intended to run side by side with existing support initiatives in regions where it seems especially important to encourage greater intercultural dialogue.
Each year an independent jury of distinguished experts draws up a list of approximately 20 titles from the worlds of fiction, non-fiction, and books for children and young people. The jury is made up of German literary critics and representatives from the target region with expertise in literature and publishing. They jointly select those books that appear particularly well suited to publication in the special-focus language.
The selected works are featured on in German, English and the relevant special-focus language in the form of reviews, sample passages of approximately 15 pages, and profiles of authors, illustrators and publishers. offers translation grants for the works thus featured, together with a contribution towards the cost of purchasing the publishing rights. This multilingual mode of presentation offers an international audience speedy access to newly published books.
Previous special-focus languages:
2004-2005: Arabic
2005-2006: Chinese
2007-2008: Portuguese (Brazil)
2009-2011: Spanish (Hispanic America / Argentina)
2012-2014: Russian
2015-2018: Arabic
For the period 2019-2020 Greek is’s special-focus language.
In addition to its information service and translation support programme, also fosters further-training opportunities for translators, and the development of networks that bring publishers from Germany and abroad into closer contact with each other.
Last but not least, also seeks to promote the direct exchange of people and their ideas both through and within the context of literature. Thanks to the Goethe-Institut’s worldwide infrastructure, is readily able to arrange reading tours and discussion sessions that bring German authors together with readers, colleagues, translators and publishers in other countries, and thereby foster intercultural dialogue free of all barriers.