News from NORLA

Norwegian literature continued to conquer the world in 2015

Per collage leipzig

In 2015 NORLA received all of 451 applications for translation subsidies, the largest number of applications in NORLA’s history. Out of these NORLA awarded subsidies to 431 publications of Norwegian books for translation into 46 different languages. This is the same number of allocations as in the record year of 2012.
It is particularly impressive that a total of 114 of NORLA’s awarded translation subsidies went to books for children and young people, an auspicious increase from last year’s record of 100 subsidies granted.

NORLA’s Director Margit Walsø comments on the figures as follows: “The work of all of 217 Norwegian authors will be translated through translation subsidies granted by NORLA in 2015, and into a total of 46 languages. When such a wide range of books from all genres travels beyond Norway’s borders, this is clear evidence that Norwegian contemporary literature is characterized by a high level of quality.”

It is impressive that the Norwegian export of literature, viewed on the basis of NORLA’s statistics, continues to maintain such a high level, year after year.
The total number of publications sold to other languages via agents and agencies, however, is in fact far higher, in that many books besides those receiving funding from NORLA are translated.

20 applications were denied, due to NORLA’s adherence to stricter allocation criteria entailing that more applications for translation via a third language are being turned down. The aim is that as many translations as possible shall be directly from Norwegian.
Out of the 431 subsidies granted, 356 were for fiction titles and 95 for non-fiction.
For the first time since 2010 Danish was the dominant language for NORLA’s subsidies in 2015 with 44 subsidies granted, followed by German (35), Swedish (29) and with English and Bulgarian tying for 5th place (27).

NORLA is also experiencing a continued increase in the interest in Norwegian literature from the other Nordic countries. In 2015, 94 Nordic applications were awarded subsidies, a new all-time high, and a huge increase from the 59 allocations of 2014.
70 of the allocations for translation into other Nordic languages in 2015 have been financed by funding from the Nordic Council of Ministers. The remaining 24 (all non-fiction titles) were awarded subsidies from NORLA.

In 2015 NORLA awarded funding for translations into two languages for which translation subsidy applications have never before been submitted: Indonesian translations of Dag Solstad’s novel Shyness and Dignity (Genanse og verdighet) and Erik S. Reinert’s book Global økonomi (Global Economy) and a Mongolian translation of Erik S. Reinert’s Global økonomi.

The total amount of funding for translation from NORLA in 2015 was NOK 6,201,000 while the total amount applied for was NOK 18,381,300.

See details of NORLA’s allocated translation subsidy in 2015 below.

(From the Leipzig Book Fair 2015. From the left: translator Maike Dörries, author Hilde K. Kvalvaag and audience.
Photo: Per Øystein Roland)