Criteria for NORLA's translation subsidy

The aim of NORLA’s translation subsidy is to contribute to increasing the number of Norwegian books that are translated, published and distributed abroad. NORLA’s board reviews the criteria on a regular basis.
NORLA subsidises translations of Norwegian and Sami languages.

For translations from Sami languages, subsidies are granted provided the original has a Norwegian ISBN number and that it is for a market outside the Nordic region.

The subsidy for translations of books in Sami languages within the Nordic countries is managed by The Sami Artists’ Council (

Evaluation process: Applications for translation subsidies are evaluated and approved by NORLA’s two expert committees, one for fiction and one for non-fiction, within a period of one month following the application deadline. The members of the expert committees are appointed by NORLA’s board. Quality assessment is carried out by the expert committee, and in terms of both quality assessment and genre criteria emphasis is placed on the expert committees’ assessment of the individual project. If NORLA does not receive all the necessary documentation within the application processing time, the application will be automatically paused until the next application round. Decisions cannot be appealed.

Formal requirements for applicants

• The applicant must be a publisher abroad or an approved representative of the same.
• The work must have been first written and published in Norwegian or Sami and have a Norwegian ISBN number.
• The translated work must not be published before the application has been processed by NORLA’s expert committee, except in the event of special circumstances. NORLA must be credited on the colophon page.
• A signed contract between the publisher and the rightsholder of the Norwegian edition, and between the publisher and the translator, must exist.
• Translation should normally be done directly from Norwegian. Exceptions can be made in special circumstances, for example if there is lack of qualified translators from Norwegian.
• When translating via languages other than Norwegian, NORLA requests documentation that the right to the new translation has been cleared with primary translator.
• Publishers who have applied for a subsidy for the translation from other organizations must state which organizations they applied to, the amount applied for and what subsidy was granted. If the translation cost has already been covered by another subsidy, the amount of NORLA’s subsidy will be adjusted.

Level of grant

NORLA can normally grant a subsidy for up to four applications per publisher per year, and publishers can normally apply for a subsidy for a maximum of two titles per application round.
• The translation subsidy normally covers up to 50% of the translation costs, with NOK 100,000 being the maximum amount that can be granted. It is assumed that the publisher pays the remaining amount of the translator’s fee.
• For serial literature, the size of the subsidy is adjusted according to budget constraints and will normally cover up to 25% of the total translation cost.
• Translation subsidies are granted based on the average size of the translation fee in the country in question. If the size of the translation fee and the amount applied for differ significantly from the normal translation fee in the country in question, there must be an explainion for this in the application.

Quality requirements

• The work must be of a certain quality. Contemporary literature is prioritized.
• Norwegian classics translated via another language will not be considered.
• Fiction for children and adults should normally have been purchased by Arts and Culture Norway (formerly know as Arts Council Norway).
NORLA subsidises a wide range of non-fiction genres intended for a general market and that are of general interest. Those not normally subsidised are:
• Works that are not intended for a general market, such as research literature, research reports and scientific dissertations. It is up to the non-fiction expert committee to assess whether the publication is of general interest.
• Handbooks and fact works for exclusively commercial purposes, for example categories like hobby books, joke books, quizzes, cooking and wine books and so on. Exceptions can be made for works that to an exceptional degree convey Norwegian culture to a foreign audience.

Normally not covered by translation subsidies

• Publications that will not be publicly available.
• Self-published texts that have not passed through an editing process.
• Publications to be released in a limited number.
• Unchanged reprints or reissues of existing translations.
• Translations of own works.
• Norwegian publishers’ own publications in other languages.


The subsidy is paid when NORLA has received three copies of the translated work and confirmation that the translator has been paid the agreed fee.
NORLA can in some cases inspect the quality of the translation before the translation support is paid. If, according to the inspection, the quality of the translation is not satisfactory, the aid granted can be cancelled.
• NORLA’s subsidy criteria are valid for up to six months after the stated publication date. Publishers who have received a subsidy must notify NORLA as soon as possible if the publication date changes.
NORLA reserves the right to withhold payment of the subsidy if the criteria for the translation subsidy have not been fully met.

Passed by NORLA’s board February 2021.
The new criteria are in effect from and including June 1, 2021.

How to apply:

Click here for translation subsidy.
Click here for translation subsidy between Nordic languages.