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The quality of translations is very important to Flanders Literature. After all: no matter how impressive the original book is, the way it is received in another country depends on the quality of the translation.

Together with the Dutch Foundation for Literature, Flanders Literature maintains a database of accredited literary translators. The quality of their work has been favourably assessed by specialists and it is these translators who are recommended to foreign publishers.

Translators from Dutch who aspire to work as professional literary translators can apply for accreditation. Based on the translator’s CV and their motivation, Flanders Literature will decide whether or not to start the accreditation process.

The process for becoming an accredited literary translator from Dutch consists of two stages:

  • In the first phase the candidate translates a short standard text. This is a test designed to check whether the translator possesses the necessary perseverance, talent, creativity and language proficiency. If this translation is favourably assessed, the candidate can go through to the second stage of the procedure.
  • In the second stage the translators submits a sample translation (of around 15 A4 pages) to Flanders Literature of a literary work of their choice by a Flemish author.
  • If this sample translation is favourably assessed by at least two specialists, the translator can be accredited by Flanders Literature and the Dutch Foundation for Literature. That decision is always taken jointly by both foundations.
A few notes on the procedure
  • The sample translation is assessed (anonymously) by one or more experienced literary translators. On average, this takes four to six weeks.
  • Accreditation is always granted for a specific genre. If, at a later date, a translator wants to work in a different genre with its own specific requirements, Flanders Literature can request a new sample translation.
  • Translators who want to translate the work of a Flemish author should apply to Flanders Literature; translators who choose a work by an author from the Netherlands should apply to the Dutch Foundation for Literature.