Goethe-Institut (German: [ˈɡøːtə ɪnstiˈtuːt], GI,
"English: Goethe Institute") is a non-profit German cultural
association operational worldwide with 159 institutes, promoting the
study of the
German language abroad and encouraging international
cultural exchange and relations.
Goethe-Institut fosters knowledge about
Germany by providing
information on German culture, society and politics. This includes the
exchange of films, music, theatre, and literature. Goethe cultural
societies, reading rooms, and exam and language centers have played a
role in the cultural and educational policies of
Germany for more than
It is named after German poet and statesman Johann Wolfgang von
Goethe-Institut e.V. is autonomous and politically
Partners of the institute and its centers are public and private
cultural institutions, the federal states, local authorities and the
world of commerce. Much of the Goethe-Institut's overall budget
consists of yearly grants from the German Foreign Office and the
German Press Office. The relationship with the Foreign Office is
governed by general agreement. Self-generated income and contributions
from sponsors and patrons, partners and friends broaden the scope of
the work of the Goethe-Institut.
3 Locations by country
6 Awards given
6.1 Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator's Prize
6.2 Goethe Medal
8 See also
10 External links
Goethe-Institut was founded as successor to the German
Academy (Deutsche Akademie/DA), which was founded in 1925. Its first
task was to provide further training for foreign German teachers in
1953: The first language courses run by the
Goethe-Institut began in
Bad Reichenhall. Due to growing demand, new centres of learning were
opened in Murnau and Kochel, the focus of selection being on towns
which were small and idyllic and which showed post-war
Germany at its
best. Lessons were taught from the first textbook developed by the
Goethe-Institut, the now legendary "Schulz-Griesbach".
1953–55: The first foreign lectureships of what was the German
Academy were taken on by the Goethe-Institut. Responsibilities include
German tuition, teacher training and providing a program of cultural
events to accompany courses.
1959–60: On the initiative of the head of the arts sector of the
Foreign Office, Dieter Sattler, the
Goethe-Institut gradually took
over all of the German cultural institutes abroad.
1968: Influenced by the student revolts of the late 1960s the
Goethe-Institut readjusted its program of cultural events to include
socio-political topics and avant-garde art.
1970: Acting on behalf of the Foreign Office, Ralf Dahrendorf
developed his "guiding principles for foreign cultural policy".
Cultural work involving dialog and partnership was declared the third
pillar of German foreign policy. During the Willy Brandt era, the
concept of "extended culture" formed the basis of activities at the
1976: The Foreign Office and the
Goethe-Institut signed a general
agreement governing the status of the Goethe-Institut, henceforth an
independent cultural organization.
1980: A new concept regarding the location of institutes within
Germany was drawn up. Places of instruction in small towns, mostly in
Bavaria, were replaced by institutes in cities and university towns.
1989/90: The fall of the Berlin Wall marked a turning point for the
Goethe-Institut. Its activities in the 1990s were centred on Eastern
Europe. Numerous new institutes were set up as a result.
Goethe-Institut merges with Inter Nationes.
Goethe-Institut established the first Western information
centre in Pyongyang, North Korea (closed in 2009). The
Goethe-Institut Inter Nationes also reverted to its original and
Goethe-Institut was honored with the Prince-of-Asturias
Prize of Spain.
2007: For the first time in more than ten years, the German parliament
increased the funds of the Goethe-Institut.
Bruno Bozzetto created a new
Goethe-Institut film named "Va
2014: A Myanmar
Goethe Institut headquarters, Munich
Goethe-Institut is mainly financed by the national government of
Germany, and has around 3,000 employees and an overall budget of
approximately 366 million euros at its disposal, more than half of
which is generated from language course tuition and examination fees.
Goethe-Institut offers scholarships, including tuition waiver, to
students from foreign countries, who want to become teachers of
German. One of the selection criteria for these scholarships is social
or financial need.
Goethe-Institut has its headquarters in Munich. Its president is
Klaus-Dieter Lehmann, the General Secretary Johannes Ebert; Financial
Manager Dr. Bruno Gross.
Locations by country
Main article: List of
Old Goethe Institut building located on Tonalá Street in Colonia Roma
Mexico City (It has been remodeled)
Togo and Cameroon, the
Goethe-Institut opens its first
African branches in 1961.
In Bangladesh, the
Goethe-Institut opened at Gladstone House, 80
Motijheel Commercial Area in
Dhaka in 1961. The institut was relocated
into its present premises in Dhanmondi (House No. 23, Road No. 02) in
In Lebanon, the
Goethe-Institut operates in Rue Gemmayze (one of
Beirut's most renowned streets), facing Collège du Sacré Cœur, with
a remarkable number of students.
In Iran, the
Goethe-Institut opened in
Tehran in 1958, but was forced
to close in 1981 in a diplomatic row between the host country and
Germany; the institut reopened under the German embassy in
Tehran as a
"point for dialogue."
Goethe-Institut has two branches. The
Karachi branch is
located at Brunton Road, Civil Lines, near the Chief Minister's
Residence. It is located in an old bungalow. The
Lahore chapter of the
Goethe-Institut is named "
Annemarie Schimmel Haus", in honour of the
well-known German Orientalist and scholar, who wrote extensively on
Islam and Sufism; the Annemarie-Schimmel-Haus shares its premises with
Lahore (AF), and together they organise joint
The Instituts in
India are called Max Mueller Bhavans, in honour of
the German philologist and Indologist Max Müller.
In Indonesia, there are two Goethe-Institut: in
Jakarta and Bandung,
and a Goethe-Zentrum in Surabaya.
In Kenya, there is a Goethe-Institut, formerly the German Cultural
Center, located in the headquarters of the Maendeleo Ya Wanawake
Goethe-Institut is adjacent to the Alliance Française
In the Philippines, a
Goethe-Institut is currently located at Makati
City where it was moved from its former location in Quezon City.
In the US, there are several Goethe-Instituts including the
Goethe-Institut, New York.
In Britain the
Goethe-Institut has a flagship presence in London's
South Kensington area and other offices in
Glasgow and in Kentish Town
in North London.
Goethe-Institut offers e-learning courses as well.
The institute has developed a series of exams for learners of German
as a foreign language (Deutsch als Fremdsprache, DaF) at all levels:
A1 up to C2. These can be taken both in
Germany and abroad, and have
been adapted to fit into the Common European Framework of Reference
for Languages (CEFL), the standard for European language testing.
There is also one exam, the Großes Deutsches Sprachdiplom, which is
at a higher level than the highest CEFL level. Below is a table of
Goethe-Institut exams as they fit into the scheme:
Instructional hours (45 minutes) needed
Goethe-Zertifikat C2: Großes Deutsches Sprachdiplom
Goethe-Zertifikat C1 (Prüfung Wirtschaftsdeutsch)
Goethe-Zertifikat B2 (
Zertifikat Deutsch für den Beruf)
Goethe-Zertifikat B1 (Zertifikat Deutsch)
Goethe-Zertifikat A1: Start Deutsch 1
In 2000, the
Goethe-Institut helped to found the Society for Academic
Test Development (Gesellschaft für Akademische Testentwicklung e.V.).
The resulting TestDaF exams are run by the
TestDaF-Institut in Hagen.
The tests are supported by the
German Academic Exchange Service
German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)
and are aimed at people who would like to study at German
universities, academics and scientists. The TestDaF can be taken in
Germany as well as in 65 other countries.
Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator's Prize
Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator's Prize is an annual literary prize
honoring an outstanding literary translation from German into English
published in the USA the previous year. The translator of the
winning translation receives $10,000 and a stay at the Literarisches
Colloquium Berlin (LCB). The prize was established in 1996, and is
funded by the German government. It was administered by the
Goethe-Institut, Chicago until 2014. Since 2015, the prize has been
administered by the
Goethe-Institut New York.
Prize recipients have included:
John E. Woods for Thomas Mann's
The Magic Mountain
The Magic Mountain (Der
Zauberberg) and Arno Schmidt's Nobodaddy's Children (Nobodaddy's
Leila Vennewitz for Jurek Becker's
Jacob the Liar
Jacob the Liar (Jakob der
John Brownjohn for Thomas Brussig's Heroes Like Us (Helden wie
Joel Agee for Heinrich von Kleist's play Penthesilea
Michael Hofmann for Joseph Roth's novel Rebellion (Die Rebellion)
Krishna Winston for Günter Grass's novel Too Far Afield
Anthea Bell for W. G. Sebald’s novel Austerlitz
2003 Margot Bettauer Dembo for Judith Hermann's Summerhouse, later
Breon Mitchell for Uwe Timm’s novel Morenga
Michael Henry Heim for Thomas Mann’s
Death in Venice
Death in Venice (Der Tod
Susan Bernofsky for Jenny Erpenbeck’s The Old Child & Other
Stories (Geschichte vom alten Kind)
Peter Constantine for Benjamin Lebert's The Bird is a Raven (Der
Vogel ist ein Rabe)
2008 David Dollenmayer for Moses Rosenkranz’ Childhood. An
Autobiographical Fragment (Kindheit. Fragment einer Autobiographie)
2009 John Hargraves for Michael Krüger's The Executor – A Comedy of
Letters (Turiner Komödie)
Ross Benjamin for Michael Maar’s Speak, Nabokov
2011 Jean M. Snook for Gert Jonke's The Distant Sound
Burton Pike for Gerhard Meier's Isle of the Dead
Philip Boehm for Gregor von Rezzori's An Ermine in Czernopol
2014 Shelley Frisch for Reiner Stach's Kafka: The Years of Insight
2015 Catherine Schelbert for Hugo Ball's Flametti, or The Dandyism of
Daniel Bowles for Christian Kracht's Imperium
2017 Charlotte Collins for Robert Seethaler's A Whole Life
Once a year, the
Goethe-Institut awards the Goethe Medal, an official
decoration of the Federal Republic of Germany. It honours foreign
personalities who have performed outstanding service for the German
language and international cultural relations. The
Goethe Medal was
established by the executive committee of the
Goethe-Institut in 1954
and acknowledged as an official decoration by the Federal Republic of
Germany in 1975.
In 2005, along with the Alliance française, the Società Dante
Alighieri, the British Council, the Instituto Cervantes, and the
Instituto Camões, the
Goethe-Institut was awarded the Prince of
Asturias Award for achievements in communications and the humanities.
In 2007, it received a special
Konrad Duden Prize for its work in the
field of German language.
German American Partnership Program
Hallo aus Berlin
Goethe-Institut looks back on 60 years of cultural exchange, 29
August 2011, Deutsche Welle, accessed 9 May 2012.
Goethe-Institut to close center in North Korea on censorship claim,
26 November 2009, Deutsche Welle, accessed 9 May 2012.
^  Archived 14 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
Goethe-Institut to start Tiruchi centre next year". The Hindu. 10
September 2010. Retrieved 11 May 2012.
^ "Contact and opening hours -
Goethe-Institut Kenia". www.goethe.de.
^ John George. "Deutsche Sprache - Goethe-Institut". Goethe.de.
Goethe-Institut launches Tiruchi Centre". The Hindu. 20 January
2011. Retrieved 11 May 2012.
^ "Deutschprüfungen – Unsere Prüfungen – Goethe-Institut".
Goethe.de. Retrieved 2015-05-26.
^ a b c Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator's Prize, official site.
^ "Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator's Prize 2011". WBEZ. 13 June 2011.
Archived from the original on 27 June 2011. Retrieved 26 September
^ Chad W. Post (20 May 2011). "2011 Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator's
Prize". Three Percent (Rochester University). Retrieved 27 September
^ "Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator's Prize 2012". WBEZ. 11 June 2012.
Archived from the original on 5 October 2012. Retrieved 26 September
^ "Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator's Prize 2013". Goethe Institut. 23
April 2013. Retrieved 23 April 2013.
^ "Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator's Prize 2014". Goethe Institut. 5
May 2014. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
^ "Catherine Schelbert, Prize Recipient 2015". Goethe Institut. May
2015. Retrieved May 11, 2015.
^ "Helen and Kurt Wolff Prize". Goethe-Institut. May 2016. Retrieved
May 6, 2015.
Goethe-Institut erhält Konrad-Duden-Sonderpreis (in
Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Yearbook App 2013 (in German)
List of locations from the
Goethe-Institut web site (in German and
Learning German with the Goethe-Institut
Learning German in
Germany – German courses and exams -
Goethe-Institut in Germany
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Hermann and Dorothea
Der König in Thule
Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt
The Sorcerer's Apprentice
Welcome and Farewell
Erwin und Elmire
Götz von Berlichingen
Iphigenia in Tauris
The Natural Daughter
The Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily
The Sorrows of Young Werther
Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship
Wilhelm Meister's Journeyman Years
Dichtung und Wahrheit
Metamorphosis of Plants
Theory of Colours
Gespräche mit Goethe
Christine Vulpius (wife)
Katharina Elisabeth Goethe
Katharina Elisabeth Goethe (mother)
Goethe House in Weimar
House and museum (Frankfurt)
Goethe Monument (Berlin)
Goethe–Schiller Monument (Weimar)
Goethe–Schiller Monument (Milwaukee)
Goethe Society of North America
Young Goethe in Love
Young Goethe in Love (2010 film)
International cultural promotion organisations
Brazil: Brazilian Cultural Center
Colombia: Instituto Caro y Cuervo
United States: Amerika Haus
China: Confucius Institute
India: Indian Council for Cultural Relations
Japan: Japan Foundation
Philippines: Sentro Rizal
South Korea: Korea Foundation; Korean Cultural Center; King Sejong
Taiwan: Taiwan Academy
Andorra: Ramon Llull Foundation
Czech Republic: Czech Centres
Denmark: Danish Cultural Institute
Estonia: Estonian Institute
European Union: EUNIC
Finland: Finnish cultural and academic institutes
France: Alliance Française; Institut Français
Greece: Center for the Greek Language; Hellenic Foundation for Culture
Hungary: Balassi Institute
Italy: Società Dante Alighieri; Istituto Italiano di Cultura
Poland: Adam Mickiewicz Institute
Portugal: Instituto Camões
Romania: Romanian Cultural Institute
Russia: Russkiy Mir Foundation
Spain: Instituto Cervantes
Switzerland: Pro Helvetia
Sweden: Swedish Institute
Turkey: Yunus Emre Institute
United Kingdom: British Council
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