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Most translated Tongues
Thread poster: Raf Uzar

Raf Uzar
Poland
Local time: 21:25
Polish to English
Mar 15, 2009

The latest post on http://transubstantiation.wordpress.com/ actually talks about the translation of Mills and Boon romances but what I found interesting were the two lists given of the most important languages with regards to translation. Do you think they are accurate? Does it tie in with what you have all found?

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chica nueva
Local time: 09:25
Chinese to English
The market for foreign translations into English Mar 17, 2009

Hello Raf

Thank you very much! This is very interesting. I was interested that Chinese makes the list, at least in one direction.

You may be interested in points that this recent article makes about translations into English.
http://www.listener.co.nz/issue/3584/artsbooks/12606/found_in_translation.html

1 About 2% of books published in the US in 2008 were translations out of other languages.
2 In the opinion of a publisher, a novel would have to be 'brilliant and a very good commercial prospect' to justify the extra expense of translation.
3 A book by a Scandinavian children's writer had been translated into more than 20 languages, but not including English (and this was apparently not unusual).

What are the factors at play I wonder ...

Right. More info on 'the market' here:
http://www.geckopress.co.nz/The_Story_of_Gecko_Press_44.aspx

4 In European countries around 40 percent of books published are translations. In the UK the corresponding figure is 3%.
5 Translated children's books are becoming easier to sell; it is a growing market.
6 In the sixties there were more books translated than there are today eg Pippi Longstocking, Heidi, Emil and the Detectives.
7 Barriers to publication: the cost of translation; publishers often do not understand other languages; perceived marketplace resistance to foreign authors.

Lesley

[Edited at 2009-03-18 02:43 GMT]


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Jan Willem van Dormolen  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 21:25
English to Dutch
+ ...
Dutch Mar 17, 2009

What strikes me in the list is the high position of the Dutch language on both lists. Not bad for a language that is only spoken by less than 25 million people...

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irina savescu  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 22:25
English to Romanian
Language pairs Mar 17, 2009

Perhaps a list made of language pairs (source-target) would be more interesting.

[Edited at 2009-03-17 11:42 GMT]


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Madeleine MacRae Klintebo  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:25
Swedish to English
+ ...
Not more? Mar 17, 2009

lai an wrote:


3 A book by a Scandinavian children's writer had been translated into more than 20 languages, but not including English (and this was apparently not unusual).



Astrid Lindgren's children's books (Pippi Longstocking and many more) have been translated into more than 80 languages. Including English


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chica nueva
Local time: 09:25
Chinese to English
translated tongues: children's writers Mar 17, 2009

Madeleine MacRae Klintebo wrote:

lai an wrote:


3 A book by a Scandinavian children's writer had been translated into more than 20 languages, but not including English (and this was apparently not unusual).



Astrid Lindgren's children's books (Pippi Longstocking and many more) have been translated into more than 80 languages. Including English


Hello Madeleine

Goodness!

Thanks for reminding me about Pippi Longstocking. She must still be in the shops, I'll have a look. I thought CS Lewis ('The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe' etc) had done pretty well - 47 languages. http://inklingsfocus.com/translation_index.html . Our own Margaret Mahy has been translated into at least fifteen languages ...

Lesley

[Edited at 2009-03-18 02:46 GMT]


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Raf Uzar
Poland
Local time: 21:25
Polish to English
TOPIC STARTER
Replying... Mar 17, 2009

Lesley, wonderful link - thank you!
Jan Willem van Dormolen, I too found Dutch surprisingly high on the list.

Raf


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Óscar Delgado Gosálvez  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:25
Member (2007)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Translators Mar 18, 2009

because whether a tongue is more or less translated does not depend on the number of speakers but on the number of translators.

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chica nueva
Local time: 09:25
Chinese to English
translated tongues: detective fiction: van Gulik and 'Judge Dee'; Simenon Mar 18, 2009

Jan Willem van Dormolen wrote:

What strikes me in the list is the high position of the Dutch language on both lists. Not bad for a language that is only spoken by less than 25 million people...


1 Hello Jan Willem. Why is that I wonder.
You may know of translator/author/diplomat/sinologist R.H. van Gulik, Chinese name: 高羅佩/高罗佩 Gao Luopei http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_van_Gulik . His translation of an 18C Chinese detective novel in 1948 led to a whole series of Judge Dee murder mysteries. It's a fascinating story ...

2 Belgian Georges Simenon's books (the Inspector Maigret mysteries, etc) were translated into around 50 languages (Google)

Lesley

[Edited at 2009-03-18 21:31 GMT]


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Raf Uzar
Poland
Local time: 21:25
Polish to English
TOPIC STARTER
Translators Mar 18, 2009

Óscar, good point!

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chica nueva
Local time: 09:25
Chinese to English
Into English: Literature: who is publishing Mar 18, 2009

Literature: More info on the US market here:
http://www.rochester.edu/College/translation/threepercent/index.php?id=879
(Survey of original translations of adult fiction and poetry published in 2008. No children’s books, comic books, nonfiction, retranslations, or reprints)

8 a wide range of publishers are publishing international literature



[Edited at 2009-03-18 21:07 GMT]


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Raf Uzar
Poland
Local time: 21:25
Polish to English
TOPIC STARTER
Lai an Mar 18, 2009

Lai an,

Great links.

Raf


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chica nueva
Local time: 09:25
Chinese to English
Web-Site translations Mar 18, 2009

Óscar Delgado Gosálvez wrote:

because whether a tongue is more or less translated does not depend on the number of speakers but on the number of translators.


Hello Oscar

Yes. What a great background in Europe and European languages, fields etc you have.

You are referring to multilingualism in various countries, I think, perhaps. Am I right? Or the amount of support for the translation enterprise in the various countries? (eg by publishers, education system, national language policies? )

This ranking is interesting ... does it agree with your findings?
http://www.globalbydesign.com/blog/2007/09/16/the-hottest-translated-languages-according-to-sdl/

9 FIGS languages (French, Italian, German, Spanish) are making way for the emerging markets, eg BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China).

10 Other European languages are growing rapidly.

Lesley

[Edited at 2009-03-18 21:37 GMT]


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:25
Flemish to English
+ ...
Order Changes... Mar 19, 2009

Whenever a country joins the EU, demand for its language it up.
Before accession, demand for languages like the Baltic languages was marginal.
With Croatia being granted accession status, demand for Croatian increased.
The same is true with Turkey. Demand will be up by 2015


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