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Fifty Years of Translation:

The I ndex Translationum


Completes a Half Century
Vaiju Naravane
Index Translationum tracks translations published all over the world. Its statistics
provide insight into the cultural geography of publishing.
T
he Index Translationum whi ch officially cel ebrat es fifty year s of exi st ence,
coul d be l i kened to a dowager dut chess hi di ng her age. For al t hough t he
I ndex officially came i nt o bei ng as a UNESCO publ i cat i on in 1948, its real life
pr edat es t hat of t he Or gani zat i on since it first saw t he light of day under t he
aegis of t he League of Nat i ons in 1932.
A uni que publ i cat i on, t he Index Translationum, whi ch is publ i shed in Paris
by UNESCO, t he Uni t ed Nat i ons Educat i onal , Scientific and Cul t ur al Organi -
zat i on, is an i nt ernat i onal bi bl i ogr aphy of t ransl at ed wor ks publ i shed in t he
wor l d. Thr ough this list whi ch serves as a r ef er ence wor k, UNESCO pr ovi des
bot h schol ars and t he general publ i c wi t h an i rrepl aceabl e tool for maki ng
bi bl i ographi cal i nvent ori es of t ransl at i ons on a global scale.
A Chequered History...
The Index Translationum first came out in 1932 in t he f or m of a quar t er l y
bul l et i n publ i shed by t he League of Nat i ons. It listed t he t ransl at i ons pub-
This article was originally published by UNESCO and is adapted with their assistance. It de-
scribes Index Translationum: International Bibliography of Translations. A yearly cumulative edition
on CD-ROM from 1979-. The latest edition available: 6th 1979-1997 (1999) The statistics were
established from the 4th edition. More detailed statistics may be found at http://firewalI.unesco.org/
culture/xtransfl~tmI_eng/indexl.htm.
Address for correspondence: Maria Cristina Iglesias, Editor, Index Translationum, c/o UNESCO,
7, place de Fontenoy, 75352 Paris 07 SP France; or via e-mail at index@unesco.org
24 Publishing Research Quarterly/Winter 1999-2000
lished in six countries: Germany, Spain, United States of America, France,
United Kingdom and Italy. The number of countries featured in the Index had
increased to 14 by the time publication ceased in January 1940 due to the
outbreak of World War II. Almost ten years were to elapse before the Index
Translationum re-appeared under the auspices of UNESCO. The project to re-
sume publication was the subject of a recommendation put forward by the
Conference of Allied Ministers of Education held in London on 28 June 1945.
The Index thus predates the Organization itself and can be said to be UNESCO's
oldest programme.
The first volume of the new series appeared in 1948. It contained 8,570
entries from twenty-six countries including Brazil, Canada, Chile, Egypt and
Turkey. Ever since the Index Translationum has been published annually. The
last volume to be published on paper was number 39, which covered 60,543
references from fifty-six countries. In 1993, keeping abreast of technological
progress, the Index changed over from print to CD-ROM. Users can now take
advantage of cumulative data built up since 1979, the year in which the Index
was computerised. This anniversary edition, for example, contains almost one
million entries from over 100 countries ranging from Albania to Zimbabwe. It
covers every subject, including agriculture, architecture, art, biography, eco-
nomics, education, geography, exact, natural and social sciences, history, law,
literature, management, medicine, philosophy, psychology, religion, science
and technology, spor t . . . Almost 200,000 authors are listed and 400 languages
are mentioned. Every bibliographic entry carries the following information:
author' s name, translated title of the work, translator's name, publisher' s name,
year of publication, number of pages, the original language, and, in many
cases, the original title. The subject matter is arranged to the Universal Deci-
mal Classification (UDC) headings. Today some 60,000 new bibliographic ref-
erences find their way into the Index each year.
A Babel of Language s
Translation exists because humanity speaks in many tongues. Why should
human beings speak thousands of different, mutually incomprehensible lan-
guages? One of the most central questions in the study of man' s cerebral and
social evolution continues to baffle researchers and anthropologists alike.
"Why does Homo Sapiens, whose digestive track has evolved and functions
in precisely the same complicated ways the world over, whose biochemical
fabric and genetic potential are, orthodox science assures us, essentially com-
mon, the delicate runnels of whose cortex are wholly akin in all peoples and at
every stage of social evolution--why does this unified, though individually
unique mammalian species not use one common language?" asks Professor
George Steiner in his book After Babel, Aspects of Language and Translation (1975).
In fact man speaks in not one or two or half a dozen but over six thousand
languages. These living languages themselves are the remnants of a much
Naravane 25
larger number spoken in the past. In many parts of the worl d the l anguage
map is a mosaic each of whose stones, some of t hem minuscule, is entirely or
partially distinct from all others in colour and texture.
For Mexico and Central America alone almost 200 languages have been
listed not to speak of the veritable kaleidoscope that makes up the Asian and
African linguistic landscape. Aba, an Altaic idiom spoken by Tartars is the first
ent ry in the l anguage catalogue whi ch ends wi t h Zyriene, a Finno-Ugariatic
speech used between the Urals and the Arctic shore. Barriers erected by lin-
guistic differences have often led to mut ual contempt, hat red and strife be-
t ween communities. In Asia, Africa or South America l anguage differences
have prevent ed communities from coming together to fight economic isola-
tion, from pooling their energies against foreign invaders. Depri ved of their
own l anguage by conquerors and colonisers, many cultures have been stunted,
never recovering a vital identity.
This multiplicity of tongues has, t hroughout the ages, captured the religious
and philosophic imagination. Among the Gnostics there are two mai n lines of
conjecture: that God, in creating the Earth made an error whi ch resulted in the
scattering of languages or that the divisions erected by languages are a form of
divine puni shment . The occult tradition even holds that a single pri mal lan-
guage, an Ur-Sprache lies behi nd the cacophonous dissonance of clashing
tongues. It is via the German philosopher Gottfried Leibniz (1646-1716), and
more recently J.G. Hamann, that l anguage mysticism enters the current of
rational linguistic study.
To Transl ate Or Not To Tr a ns l a t e . . .
The key question that linguistic theory poses is whet her or not translation,
especially bet ween different languages is possible at all. The universalist view,
is that the underl yi ng structure of language is universal and common to man-
kind, that the differences are essentially superficial. Translation is realisable
precisely because those deep seated universals, genetic, historical, social, from
whi ch all grammars derive can be located and recognised as operative in every
human idiom, however singular or bizarre its superficial forms. To translate is
to descend beneat h the exterior disparities of two languages in order to bring
into vital pl ay their analogous, and, at the final depths, common principles of
being. Here the universalist position touches closely upon the mystical intu-
ition of a lost primal or paradigmatic speech.
The opposi ng vi ew is the belief that real translation is impossible. What
passes for translation is a convention of approximate analogies, a rough-cast
similitude, just tolerable when the two relevant languages are cognate, but
altogether spurious when remote tongues and far-removed sensibilities are in
question. Most linguists and translators find themselves vacillating between
these two extremes.
Perhaps the most beautiful, profound, concentrated and acute comment ary
26 Publishing Research Quarterly / Winter 1999-2000
on t he act of t r ansl at i on itself has been offered by t he Ar gent i ne wr i t er Jorge
Lui s Borges i n his st ory Pierre Menard, Author of Don Quixote (1939) i n whi c h
Menar d, i n 1918, sets hi msel f t he t ask of total t r ansl at i on or t r ansubst ant i at i on.
Thr ee cent ur i es after t he ori gi nal was wr i t t en, his ai m is not to make a me-
chani cal copy of t he ori gi nal . Hi s i nt ent i on is to pr oduce a f ew pages whi c h
wo u l d coi nci de, wo r d for wor d, line for l i ne wi t h t hose of Mi guel de Cervant es.
Hi s a p p r o a c h to t he t ask, says Pr of es s or St ei ner , it " wa s one of ut t e r
mi mesi s . . . i.e. to put onesel f so deepl y i n t une wi t h Cer vant es' bei ng as to
re-enact , i nevi t abl y, t he exact s um of his real i sat i ons and st at ement s. The ar du-
ousness of t he game is di zzyi ng . . . . In ot her wor ds , any genui ne act of t ransl a-
t i on is, i n one r egar d at least, an e nde a vour to go backwar ds up t he escal at or
of t i me and to re-enact vol unt ar i l y wha t was a cont i ngent mot i on of spi r i t . .
To r epeat an al r eady ext ant book i n an al i en t ongue is t he t r ansl at or ' s "myst e-
r i ous d u t y " . . , di ffi cul t past h u ma n i magi ni ng. "
The New York Times once descr i bed Gr egor y Rabassa, wh o has br ought us
t he books of Gabri el Garci a Mar quez i n Engl i sh as "t he finest t r ansl at or wh o
ever d r e w br eat h". Whe n a t ransl at or comes ver y close to r epl i cat i ng t he origi-
nal i n bot h l et t er and spirit, he becomes al most a mi r r or - r ef l ect i on of t he au-
thor. Needl es s to say, such occasi ons are ext r emel y rare.
Bridging Cultures
Tr ansl at i on is per haps as ol d as wr i t i ng itself. Thr oughout t he cent ur i es
t r ansl at or s have been at t empt i ng to br i dge cul t ur es and br eak d o wn bar r i er s
be t we e n nat i ons, cont i nent s and civilisations. They have br ought t he past cl ose
to t he pr esent , semant i cal l y conquer i ng t i me and space. They have been in-
s t r ument al i n pr opagat i ng rel i gi ous beliefs and cul t ur al val ues. They have
pl ayed a cruci al rol e i n shapi ng t he hi st or y of manki nd. A r o u g h and r e a dy
di vi si on r uns t hr ough t he hi st or y and pract i ce of t ransl at i on and t her e is har dl y
a t reat i se on t he subj ect whi c h does not di st i ngui sh bet ween t he t r ansl at i on of
c o mmo n mat t er - - pr i vat e, commer ci al , clerical, e p h e me r a l - - a n d t he r ecr eat i ve
t r ansf er f r om one l i t erary, phi l osophi c or rel i gi ous text to anot her .
In t he annal s of rel i gi ous t ransl at i ons t he name of Saint Jerome, t he pat r on
sai nt of t ransl at ors, is wr i t t en i n letters of gold. He was t he first per s on to
t ransl at e t he Bible i nt o Lat i n and t he Ol d Test ament di r ect l y f r om t he He br e w
i nt o Latin. But he had several ot her comr ades i n ar ms such as Wul fi l a wh o
evangel i s ed the Got hs, Cyri l wh o has gi ven his name to t he Cyri l l i c al phabet .
The i ncr edi bl e expansi on of Buddhi s m whi c h spr ead f r om I ndi a to Chi na,
Japan and ot her part s of Sout h East Asia is due to ver y ear l y r udi me nt a r y
t ransl at i ons dat i ng back to the 1st cent ur y al t hough t he first syst emat i c r ender -
i ng of Buddhi s t texts i nt o Chi nese was unde r t a ke n by Kumar aj i va i n t he Vt h
cent ur y.
Ther e is no aspect of our life, scientific, historical, cul t ural , l i t er ar y or social
whi c h has not been affect ed by t he ha nd of the t ransl at or. Today wi t h t he
Naravane 27
world shrinking into a "global village", the need for translation is more keenly
felt than ever. "To speak a language," said Frantz Fanon "is to take on a world,
a culture." In seeking to transport words or texts from one language into
another the translator cannot merely search for equivalent words in the "target
language" to render the meaning of the "source." He has to be attentive to the
larger cultural context whence they spring and which they express. As the
expression of a culture, a means of communication, a language emerges to
serve the community that uses it. Language evolves with the community, keep-
ing in step with new economic, social and cultural developments, being the
vehicle for the expression of changing needs, ideologies and philosophies. The
influence a language wields derives from the wealth, economic, political intel-
lectual or cultural, of the community to which it belongs.
A language which clings rigidly to its past, refusing, for the sake of purity,
to adapt to the constantly changing and growing world, inevitably gets left
behind. The linguistic landscape has been forged by the historical process.
Sanskrit or Ancient Egyptian, the languages of two of the greatest civilisations
the planet has known have almost disappeared and have ceased to exist as
"living languages."
The craft of the translator is deeply ambivalent. The translator "re-exper-
iences" the evolution of language itself. Our age, our personal sensibilities,
writes Octavio Paz, are immersed in the world of translation, or more pre-
cisely, in a world which is itself a translation of other worlds, of other systems.
Shaking Off Colonial Shackles
The question of colonialism is inherent in any discussion of translation and
Third World writers are increasingly expressing their fears about how their
works are translated and "appropriated" by the West. The process of transla-
tion in making non-western cultures comprehensible and available in the West
entails the exercise of colonial power and proceeds in a predictable direction--
alien cultural forms are recuperated via a process of familiarisation--whereby
they are denuded of their foreignness and radical inaccessibility. Another exer-
cise of Western power has to do with what and who gets translated. This has
to do with the selection of certain voices, certain views, certain texts over
others by the publishing industry and by reviewers and critics.
Edward W. Said remembers the time an American publisher told him "The
problem is that Arabic is a controversial language." Of all the major world
literatures, he says, Arabic remains relatively unknown and unread in the
West for reasons that are unique, even remarkable, at a time when tastes for
the non-European are more developed than ever before and, even more com-
pelling, cont emporary Arabic literature is at a particularly i nt erest i ng
j unct ure. . . There almost seems to be a deliberate policy of maintaining a kind
of monolithic reductionism where the Arabs and Islam are concerned.
Comments social anthropologist Talal Assad: "From the coloniser's stand-
28 Publishing Research Quarterly / Winter 1999-2000
point the issue is not whether the colonised writer is "modern" but whether he
or she is "good enough" to be accorded serious critical attention as part of
what is called modern world culture. Rightly or wrongly it is the coloniser
who has the power to make this judgement. And even if a novel like Tahar Ben
Jalloun's La nui t sacrde is described both as "resister and liberator" it is the Prix
Goncourt (France's most prestigious literary prize) that locates it unequivo-
cally within modern world culture."
Tahar Ben Jalloun himself is disappointed at the treatment meted out to
several of his Moroccan contemporaries writing in Arabic: "They are almost
never translated. For some reason, the West feels that only the Egyptians or
Lebanese are worth translating from the Arabic into modern European lan-
guages. If you do not use the language of the coloniser your chances of being
translated into other modern European languages are very low."
Rapi d Gr owt h
Nevertheless, there is an increasing demand for translation. Just how hun-
gry the world is for knowledge of the other, for exchange of every kind is
evident from the spectacular growth in the number of translations published
each year.
The Index Translationum grew rapidly, reflecting the development of pub-
lishing activity world-wide. The decolonising process was under way and
more and more countries joined the United Nations system as i ndependent
sovereign States. Enhanced levels of education, increased cultural exchange
and the need, the desire to know and understand "the other" were other
factors which contributed to the Index Translationum' s rapid growth.
Thanks to continuing international co-operation the Index Translationum re-
mains a work tool that is unique in the world. Each year national libraries or
bibliography centres in the participating countries send UNESCO bibliographi-
cal data concerning translated books in all fields of knowledge. Periodicals,
articles from periodicals, patents and brochures are not included.
Who Us e s t he I ndex?
Librarians, documentalists, researchers, publishers, journalists, translators,
students, book shops, all consult the Index Translationum to find out if an
author has been translated, into what language and by whom. Furthermore,
the Index is the best reference work for establishing statistics concerning trans-
lations, allowing specialists to analyse international readership and publishing
markets according to their needs. It is a huge storehouse of information from
which we can determine trends such as: changes in the tastes of the interna-
tional reading public, the most frequently translated authors, the influence of
certain languages over others, reciprocal influences or subject preferences at
regional or international levels.
Naravane 29
UNESCO's sector for Culture is in charge of gathering, normalizing, enter-
ing and checking the data. It is also responsible for constantly updating the
Index Translationum database. At the Organization's headquarters in Paris, a
small team of professionals painstakingly enters titles sent in by contributing
Member States. Sometimes the data received is incomplete and inconsistencies
cannot always be avoided. It is slow, careful, precise work. "Of course with the
data that we have we cannot say anything about the quality of the translation,
whether it is faithful to the original, if it seeks to subvert, oversimplify or
manipulate," says Cristina Iglesias, who heads the unit.
Historic Change
The most powerful and earth-shaking change that has taken place over the
past decade is indubitably the fall of the former Soviet empire. The fall of the
Berlin Wall swept away an ideology that had held sway over the imaginations
of several million people across the globe for over six decades. Its reverbera-
tions have been felt strongly in the field of translations. For a long time Lenin
regularly topped the charts as the most translated author of all time. He has
now been dethroned by none other than one of the most assiduous and zeal-
ous fighters of communism: Walt Disney, the emblematic figure of western
capitalism.
The fall of the Berlin Wall has resulted in many changes. Certain types of
books were proscribed in the former Soviet Union. Anything to do with lifestyle,
management, health and fitness, romance or pornography was frowned upon.
There has been a remarkable surge in the translation of books on all these
subjects, especially computer technology, management, health guides and ro-
mance. Mills and Boon or Harlequin romances are being translated with in-
creasing frequency. These books were banned because they were considered
decadent. The newly emerging Eastern democracies are making up for lost
time with a vengeance.
English Dominates
Another fact which emerges from the perusal of the Index Translationum is
the dominance of the English language. Almost fifty per cent of all translations
are made from the English into various languages. But only six percent of all
translations are into English. The number of books translated each year also
remains relatively small compared to the total number of books published in
the world.
A London publisher blamed this situation on a lack of good translators. "At
least as far a literature is concerned it is extremely difficult to find good trans-
lators, those who understand the cultural contexts of the source and the target
language, people who can get under the skin of the author they are trying to
translate. " she said.
30 Publishing Research Quarterly/Winter 1999-2000
Not ever yone at UNESCO shares this poi nt of vi ew. Even for l anguages
consi der ed "di ffi cul t " t he Or gani zat i on has been able to fi nd excel l ent transla-
tors for its series of Repr esent at i ve Works is hi ghl y appr eci at ed by scholars as
wel l as t he general r eadi ng public. Cert ai n publ i shi ng houses t end to use t he
di ffi cul t y of f i ndi ng good translators as an excuse to hi de t hei r rel uct ance to
pay t ransl at i on rights. Some count ri es are evi dent l y mor e i n f avour of transla-
t i on t han others. For i nst ance if a book has been publ i shed i n t he Engl i sh
l anguage, f i ndi ng publ i sher s wi l l i ng to t ransl at e it i nt o Ger man, French, Span-
i sh wi l l not be a probl em. But if it is t he contrary, t hat is if t he book has been
publ i s hed i n French or Spani sh it is ver y difficult to fi nd a publ i sher wi l l i ng to
pay t he ri ght s and publ i sh the title i n English. This is per haps one way of
cont r ol l i ng the mar ket and mai nt ai ni ng t he cul t ural domi nance of Engl i sh and
t he mar ket is cont r ol l ed t hr ough what is on offer, t hr ough t he avai l abi l i t y of
pr oduct s sol d by t he i ndust r y of cul t ur e- - whet her it is musi c, or films or
books.
Several wri t ers wr i t i ng i n l anguages ot her t han Engl i sh be it French, Arabic,
or Hi ndi compl ai n of t he over whel mi ng i nfl uence wi el ded by t he Angl o-Saxon
publ i s hi ng i ndust ry. There is a cert ai n arrogance, t hey claim, on t he part of
British and Amer i can publ i shi ng houses. It is as if t hey consi der anyt hi ng
publ i s hed i n anot her l anguage to be aut omat i cal l y i nferi or to wha t appear s i n
English. They are rel uct ant to translate forei gn books. So wi des pr ead is t he
i nf l uence of Engl i sh as a l anguage t hat publ i shers i n Japan wi l l accept a book
for t ransl at i on onl y if it has first been t ransl at ed i n English, as if bei ng accept ed
by t he publ i shi ng i ndust r y t here had a dde d intrinsic val ue to t he wor k. And
t hen t he t ransl at i on is oft en done f r om t he Engl i sh versi on, not f r om t he origi-
nal.
Robert Collison, f or mer BBC l i brari an wri t i ng i n t he UNESCO Courier i n
1958 poi nt ed to t he same probl em. The t ransl at i on of a t ransl at i on r uns t he risk
of di st or t i ng t he sense or bei ng unfai t hful to t he original, he says.
Spanish, The Fastest Growing Language
Al t hough Ger man r emai ns t he l anguage whi ch accepts t he most t ransl at i ons
Spani sh is undoubt e dl y t he l anguage whi ch is gr owi ng t he fastest f r om t he
poi nt of vi ew of t he numbe r of titles t ransl at ed each year. This sort of opennes s
can have di sast rous consequences for Spani sh writers. I a m sure t her e are
cert ai n wri t ers who failed to fi nd publ i sher s i n Spai n because t her e wer e t oo
ma ny t ransl at ed wor ks in t he market . A publ i sher has to s pend ver y little
mone y on pr omot i ng a translation. The book is usual l y wel l k n o wn and all he
has to pay is t he ri ght s and t he translator. Transl at i on can be a t wo e dge d
s wor d- - i t can open ne w hor i zons for readers but it can also edge nat i onal
wri t ers out of t he market .
To make no mor e use of t he Index Translationum t han one woul d of a bibli-
ogr aphy of i odi ne, of geront ol ogy, or of geneal ogy, woul d howe ve r be to
Naravane 31
ignore completely its value as a significant human document, contends Robert
Collison. By reading through the subject index to it is possible to gauge the
change in public taste and the favour that authors find with their readers.
UNESCO' s Col l e c t i on of Re pr e s e nt at i ve Works
The collection includes over 1000 titles from more than 80 countries, trans-
lated from a hundred or so different languages make up UNESCO's Collection
of Representative Works which also celebrates 50 years of existence this year.
The aim of the Collection is principally to encourage the translation, publica-
tion and distribution in English, French, Spanish and Arabic, of works of liter-
ary and cultural importance which are relatively unknown outside their lan-
guages or countries of origin. The works translated under this programme are
brought out as co-editions in partnership with publishers from all over the
world. The Collection ranges very widely and includes works from contempo-
rary minority cultures and languages as well as more traditional writings.
A number of authors have achieved international recognition following the
translation and publication of their books in this Collection. They include the
Nobel Prize winners Yasunari Kawabata, Vicente A!eixandre, Ivo Andritch,
George Seferis, Halldor K. Laxness and Wislava Szymborska. Since it was
launched in 1948, the UNESCO Collection of Representative Works has en-
deavoured to reflect the variety and wealth of the world' s literary heritage.
UNESCO's contribution to this programme is both intellectual--selection of
authors, works and translators--and financial--providing assistance for trans-
lation and purchasing copies for distribution and sale. International, multilin-
gual and pluricultural, the collection is in effect, a Library of Libraries which
has opened wide its doors to new literary works from cultures that were either
fragmented or marginalized.
The Collection includes: anthologies of short stories and poetry, sagas, leg-
ends, epic poems and epics, travelogues, poetry, fiction (including plays), and
basic works of a philosophical, religious or historical nature.
Chi l dr e n' s Books
What emerges from a perusal of the Index Translationum as concerns books
for children is that the classics remain perennial favourites. Danish author
Hans Christian Andersen has been translated into some 60 languages includ-
ing Albanian, Euskera (spoken in Spain's Basque region), Malay, Icelandic,
Tadjik, Lithuanian . . . .
Once again for this category, the ubiquitous Walt Disney tops the list. It is
however doubtful if Walt Disney Productions can be considered an "original
author" since most of the company' s creations are adaptations of all-time
favourite classics, The Hunch Back of Notre Dame was written by Victor Hugo,
The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen, Aladdin belongs to A Thousand
32 Publishing Research Quarterly / Winter 1999-2000
and One Nights, Snow White was created by the Grimm Brothers, The Jungle
Book is Kipling's, Peter Pan was written by James Barry, Pinocchio by Carlo
Collodi. The list is endless.
While Disney' s adaptations have had a runaway success, the above men-
tioned authors continue to be independently popular with children around the
world. Adventure stories have an endless appeal as is evident from the innu-
merable translations of Jules Verne, Alexandre Dumas, Jack London, Mark
Twain, or Arthur Conon Doyle. With the exception of A Thousand and One
Nights, there is a clear dominance by books from the West.
The increasing power of the image over the power of the word is reflected
in the fact that comic books are among the most translated titles for children.
Asterix and Obelix the heroes of Gosciny and Uderzo' s adventure stories about
the Gauls versus the Romans top the charts. Another favorite is TinTin, Herge' s
reporter-detective, proving more popular than Batman, Superman, Spiderman,
etc. put together. Space travel and extraterrestrial civilizations also appeal to
young minds as is evident from the popularity of Star Trek.
Th e Mo s t Tr a ns l a t e d Wr i t e r s . . .
For a long time Vladimir Illyich Lenin was the most translated writer in the
world. His speeches and writings were available in all the languages of the
Soviet Union as well as in most of the world' s major languages. Up until the
disintegration of the Soviet Union, that is. Now Lenin is living off past glory
with the number of new translations at a standstill. There are still over 3,000
translations of Lenin available--until stocks last. For a long time Lenin, Queen
of Crime Agatha Christie, The Bible and Walt Disney jostled for a place among
the top four. Lenin having fallen into fourth place the triumvirate has Ms
Christie, the Walt Disney Company and The Holy Book scrambling for first
place. In these days of market capitalism Disney has a definite edge with
surging new found popularity in the former Warsaw pact nations.
The ten most translated authors in the world with over 1500 translations
each are:
9 Agatha Christie
9 The Bible
9 Lenin
9 Jules Verne
9 Barbara Cartland
9 Enid Blyton
Walt Disney Productions
9 William Shakespeare
Naravane 33
9 Ha n s Chr i s t i an An d e r s e n
9 Th e Gr i mm Br o t h e r s
34 Publishing Research Quarterly / Winter 1999-2000
Country of Publication
Germany
France
USA
Spain
Italy
Switzerland
Japan
Brazil
United Kingdom
Portugal
Poland
Norway
Sweden
Finland
Netherlands
Yugoslavia
Former USSR
Denmark
Bulgaria
Total
128016
60187
27896
100776
22770
16822
48976
22584
14003
11005
20775
18007
18806
19822
40722
15637
92373
26282
13284
718743
Disciplines
Applied Sciences
Art/Games/Sports
Education/Law/Social Sciences
History/Geography
Generalities / Information
Literature / Children's Literature
Natural and Exact Sciences
Philosophy/Psychology
Religion / Theology
Total:
95077
48120
91501
61611
6679
449801
45044
49488
57123
904444
Language Original Target
Arabic 4357
Bulgarian 12503
Classic Greek
Czech 14383
Danish 25359
Dutch 48544
English 446724 69728
Finnish 18882
French 101154 79889
German 81935 153367
Hungarian 16124
Naravane 35
Language Original Target
Italian 26354 25279
Japanese 49327
Latin
Norwegian 17835
Polish 20369
Portuguese 35110
Romanian 6485
Russian 80176 50936
Slovak 10036
Spanish 18073 111701
Swedish 16256 19583
Turkish 7831
Ukrainian 4150
Total 770672 801778
Authors
Ajtmatov, Cingiz 392
Alcott, Louisa May 371
Andersen, Hans Christian 1727
Andrews, Virginia C. 373
Anonymous 471
Aristoteles 401
Asimov, Isaac 1500
Bagley, Desmond 358
Balzac, Honore de 780
Beauvoir, Simone de 474
Benzoni, Juliette 453
Blyton, Enid 2203
Boll, Heinrich 365
Breznev, Leonid Ilic 635
Buck, Pearl Sydenstricker 619
Burroughs, Edgar Rice 458
Calvino, Italo 424
Camus, Albert 552
Carnegie, Dale 377
Caroll, Lewis 556
Cartland, Barbara 2331
Ceaucescu, Nicolae 395
Cehov, Anton Pavlovic 693
Chandler, Raymond 438
Chase, James Hadley 942
Clark, Mary Higgins 379
Clarke, Arthur Charles 431
Collins, Jackie 411
Conrad, Joseph 435
Cook, Robin 420
36 Publishing Research Quarterly / Winter 1999-2000
(continued)
Aut hors
Cookson, Catherine
Cooper, James Fenimore
Christie, Agatha
Cronin, Archibald Joseph
Dahl, Roald
Dailey, Janet
Deighton, Len
Dickens, Charles
Dostoevskij, Fedor Mihajlovic
Doyle, Arthur Conan
Du Maurier, Daphne
Dumas, Alexandre
Duras, Marguerite
Eco, Umberto
Engels, Friedrich
Flaubert, Gustave
Follet, Ken
Forsyth, Frederick
Freud, Sigmund
Fromm, Erich
Garcia, Marquez Gabriel
Gardner, Erie Stanley
Gibran, Kahlil
Goethe, Johann Wolgang
Gogol, Nikolaj Vasil'evic
Golon, Anne
Golon, Serge
Gorkij, Maksim
Goscinny, Rene
Greene, Graham
Grimm, Jacob
Grimm, Wilhelm
Haggard, Henry Rider
Hailey, Arthur
Hemingway, Ernest
Herge
Hesse, Hermann
Higgins, Jack
Highsmith, Patricia
Holt, Victoria
Homerus
Hussein, Adam
Joannes, Paulus II Papa
Jordan, Penny
Kafka, Franz
381
512
3953
390
627
509
372
1050
1101
1259
382
1406
428
435
1125
496
414
499
589
539
634
698
409
573
412
586
496
592
1292
797
1615
1618
364
355
951
6O0
760
693
466
1046
571
352
1224
378
568
Naravane 37
(continued)
Aut hors
King, Stephen
Kippling, Rudyard
Klepinina, Zoja Aleksandrovna
Konsalik, Heinz Gunther
Koontz, Harold
Kundera, Milan
Le Carte, John
Lem, Stanislaw
Lenin, Vladimir II'ic
Lessing, Doris
Lewis, Clive Staples
Lindgren, Astrid
London, Jack
Ludlum, Robert
Maclean, Alistair
Makarycev, Jurij Nikolaevic
Mann, Thomas
Marx, Karl
Mather, Anne
Maugham, Sommerset
Maupassant, Guy de
May, Karl
Mc Bain, Ed
Miller, Henry
Moliere
Montgomery, Lucy Maud
Moravia, Alberto
Moro, Marija Ignatevna
Murphy, Joseph
Nabokov, Vladimir
Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm
Nosov, Nokolaj Nikolaevic
Nostlinger, Christine
Parramon, Vilasalo Joseph
Perrault, Charles
Poe, Edgar Allan
Puskin, Aleksandr Sergeevic
Rendell, Ruth
Robins, Harold
Sagan, Franqoise
Saint Exupery Antoine de
Satre, Jean-Paul
Scarry, Richard
Schulz, Charles Monroe
Scott, Walter
1167
730
365
755
455
401
566
425
3391
456
470
948
1331
729
1139
394
418
1268
454
377
502
591
499
465
409
384
420
592
358
373
551
370
378
354
855
659
570
572
801
363
490
571
410
490
458
38 Publishing Research Quarterly / Winter 1999-2000
(continued)
Aut hors
Shakespeare, William
Shaw, Irwin
Sheldon, Sidney
Simenon, Georges
Singer, Isaac Bashevis
Sjowall, Maj
Smith, Wilbur A.
Sophocles
Steele, Daniele
Steinbeck, James
Steiner, Rudolf
Stendhal
Stevenson, Robert Louis
Stout, Rex
Stratemeyer, Edouard
Swift, Jonathan
Tagore, Rabindranath
Tolkien, John Ronald Reuel
Tolstoj, Lev Nikolaevic
Turgenev, Ivan Sergeevic
Twain, Mark
Uderzo, Albert
Vernes, Jules
Villiers, Gerard de
Wahloo, Per
Wallace, Edgar
Wells, Herbert George
West, Morris
Wilde, Oscar
Zola, Emile
1760
384
688
1394
575
372
466
350
977
532
785
451
1066
393
455
453
361
547
1189
401
1284
489
2733
473
440
899
370
369
732
473