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Is the Power Balance in Translation Shifting Away from English?

As the US and UK publishers anticipate selling e-books into markets where English is widely read, publishers are focusing on translating books from their close economic neighbors instead.

By Edward Nawotka

globe south america

As the US and UK publishers anticipate selling e-book titles into markets where English is widely read, some publishers are shifting their resources away from purchasing translation rights to books that may have already satisfied the core demand. This, along with geographic economic ties, is spurring an increase in intra-European and intra-Asian rights deals. In addition, more and more nations are committing resources to supporting the translation of their works overseas — like Brazil — and focusing as much on small and medium-sized markets as on the big players, such as the US and UK. Does this tread signal a long-term shift in the global balance of cultural power, particularly as developing economies like Brazil, India and China command more and more attention.

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