By Edward Nawotka, Editor-in-Chief
Our friend and contributor Chad Post almost single handedly brought attention to the problem with translations in the United States, by pointing out that approximately just 3% of books published in the US are translations. While the actual percentage changes every year—and does indeed appear to be going up — it underscores the fact that such a paltry number of books from foreign countries and written in a foreign language make it into print in the United States. It’s not atypical to hear of a foreign bestseller that sells in all the major markets of the world except for the US. Don’t believe me…we have a story on one such book coming up.
Post continues his good work on the Three Percent blog, posting news about and review of translated literature. He offers frequent commentary about the state of the industry as well as helpful posts for translators looking for fellowship and other opportunities.
Among his biggest projects each year is compiling a database of all the books translated and published in the US — specifically, books that have been translated for the first time.
He recently posted his download the spreadsheet and draw your own conclusions.
And take note, the second most prolific publisher of translations in the US is…Amazon.