Is the Power Balance in Translation Shifting Away from English?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

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

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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.

About the Author

Edward Nawotka

A widely published critic and essayist, Edward Nawotka serves as a speaker, educator and consultant for institutions and businesses involved in the global publishing and content industries. He was also editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives since the launch of the publication in 2009 until January 2016.