Will English Publishers Translate Indian-language Literature?

In Discussion by Hannah Johnson

Current initiatives in India to promote writing in local languages could mean that less Indian literature reaches English-speaking readers

By Hannah Johnson


After attending a panel at the Frankfurt Book Fair on the rise of local languages in India’s literature, Tolu Ogunlesi wrote that India’s “publishing industry (publishing in local languages) is booming, and more Indian-language books are being directly translated into foreign languages, without having to go through the traditional English route.”

If India’s publishing industry concentrates on literature written in any of its 22 official languages other than English, it’s possible that UK and US readers might not benefit from the richness of this emerging body of work.

It’s often said in the publishing industry that the English-language markets translate fewer books than other markets. Does this mean that fewer Indian titles make their way into English language markets?

Tell us what you think in the comments.

About the Author

Hannah Johnson


Hannah Johnson is the publisher of international book industry magazine Publishing Perspectives, which provides daily information and news about book markets around the world. In addition to building partnerships with international cultural and trade organizations, she works with the Frankfurt Book Fair to organize and support a number of its overseas initiatives. Hannah has also worked as the managing editor for an online media company, The Hooch Life, focused on craft distillers and cocktail experts. Prior to that, she worked as a project manager for the Frankfurt Book Fair’s New York office, managing various business and marketing activities.