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In 2011, One in Six New Books In France Was a Translation

In Global Trade Talk by Olivia Snaije

By Olivia Snaije

french flagIn a study released last week by French trade publication Livres Hebdo, one in six new books that are published in France have been translated. Books in translation made up 15.9% of books published in 2011, up 8.7%.

Although translations from English were still the most numerous — six out of ten translations in 2011 — translations from Scandinavian languages, Chinese and to a lesser extent, Arabic, have increased the most since 2010.

With the popularity of novels by Scandinavian authors such as Stieg Larsson, Jo Nesbø, Henning Mankell, and Camilla Lackberg, the number of translations to French have increased from 145 books in 2010 to 230 in 2011, and have gone up 11% in the past five years.

Eighty-four books were translated from Chinese in 2011, and Arabic language books saw a 30% hike last year. Korean, however, is the language that has seen the biggest drop in translation, down 16% in the past five years.

About the Author

Olivia Snaije

Olivia Snaije is a journalist and editor based in Paris who writes about translation, literature, graphic novels, the Middle East, and multiculturalism. She is the author of three books and has contributed to newspapers and magazines including The Guardian, The Global Post, and The New York Times.