I would like to welcome Stephen from 7Brands to NAG today. He is here to share an infographic and some brief information about 50 of the world’s most translated books. Hope you Enjoy!
An infographic released by the translation company 7Brands to celebrate World Book Day has shed light on 50 of the World’s Most Translated Books. Other than being a genius and writing a classic work of fiction such as Don Quixote, does the list provide any clues about how to make your book more appealing to translators and foreign audiences?
The good news is all types of books make the list. Commercially successful but critically mauled books like The Da Vinci Code and the Twilight Series sit happily along Nobel prize winning author Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s 100 Years of Solitude, while every age is catered for from The Hungry Caterpillar to Catcher in the Rye and Gone With The Wind.
With that said there are trends: a look down the list shows that many of the most translated books provide moral lessons – Pinocchio, Andersen’s Fairy Tales, The Alchemist, To Kill A Mockingbird and Charlotte’s Web are all didactic. The significant thing about these books are the lessons they teach are just as relevant for readers in Australia as they are in Argentina.
But books don’t always need universal themes to make them accessible to a wide audience. People are more adventurous than ever and want to discover more about cultures and places that are alien and little known to them. This is why books like Wolf Totem which takes a close look at the culture of Mongolian nomads and Han Chinese farmers have fared so well outside their country of origin.
This just goes to prove that you don’t need to write a certain way or about a certain thing for it to be of interest to people around the world – write something you love and feel passionate about, because passion is something that doesn’t get lost in translation.