23 December 09 | Chad W. Post

Since we’re basically at the end of the year, I thought it would be a good time to do one last final update to the 2009 Translation Database . . . and to post the first one of 2010.

First off, here’s the link to download the 2009 Translation spreadsheet. As you can see, this file contains all the original fiction and poetry translations released in the U.S. this past year. (And by “original,” I mean never before published in English translation in any form. So no retranslations, reprints, paperback versions of hardcovers, etc.)

Although there may be a title or two that I’m missing, I think this is basically it for 2009. A few titles actually came off this list recently—two poetry books from a publisher that had to delay them to 2010 thanks to our awesome economy.

Here are some general comparisons:

In 2008 there were 362 total titles published (280 fiction, 82 poetry);
In 2009 there were 348 total titles published (283 fiction, 65 poetry).

So as I pointed out in the last update, the number of fiction titles stayed about the same (up slightly this year), the number of poetry collections published in translation in 2009 was down almost 14% mostly due to small publishers delaying titles, etc.

The most translated language in 2009 was Spanish (59 books), followed by French (51), German (31), Arabic (22), Italian (18), Japanese (18), Swedish (18), Russian (12), and Norwegian (11).

In terms of country, France was at the top (32 books), followed by Italy (19), Japan (19), Spain (19), Sweden (18), Germany (11), Norway (11), Russia (11), Austria (10), China (10), and Turkey (10).

(One thing that stands out to me from these numbers is just how published the Francophone countries are. There were 19 books translated from the French from authors living outside of France. A good number of these from Quebecois writers . . .)

I haven’t entered much of anything for 2010 yet, but just for fun (and to help write my next post), I ran the numbers we have so far for next year. Here’s the link to download the 2010 Translation spreadsheet.

Not too many really interesting numbers here, but I have already identified 73 books, the vast majority of which are coming out in January, February, and March, so maybe 2010 will be a good year for literature in translation . . .


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