Translation Databases: May 2010 Update

It’s been months since I last posted an update of the translation databases . . . And I know full well that even this version of the 2010 database isn’t anywhere near complete.

So if there’s anything you’ve translated/published/read that’s missing, please just send me an e-mail. I have an intern starting next week who will be updating all of this, going through catalogs, going through all issues of PW and Library Journal, etc., in search of titles that haven’t been logged in yet.

But anyway, the data from 2008 and 2009 is stable, and even the preliminary 2010 stuff is interesting to consider. Just to reiterate, we only track original translations—books that have never before appeared in English. We don’t log in retranslations of classics (like the new edition of Kafka’s America) or reprints of titles that have gone OP (which is why there aren’t more NYRB titles in here).

Taking that all into consideration, it’s worth pointing out that there was a slight drop-off between 2008 and 2009—thanks to the decrease in poetry. In 2008 there were 362 total books released, 281 of which were fiction, 81 of which were poetry collections. In 2009 that number dropped to 355 (essentially a 2% decrease), but fiction titles increased to 283, whereas poetry “plummeted” to only 72.

So far in 2010 I’ve identified 156 books, 132 of which are works of fiction, 24 of which are poetry. (And as mentioned above, this is woefully incomplete. The next update should be more helpful in predicting.)

If you visit here you can download Excel spreadsheets for each year (2008-2010) with information on all titles published, who published them, which languages they were translated from, etc. etc.

And again, let me know what I’m missing . . . It’s not all that easy doing this by yourself, so please forgive any oversights and typos.

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