Last night I was doing my weekly (sometimes bimonthly) check to my university email account (there were 30 pages of spam to clean up) and I found a link to a great article from The Guardian in the U.K. in one of my academic listservs. It is titled "Lost: Translation" and discusses the fact that less and less translations into English are published while the opposite happens around the world: countless books written in English are translated to every single language. One of the scariest statistics cited in the article was: "Ninety-six per cent of the world's languages are spoken by just four per cent of the world's population." It was also the first time I heard the expression "eco-linguist," referring to David Crystal (whose work is really fascinating). Another thing that surprised me was the fact that many writers from other countries are actually moving to anglophone countries and learning English so they can write in this language and have more readers. Wow!
Anyway, this issue is actually one of the subjects of my dissertation (I really want to blog more about it, but I'll wait a bit more until after the defense, etc) and I decided to do an informal survey with my blog readers since I know most of you are voracious readers (I'm looking particularly at you chicagomama :).
QUESTION: In the past year or couple of years, how many books which were originally published in another language and later translated into English have you read, if any?
Thanks, I'll be delighted if you chime in. Do mention the name of the book if you can, and more or less how many books have you read in the period as opposed to translated books (like e.g. "I read around 100 books and only 1 was translated into English")
Seven Quick Takes: Blooming Viburnum Edition
7 hours ago