Tag Archives: how many languages spoken in the world

Who is the Most Translated Author?

alex atkins bookshelf booksSome used bookstores have a fascinating section called “Translated Authors” or “Translated Works” which include great works translated into foreign languages. Imagine picking up a copy of Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in Japanese, Herman Melville’s Moby Dick in Tagalog, William Shakespeare’s Sonnets in Russian. Some bibliophiles collect a great work in every foreign language, so these are fantastic finds. (Incidentally, as of this writing, there are 7,117 living languages in the world; although only 23 languages account for about half of the world’s population.) Naturally, these discoveries invite the question: who is the author that has been translated into the most languages? The United Nation’s Organization for Education, Science, and Culture (UNESCO) and surveyed the literature, for works published between 1979 and 2012, and published this list in their “Index Translationum” (number in parenthesis is number of works translated from original language):

1. Agatha Christie (7,236)
2. Jules Verne (4,751)
3. William Shakespeare (4,296)
4. Enid Blyton (3,924)
5. Barbara Cartland (3,652)
6. Danielle Steel (3,628)
7. Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (3,593)
8. Hans Christian Andersen (3,520)
9. Stephen King (3,357)
10. Jacob Grimm (2,977)

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For further reading: http://www.unesco.org/xtrans/bsstatexp.aspx?crit1L=5&nTyp=min&topN=50
https://www.ethnologue.com/guides/how-many-languages


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