Three percent? New research from Literature Across Frontiers

Publishing Data and Statistics on Translated Literature in the United Kingdom and Ireland is a new research report which reveals the first ever accurate figures for the number of translated titles published […]

Posted by Nia Davies on 21 March 2013 Literature Across Frontiers

Publishing Data and Statistics on Translated Literature in the United Kingdom and Ireland is a new research report which reveals the first ever accurate figures for the number of translated titles published in the British Isles, and recommends a mechanism to collect further data.

This new report is the outcome of a feasibility study undertaken by Literature Across Frontiers in 2012 with the support of Arts Council England, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the EU Culture Programme. The purpose of the study was to recommend a solution to current problems in the form of a proposal to improve the mechanism by means of which information on the publishing of literary translation is collected and shared, in order to facilitate research and assessment of trends in the future.

Statistics derived from analysis of data provided by the British Library for three sample years — 2000, 2005, and 2008, — bring us the first ever accurate figures regarding the publishing of translated literature in the British Isles.

These figures reveal a steady growth of translated titles, showing that published translations stood at:

  • 1,721 in 2000, with 529 titles representing translated poetry, fiction and drama;
  • 2,014 in 2005 with 605 titles representing translated poetry, fiction and drama;
  • 2,207 in 2008 with 753 titles representing translated poetry, fiction and drama.

This corresponds with the following percentages: approximately 2.5% of all publications and 4.5% of fiction, poetry, drama (literature) are translations.

Download the full report and bibliography on our research pages

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