Translation and diversity
2012-01-09 13:48:04 by JC

Books and translations are central in the exchange between people and cultures, hence at the core of cultural diversity as specified in the respective 2002 UNESCO Universal Declaration.

But what does this mean practically?

In 2014, we curated the BookExpo America Global Market Forum: Books in Translation. Wanderlust for the Written Word" in New York.

Since 2008, we map and systematically analyze how translations of works of fiction travel across roughly a dozen European markets and languages, tracking the overall patterns and flows of translation, and research multiple case studies, by language, or works and authors, resulting in the series of the Diversity Reports (with Verein für kulturelle Transfers).

Aside from the stand alone reports, a number of essays have been published, discussing why translation matters.

Preparing the Diversity Report 2018
2018-03-27 14:26:32 by rw

The Diversity Report 2018 is under way, for release in November of this year.
As in its earlier iterations since 2008, the new report will map and analyze the European book markets with regard to translated fiction, looking from various angles into how big and small original languages perform.
To broaden and deepen the reach of the Diversity Reports, we approach stakeholders from various countries, to join, and support, the research effort.
Initial funding has been provided by Slovenia and Austria.
An summary of what the Diversity Report 2018 will bring up can be found for free download at the end of this article.
More details coming up soon.

Mapping translated fiction across the many languages in Europe: The Diversity Report 2016 is tracking actors, markets and drivers behind translations of contemporary fiction.

  • Which are the stories that travel best across Europe, connecting authors across languages, styles and book cultures, to a broad variety of audiences?

  • What facilitates such journeys? And what are the roadblocks that make it most difficult for a novel, to be received outside of the context of its origination?

  • Which markets, and environments welcome translations? How do grants and subsidies work that aim at opening the exchange? What drives translation? What blocks it?

Building on the Diversity Reports 2008, 2009 and 2010, a new study analyses how works of literary fiction are translated across European book markets and languages.

The study is assembling rich and original data, from researching translations of ca. 250 contemporary authors of diverse background and orientation, in over 10 languages, as well as numerous case studies highlighting key developments of the past five years, like success patterns among recent blockbuster authors, the impact of major awards on authors and their translations, the role of national and European translation grants, or the recent emergence of new digital platforms and models of publication, promotion and collaboration relevant to translated literature.

The Diversity Report 2016 can be downloaded free of charge here.

Find an executive summary and the table of content at the end of this article.

Interested stakeholders - especially researchers, policy makers, analysts, or rights professionals - are encouraged to apply for access of the complete data tables of the research on translations of the works of ca. 250 contemporary authors across 10 languages, in both detailed tables, and as interactive Pivot format for additional research. Please use the contact form of this website.

The Diversity Report 2016 is an initiative of Verein für kulturelle Transfers / Cultural Transfers, co-authored by Rüdiger Wischenbart, Miha Kovac and Yana Genova, with additional research by Julia Coufal and Michaela Anna Fleischhacker.

It has been supported and made possible by the Austrian Bundeskanzleramt, the city of Vienna, and the Vienna Hochschuljubliäumsstiftung.

We strongly encourage readers of the report to spreading the word, and provide critical feedback!


Diversity Report 2010
2011-10-25 14:28:47 by JC

Who gets translated in European fiction? And who is left out? A survey of 200 well renowned authors of contemporary fiction across 12 European languages.

Miha Kovac and Rüdiger Wischenbart.
With Jennifer Jursitzky and Sabine Kaldonek.
Research by Julia Coufal.

The Diversity Report 2010 aims at portraying and mapping how a significant sample of the best renowned contemporary authors of literary fiction in Europe shape cultural diversity (and its limits) across 15 European book markets.

Translation of works of fiction makes stories, memories and idea travel across cultural boundaries. And literary authors and their work stand for the cultural richness of this continent.

However, our understanding of the flows of - and the barriers to - translation mostly lacks the empirical groundwork for a solid analysis.

Building on its two preceding reports, the Diversity Report 2010 will track ca. 200 well established fiction authors and their work across large parts of the European book markets and hence the cultural landscapes for a detailed account of

* Who is translated into which languages, and who is not;

* What languages are more receptive for translations, or are better received by other territories, than others;

* What are the overarching patterns and trends with regard to translations of the core of European contemporary fiction?

Surveyed authors will include writers from English (British and South African), French, German, Austrian, Spanish, Swedish, Italian as well as, with specific emphasis, Central and Southeast Europe.

The Diversity Report 2010 was presented and debated at the World Book Summit 2011 in Ljubljana, Slovenia and at the London Book Fair 2011.

Supported by the City of Ljubljana - Cankarjev Dom.

Diversity Report 2010

Diversity Report 2009
2011-10-25 14:39:56 by JC

Cultural diversity in translations of books: Mapping fiction authors across Europe.

Miha Kovac and Rüdiger Wischenbart.
With research by Jennifer Jursitzky and Sabina Muriale.

From a general understanding of cultural diversity and books to a road map of literary translation in Europe

The goal of this report is to develop a framework to continuously observe and analyze the career paths of fiction authors and their work across European book markets, with a special emphasis on translation, and how books travel across linguistic borders.

The Diversity Report 2009 has been initially presented at the On Translation conference in Vienna 2009.

Supported by ERSTE Stiftung, BMUKK and Wien Kultur.

Diversity Report 2009

Diversity Report 2008
2011-10-25 14:45:36 by JC

An overview and analysis of translation statistics across Europe. Facts, trends, patterns.

Written by Rüdiger Wischenbart
with research by Jennifer Jursitzky and Sabina Muriale.

This report compiles and analyses statistics on books in translation across Europe over a period of more than 25 years (1979 to 2005, and in some aspects until 2008) and is based on the UNESCO Index Translationem as well as separate national book market statistics in Austria, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, and Poland.

The Diversity report 2008 has been initially presented at the On Translation conference in Vienna 2008.

Supported by ERSTE Stiftung.

Diversity Report 2008