Not only is rain good for the trees, but German books are getting translated! Someone at the fantabulous German Book Office New York has been counting translated books reviewed in the US publication Publisher's Weekly, they tell us. And guess what - you know how people always moan and groan about only three percent of books published in the States being translations? Well, they're wrong! It was actually 3.2% in 2010.
Here's my favourite part of the press release:
German remained high on the list of most translated languages with 30 translations in 2010 (compared to 19 in 2009), which can be divided in fiction (21 titles), nonfiction (7 titles) and Children’s Books (2 titles) -- second only to French. It can be said that German translations fare remarkably well in the fiction and non-fiction market with the numbers of sales in both categories nearly doubling compared to 2009 (Fiction: 13, Non-Fiction: 4), while the number of children’s books remained the same.
Now this is a wee bit odd, considering Chad W. Post counted 35 German fiction/poetry titles in 2010 (see below). It probably stems from the fact that the GBO analysed books reviewed in PW rather than combing through catalogues like Chad. On top of that, Chad doesn't include re-releases or re-translations in his statistics, which do add up when it comes to all those dead white Germans. The GBO kindly points out too that the Americans have an ongoing interest in WWII and the Holocaust, which is good for non-fiction titles (as long as they're not about anything else).
So in fact, we can safely assume there are almost literally kajillions of German books getting translated in the States. And just you wait and see what 2011 brings! I personally have ensured we match up to last year's two whole children's books translated from German, so I can imagine there might be a bit of an increase on that front...