Top 10 of the most translated authors in the world, those who know no borders

If one day you want to be an author and publish books and be recognized by the international community of readers, we don’t want to depress you, but basically: in France we publish an average of 75,000 books a year, more than 65,000 different authors and there have moreover been three times as many authors in France since 1979 (source).

On the one hand, it’s great because we have a lot of books to read, on the other hand, it’s a stretch of the thong to make yourself known. But in history it happened that people farted all the scores and landed in this ultimate ranking of the most translated authors in the world. This list is based on the Index Translationum, a project developed by Unesco which lists translations of all literary works since 1932.

1. Agatha Christie: translated into 73 languages

It’s simple, she is in the Guinness Book of Records, she is the most widely read fiction writer in the whole world. Two billion of his books have been sold. 1 billion in French. 4 million are still sold every year. It has been translated no less than 7,233 times. Les Dix P’tits Nègres is the best-selling novel of all time. She is even more popular in France than Emile Zola. He is the supreme star of bankable literature. And it’s quite comical when you think about it because his first book La Mystérieuse Affaire de Styles sold barely 2000 copies in 1920. Vengeance.

2. Jules Verne: translated into 150 to 200 languages

Obviously, no sufficiently precise source gives the number of languages ​​into which Jules Verne has been translated, but we can count on a figure that ranges between 150 and 200, at least if we rely on these biographers (even if the figure has no not been proven so far).

3. William Shakespeare: translated into we don’t even know how many languages ​​but many

A major figure in English literary culture, this little genius knew how to juggle between comedy and tragedy. We owe him the greatest theatrical masterpieces, he is performed all over the world. We don’t even know exactly how many languages ​​it has been translated into but according to the Index Translationum it is in third place so technically we can say that Shakespeare managed his career rather well.

4. Enid Blyton: translated into 90 languages

The name of this British novelist from the beginning of the 20th century may speak less to you than Agatha Crhistie, yet we owe her Oui-Oui and the Club of Five . Basically she has sold over 600 million copies of her books. Must say that she was able to produce up to 50 books per year (and she has always denied having used other authors to accuse such production). Next to Amélie Nothomb, she’s really a big lazy.

5. Barbara Cartland: translated into 38 languages

Absolute mistress of romance novels, it is estimated that she has sold more than 750 million copies (some estimates even push the figure up to two billion) and written no less than 723 novels. Died at 98 in 2000, we can say that she crossed the entire 20th century with rose water.

6. Danielle Steel: translated into 43 languages

Still alive (still standing), the 71-year-old American author has 80 best-sellers to her name, her books have been sold in 69 countries and since 1981 she has consistently topped the New York Times bestseller list ( which also makes it enter the Guinness Book of Records for having remained in the list of best saddles 390 weeks in a row). 22 of his novels have been adapted for television. There are those who have verve.

7. Lenin

No source allows us to know the number of languages ​​for the translations of Lenin’s work, but we know that he had a monstrous production in the Marxist line (the French translation of his complete works has 45 volumes) and his writings are still today the most translated in the world.

8. Hans Christian Andersen: translated from translated

Alexandre Dumas nicknamed him “the good, the pleasant Danish poet”. The unfortunate was however not badly criticized by his family who accused him of scratching the celebrity all over the world and of fooling around with the greatest such as Balzac, Lamartine, etc. Indeed, it happens that it is better known throughout Europe than in Denmark, it is also for this reason that it has benefited from an incalculable number of translations.

9. Stephen King: translated 3354 times from English

The guy has produced more than 200 short stories, 50 novels (7 of which were written under the pseudonym Richard Bachman) and sold 350 million copies worldwide, so of course there has been some translation, do you want some? .

10. Jacob Grimm: translated into over 160 languages

Listed as part of the cultural heritage of humanity, the Brothers Grimm and their tales have been translated from German 2,976 times into more than 160 languages. However, the UNESCO classification only cites Jacob in tenth position and seems to dissociate him from his brother, but we do not know why. If anyone has the answer speak now or shut up forever.

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