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García Márquez unseats Cervantes as the most translated author from Spanish in the 21st century


The first World Translation Map of the Cervantes Institute provides data on the versions of literary works translated from Spanish into other languages ​​from 1950 to the present



of the Latin American novel, with the publication of

One Hundred Years of Solitude

, by Gabriel García Márquez, in 1967, caused shock waves in literature that have promoted the Colombian Nobel Prize as the most translated from Spanish to other languages ​​if we take the period between 2000 and 2021. It is one of the conclusions of the first great Map of the World Translation of the Instituto Cervantes, which EL PAÍS previews in scoop.

This is a search for the works and authors in Spanish translated into a dozen languages ​​that starts in 1950 and ends in 2021. If these seven decades are taken as a whole, Miguel de Cervantes is the first, with 1,386 translations, followed by precisely García Márquez, with 1,270, and Isabel Allende in third place (861).

The fourth is Borges (768), followed by Mario Vargas Llosa (765) and then two poets, Federico García Lorca and Pablo Neruda.

Carlos Fuentes,

Regarding this century, the Cervantes points out about the leadership of García Márquez that it is "the trend that has been seen", in the absence of specific figures.

Behind him appear Isabel Allende, Jorge Luis Borges and Mario Vargas Llosa, a clear Latin American predominance.

The first Spaniard is Cervantes himself, followed in sixth place by Carlos Ruiz Zafón and Arturo Pérez-Reverte.

The first places are completed by two Chileans, Luis Sepúlveda and Roberto Bolaño, and another Spaniard, Javier Marías.

This Map of Translation, which has the participation of the UNED Digital Humanities Innovation Laboratory and the collaboration of the General Directorate of Books and Reading Promotion, of the Ministry of Culture, will be presented next Wednesday, 29 , at the IX International Congress of the Spanish Language (CILE), which is held in Cádiz from March 27 to 30, the event attended by members of the 23 Spanish academies in the world together with philologists, writers, artists. .. organized by Cervantes, the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) and the Cádiz City Council.

The general director of the Book and Promotion of Reading, María José Gálvez, highlights from the Map, by email, "the translation of the authors of the



the incorporation to the most translated of authors like Marías or Pérez-Reverte”.

The Map focuses on 10 languages: English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Swedish, Russian and, outside of Europe, Arabic, Japanese and Chinese.

Its managers point out that more languages ​​are expected to be incorporated soon.

The writer Isabel Allende, in an interview in 2019.INMA_FLORES

From the great possibility of data that it offers, we can look back to 1950 and focus only on women writers.

Behind the Chilean Isabel Allende are María Isabel Sánchez Vergara, a Barcelona author of children's books, highly successful for her illustrated biographies, with 323;

ahead of Santa Teresa de Jesús, with 268;

the Mexican Laura Esquivel and the Cuban Alma Flor Ada, who has written mostly works for children, both tied at 112 translations, and the Spanish Anna Llimós Plomer, also from the world of children, with 108, and Almudena Grandes, who died in November 2021. , with 102 versions.

This report "is a way to discover the library of communities interested in culture in Spanish around the world," says the director of Culture at Cervantes, Raquel Caleya.

A tool that "will be useful for writers, translators, editors, booksellers, readers...".

Gálvez adds that "it will have information that up to now was not available and that will allow more efficient decisions to be made, either from the public sphere or from the private sector."

The website, designed by the company Prodigioso Volcán, presents the following sections: Works most translated from Spanish, Languages ​​most translated by year, Authors most translated from Spanish, Map of the cities that publish the most works, and Translators who translate the most.

In addition, it has a search engine.

Caleya explains that this project will connect users with "the nearly 300,000 bibliographic records from the OCLC WorldCat consortium's large database, which contains 517,963,343 bibliographic records in 483 languages."

That is the source from which the Map comes, "a unique database due to its size and that facilitates the identification and access to library collections from anywhere in the world."

"In addition, it is constantly enriched with new and corrected information."

Other conclusions can be drawn from this sea of ​​data: for example, between 2000 and 2021, English clearly dominates as the favorite language to translate works in Spanish, with 45,547, more than double the second language, French, with 21,375.

The third position is for German (11,837) and the fourth for another European language, Italian (8,970), but already closely followed by Chinese (8,232).

For Gálvez, "it is important to maintain the system of public aid for translation into foreign languages ​​to go where the private sector cannot."

If we choose titles from 1950, Don


is unbeatable, translated 1,140 times.

Cervantes's masterpiece has also been the most translated work since 1950 in 49% of the years.

It is followed at a very long distance

by One Hundred Years of Solitude


The Colombian Nobel Prize winner places another novel in third position,

Love in the Times of Cholera


The Map also provides the preferred works in the different languages ​​of the study.

Thus, in English Don Quixote leads, with 401 translations;

It is followed by an unexpected title, the Chronicles of the

True History of the Conquest of New Spain

, by the conquistador Bernal Díaz del Castillo, with 98;


One Hundred Years of Solitude

, which has 91. In German, the gentleman of the sad figure wins again, with 136 translations, followed very far by

One Hundred Years of Solitude

, with 28;


Oráculo manual y arte de prudencia

(21), a classic from the 17th century, by Baltasar Gracián.

In Arabic the duo Don Quixote, 28;


One Hundred Years of Solitude,

13, and

The Family of Pascual Duarte

, by Camilo José Cela (9) appears.

Farther East, in Chinese the favorite is also

Don Quixote

(46), but this time second place goes to another eye-opening work,

Introduction of the Symbol of Faith,

by the 16th-century Dominican Fray Luis de Granada, with 5;

who also appears third with another volume of his,

Guide to Sinners

, also with 5. In Russian, the standard returns,


(79 translations);

One Hundred Years of Solitude

, 37, and another work of the




, by Julio Cortázar, with 9.

At the same time, there are data that attract attention if we go back to that decade of the fifties of the last century, such as the presence in fourth place of


, the major work of Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer, the founder of Opus Dei, published in 1934, with 142 translations, the fruit of a national-Catholic Spain.

Or, again,

Oracle manual and art of prudence,

converted to other languages ​​116 times.

“It is this type of book, like

The Prince

by Machiavelli, which is a business


, after its publication in the United States, in the nineties, it had a boom among entrepreneurs or executives in the business society of that country,” he points out. Caleya.

They complete up to tenth place:

True history of the conquest of New Spain,

by Bernal Díaz del Castillo;

Exemplary Novels,



Life is a Dream,

by Calderón de la Barca;

The Shadow of the Wind,

by Carlos Ruiz Zafón



La Celestina,

by Fernando de Rojas


There is also the option to look at more recent phenomena.

That is precisely where

La sombra del viento

stands out , which was published in 2001 and already had 20 translations in 2004 and 18 in 2005.

The report prepared by Cervantes adds that the decade from 1990 to 2000 has been the one in which the largest number of books from Spanish have been translated since 1950. Always with English and French as the most representative languages, in 1950 the former comprised 63% of translations and in 2020 it maintained the lead, but with 50%, a slight drop.

In those same decades, the Italian, for example, has tripled, from 4% to 12%.

"The number of translations published since 1950 has been growing until 2005, since then it has experienced a slight decline," the authors point out.

In these seven decades there is a milestone, the year 1968, the one with the most translations.

“It is because of the



One Hundred Years of Solitude

”, indicates Caleya.

Although there has been another crucial moment, 2003. “It is a stage prior to the great economic crisis.

That year there was a 20% growth in translations due to the boost of digital publishing.

The electronic book has led to an increase in editions and readers”, underlines the study.

Meanwhile, it is worth stopping at the people who make it possible for a Berliner to enjoy the suffocating Lima universe of

Conversation in the Cathedral

, by Mario Vargas Llosa: the translators.

Two names are the ones that have taken the most works to other languages: Rosa Zubizarreta and Chris Andrews.

The first, author of children's books, has 48 translations, all into English.

The second, 42 translations (39 of them into English).

This Australian poet, born in 1962, has had among his favorite authors the Argentine César Aira and the Chilean Roberto Bolaño.

Both are followed by three more women: Bernice Randall (28), all in English, Katherine Silver (27, in English).

In fifth place, the translator Elisa Amado, with 21 works.

In the case of a Map, finally, it is worth taking a look at the information on the cities that most translate works into Spanish: New York, with 15% of the total;

It is followed by Paris, with 11.4%, Rio de Janeiro, 9.03%, and London, with 6.7%.

After the global crisis due to the pandemic, the general director of the Book points out that the time of the covid "brought more readers and with it a greater need for books and, therefore, translations."

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Source: elparis

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