Last week we asked our readers about the scarcity of books in translation, and what can be done to get more of them into the U.S. market. The overwhelming sentiment was that the problem is more about demand than supply: Americans simply don’t have the appetite for foreign books. Many questioned if there was enough demand to make publishing translations economically feasible. There is also concern with the process of translation: the quality of translations, rights issues, and the lack of translated books moving to digital formats. Check out some of the comments from the discussion below.
“Americans are isolationists. 23% have passports. When they do travel it isn't to learn about other cultures, it's to eat, swim and sunbathe…The world has become such a small place, children should be taught to be curious about their neighbors.” - Sydnee Elliot, via Facebook
“Develop accurate universal translators; go all digital & get better localizations from translators; have less rights issues.” - Xavier Santana (@xbsaint), via Twitter
“Unfortunately without the youth being interested in intellectual reading, it is a challenge to get an increased number of translations from other nations in print here in America…By importing mainstream amusement reading material, there is a possibility of getting more translation works over here.” - Josie Oden, via Facebook
“For a start, better translations that do more than translate.” - Jonell Galloway (@RamblingEpicure), via Twitter
“I don't know why that is. I live near the border of Mexico and… I suspect those who seek them either get them on the other side of the river or they have to order them.” - Ed Vela, via Facebook