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Italy Top Market for Translations
Herbert R. Lottman -- 1/10/00

Statistics confirm what agents and rights managers always knew in their hearts: Italy is in the top echelon of translating countries, and English is what gets translated most often there--because authors writing in that lingua sell best. In 1998, the latest year for which data are available, of 44,964 titles issued (new and reprint), 12,526 (27.9%) were translations, of which 7,423 were from English (or 16.5% of all books released that year). French is a far-distant number two, at 3.7%. Printings of books from English averaged 8,624 copies against 5,196 from French--and 4,756 for Italian originals.

Figures are tentative, warned Italy's trade monthly Giornale della Libreria, and they don't include every single active publisher. But they do indicate tendencies. Of the 44,964 titles reported 27,991 were new, representing a 2.3% increase over the previous year. But average printings were down 6.5% that year for new titles, 13.1% for all books.
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