The 5 Most Translated Authors of All Time

The 5 Most Translated Authors of All Time

The weather is certainly doing its best to boost the mood of the nation, but we thought it was time we also did our bit. So, rather than our usual brand of hard-hitting translation tips and tricks, we decided to explore some of the most translated authors of all time, in a new segment we’re calling ‘Lockdown Lite’ – or something.

So, without further ado, just who are the most translated authors that are uniting readers around the world right now? These figures from UNESCO reveal all.

1. Agatha Christie

The world’s most translated author is Torquay’s very own Agatha Christie. The prolific Dame Agatha wrote more than 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections. She is particularly noted for those that feature the prim but worldly wise Miss Marple and the moustachioed Hercule Poirot. Some of her most famous works include Murder on the Orient Express and The Mousetrap. With 7,236 translations of her works from English, thousands of people around the world will have their noses in an Agatha Christie novel right now.

2. Jules Verne

Jules Verne is probably not the best-known author on this list, but name a few of his books – 80 Days Around the World, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and Journey to the Center of the Earth – and you’ll quickly understand why he’s firmly in second place. With 4,751 translations of his books originating from French, the Nantes-born novelist is the most widely read science fiction writer of all time.

3. William Shakespeare

“O William, William, where art thou published, William?”. Well, according to UNESCO, all over the world. There are 4,296 translations from English of the British bard’s work, with many of his plays, sonnets and poems known all around the globe. Having received a dismal grade after trying to do an A-Level English Literature module on Hamlet without reading the book, your humble narrator has rather taken against Shakespeare – but to be fair, it probably wasn’t his fault.

4. Enid Blyton

Having sold 600 million books, Enid Blyton continues to be one of the world’s best selling authors. Her most notable works include the Famous Five and Secret Seven series, but she also deserves a huge shout out for her work on Noddy! There are 3,924 translations of Blyton’s books from English, which is testament to her enduring and universal appeal.

5. Barbara Cartland

Now you’re talking! With titles such as The Wicked Marquis, Cupid Rides Pillion and The Earl’s Revenge, Barbara Cartland was a proper writer. Focusing on romance in the Victorian era – and why not – Cartland wrote an astounding 723 novels and rightfully has a place in the Guinness World Records for writing the most books in one year. For all those procrastinators claiming to suffer from writer’s block, Cartland wrote 23 novels in 1976 alone, and we have no doubt that each and every one is brilliant.

Connecting people around the globe

We hope it has brought you some comfort to know that the global lockdown has probably given a taxi driver in Chennai the time he’d never normally have to get stuck into a Barbara Cartland novel. But it’s not just the world’s most translated authors that are bringing us together.

At Linguistica International, we are continuing to connect businesses and customers all over the world. For help with your next translation, transcreation or copywriting project, please call 02392 987 765 or email today.