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Anniversary of Translation Index Marked

UNESCO Marks Anniversary of Translation Index With Round Table

New York, Dec 5 2007 11:00AM

Shakespeare in Russian, Lenin in Swedish and Agatha Christie in Chinese… these and many other great works that have been shared across cultures are documented in the Index Translationum, the database maintained by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), which is holding a round-table discussion at its Paris headquarters today to mark the 75th anniversary of this comprehensive database listing the world’s translated works.

The discussion will be on the topic “Measuring translation flows: what for?” and is being held with the participation of the Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales (INALCO), according to a press release issued by UNESCO.

The index, which currently has some 1,700,000 entries listing more than 250,000 authors, contains cumulative bibliographical information on books translated and published in some 800 languages in about 130 UNESCO Member States since 1979. Updated every four months, it is now accessible online and used by librarians, archivists, researchers, editors, journalists, translators and others.

The references registered before 1979 are available in the printed editions of the index, which are in all national depositary libraries and at the UNESCO library in Paris.

Each year the national libraries or bibliography centres in participating countries send UNESCO the bibliographical data concerning translated books – but not periodicals, articles, patents or brochures – in all fields of knowledge, including literature, the social and human sciences, art, history and the natural sciences.

The index shows that the world’s most translated authors include William Shakespeare, Agatha Christie, Jules Verne, Vladimir Lenin and Walt Disney Productions. The most translated languages are English, French, German, Russian, Italian, Spanish and Swedish, while the languages with the most number of works in translation are German, Spanish, French, English, Japanese, Dutch and Portuguese. Germany, Spain, France and Japan are the countries which carry out the most translations.


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