Friday, February 5, 2016

The Peculiar Sadness of Untranslated Books

Books are amazing. If you're reading this, I assume you feel the same.  Books can transport you to a futuristic dystopia, to ancient Egypt, or into the brain of a sentient animal.  I would say "the sky's the limit" but most science fiction disproves that statement.

Think of how many books you have read that gave you a book hangover.


As painful as a book hangover can be, it's also one of the best feelings in the world. 

Here's where the peculiar sadness comes in:
1. Most of my favorite books were written in English.
2. Some books that I absolutely love are not incredibly well-known.
3. A tiny minority of books published in other languages are every translated into English.  There are exceptions, of course.
4. I know that not every book published in English is going to be translated into other languages.  The opposite is also true - few books published in not-English are going to be translated into English.
5.  By doing some "Book Math Law of Averages" I can determine that there are books that exist in this world that I would love but will never have the chance to read because I don't speak every language and they will never be translated into English.

And that's the thought that makes me feel like this:





Any books translated into English that you know and would recommend?

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