Arab Literature (in English) brought my attention to this study of translation:
The big study that resulted from a number of translation reports — into and out of Arabic, Turkish, and Hebrew — is now available on the Anna Lindh Foundation’s website: “A Mapping of Translation in the Euro-Mediterranean Region.”
Anna Lindh folks note in the release: “The study takes into account the entire chain of translation: writers, translators, publishers, booksellers, libraries, translation programmes, media, and covers literary translation in its broadest sense, including part of the translation of human and social sciences, as well as theatre and children’s literature.”
I have only given it a first skim, but there is much to chew over and much that was expected. It is certain that translation both out of and into Arabic, for instance, is on the uptick, for different reasons. Into Arabic, the range of private-sector operations doing translation has increased: “It is incontestable that translation into Arabic has been growing in the last decade in all domains.” Out of Arabic, well, you know.
What’s being translated?
Translator-scholar Richard Jacquemond made an interesting point about translations into Arabic, and that is that “non-fiction (…) dominates more and more, that is to say, not only what bibliographies classify and a variety of human and social sciences, but also what in French is called the ‘livre pratique’ or in English ‘self help books’.”
This is not true in the reverse, where it is literature and religion that dominate translation out of Arabic. (Unfortunately, there are no statistics for English, as only data on literary works was gathered.)
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