Index Translationum  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The Index Translationum is an index of translated authors kept by Unesco.

Since the advent of the printing press, books had been translated at the initiative of individual publishers and booksellers, with no central record of such translations. To the orderly minds of the world's national librarians, the system seemed little better than anarchic. The League of Nations was pressured into setting up the first systematic record of translations. The Index Translationum was born in 1932.

In 1946, Unesco took over the chore. In 1979, the system was computerised and a true cumulative database began to take shape. Since there is no systematic data on global book sales, the Index has come to be the best available proxy. If you want to ask the question "Who are the most popular authors in the world?" then the Index is the only way to get an answer.


As of November 2009

The Index ranking is subject to change, for example, in April 2008, Shakespeare overtook Lenin, who was later overtaken by Blyton too.

As of August 2008

As of August 2008:

The Index ranking is subject to (perhaps unexpected) change, for example, as lately as April 2008, Shakespeare overtook Lenin.

As of February 2007

As of February 2007, the 10 most translated authors in the world with over 2000 translations each are:

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Index Translationum" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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