Day: January 23, 2015

Adventures in 35 languages


Books by Frédéric Dard, and notably amongst  them the San-Antonio series, have been published worldwide since the mid 1950’s. Quantitatively, the pie chart above shows huge discrepancies between languages, with  a firm (and predictable) advantage to Romanic languages. Italian, Romanian and Spanish account for more than half of the total translations.  In many respects San-Antonio’s translations  reproduce a pattern well established since the  industrial development of international literary exchanges in the 19th Century. Like Dumas, Féval and others before him,  the stats of San-Antonio’s translations tell a story of  marketability and easy assimilation in Mediterranean and Latin cultures. In Northern Europe, on the other hand, competition is felt much harder. The table below confirms that.   At a qualitative level, one should, in addition, make a further distinction between the works translated. It would then appear that not only is Northern Europe more reticent, it actually  often  positively ignores one important aspect of the oeuvre : the San-Antonio series. The latter’s books are for example neither translated in Finland, nor in Sweden, both countries figures only reflecting translations of the more classic  crime books signed Frédéric Dard.  Continue reading