Tuesday Ten: Language Day

February 21 was first established as International Mother Language Day by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1999. It was organized as a celebration of linguistic and cultural diversity. It is part of a larger initiative to revive many communities’ linguistic heritage as many ethnic languages may become extinct in the decades to come.

Since most of us aren’t blessed to be polyglots, here are 10 books that were translated into English:

#1 “War and Peace” by Leo Tolstoy

  • Published: Serialized 1865-1867; book 1869
  • Translated from: Russian
  • Translated into English: 1899 by Nathan Haskel Dole
  • I’m still mad about this book. I read it in middle school because it was worth a lot of points in Accelerated Reader. I received special permission to check it out longer than they usually allowed and was allowed to take the test twice. I didn’t pass the test because the names were spelled differently in the book and the test (I’m sure due to translations) and I couldn’t keep the people straight.

#2 “The Diary of a Young Girl” by Anne Frank

  • Published: 1947
  • Translated from: Dutch
  • Translated into English: 1952 by Barbara Mooyaart-Doubleday (1950 unpublished translation by Rosey E. Pool)

#3 “The Stranger” (Published in English as “The Outsider”) by Albert Camus

  • Published: 1942
  • Translated from: French
  • Translated into English: 1946 by Stuart Gilbert

#4 “Desert Flowers” by Paul Pen

  • Published: 2017
  • Translated from: Spanish
  • Translated into English: 2017 Simon Bruni

#5 “Summer House with Swimming Pool” by Herman Koch

  • Published: 2011
  • Translated from: Dutch
  • Translated into English:  2014 by Sam Garrett

#6 “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho

  • Published: 1988
  • Translated from: Portuguese
  • Translated into English: 1993

#7 “My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry” by Fredrik Backman

  • Published: 2013
  • Translated from: Swedish
  • Translated into English: 2015

#8 “The Murmur of Bees” by Sofía Segovia

  • Published: 2015
  • Translated from: Spanish
  • Translated into English: 2019 by Simon Bruni

#9 “Frankenstein in Baghdad” by Ahmed Saadawi

  • Published: 2013
  • Translated from: Arabic
  • Translated into English: 2018 by Jonathan Wright

#10 “The Vegetarian” by Han Kang

  • Published: 2007
  • Translated from: Korean
  • Translated into English: 2015 by Deborah Smith

One comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s