Do you read translated books?
Anna Karenina was the first translation I read. This was back when struggling through a story was akin to earning a badge of honor.
I loved the movie, but couldn’t get through the book for a long time, and I’m not sure if the translation or the original writing style made the difference. The bookstore clerk asked if I wanted the abridged or non-abridged version. He explained the first was edited for book clubs, an easier read. The non-condensed was just like Tolstoy’s, only not in Russian. Maybe I should’ve gotten the condensed version. Still, the book is a classic. It’s great, just had to be patient.
I also read Madame Bovary and wish I could remember more outside the general premise. But I read it a long time ago. Most recently I read the ultra-popular Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (found some errors, but the story kept my interest), and am really struggling with Wendy Guerra’s Everyone Leaves, translated from Spanish.
After a quick search, I found the most successful translations in literature.
1. Paulo Coelho: “The Alchemist”
Written in Portuguese and translated in more than 50 languages.
2. Gabriel García Márquez: “One Hundred Years of Solitude”
Written in Spanish and translated in dozens of languages.
3. Stieg Larsson: The “Millennium Series”
Originally written in Swedish, the books are everywhere.
4. Anne Frank: “Diary of a Young Girl”
Written in Dutch, although not by Anne herself, the book was translated in more than 50 languages. I would put this one at the very top for the subject matter alone.
What is the best translated book you ever read, and how did you like it?