European Union Prize for Literature

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6 March 2013

New research reveals the first ever accurate statistics for the publishing of literature in translation in the British Isles

Media Release: Monday 5th March 2013

Three percent?

New research from Literature Across Frontiers - Publishing Data and Statistics on Translated Literature in the United Kingdom and Ireland - reveals the first ever accurate figures for the number of translated titles published in the British Isles and recommends a mechanism to collect further data.

This new report is the outcome of a feasibility study undertaken by Literature Across Frontiers in 2012 with the support of Arts Council England, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the EU Culture Programme. The purpose of the study was to recommend a solution to current problems in the form of a proposal to improve the mechanism by means of which information on the publishing of literary translation is collected and shared, in order to facilitate research and assessment of trends in the future.

Statistics derived from analysis of data provided by the British Library for three sample years — 2000, 2005 and 2008 — bring us the first ever accurate figures regarding the publishing of translated literature in the British Isles.

These figures reveal a steady growth of translated titles, showing that published translations stood at:

This corresponds with the following percentages: approximately 2.5% of all publications and 4.5% of fiction, poetry, drama (literature) are translations.

The full report is available to download at

LAF is encouraging comments and feedback. Please email us at

About Literature Across Frontiers

Literature Across Frontiers (LAF) is a European platform for literary exchange, translation and policy debate cooperating with a network of partners on activities encompassing policy research and analysis, publication, translator training and skills development, joint participation in international book fairs, literature festivals and other forums, organisation of larger-scale projects, as well as conferences, seminars and workshops.

LAF is based at the Mercator Institute for Media, Languages and Culture at Aberystwyth University and works across Europe and beyond. LAF is supported by the Culture programme of the EU.

Contact details

Alexandra Büchler, Literature Across Frontiers Director
Office: +44 (0)1970 622 241 Email:

Literature Across Frontiers on Twitter: @MakingLitTravel