There are certain works of literature that span history with their importance and influence, reaching out to every culture and corner of the globe. These books are the most translated ones in history, spreading out far and wide for everyone to read. Here are the top five.
The Holy Book of Christianity has been translated into 469 separate languages, and is the bestselling book of all time. Perhaps the most influential title of all time, the Bible has far reaching effects both in religious and secular circles.
The classic children’s story, originally written in 1883, is known globally. The touching story of the puppet that came to life and wanted to be a real boy has been translated in 260 languages. Gepetto is the most well known puppet maker in the entire world, and this moral tale of lying and its consequences have influenced millions of children throughout the year.
What Does the Bible Really Teach?
Another religious text, this book has no attributed author. However, it is an examination of the Bible and its teachings, presenting the material in an easy to understand format for those who might have difficulty grasping the language. It’s been translated into 244 languages and has sold millions of copies, helping to further the influence of the Jehovah’s Witness organization.
The Pilgrim’s Progress
This story tells the tale of Paul Bunyan in the 17th century, a Puritan who struggled to reconcile his human feelings with his faith. This story was first published in 1678 and has since been translated into 200 languages.
This magazine is the production of a specific branch of Christianity known as the Jehovah’s Witness. The purpose of the magazine is to correlate modern events with the prophecies of the Bible. It reaches around 42 million people per month, and has been translated into 195 languages since its creation in 1879.
All of these five titles have one thing in common: they would not be possible without professional translation. Because of the sensitive themes covered in each title, accurate translation is necessary. To mistranslate something from a religious text could have far reaching negative consequences, for instance – just the same, mistelling a moral play such as Pinocchio or The Pilgrim’s Progress could make it difficult for the reader to grasp the message.
Photo by Helga Weber