What are the World’s Most Translated Books?

Reading is important. It works as a catharsis for the people. Readers and scholars take books as a great escape and readers feel great pleasure to take comfort in reading books. There is a fiction and literary collection in almost every language. A lot of books from these get to manage to translate into other books due to their popularity and readership. Not everyone can read English, French Italian, or whatsoever language a famous book is published in. This is where translation plays its role and we get to explore the most translated books in the world. In order to make books available all over the world in the best possible languages and to reach potential readers writers and authors take this initiative where they collaborate with the relevant authorities to translate their books for good.


Here is the list of the most translated books ever that you can buy for better wisdom and insight.

1.  Bible

Bible is the world’s most translated book without a second thought. Whenever it comes to the most translated book in the world bible is there. Bible has been translated into more than 3350 languages and dialects too. Its new testament has over 2000 translations and the old testament is having around 700 translations.

It is reported that Bible was originally written in three languages and these are

  1. Greek
  2. Aramaic
  3. Hebrew

Also, it is estimated that more than 97% of the world’s population has the access to bible translated into a language that people are fluent in and comfortable reading. So in a nutshell, the Bible is the world’s most translated book with more than 6 billion readers all across the globe. It also falls in the books translated into French.

2. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

It is a timeless classic. Alice in wonderland is not only the favorite book of children, it is rather very popular among adults too. Lewis Carrol is the writer of this book and this book was published back in 1865 for the first time. This story revolves around a young girl Alice who lost her way and goes through a rabbit hole only to find herself in a magical world later.

This book was originally written in the English language and has its translated into 174 languages including Arabic, Hebrew, Japanese, Russian, Hindi, and Samoan. Additionally, the book has also been the famous choice of film producers too for cinematic adaptation. The most popular of all is the one directed by Tim Burton.

3. The Adventure of Pinocchio

It is one of the favorite books of kids as well as adults. The story also contains a moral. The writer of this book is Carlo Collodi who wrote the book in the Italian language in 1883. This story talks about a wooden boy who has a habit of lying. The book further includes the adventures of this animated marionette whose name is Pinocchio and about his poor father who is a poor woodcarver and name is Geppeto. Book has its translated into more than 250 languages. So the book is one of those books translated into the English language.

4.  The Little Prince

Children’s books are one of the most translated books as we see in the list. The little prince is a famous storybook. It is a poetic tale and the illustration which have been given inside with watercolor are quite popular among audiences. These children’s story books come in French and were written by the French aristocrat Antonie de Saint. He wrote these poems in 1943. It is interesting to note that little prince is the second most translated book after Bible. It also gets the credit for best foreign books translated into English without any second opinion.

This book talks about a little prince who meets a stranded pilot in the Sahara desert as a result of a plane crash and there is no one as he sees in the desert. This is where this pilot comes across the little prince who is on his journey of exploring the planets of the universe including earth. This book has translations in more than 475 languages now including Greek, Albanian, Turkish and German. It is one of the best-seller books and since 2013 and 140 million copies of this book have gone into readers’ collections.

5.  Tao Te Ching

Tao te ching also read as Dao De Jing is an old and ancient Chinese book with philosophical and moral text which gets attributed to Laozi “the old master”. This book is taken as the fundamental text and both of these philosophical and religious for Taoists. Taoism talks about the balance that humans and animals should share. They believe in spiritual immortality where a spirit reunites with the body after death. This theory and belief have touched a lot of other Chinese philosophies and regions such as Confucianism, legalism, or Chinese Buddhism. Also, it holds the credit to be among those Chinese books translated into English.

Students and researchers often find it tough to understand the title or verse making them dedicate their whole lives to an in-depth study of Tao te ching.

I have the right to destroy myself

6.  The Alchemist

Paulo Coelho who comes from Brazil is a celebrated writer of recent times. The Alchemist has been written by him and is considered an allegorical novel. He wrote this novel back in 1988 in the Portuguese language. This book has been translated into more than 80 languages now.

When it comes to novels, The Alchemist is one of the most translated books and best-selling novels all over the world. It has a rich and inspiring plot. Reading Alchemist is like exploring a world full of adventures with the antagonist Santiago. He is a young shepherd who is on his journey to Egypt with exploring the treasure in the pyramids. He decided to take up this opportunity after having multiple nightmares about this location.

Interestingly, Paulo Coelho has created history and has also managed to get an entry in the Guinness world record for being the author of the world’s most translated books and being alive to see it happening.

Korean and Japanese most translated books

Korean seasons and shows are much in demand and popular among audiences of every age. The same goes for Korean literature. The famous book “I have the right to destroy myself” written by Young-ha Kim is considered Korean noir. It is one of the top Korean translated books. The Los Angeles Times writes about this book as a literary exploration of truth, death, desire, and identity. Interestingly this was the debutant novel of this author and he has already won accolades. His work is also being considered for cinematic release.

As for the Japanese books translated into English, there are a lot. A few of these are

  • Silence by Shusaku Endo
  • I am a cat by Soseki Natsume
  • Norwegian Wood Haruki Murakami

Final words

The practice of translation is not new. It has been there playing a vital role in bridging the gaps in languages and communication for ages. The world’s most translated books include a lot of books from French, Italian, and other languages. Also, a lot of books from Asian languages have been translated into the English language to reach a wider audience. The world’s most translated books include Bible, Alice in wonderland, Little prince, and many more.

What is the Hardest Language to Learn?

The process of language learning is an active process that a human experiences after birth and it keeps on in progress throughout one’s life. Language acquisition deals with the human capacity and competency to perceive and comprehend a language as well as to produce and use words to communicate and interact with people. People learn new languages to communicate the thoughts, feelings, and experiences of their lives with family members friends, and acquaintances, basically to anyone and to maintain the order of the world. There are more than 7000 languages in the world. A few of them are easy to learn as compared to others.

The top five hardest languages to learn in the world are

  1. Mandarin Chinese
  2. Arabic
  3. Vietnamese
  4. Japanese
  5. Korean

What is the hardest language to learn for Non English speakers?

Mandarin Chinese is one of the languages that is spoken all around the world and has billions of speakers. It also comes on the top as the most difficult language to learn generally and non-English speakers also find it the toughest to crack. This is quite interesting that the most spoken language in the world is the one that is also the hardest to learn. There are multiple factors that make it the most challenging language to learn particularly for speakers of other languages and mainly non-English people.

Factors that make it tough to learn

Chinese is also one of the top languages that avid learners love to learn. However, it does have a lot of challenges. Learning it could not go well with non-English people. Japanese and Korean may find this language a little relevant and other speakers could find it the most difficult one. Here are a few factors which make this language tough to learn for non-English natives.

Grammar

Unlike the other languages, Chinese Mandarin has quite less grammar patterns. Mainly there are no tenses in the Chinese language. The words in the Chinese language do not change their forms or conjugate. However, that could be an easier thing for the Chinese and those who speak and write languages without verbs. Non English speakers nonetheless, find it quite weird and tough to follow a language that doesn’t practice verbs.

A few examples are

I am——我是 (wǒ shì)

He is——他是 (tā shì)

They are——他们是 (tāmen shì)

Pinyin

A standardized version of the romanized transliteration of Chinese characters is considered Pinyin. It is a thing of great help for Chinese but not much for other speakers. They can barely get the romanized transliteration. However, pinyin is beneficial in the way that having it in systems and online can help with character suggestions.

Chinese characters

Chinese characters are extremely tough and mysteriously and hard to learn for people who are not natives. Reading and writing Chinese characters may require a lifetime to learn and is a difficult aspect of learning Mandarin. 汉字 (hànzì) is the name of Chinese written script and it relies on logograms. These are single characters that if used right can represent the whole world.

Chinese, unlike other western languages, is more related to a pictographic script which makes it tough to remember the huge number of characters. Chinese characters are countless and one needs to memorize at least 3500 characters to learn and practice this language. Now, people who speak languages with 26-27 alphabets and characters can hardly memorize this many characters, and can barely get away with the fact of learning 3500 characters.

In other languages even if you find a word that you never heard of but at least you can try to pronounce it by getting the alphabet. In Chinese, however, it is not the case. A lot of clusters of Chinese characters with similar meanings often come with similar patterns. These elements which are recurring are called radicals. These are the words that serve as the foundation of writing mandarin.

  • 木头 (mùtou) – log
  • 木工 (mùgōng) – carpentry
  • 木屋 (mùwū) – log cabin

Tonal language

Mandarin Chinese is a tonal language which makes it even harder for other language speakers to learn it. Non-English speakers have to master an art where learning Chinese words may require having totally a new skill.

There are four tones in the Chinese language. These can also be considered five adding a neutral tone. It gets challenging for people to detect and scan the differences between pronunciations. Moreover, one more thing which makes learning complex is added change of tone which may sound the same but the tone makes it define a totally different meaning. This implies how the same syllables with different tones can be used for two entirely different things.

What is the hardest language to learn for Spanish speakers?

Spanish itself is not much difficult language to learn and is also on the list of new language learners. It is one of the easiest languages to learn. As the foreign service institute (FSI) suggests Spanish belongs to category I. These levels have been defined by the institute depending on the difficulty level. However, according to FSI Spanish language can be learned by average speakers in 600 hours or about 24 weeks to have a mild understanding of it. This time span gets the user proficient where they can learn and speak about everyday topics.

When it comes to the hardest language to learn for Spanish speakers, there are many including Mandarin Chinese. However, learning Japanese could also be a real struggle for the speakers.

Japanese language

Japanese is one of the hardest languages that Spanish speakers could barely have a grip on. There are multiple reasons that make Japanese harder for Spanish speakers.

Writing system

The Asian writing system of the Japanese language makes it quite challenging for Spanish people to learn and understand. This is quite bewildering how one can write and read without actual letters.

Kanji is the writing system with Chinese characters used for writing Japanese. With Kanji, there is kana which has foreign words, grammar, and marketers. So it gets quite tough for Spanish speakers to understand the language as they come from a language that has a proper writing system.

Postpositions

Unlike English and Spanish, the Japanese use of postpositions makes a Spanish learner ponder a lot to figure out the correct and relevant use of postpositions.

Word order

The verb goes after the object which makes Japan entirely different from Spanish and English. As if the languages belong to two different planets. These difficulties make it tough for the speakers to learn Japanese and if they try their hands, they take a lot of time to get it.

Other languages that could be difficult for Spanish people include Mandarin Chinese and Korean mainly.

What is the hardest language to learn for Chinese speakers?

The answer is quite simple. It is going to be in English. As English speakers could barely get proficient in the Chinese language and the same goes for Chinese speakers who can hardly get a good grip on English. Chinese speakers find English a tough language as both languages are poles apart. Chinese find English complex tenses, Cases, huge vocabulary, and irregular verbs with spellings quite tough and too much to get good at considering English the toughest language for them.

The Chinese teach English as a compulsory subject in school from primary school to university class as well. They also provide help with online resources, through TV and bookstores. Native speakers yet have to struggle a lot with learning English. It further depends on the time and energy they are ready to put in.

What is the hardest Asian language to learn?

Arabic it is, among a few others.

The foreign service institute (FSI) in the US has listed the Arabic language as a category V language which describes the difficulty of this language and it falls in the category of extreme difficulty. According to FSI, it takes more than 2200 hours of study to get proficient in these languages which fall in category V.

Factors that make learning Arabic difficult

Script

The script of Arabic is the foremost thing that non-speakers notice at first about this language. This language is written from right to life unlike the other European languages and the letters are joined with each other which non-natives find disorienting at first. The Arabic language has 28 alphabets and the main hurdle is understanding the languages, reading, and learning.

Pronunciation

Pronunciation of the Arabic language is another struggle that non-speakers have to go through. The pronunciation of this language involves guttural sounds. These are the emphatic versions of consonants which are the reason why vowels and their sounds are changed with dual forms of nouns.

Dialects and accents

Like all other languages, the Arabic language also has different versions and dialects which people speak and practice according to their region. Modern standard Arabic is used by today’s generation also it used in politics and the academic world. Arabic is an ancient language and traditional Arabic would be tough even for the people who speak standard and modern Arabic.

Final words

The most difficult language in the world is the one which is spoken most all over the globe, i.e Mandarin Chinese. English speakers, in particular, find it tough to learn Chinese due to it being a tonal language with complex characters and grammar. Spanish people on the other hand may find Japanese tough due to a writing system that comes from Chinese characters. Above all the Asian language that is the toughest to crack is none other than Arabic as even FSI (Foreign Service Institute) has also listed it as a category V language.