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Amos Oz Photo: AFP
Amos Oz Photo: AFP

Amos Oz is most translated Israeli author

Institute for the Translation of Hebrew Literature presents list of top 10 writers in terms of number of languages their works were translated into. Amos Oz comes in first with 36 different languages to his name

Published: 02.10.09, 07:50 / Israel Culture

Amos Oz is the most translated Israeli author, according to the Institute for the Translation of Hebrew Literature, with his works having been translated into 36 different languages to date.


Authors Ephraim Kishon and Uri Orlev came in second after Oz, with both of them having works translated into 34 languages each.


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Other Israeli writers ranked in the institute's top 10 in terms of the number of languages their works have been translated into include A.B. Yehoshua, Etgar Keret, Yehuda Amichai, Shmuel Yosef Agnon, David Grossman, Zeruya Shalev and Aharon Appelfeld.


They are followed by Yoram Kaniuk, Yehiel De-Nur, Meir Shalev, Daniella Carmi, Hayyim Nahman Bialik, Alona Frankel, Alona Kimhi, Yaakov Shabtai, Leah Goldberg, Benjamin Tammuz, Batya Gur, Orly Castel-Bloom, Dorit Rabinyan, Nira Harel and Judith Katzir.


It should be noted that these rankings do not refer to sales, but only to the number of languages in which the writer's works have been translated.


According to the institute, the first Hebrew book to be translated into a foreign language, other than the Bible, of course, was Abraham Mapu's "The Love of Zion", that was published in Yiddish in 1874.


By the year 1980, Hebrew literature was only translated into 25 languages.


Today, books written in Hebrew can be found in 70 different languages, with 40% of the translated Israeli books being in English, 30% in German, Spanish, French, Arabic, Russian and Italian, and 30% in other languages.


In the last decade, a significant rise in the number of translated Israeli children's books has also been noted.


During the Jerusalem book fair, to open on February 15, a special exhibition paying tribute to the translated Hebrew book will be held in the Steimatzky bookstore's stall in cooperation with the Institute for the Translation of Hebrew Literature.


The exhibition will display dozens of books by Israel's most popular authors, and the Hebrew edition of each book will be presented alongside its translated editions.


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