Translations of Icelandic Literature Have Tripled in Ten Years Skip to content

Translations of Icelandic Literature Have Tripled in Ten Years

There are more than three times as many Icelandic books being translated into other languages as there were ten years ago. This statistic was recently announced in a press release issued by the Icelandic Literature Center, the mission of which is to “raise awareness of Icelandic literature, both in Iceland and abroad, and to promote its distribution.” This year, the Center has awarded 106 grants to support translations of Icelandic works into 31 languages. This marks a significant increase from the number of grants that it distributed in 2008, or 31 grants for translations in 14 languages.

Translation grants are often vital for the dissemination of Icelandic abroad, and have already paved the way for notable works such as Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir’s Ör (English title, Hotel Silence), which won this year’s Nordic Council Literature Prize, to gain a global audience.

The range of languages that Icelandic literature is being translated into this year is impressive in its breadth: Albanian, Amharic, Arabic, Armenian, Azerbaijani, Bulgarian, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, Faroese, Georgian, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Latvian, Macedonian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, and Ukrainian.

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