L.M. Montgomery’s classic Anne of Green Gables named most translated Canadian book

November 18, 2021
L.M. Montgomery's classic Anne of Green Gables named most translated Canadian book

Great stories aren’t bound by time or space — they transcend borders and languages.

A recent report on the most translated book in the world shows that good books travel far. The map created by Preply showcases the most translated books in each country and continent.

Anne of Green Gables, the classic coming-of-age tale by Lucy Maud Montgomery, is the most translated Canadian book. It has been translated into over 36 languages.

Montgomery’s story of the orphaned red-headed Anne Shirley is one of Canada’s most famous pieces of literature. Anne of Green Gables was first published in 1908 and has since sold more than 50 million copies, spawned stage musicals, television shows and movies, ballet and more. It has made Time Magazine’s list of the 100 best young adult (YA) books of all time.

Born in Prince Edward Island in 1874, Montgomery started writing poetry and keeping a journal from the age of nine. She wrote her first and most famous novel, Anne of Green Gables, in 1905.

WATCH | Reflecting on L.M. Montgomery’s life and career:

Lucy Maud Montgomery’s long road to fame

Montgomery pursues her writing career in turn-of-the-century P.E.I. 7:40

The most translated book from Europe — and any other continent by a landslide — is The Little Prince by French author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. The timeless novella has been translated into more than 382 languages worldwide.

Preply’s map of the most translated books from around the globe. (Preply)

“We conducted our study and created these maps to showcase the literature the world has to offer and highlight noteworthy authors from across the globe,”‘ Amy Pritchett, Student Success Manager at Preply, told CBC Books in an email.

 The Way to Happiness by L. Ron Hubbard is the most translated from the United States and North America.

The Alchemist by Brazilian author Paulo Cohelo is the most translated text from South America. 

The Upright Revolution: Or Why Humans Walk Upright by Kenyan author Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o is the most translated book from Africa.

The most translated titles in Asia are Japan’s Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami and India’s Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda.

For the continent of Oceania, the most translated goes to The Thorn Birds by Australian author Colleen McCullough.

“Authors are writing amazing books in a variety of languages around the world but only a fraction are translated into different languages,” Pritchett said. 

“We hope that this resource will give everyone a great place to start reading books that have been translated and enjoy global literature at its best.”

You can find the maps for different regions on the Preply website.

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