PARIS, FRANCE - september 11. Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez during Portrait Session held on september 11, 1990. Photo by Ulf Andersen / Getty Images

Gabriel García Márquez now most translated Spanish-language writer

Gabriel García Márquez, author of One Hundred Years of Solitude has topped the list of those most translated into 10 languages this century ahead of Don Quixote creator, Miguel de Cervantes.

According to The Guardian, research shows that Gabriel García Márquez has overtaken Miguel de Cervantes to become the most translated Spanish-language writer of the century so far.

However, the outlet adds, the genius who gave the world Don Quixote – and with him the first modern novel and a byword for impractical idealism – can take comfort in the fact that he remains the most translated writer in Spanish over the past eight decades.

The findings emerged after the Instituto Cervantes, which promotes Spanish language and culture around the world, began crunching data to put together its new World Translation Map.

In order to build up a picture of which Spanish-language writers were being most widely translated into 10 different languages – Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian and Swedish – the institute consulted the Online Computer Library Center’s WorldCat database, which contains 554,858,648 bibliographic records in 483 languages.

Using that data, it has put together a searchable map of works translated from Spanish between 1950 and the present day. The start date was chosen to take into account el boom, when Latin American writers including García Márquez, Mario Vargas Llosa, Carlos Fuentes and Julio Cortázar broke through to worldwide acclaim in the 1960s and 1970s.

Raquel Caleya, head of culture at the Instituto Cervantes, who says the idea is to help researchers – and anyone else – to analyse and visualise large quantities of information in a more efficient way, adds that the map would be enlarged in the future to take as many languages as possible.

“The idea was to distill all that data to make that information available and searchable for the public,” she said.

The 10 most translated authors across all 10 languages from 2000 to 2021 are García Márquez at number one, followed by Isabel Allende, Jorge Luis Borges, Mario Vargas Llosa, Cervantes, Carlos Ruiz Zafón, Arturo Pérez-Reverte, Luis Sepúlveda, Roberto Bolaño and Javier Marías.


Subscribe to our Newsletter
Stay up-to-date