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2013 Translation Challenge

2013 Translation Challenge

Translated fiction is becoming much more popular these days but there are still lots of readers who ignore it. Reading international fiction is a great way to see different sides of other countries’ culture and every-day life as well as opening up a whole new world of fantastic books to read. So for 2013, I’d like to challenge you to read one translated book per month.

For the purpose of the challenge the book must have been translated into English. Books can be any length (indeed, novellas seem to be much more popular in continental Europe) and any genre (including non-fiction). You can read anything from mainstream Scandinavian crime to classical literature, it really doesn’t matter as long as it’s been translated. You do not need to be a blogger; as long as you have somewhere to post yout thoughts (Goodreads, Shelfari, Library Thing, Tumblr, ReadItSwapIt, etc.) you can join in.

As 2012 was my first year hosting a challenge, I have learned a few lessons and there will be some changes for this one. There will be one sign up linky and then one master list for books read. Instead of specific challenge giveaways, I will be offering a few translated books as prizes throughout the year and offering extra entries to those taking part in the challenge.

I’m scrapping the monthly group read however that doesn’t mean there won’t be a readalong or two if you enjoy that aspect. There will be a few themed months which should hopefully coincide with other events around the blogosphere (eg. Paris in July).

To get you started, you might like to browse through some of my reviews of translated fiction. There are some fabulous publishers and imprints in the UK that focus on international fiction too, so stop by their websites for ideas:

Feel free to set additional goals such as reading books from 12 different countries or 12 from the same country. If you want to vary the number, that’s fine too.

Want the logo on your blog? You are welcome to right click and save it or you can use the following code (you might want to make it smaller for your sidebar; just change the number in height=”400″):

<a href=””><img border=”0″ height=”400″ src=”” style=”border: medium none;”/></a>

Ready to sign up? Just add your name (and/or name of blog) and a link to the place you’ll be sharing your books (blog or profile on booksharing site). The master list linky will be posted on the 1st January 2013. I’m looking forward to seeing the books you unearth next year!

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  1. Anonymous

    I live in Belgium and here most of the books we see in the bookstore are translated.
    However, we do have a lot of interesting books written by authors from here as well! (It are not all novellas, certainly not.)
    On goodreads you can find a lot of lists with translated books I think.

    1. Ellie

      I certainly don't mean that non-English books are all novellas just that there are a lot of good ones for those people who feel they don't have time to fit in an extra book each month.

      This challenge is only for books translated INTO English. If you would like to set one up for English books translated into other languages be my guest.

  2. Anonymous

    What a great idea – I think there are far too few translations into English, compared with how many I seem to find in France, Germany and Eastern Europe. I look forward to joining you on this journey of discovery – and if I have time, I may read the original and the translation where possible. Does poetry count too?

    1. Ellie

      Yes! Poetry counts and short stories. Welcome aboard!

  3. KarenSi

    I do like a translated book. Some of my favourites have been translated. Trying not to sign up for any challenges next year though (we will see how long my resolve holds out).

    Love your challenge image.

  4. MJ

    So glad I found your challenge! It seems I need some external pressure to keep me motivated. I'm going to be aiming for more than one a month, but will make sure I do at least the bare minimum.

  5. Ellie

    What a great idea! I have read quite a few books in translation without actually thinking of them as books in translation. I wonder if thinking that way will make me read books differently. Looking forward to this πŸ™‚

  6. Darlene

    I read my first translated book this year (Battle Royale by Koushun Takami) and absolutely loved it! Looking forward to reading more translated books next year!

    Thanks for hosting!

  7. Lindsay

    I have many lovely translated books sitting in the to be read stacks so this is a good opportunity to try and read at least a few of them! Thanks for hosting this challenge.

  8. Alison in Writerland

    Thinking about what books I already have that will fit this challenge. Off to peruse my bookshelves….

  9. Ellie

    If you're signing up, make sure you also drop your name into the giveaway here.

  10. Amanda

    I enjoy translated fiction, great idea for a challenge

  11. Sandra

    I've posted and linked for the challenge. Looking forward to seeing what others read. Thank you.

  12. cookcreateread

    Ah, go on then, I'll give this a bash! πŸ™‚

  13. kit

    This is an awesome idea, I'm sold! I was debating whether or not to take part in a reading challenge this year, as I've never done one before, but nothing was jumping out at me until I saw this post. Looking forward to it!

  14. Meg

    I love this idea! Off to shop for more books….

  15. RebeccaK

    Thanks for hosting! I review lots of translated crime fiction on my blog.

  16. Annabel

    Cataloging my reading on Goodreads this year really exposed to me the narrowness of my reading habits and I decided to read more books in translation this year so I'm very pleased to have discovered this challenge – thanks for setting it up. I'll look forward to discovering lots of great new books from around the world this year.

  17. Unknown

    I love translated fiction..especially from arab and francophone countries..can't wait to give this a go..

  18. Unknown

    Great idea, I love getting the feel for another country through it's literature!

  19. Unknown

    This should be just what I need to kickstart my reading habit again; Luckily we have a few translated books on the book shelves that I haven't read!

  20. Lisa

    Signed up and linked and just need to decide what to read now!

  21. Nose_in_a_book

    This is an excellent idea, just what I need. I'll get writing that starting post now…

  22. LG

    I'm really looking forward to this – great idea!

  23. Nose_in_a_book

    This is just what I needed, thank you. All signed up and raring to go!

  24. Anonymous

    Good evening! Is 12 the quantity or does any participation get us into your theme's competition & prizes? I'm unsure I can fit a dozen into my other 30 groups (I'm not kidding)! But as a multicultural & multilingual person I support you wholeheartedly.

    Please answer via my blog or e-mail. I waste time returning to sites looking for replies; on dial-up!

  25. Persephone

    Aww. If I had know you were going to host a translation reading challenge, I would have signed up for yours since I participated in the science fiction challenge. (I don't think I linked most of my reviews to the challenge page though).

    Are you planning on hosting a different challenge every year if you decide to host one next year?

    1. Ellie

      I don't mind people signing up late if they want to do the challenge for the rest of the year. I thought I was over hosting challenges last year but I think I gave myself too much to do and burned out. Will see how I feel at the end of the year – but yes it will probably be a different theme.

  26. mercury

    Wish I'd found this earlier in the year.nis it too late to sign up? I have a world literature challenge I set myself so have been reading translated books all year anyway.


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