How often do publications get translated into other languages?

Is there any process by which this happens?

  • 2
    Can you give a bit more background? What do you mean with process? Are you thinking of a world wide committee of old white man sitting around a fire place in comfortable chairs who decide about the fate of young researchers while being served port by a butler? Rest assured, such a committee does not exist. Maybe your question becomes clearer if you tell us why you want to know this. – Maarten Buis Jun 2 '16 at 7:06
  • Like, for example, a journal might decide that if a publication reaches X citations they will start translating it into other languages to reach a wider audience. – Anta Res Jun 2 '16 at 7:13

In my field, articles are rarely translated. At best, an articles abstract might be in 2 or even 3 languages depending on the journal. For whatever reason, English is the de facto language of the majority of research.

For books it's a little different. If the book was highly influential it will be translated into other languages. However, it takes often several decades for a book to reach the level of prominence that it is translated into other languages. Again this is because a lot of highly influential books are originally written in English.

The process of translation (for books as articles are rarely translated in my field) depends. Sometimes one person who is fluent in both languages will translate the book for scholarly output. At other times a team will work together to develop the translated edition.

  • 1
    Textbooks have a better chance of being translated early on, specially the introductory ones. – Davidmh Jun 2 '16 at 8:03

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