I’ve been kicking around the idea of having some of my books translated for some time now. Given that it can cost upwards of $5k I doubt it’ll happen, but it’s fun to think about. So, to get an idea of what language I would choose I started looking at the countries of origin for my blog clicks. To my surprise the fourth country after the US, UK and Canada was Bosnia-Herzegovina! What? Then I realized I’ve been talking a lot about trans stuff of late, and that’s probably skewed my results. (Are there a lot of trans folk in Bosnia-Herzegovina? I have no idea.) Anyway, to control for that effect I looked back two years to see my most popular countries. I expected Brazil to rank higher, as Portuguese was one of the top languages I was considering, but Brazil only ranked #10, well after Switzerland and even Korea. I’m assuming that Korea ranks high because of US Service members, but I could be wrong. I’ve been wondering about my appeal to the Swiss for quite some time now. I wish someone from Switzerland would post about the subject. I get a surprising number of hits there. I have to assume they have a high rate of African immigrants, but I don’t know for sure.
The most interesting factor to me is the fact that I get hits from nearly every country on the globe. Besides Bosnia-Herzegovina, I’m stunned to get so many hits from Saudi Arabia. Of course, I talk about a wide range of subjects here and there’s no way to control for what they clicked on once they came here, but it’s still fascinating to see. I’ll probably still go for Portuguese should I hit the Lotto or something. It has such a large population of black/blackish people, and so many West African countries speak it as well.
What do you think? Should I go for Portuguese, or is there another language you think would be more popular?
3 thoughts on “International Readers”
I might be able to give you a little insight on Korea and Switzerland…from what I understand the English learner community in Switzerland is encouraged to read romance novels and there isn’t the “taboo” feeling about interracial relationships that exist in some places. I live in Korea, and while you’re probably right about the US military there’s also a proportionally large population of Black English teachers here from various countries who a)find it hard to integrate and date here and b)stay inside reading all winter because it is cold. It’s hard to find English-language romance novels of any sort here. There’s also a community of English-speaking Koreans who are obsessed with all things romance and American race relations, no idea why, but it’s there.
Thank you so much QG. That bit especially about Koreans being intrigued by American race relations is fascinating. I had never thought of people reading romances to help learn a language, but it makes perfectly good sense. I remember talking to several people who’ve learned English by watching soap operas.
Well, it’s great that you have readers all over the world.
BTW, I wouldn’t say that “so many” West African countries speak Portuguese. The African countries that speak Portuguese are Angola, Guinea Bissau and Mozambique. Angola and Guinea Bissau are in the west. Mozambique is in the east. I suppose you could also count Cape Verde, which is a group of islands off the coast of West Africa, with a mostly mixed population.