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Diversity Report 2008: An overview and analysis of translation statistics across Europe: facts, trends, patterns

The Diversity Report 2008 was presented at the conference “On Translation” on 21 November 2008 in Vienna. It compiles and analyses statistics on books in translation across Europe over a period of more than 25 years (1979 to 2005, and in some aspects until 2008) and is based on the UNESCO Index Translationem as well as national book market statistics in Austria, the Czech Republic, France, Germany and Poland.

The primary goal of this report is to chart overall flows of translations, based on the UNESCO Index and, for a few countries, selected industry statistics. A comparison between the used sets of data shows significant inconsistencies in individual numbers, but trends and developments turned out to be fairly representative so that overall patterns, notably flows of translation over time, as well as a comparison between countries and languages, allow a mapping process for the exchange of books by translation in Europe.

Specific attention has been paid in this report to Central and Southeast Europe, on translations from these and into these languages as well as between CEE countries. This particular research was due to many languages and different sizes of countries and languages in the region as well as to the desire to gain a more detailed understanding of the impact of a defining political event such as the end of the Cold War and the abolishment of the Iron Curtain in 1989.