How to search for books that have been published in two given languages?
January 6, 2022 6:21 PM   Subscribe

Suppose I wanted to create a list of books that have been published in two languages (for example, Korean and Estonian). Is there any online database from which I could generate such a list, and how would I do so?

Failing that, is there a way of getting a list of authors who have at least one work published in each of two languages (even if it may not be the same work)? I know this information exists e.g. on Worldcat, but I can't figure out how to design a search that would generate the needed results.

Many thanks!
posted by Not A Thing to Writing & Language (4 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
This is probably more manual than you want, but I couldn't see a way to automatically generate book pairs with WorldCat. Here's a spreadsheet that scrapes WorldCat for books and what languages they are available in. You'll have to manually enter in titles and authors.

Title, Author, the short language designation (ie eng, ara, fre), and the url from the sheet called "base url" get combined to generate a url that searches for that title/author in a given language. That url is then downloaded by the spreadsheet, and it searches for the word "Results" in a certain spot, which indicates that there's at least one result for the search so that returns a "1" and if "Results" isn't found it returns a "0". A bit conditional formatting makes the matches green and the non-matches red.

MeMail me if that didn't make sense.

posted by gregr at 6:24 AM on January 7, 2022

"The Digital Library and Bibliography of Literature in Translation (DLBT) brings together translations and their reception documents in one digital collection. With a stock of about 2,111 volumes and more than 60,000 bibliographical entries in Dutch, German, English, French, Czech, Polish and other languages, DLBT is a useful instrument for users and researchers."

You may also be interested in this paper: Xiaoyan Zhou and Sanjun Sun, Bibliography-based quantitative translation history.
posted by jedicus at 6:29 AM on January 7, 2022 [1 favorite]

There is also the Translation Database "founded in 2008 by Three Percent and Open Letter Books at the University of Rochester to track all original publications of fiction and poetry published in the U.S. in English translation."
posted by jedicus at 6:31 AM on January 7, 2022 [1 favorite]

And the UNESCO Index Translationum, a list of books translated in the world, i.e. an international bibliography of translations. It is unfortunately currently down for maintenance.
posted by jedicus at 6:33 AM on January 7, 2022 [1 favorite]

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