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Best Sellers from Other Countries That Have Been Translated to English

Posted on: May 10th, 2017 | 0 Comments

Best Sellers from Other Countries That Have Been Translated to English

 

As Dr. Seuss so aptly once said, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

Reading can transport you to different times and into foreign lands. A good book can make you feel as though you’ve gained new friends, new experiences, and even a new perspective on life. Reading certainly makes you richer by showing you different ways of thinking and opening your mind to new characters and stories.

Though there are plenty of great English speaking (and writing) authors, many world-renowned books were originally written in other languages and then later translated to English. Here’s a list of some best-selling novels that were originally written in a foreign language. We bet you’ll be surprised by some of them!

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larson – Originally written in Swedish

Mikael Blomkvist, a once-respected financial journalist, watches his professional life rapidly crumble around him. Prospects appear bleak until an unexpected (and unsettling) offer to resurrect his name is extended by an old-school titan of Swedish industry. The catch—and there’s always a catch—is that Blomkvist must first spend a year researching a mysterious disappearance that has remained unsolved for nearly four decades. With few other options, he accepts and enlists the help of investigator Lisbeth Salander, a misunderstood genius with a cache of authority issues. Little is as it seems in Larsson’s novel, but there is at least one constant: you don’t want to mess with the girl with the dragon tattoo.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho – Originally written in Portuguese

This story is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried in the Pyramids. Along the way, he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the direction of his quest. No one knows what the treasure is, or if Santiago will be able to surmount the obstacles along the way. But what starts out as a journey to find worldly goods turns into a discovery of the treasure found within.

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes – Originally written in Spanish

Don Quixote has become so entranced by reading chivalric romances, that he determines to become a knight-errant himself. In the company of his faithful squire, Sancho Panza, his exploits blossom in all sorts of wonderful ways. While Quixote’s fancy often leads him astray – he tilts at windmills, imagining them to be giants – Sancho acquires cunning and a certain sagacity. Sane madman and wise fool, they roam the world together, and together they have haunted readers’ imaginations for nearly four hundred years.

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry – Originally written in French

The Little Prince tells the story of a little boy who leaves the safety of his tiny planet to travel the universe, learning the vagaries of adult behavior through a series of extraordinary encounters. His personal odyssey culminates in a voyage to Earth and further adventures.

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas – Originally written in French

The Three Musketeers tell the story of the early adventures of the young Gascon gentleman d’Artagnan and his three friends from the regiment of the King’s Musketeers: Athos, Porthos, and Aramis.

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón – Originally written in Spanish

Barcelona, 1945: A city slowly heals in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, and Daniel, an antiquarian book dealer’s son who mourns the loss of his mother, finds solace in a mysterious book entitled The Shadow of the Wind, by one Julián Carax. But when he sets out to locate the author’s other works, he makes a shocking discovery: someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book Carax has written. In fact, Daniel may have the last of Carax’s books in existence. Soon Daniel’s seemingly innocent quest opens a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets–an epic story of murder, madness, and doomed love.

The Diary of a Young Girl by Ann Frank – Originally written in German

In 1942, with Nazis occupying Holland, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl and her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went into hiding. For the next two years, until their whereabouts were revealed to the Gestapo, they and another family lived cloistered in the “Secret Annexe” of an old office building. Cut off from the outside world; they faced hunger, boredom, the constant cruelties of living in confined quarters, and the ever-present threat of discovery and death. In her diary, Anne Frank recorded vivid impressions of her experiences during this period.

*All novel descriptions taken from GoodReads.com

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