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German Translator Laments Lack of Interest in Arabic Literature | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Books. REUTERS/Olivia Harris

Abu Dhabi, London- German translator Hartmut Fähndrich has lamented the lack of interest of German publishers in literature from the Arab world.

It is a dramatic matter, Fähndrich told the German News Agency.

Fähndrich said big publishers translate small literary works every once in a while, adding Arabic literature does not attract a wide audience in Germany.

However, according to Fähndrich, this literature could significantly contribute to better understand Arab societies and the political shifts in the region.

Fähndrich, 72, is one of the most famous German translators of Arabic literature.

In 2016, the translator received the Swiss Literary Prize for his works translated from Arabic to English. A few years ago, he partook in the jury of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF) that was launched in 2008.

The translator noted that more Arabic works were translated into German in the past. He said, meanwhile, bookshops have more books translated from Arabic into French.

According to Fähndrich, many among Arab authors are unknown in Germany, which has reduced the demand on their works and on Arabic literature in general.

IPAF also known as the “Arabic Booker” is the most important prizes in the Arab world; its winner receives $50,000, and its work would be translated into English.

But, the winning writings which have so far been translated to German have been few.