Publication details [#18873]

Heilbron, Johan. 1995. Nederlandse vertalingen wereldwijd. Kleine landen en culturele mondialisering [Dutch translations worldwide. Small countries and cultural globalisation]. In Heilbron, Johan, Wouter de Nooy and Wilma Tichelaar, eds. Waarin een klein land. Nederlandse cultuur in internationaal verband [In which a small country. Dutch culture in an international context]. Amsterdam: Prometheus. pp. 206–253.
Publication type
Article in jnl/bk
Publication language


This article deals with the translation of Dutch literature and with foreign literature in Dutch translation. In the last few decades, for every six books that were translated into Dutch, one was translated from Dutch. Over one quarter of the Dutch national book production consists of translations. (For the U.S. and England, who produce the least translations, this is no more than five percent). Of all the books translated into Dutch two thirds is translated from English. That is four times as much as from German and eight times more than from French. The author also asks what the international position of Dutch is and if Dutch has also benefited from the increased translation activity. Dutch literature is no longer unknown, he says. Reputable publishers have released good translations. The author also argues that for the first time there is a Dutch writer, Cees Nooteboom, who in many countries is considered as a prominent author. There is an increase in the number of translated titles from Dutch. A striking conclusion is that so-called 'high' literature has but a very limited share. Children’s books are the most important category, followed by literary and religious books. [Source: W. Tesseur]