The World’s Ten Most Translated Authors

Have you read the world’s most translated authors? If you think that means catching up on Tolstoy or Proust, think again.

Rather than classics, the world favor’s popular fiction, according to data complied by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), which compiles translation records in its Index Translationum.

Mystery writer Agatha Christie has the distinction of the world’s most-translated author with 7,233 translations — almost 3,000 more than the next most popular, Jules Verne.

Other top writers in UNESCO’s ranking include masters of sci-fi, suspense and romance as well as three writers of children’s books. Six of the top authors write in English, but French, German and Danish writers also make the list.

Here are the top ten. You can see the complete list at the Index Translationum website.

1. Agatha Christie — 7,233 translations from English

Genre: Mystery

Notable translated works: Murder on the Orient Express, And Then There Were None

2. Jules Verne — 4,781 translations from French

Genre: Science fiction

Notable translated works: Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Around the World in Eighty Days

3. William Shakespeare — 4,281 translations from English

Genre: Theatre

Notable translated works: Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest

4. Enid Blyton — 3,921 translations from English

Genre: Children’s books

Notable translated works: The Famous Five, Noddy

5. Barbara Cartland — 3,628 translations from English

Genre: Romance

Notable translated works: A Sword to the Heart, Fascination in France

6. Danielle Steel — 3,592 translations from English

Genre: Romance

Notable translated works: Safe Harbor, A Perfect Stranger

7. Vladimir Ilyich Lenin — 3,520 translations from Russian

Genre: Political theory

Notable translated works: What is to be done?, The Right of Nations to Self-Determination

8. Hans Christian Anderson —3,354 translations from Danish

Genre: Children’s books

Notable translated works: Anderson’s Fairy Tales (including stories such as “The Little Mermaid” and “The Emperors’ New Clothes”)

9. Stephen King — 3,354 translations from English

Genre: Suspense

Notable translated works: The Shawshank Redemption, The Shining

10. Jacob Grimm — 2,976 translations from German

Genre: Children’s books

Notable translated works: Children’s and Household Tales (including stories such as “Snow White,” “Hansel and Gretel”)

While there are some authors I wasn’t surprised to see on the list, I didn’t expect Agatha Christie to be number one!

Are you surprised by the list? Have you read the original works or the translations from any of these authors? Let us know in the comments below!



Nisar, the dynamic force behind Translation Excellence, stands tall as its founder and CEO. This isn’t just any company—it’s a global heavyweight in boutique language services. Hailing from the vibrant city of Kabul, Afghanistan, Nisar brought his passion and expertise to the U.S. shores in 2001. In the realm of languages, he’s a titan. With 19 years under his belt, he’s worn hats from a linguist and instructor to a cultural bridge-builder and curriculum craftsman.

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