Market forces privilege the translation of English fiction and poetry into other languages, and thus pose a danger for the accumulation of capital in the form of literature. A variety of source languages in translations makes literary capital more valuable as such. Further, the importance of writing in English in order to reach a world audience lowers the pool of talent capable of contributing to literature. The paper starts with a model of the world publishing market that explains why the dominant language acquires a disproportionate share of translations. Then the reasoning proceeds from theory to the empirical evidence. © 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
- English dominance