And You Thought English Was Translation Poor…

A post by bear_bull on the blog Книжный Слог says that not one novel on the Arab Writers Union list of 105—not even Naguib Mahfouz’s Cairo Trilogy—has been translated into Russian.

I haven’t been in Russia since…1994?…so it’s hard for me to say, and my Russian’s grown too atrophied for me to really dig into this issue. The Russian Wikipedia entry on Mahfouz seems to back up bear_bull’s claim, although apparently Mahfouz’s Autumn Quail was translated by В. Э. Шагаль и Н.Рабиновичем.

*I can’t seem to link to the Russian Wikipedia entry; WordPress apparently doesn’t like Cyrillics.


  1. is that certain? i’m pretty certain that “season of migration to the north” was translated into slovenian through russian (back in the day when this was still marginally acceptable).
    but yes, it’s pretty sad …

  2. No, not at all certain; or at least, no more certain than anyone’s rantings on a blog. He claimed it, and I half-heartedly started to poke around, and then realized I hadn’t used my Russian in about a decade. Oops.

  3. i take everything too seriously, don’t i? *sighs* comes with the territory when so much of my work consists of fact checking …

    hey, at least you have russian!

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