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Another Precinct Heard From

Just signed contracts with TEAS Press for Azerbaijani editions of A Song of Ice and Fire. A first for me.

This marks the forty-seventh different language that Ice & Fire has been translated into. Not half bad. And moving in on the half-century mark.

Makes me wonder how many living languages we have on the planet at the moment. Not counting Klingon and Dothraki and other fictional tongues.


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Jan. 19th, 2017 10:42 pm (UTC)
Wonderful books.

Will you write a prequel, i think it will be amazing. The world that you created is so rich, I hope there is a prequel and more spin off's.

Jan. 20th, 2017 04:23 am (UTC)
RE: Awesome
There is a prequel in fact. 3 novellas have been released in a prequel series and have been put into one novel called "knight of the seven kingdoms". They are a very, very good read. Takes place 90 or so years before A GAME OF THRONES begins
Re: Awesome - cory_of_nefer - Jan. 20th, 2017 04:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 19th, 2017 10:42 pm (UTC)
Little research
Most sources say upwards of 6,500 worldwide languages, some say closer to 7,000. Interesting, quite a bit more than I had anticipated.
Ed Powell
Jan. 19th, 2017 10:42 pm (UTC)
Linguist John McWhorter estimates that there are between 1000 and 2000 living languages in the world, though only 300 or so have writing. So the rest will have to listen using Audible.
Jan. 20th, 2017 09:28 am (UTC)
Re: Languages
What? No! There are something around 6000 to 7000, depending on how you count ([1], [2], [3]…). Tragically, about half of them will probably disappear within a century (a href="http://www.unesco.org/languages-atlas/index.php">[4]</a>. This is very sad for many reasons, among which I'll highlight three. The first is that we gain nothing by losing languages—we don't need to know fewer languages to communicate; babies are natural language acquisition machines, and they can easily learn their ancestor's language together with another (or a few more) . This actually used to be humankind's natural state of affairs (still is in many areas), but a lot of people don't know this and assume they shouldn't teach their ancestor's language to their babies, resulting in language loss. The second is that every language is a treasure trove of priceless knowledge about local history, culture, oral literature, poetry, even ethnobotanics—every time a language dies, knowledge goes away in a puff of air irreplaceably. For example, linguists can use information (from subtly changing sounds to the very patterns of the grammar) to retrace the general form of languages in the past, and in this way reconstruct the history of peoples; but if we have no data, we can do nothing. The third point is that endangered languages are often minority languages, intimately related to the identity and culture of some traditional group long exploited and now considered to be low-prestige; losing their language often amounts to losing their final stand against colonizers, their pride as a culture. A very good book about the topic, with many detailed examples, is Evan's Dying Words.

Biologists are busy with the loss of biodiversity, climatologists worry about global warming, and we linguists currently have our own incoming apocalypse; we're frantically documenting everything we can about minority languages while they still exist—and, whenever possible, we try to help revitalizing them.
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 21st, 2017 08:42 am (UTC)
The last time I read "The Song of Ice and Fire" in English. It is unlikely that in the future I will read the "Song of Ice and Fire" in Russian. )
Jan. 19th, 2017 10:50 pm (UTC)
Very nice, more people diving into Westeros (well, let's not forget Essos).
Mr George, the ASOIAF/GoT community on Reddit is really strong (main focused on: r/GameOfThrones (quick discussions about books/tvshow, r/asoiaf (deep discussions about books/tvshows), when you have time, would you be available for an AMA (ask me anything) on Reddit?

Not sure if you are familiar with this kind of thread, but they are very well moderated, in order to block some angry "fans".

If yes, i would to call a moderator of one of this subreddits to reach you and organize the AMA, when it's best for you.

You would be surprised with the love and respect you have in the real fans community, not the "is twow ready" kind.

Thank you for your time mr George, have a wonderful day.
Jan. 19th, 2017 11:31 pm (UTC)
Maybe when WINDS is finished, delivered, and about to be published. Not before.
(no subject) - RodrigoZanotta - Jan. 19th, 2017 11:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: AMA - asoiafJenSnow - Jan. 20th, 2017 12:21 am (UTC) - Expand
RE: Re: AMA - underhermask - Jan. 20th, 2017 02:00 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Re: AMA - Toxodos - Jan. 20th, 2017 11:01 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: AMA - underhermask - Jan. 20th, 2017 12:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - Bill Mottola - Jan. 20th, 2017 03:36 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - Felipe Bini - Jan. 20th, 2017 02:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 19th, 2017 10:54 pm (UTC)
6,500 Languages Spoken Today!
I cheated and Googled the answer.

But this is the answer that I received:

"There are roughly 6,500 spoken languages in the world today. However, about 2,000 of those languages have fewer than 1,000 speakers. The most popular language in the world is Mandarin Chinese. There are 1,213,000,000 people in the world that speak that language."

So just 6,453 more foreign language editions to go and you will have the world covered. I think that you are going to need to hire a few more minions.
Owen Hutchings
Jan. 19th, 2017 10:55 pm (UTC)
There are roughly 6,500 spoken languages in the world today. However, about 2,000 of those languages have fewer than 1,000 speakers. The most popular language in the world is Mandarin Chinese. There are 1,213,000,000 people in the world that speak that language.
Jan. 19th, 2017 10:59 pm (UTC)
Congratulations, George.
Proud to be responsible for the Arabic translation.
Jan. 19th, 2017 11:07 pm (UTC)
Are Translations Accurate?
Have you ever spoken to people that have read translations of your books into other languages? I'm curious how accurate the translations are and how well they hold up in other languages. I know I've read a few works that were translated into English that were very noticeable, and I have to imagine the quality of the text suffered in translation.
Jan. 19th, 2017 11:30 pm (UTC)
Re: Are Translations Accurate?
Since I don't speak any language other than English, I cannot judge the quality of translations for myself... but I do hear from the fans from time to time.

There have been a few bumps from time to time. The French translator, for instance, rendered "direwolf" as loup garou, which I am told actually means werewolf.

It is always nice when the fans tell me that I got a good translation. If that happens often enough, I try to make sure we get the same translator for subsequent books.
RE: Re: Are Translations Accurate? - Stefano Viani - Jan. 20th, 2017 12:05 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Are Translations Accurate? - Felipe Bini - Jan. 20th, 2017 12:40 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Are Translations Accurate? - Mayara Ayabe - Jan. 20th, 2017 12:47 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Are Translations Accurate? - Dan Koifman - Jan. 20th, 2017 01:12 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Are Translations Accurate? - Josep Roig Llorens - Jan. 20th, 2017 04:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Are Translations Accurate? - AlBorsen - Jan. 20th, 2017 10:29 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Are Translations Accurate? - DAZEMARDO - Jan. 20th, 2017 12:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Are Translations Accurate? - Caleb Howell - Jan. 20th, 2017 05:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Are Translations Accurate? - Maximilian Lindner - Jan. 20th, 2017 01:54 am (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 19th, 2017 11:35 pm (UTC)
I had been told of your work but was not yet a fan of it when I was in Taiwan, or I would have looked for a Traditional Chinese version of SoIaF to practice with. There's definitely a Simplified version for the mainland, and even a Chinese language wiki for the series.

A google search informs me that an Italian translator decided to change the antler that killed the Direwolf mother in GoT to a unicorn horn because the antler 'seemed out of place.' And suddenly I feel relieved once again to have English as a native language and not have to rely on the competence and intelligence of any given translator.
Keith Barry
Jan. 19th, 2017 11:37 pm (UTC)
Off topic, but any chance you will do ASOIAF Silmarillion equivalent? I loved the Silmarillion. Perhaps written by Bran Stark, if he survives? Idk. Apologies if this is the 1000th time you've been asked...I haven't seen it anywhere.
Dan Koifman
Jan. 20th, 2017 12:51 am (UTC)
Re: Mazel
We have The World of Ice and Fire (TWoIF) which is the world encyclopedia. GRRM has said that and once the series and Dunk & Egg is completed he will release Fire and Blood which is closest to being the GRRMillion as the history of House Targaryen.

TWoIF is a fantastic read if you haven't checked it out.

Edited at 2017-01-20 01:20 am (UTC)
Re: Mazel - sdschaffer - Jan. 20th, 2017 02:13 am (UTC) - Expand
RE: Re: Mazel - Keith Barry - Jan. 20th, 2017 12:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
Alex Alexis
Jan. 20th, 2017 12:10 am (UTC)
A language actually goes extinct every 14 days.
Dan Koifman
Jan. 20th, 2017 12:47 am (UTC)
There are 7,097 known living languages according to ethnologue.com. That's a lot of languages, but since they posted it a while back, I would imagine there are now fewer living languages left.

National Geographic Explorer Wade Davis had a fantastic TED talk on the incredible diversity of language and culture we are losing. Just as we have endangered species worth saving, we have endangered languages worth saving as well. TED Talk: https://goo.gl/tUexp0

On the topic of Azerbaijan and unique things, I love the unique shape of Azerbaijan. It looks like a bird in flight with a fallen feather beneath it. https://goo.gl/43nTFk
Jan. 20th, 2017 01:01 am (UTC)
More readers!
Happy to hear more people get to read. Reading has changed my life and inspired me to become a creator, and I'm happy more people will be able to pick up this series and continue reading. Cheers
Daniel Canton
Jan. 20th, 2017 02:00 am (UTC)

Hi George,

I work in the translation/localization business with many big clients like Microsoft and other IT giants, and the most languages they translate some content into is about 100 languanges (105, 108, depends). They are usually split by tiers of languages, with Tier1 being top 10 (German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese BR, Simplified & Traditional Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Russian). Then Tier 2, 3 and 4. 47 languages is huge by any standard and is pretty much full tier 3, and you will find very few products or websites localized into as many as those, so congratulations, and regards from Argentina! (By the way, are you coming to Brazil as you stated in Norwescon in Seattle last year?)

Edited at 2017-01-20 06:07 pm (UTC)
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George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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