The International Language of Storytelling
Right now, Wattpad is available in over 50 languages and around 63% of our registered users are located outside of North America. However, 77% of our content is written in English. To help make these English stories available to a larger part of the community, a number of Wattpadders are volunteering their time to translate stories.
We’ve noticed a growing trend of translations on Wattpad, with enthusiastic readers reaching out to their favorite authors and offering to translate their works for the world to enjoy. Wattpadder LouisYouHottie is the writer of The Accidental Skype Call with over 8.8 million reads. She first found out about translations when a Wattpadder asked if she could translate LouisYouHottie’s story into German, so that people who read in German could enjoy it too. Since then, Wattpadders have begun six translations of The Accidental Skype Call in languages like Turkish, Dutch, and Tagalog. “I feel simply honored that people from all over the world find my stories interesting and entertaining enough to want other people of their culture to read them,” LouisYouHottie told us. “I'm just a girl who wrote silly stories to pass the time, and so the fact that people from all over the world enjoy them, blows me away.”
Wattpadder Writeitdown_ is one of those passionate translators, and she is at work on four translations. “I believe that these particular stories, the ones that I translate, have such a big market waiting for them.” She’s eager to translate stories with cinematic potential like Body Rock, the series by doeneseya. “By translating [these stories] into as many languages as possible and spreading them around the world, there's a chance to get them to the big screen.”
For other Wattpadders thinking of getting into translation, Writeitdown_ offered these translations tips: always ask permission from the writer, and make sure you really love the story, since you’ll be spending lots of time with it. The translators we spoke to don’t use Google Translate; many are writers themselves and instead turn to a dictionary, a friend, or Google Search to understand how words are used in context. Translations can take anywhere from a couple of hours to a full month to complete, but there’s still room for creativity. Wattpadder xTranslatorx will occasionally adjust references, jokes, or wordplay to make them more relevant to German readers. If you’d like to do something similar, just remember you’ll need to get express permission from the author to be creative with your translations and to adjust their original words.
It’s not just translators who are making stories more accessible to larger audiences. Many Wattpadders are aware of the international nature of the community, so they are reaching out to multiple audiences at once. Lucas Edel, for example, is posting versions of his novel Queen of Clubs in both German and English on Wattpad.
We’re looking to showcase Wattpad stories from all over the globe, so keep an eye out for more international reading lists soon. If you’d like to help out by guest-curating a list in another language, please message us on the Wattpad profile.