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Translations of Robinson Crusoe

Within a year, Robinson Crusoe had been translated into French, German and Dutch, and in the nearly 300 years since its publication, it has been translated into over a hundred languages, including Inuit and Coptic.

Robinson Crusoe - French
La Vie et les Avantures Surprenantes de Robinson Crusoe: Contenant entre autres Évenemens, le Séjour qu'il a Fait Pendant Vingt & Huit Ans dans une Isle Déserte, Située sur la Côte de l'Amerique, près de l'embouchure de la Grande Riviere Oroonoque. Le tout écrit par lui-même. Traduit de l’Anglois. A Amsterdam, Chez L’Honoré & Chatelain. MDCCXX.

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The first edition published in French. It contains illustrations as well as a fold-out world map that traces Crusoe’s travels on it. The same publisher translated and printed the second and third volumes of Robinson Crusoe shortly after they were available in English.

Robinson Crusoe - Dutch
Het Leven en de wonderbare Lotgevallen van Robinson Crusoe, behelzende onder andere ongehoorde uitkomsten een verhaal van zijn acht-en-twintigjaarig verblijf op een onbewoond eiland, gelegen op de kust van America, bij de mond van de rivier Oronooque. Alles door hemzelf beschreven. Door G. Schreuders. Amsterdam, 1735-1736.

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A later translation into Dutch. The first Dutch translation was made in 1720.

Robinson Crusoe - German
Robinson Crusoe’s Fahrten und Erlebnisse zu Wasser und zu Lande. Nach der Defoe’schen Erzählung zu Luft und Lehr der Jugend frei bearbeitet von Oskar Höcker. Mit 100 farbigen Text Illustrationen nach Aquarellen von Maximilian Schaefer. Berlin. Verlag von Herm. J. Meidinger.

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This late nineteenth-century German version was translated by Oskar Höcker, an actor and writer of children’s stories.

Robinson Crusoe - Italian
La Vita e le Avventure di Robinson Crusoe, Storia Galante, Che contiene tra gli altri avvenimenti il soggiorno ch' Egli fece per ventott' anni in un' Isola deserta situata sopra la Costa dell' America vicino all' imboccatura della gran Riviera Oroonoca. Il tutto scritto da Lui medesimo: Tomo Primo. Traduzione dal Francese. In Venezia, MDCCXXXI. Presso Domenico Occhi. In Merceria all’Unione. Con Licenza de’Superiori.

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This Italian translation was done from the French translation by van Effen and Saint-Hyacinthe in 1720 (see above) and includes parts one and two of the story.

Robinson Crusoe - Latin
Robinson Crusoëus. Latinè scripsit F. J. Goffaux, humaniroum litterarium Professor in Lycoeo imperiali. Quarta Editio. Parisiis, Ex typographia Augusti Delalain. 1813.

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This Latin version is actually a translation of Joachim Heinrich Campe’s Robinson der Jüngere, a German adaptation of Defoe’s original.

Robinson Crusoe - Arabic

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Robinson Crusoe was one of the first Western novels to be translated into Arabic.

Robinson Crusoe - Persian
Rábinsan Krúso. Translated from the Urdú into Persian by Sher Alí of Kábul and edited in the Roman Character by T. W. H. Tolbort, Esq., B.C.S., Barrister-at-Law. London: William H. Allen and Co., 13 Waterloo Place, Pall Mall, S.W. Publishers to the India Office. 1878.

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This Persian translation, published in London, was made “as a text-book to those who may wish to acquire a colloquial knowledge of the Persian language” as well as to further “a cause in which I am much interested, the substitution of the Roman alphabet for those hitherto employed in the languages of the East.”

Robinson Crusoe - Japanese
Kuroda Kikuro to "Hy¯ok¯o kiji." Ky¯oto-shi: Ky¯oto Daigaku Gakujutsu Shuppankai, Heisei 2 [1990].

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In 1848, Kuroda Kikuro first translated Robinson Crusoe into Japanese, using an early Dutch translation as his source. This modern edition is a reprinting of that first translation.

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Last Updated: 17 August 2008
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