Textbook translated into Greek

 Just received in the post a copy of one of the textbooks for medical students I have edited, and I can’t read it.  Elsevier wrote a cover letter with the book to inform us (co-editors and I) that the third edition of our successful textbook Psychology & Sociology Applied to Medicine: An Illustrated Text has been translated into Greek (see http://onlinebooks.parisianou.gr/index.php?page=shop.browse&category_id=20&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=17&vmcchk=1&Itemid=17).  A long time ago I did one year of Ancient Greek in High School in the Netherlands so I can recognise some of the Greek letters, but that’s all.  The original third edition (in English) was published in late 2010 (http://www.bournemouth.ac.uk/hsc/news/2010/sep/contentonly_1_5404_5404.html).  The Greek edition was apparently published late 2011.  Interestingly, since the textbook’s contributors and editors have signed over the copyright of their work to Elsevier the negotiations have been without our knowledge between the publishers Elsevier and Parisianou (Athens).  As we did not know this was happening we received a nice unexpected surprise.

What fascinates me is why a translation into Greek?  The textbook sells well in the UK and Ireland and it appears to sell well in English-speaking countries like Australia and New Zealand and in North-West Continental Europe.  Greece is some economic, political and social upheaval and the process of translation costs money and the market for a textbook in Greek is considerably smaller than for one in English.  Perhaps Greek medical students find it more difficult to study in English than other Continental students? 


Professor Edwin van Teijlingen

School of Health & Social Care

6 Responses to “Textbook translated into Greek”

  1. Edwin van Teijlingen

    Adam, not sure what the obvious pun is to you. To me it is all Double Dutch.

  2. Christina

    More than 50% of Greeks speak English as a foreign language and are able to fully read and communicate fluently inland and abroad therefore I don’t think there is a problem there. Parisianou is a scientific publishing house which obviously can assess/has assessed the potential market for the book. Despite media broadcasts (Greeks are really not searching through garbage for food as noted in some stories even though the number of those who do, has risen) or the financial numbers, life does go on normally in Greece and authors continue to publish, publishing houses to look for materials worth translating and worth making accessible to an even larger public. The “Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy” was recently made available in Greek and it really is a success already even though many Greeks already have the original version in English. I am not too surprised by the venture and well done to them for the selection!

  3. Dr. Iakovos Tzanakis

    Dear Prof. Teijlingen,

    I ll answer to your question “What fascinates me is why a translation into Greek?” with the following quote:

    “High thoughts must have High language” (Aristophanes (450 BC – 388 BC))

    So you have to be pleased your textbook has been translated into Greek.