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The Little Prince, A King Of Most Translated Books

Ode to Saint-Exupéry at Cape Juby airport in Tarfaya, Morocco.
Ode to Saint-Exupéry at Cape Juby airport in Tarfaya, Morocco.

PARIS — No matter where you live or what language you speak, at some point in your childhood you probably came across Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince). The 1943 poetic and illustrated novella by French adventurer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry is among the best-selling books ever published.

Now, reports Paris-based daily Le Figaro, the work has been translated in its 300th language: Hassanya, a North African dialect deriving from Arabic. Though the totals are widely debated, the Saint-Exupéry foundation said the latest translation makes The Little Prince the world's second most translated book, just after the Bible. The Italian children's tale Pinocchio is often cited among the most translated works, as well.

Photo: Scientific American Blogs/Google Images

Still, beyond the rankings, the most recent translation is special in its own right. When he was 21, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, then an aviator, spent six years in Morocco and discovered Cape Juby where Hassanya was spoken. There, he drew inspiration for the settings of his first books, including Le Petit Prince.

So, with its 300th translation completed, The Little Prince is finally coming home.

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