Le Petit Prince
Le Petit Prince (French: /lə pəti pʁɛ̃s/) is a work of children’s literature by the French author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (/ɑ̃twan də sɛ̃tɛɡzypeʁi/). Sometimes it’s referred to by its English title The Little Prince (/ðə lɪtəl prɪns/), but the title sounds better in the original French and it’s hardly impenetrable.
It’s rather a linguistic novelty as people haved gone crazy with the translations so it has been translated into about a gazillion* different languages, including all the usual suspects such as English, Chinese, Klingon, etc - the only other books that come close or beat it are religious texts and apologias, and we don’t talk about PARSNIPs, oddly with the notable exception of Pinnochio with which it has a rivalry for being "the most translated non-religious book".
There are several English translations available, including those published with parallel text in various combinations that may or may not include the original French. The language itself is fairly graded and straightforward.
Details of English translations[edit | edit source]
Katherine Woods (1886–1968) produced the first English translation of 1943, which was later joined by several other English translations. Her translation contained some errors.
Mistranslations aside, one reviewer noted that Wood’s almost "poetic" English translation has long been admired by many Little Prince lovers, who have spanned generations (it stayed in print until 2001), as her work maintains Saint-Exupéry’s story-telling spirit and charm, if not its literal accuracy. As of 2019 at least seven additional English translations have been published:
- T.V.F. Cuffe, (ISBN 0-14-118562-7, 1st ed. 1995)
- Irene Testot-Ferry, (ISBN 0-7567-5189-6, 1st ed. 1995)
- Alan Wakeman, (ISBN 1-86205-066-X, 1st ed. 1995)
- Richard Howard, (ISBN 0-15-204804-9, 1st ed. 2000)
- Ros and Chloe Schwartz, (ISBN 9781907360015, 1st ed. 2010)
- David Wilkinson, (bilingual English-French student edition, ISBN 0-9567215-9-1, 1st ed. 2011)
- Michael Morpurgo, (ISBN 978-1784874179, 1st ed. 2018)
Each translation approaches the essence of the original with an individual style and focus.