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There are many books I would like to read in Spanish, such as George Jackson's "Soledad Brother".

What is the most efficient way for finding out if a particular book is available in Spanish?

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The problem with that kind of search is that, if you only know the English title, you'll need a super global database that actually maps each book with all its titles in all languages, and I don't really think something like that exists (maybe I'm wrong!).

You can try a large book database like worldcat.org, which allows you to filter by language.

For example, searching for Soledad Brother and filtering by Spanish gives you these results. Note that the first result is what you're looking for, but you get this correct result because, fortunately, the Spanish title is "Soledad Brother: Cartas de Prisión".

For example, a search for The Lord of the Rings and filtering it by Spanish gives you these results. In this case, the third result is the good one — "El Señor de los Anillos" — but you have to be aware that you're getting this result because whoever introduced that book into the database added a line in the book details section saying: "Translation of: The Lord of the Rings," so that the database was able to match it to a search containing only its English title.

In summary, it'll be a hard task, probably impossible for rare books, but you can give it a try. Otherwise just google for Some book title + en español or something like that and good luck ;)

Anyway, as I said, maybe I'm wrong and there is actually some site to perform this type of query ...

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  • Thanks; oddly enough, when I searched for "Soledad Brother: Cartas de Prisión" on AbeBooks.com, it didn't find it at first; however, when I changed the last word from "Prisión" to "Prision" it did find it - yet the page displays the title with the "ó"! Apr 2 '14 at 18:41
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Since authors can only write so many books, I go to my usual online book retailer and search on the author's name to see their whole catalog and see if there is a language filter. It avoids issues around the title and shows me what is actually available to me at this time.

You could also try casadellibro.com, planetalector.com or rbalibros.com for bookshops in Spain.

Since books don't always survive the translation (La Piedra Filosofal didn't do it for me), I'd suggest asking for recommendations instead.

My wishlist includes:

  • Los Detectives Salvajes - Roberto Bolaño
  • El Secreto de Sus Ojos - Eduardo Sacheri
  • La Casa Verde - Mario Vargas Llosa

I have enjoyed the Cementario de los Libros Olvidados series by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (uses "tinieblas" a lot) and giggled all the way through Ana Tarambana (Líos de ortografía), the translation of Clarice Bean Spells Trouble by Lauren Child.

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