After the English translation of The Little Prince was published in the USA during the Second World War, at the same time as the French text, the number of foreign language versions continued to grow from the late 1940s onwards. The Little Prince is now available in some 253 languages and dialects, and there are many languages which can boast several translations.
Alongside L’Etranger (The Outsider) by Camus, it is the most frequently translated work of French literature in the world and every year, from Japan to South America, new editions are offered in huge print-runs (47 editions in 2007 in South Korea). Minority languages, threatened with extinction, find it helpful to offer the last remaining speakers their own version of The Little Prince, and in recent years Saint-Exupéry’s legendary story has been published in Saami (Lapp), Romany and Quechua.
The Little Prince is an ideal book from which to learn other languages, and is studied in schools in many foreign countries, including Morocco and Japan. To help combat illiteracy, a version in Tifinar was recently produced for the Touareg people and a version in Khmer was recently published in Cambodia.
In 2005, The Little Prince was translated into Toba, an Amerindian language of northern Argentina: until then, the only other book ever translated into Toba was the Bible.