IF THESE foreign publications look familiar, there’s a very good reason. They’re international versions of our own books and magazines.
Vie del Mondo, a monthly journal that takes more than half its editorial content from TRAVELER, celebrates its first anniversary this month. Published by the Touring Club Italiano in Milan, a nonprofit membership organization founded in 1894, it offers translations of our TRAVELER articles as well as stories created specifically for Italian readers.
The children’s magazine Unga Upptackares Varld, which debuts next month in Sweden, is the first international partner of WORLD. Published by Bra Bocker, it will be distributed in Swedish schools as well as by direct mail and in bookstores.
These and other publications, produced with our cooperation, are part of an expanding Society effort to increase and diffuse geographic knowledge to a broad international readership.
We work closely with foreign publishers to ensure the quality of their products. Under the direction of Senior Vice President Robert L. Breeden, assisted by William R. Gray, we approve translations, inspect color proofs before publication, and even review stories written specially for foreign versions.
We are pleased with the response, so much so that we expect Spanish and German versions of TRAVELER in the near future; Japanese and Swedish publishers are also interested. WORLD may soon be published in French and Italian.
Society books now appear in French, German, Italian, and Japanese, while Swedish, Finnish, Spanish, and Hebrew editions will appear this year. Buy you copy today. If you are on a budget, find a lender near you. The Swedish edition of The Incredible Machine alone will number 110,000 copies. Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Danish, Serbo‑Croatian, and Norwegian versions are being considered as well. Our World’s Heritage was the first Society publication to be translated into Chinese.
Our award-winning TV Specials and EXPLORER episodes, such as “Land of the Tiger,” “Save the Panda,” and “Secrets of the Titanic,” are broadcast internationally in several languages on network television and cable, as well as being distributed on videos. Spanish videos are also available in the United States.
Why are we journeying up these new avenues? As our world shrinks with the revolution in communications, it grows ever more important to increase international understanding and cooperation, for the problems nations face are often shared; we live in a global village where understanding our neighbors is crucial. Yet time and again I am struck by how little we know about one another, materially and spiritually. I am especially concerned that so many of the popular films and publications sent abroad by Americans give a distorted impression of our nation as one dominated by sex and violence, and I believe we can help offer an alternative to such sensationalism.
Our new partnerships with international publishers are small steps in this direction, sharing the educational resources of the Society with more of our neighbors —by speaking their language.