Tall Tales of the West: The Stories of Karl May

Translations from around the World

May’s more popular works have been distributed worldwide. His Arabian stories are more widely read in Turkey and the Near East, but the American West is trendy everywhere. Not surprisingly the Winnetou series is the most translated of May’s works, with versions in an estimated 40 languages, including Latin and experimental languages such as Esperanto and Volapük. Authorized and unauthorized translations come in many versions. They were adapted from May’s works, at times modified, and occasionally remind readers only slightly of the original texts.



In the first American translation of Winnetou from 1898, for instance, Marion Taggart is listed as the author with only a small credit line, “adapted … from C. May.” The story’s fictional narrator was Jack Hildreth, and the book received a completely unrelated title. The first conventional American English translation of Winnetou appeared in 1977.

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American Edition. Marion Ames Taggart. The Treasure of Nugget Mountain - orig. title Winnetou II & III. Adapted for our boys and girls from C. May. New York: Benziger Brothers, 1898.
American Edition. Winnetou. New York: Seabury Press, 1977.


French Edition (Orient series). Fauves & Bandits (Predators and Bandits) – orig. title Der Krumir. Tours: Maison Algred Mame et Fils, 1926.


Spanish Edition. Entre Los Pieles Rojas (Among Indians) - orig. title Winnetou. Barcelona: La Académica, 1927.
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Dutch edition. De oase in de Llano Estacado (The Oasis in the Llano Estacado) – orig. title Der Geist des Llano Estacado. Utrecht: Prisma-Boeken, 1963.


Swedish Edition. Skatten I Silversjön (The Treasure of Silver Lake) - orig. title Der Schatz im Silbersee. Uddevalla: Bohusläns Grafiska, 1976.
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Swedish Edition. Old Shatterhand och Apach-indianerna (Old Shatterhand among Apaches) - orig. title Winnetou. Stockholm: B. Wahlströms Bokförlag, 1944.
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Brazilian Edition. Winnetou. Rio de Janeiro: Ediçőes de Ouro, 1978.
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Hebrew Edition. Milchenot Hashebatim (War of the Tribes) - orig. title unknown. Schalgi Books, n.d.
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Hebrew Edition. Hamanhigh Halaban (The White Leader) - orig. title Winnetou. N.p.: Izreel Publishing House, 1952.
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Hungarian Edition. Az Olajkirály (Oil Prince) - orig. title Der Ölprinz. Budapest: Móra Ferenc Könyvkiadó, 1972.
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Hungarian Edition. Winnetou. N.p: n.p., 1980.
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Croatian Edition. Winnetouovi Baštinici (Winnetou’s Legacy) - org. title Winnetou IV. Sarajevo: Izdavaci, 1965.
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Italian Edition. Manosicura in Giallo Nel West (Mystery in the West) - orig. title Old Shurehand II. Roma: Edizioni Paoline, 1972.
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Japanese Edition. Winnetou’s Adventure - orig. title Winnetou. 2 volumes. N.p: Shiro Yamaguchi, 2003.
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