B&N Expands Foreign Language eBook Selection (Russian, Afrikaans, Urdu, Oh My)
Given that this section of the Nook Store was quietly launched in or before September 2011, I’m not sure this is still news. But it’s interesting none the less.
I noticed something about the Nook Store a few weeks back while I was working on the story about the US Spanish Kindle Store. All the attention at the time was focused on Amazon, but what few had noticed was that B&N had quietly reorganized the Nook Store to include a new section where US customers can buy ebooks in 8 different languages, which compares rather nicely to the 5 languages officially supported in the Kindle Store.
In fact, a side by side comparison of numbers is rather revealing:
- Spanish – 33k Kindle vs 45k Nook
- Italian – 7400 Kindle vs 3500 Nook
- German – 34k Kindle vs 9800 Nook
- French – 13k Kindle vs 5100 Nook
- Portuguese – 4800 Kindle vs 1900 Nook
- Dutch – 643 Nook
- Russian –17k Nook
- Finnish – 540 Nook
- Polish – 86 Nook
- Danish – 47 Nook
- Afrikaans – 19 Nook
- Japanese – 36 Nook
- Urdu – 2 Nook
Now, the Kindle Store does carry content in more languages than the 5 listed above, but all those titles are illicit. Amazon has made it clear in the past that only those 5 languages are supported and any content in a non-supported language will get pulled.
It’s an interesting comparison , isn’t it? Amazon is winning the content battle in 2 of the 5 languages they chose to support (while B&n offers more titles in Spanish). And given the paltry selection each offers in Portuguese and Italian, I’m calling those a draw.
But B&N is also offering a number of languages that Amazon won’t even touch, including several that I found through trial and error. Polish, Afrikaans, and Danish aren’t listed in the menu but they can be found by fiddling with the URL. (Pretty cool, Huh?) While the selection in some of the languages might be limited, at least B&N is offering them and classifying them correctly. That will stand them in good stead when they do go international.
While I’m at it, I’d like to point out that you can go find more foreign language books in the Nook Store. All you have to do is change the 3 digit language code (Afrikaans is AFR) to one of the codes listed here. (Hat tip to eBookFriendly for figuring out the language codes first.) The specific part of the URL that needs to be changed is the one beginning with &lng=. The language code comes after the equal sign. Click on one of the links above, delete the existing code 3 letter code, and type in a new one. Press enter and that should lead you to a new page.
I’d say that B&n clearly is the winner in the content department. They’re carrying stuff in the US market that no one else is (besides Smashwords, where some of the content is distributed).