I will deliver a paper at the upcoming Tolkien Society Seminar on “Translating and Illustrating Tolkien”. My focus will be on France, and here is my abstract below.
“J.R.R. and Christopher Tolkien have been published in France since 1969. Even though there isn’t an equivalent of each and every Tolkien publication in English (there is no Tales from the Perilous Realm in French), all of their texts are available in translation. That is not the case of illustrations created for English editions: editions illustrated by J.R.R. Tolkien, Alan Lee, and Jemima Catlin have been published in French, but that is not the case for the illustrations by Michael Hague, David Wyatt and Eric Fraser. However, several French artists have been commissioned to illustrate Middle-earth: Chica (1976) and Evelyne Drouhin (1983) for The Hobbit, Jean-Pierre Evrard (1978) and Philippe Munch (1988) for The Lord of the Rings. All these illustrators worked from the first translations of these texts, by Francis Ledoux, who didn’t have access to information published in The Silmarillion or The History of Middle-earth. From 2012 to 2016, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings were translated again by Daniel Lauzon. These new translations have only been published with Alan Lee’s illustrations, and in a slightly different format than their English equivalent. The question of translation also concerns maps: an important mistake was printed again and again ever since the first French edition of The Hobbit, while nowadays the translator himself is extremely careful to make his translation blend in seamlessly with J.R.R. and Christopher Tolkien’s penmanship. Lauzon’s work, started in the early 2000s, also led to the publication in 2009 of an illustrated volume entitled Etymologies, which has no equivalent in English and benefitted from the help of Christopher Tolkien and the editors of “Vinyar Tengwar”, Carl Hostetter and Patrick Wynne. It aims at providing the most accurate Elvish etymological dictionary… and is illustrated.”