Many literary works by African writers have been translated. To some extent, these translations are collected by the Jahn Library.
The Jahn Library attempts to collect German translations of African literature as completely as possible. English translations of francophone literary works are also collected, as well as, to a much lesser degree, French translations of anglophone literary titles. There are some translations into further European languages in the Jahn Library; these, however, are mostly donations and are not actively collected.
Furthermore, the Jahn Library collects translations of literary works written in African languages into German, English, and French as well as into other African languages. There are also several translations of world literature into individual African languages, as well as bilingual editions of individual titles written in African languages.
Some African literary works have never been published in the language in which they were originally written, or were published in translation first. Other works were published simultaneously in several languages.