by Mary Jo
Romance is read around the world in many, many languages. For a writer, it's a huge benefit if one's native tongue is widely spoken and widely read because that means there's a sizable publishing business: writing groups, editors, publishers, agents. All the paraphernalia that help aspiring writers learn and grow and become published.
I've often thought how hard it is to be a very talented writer in a small language group where there isn't the structure to support budding talents. (To the left are two editions of LOVING A LOST LORD, Japanese on the left, Indonesian on the right.)
I give thanks that I'm a native speaker of (American) English, which is spoken and read around the world. Lots and lots of romances are published in English, so many foreign publishers find it more efficient to buy rights to English language books and translate them into their own language because there just aren't as many original titles available in Polish or Korean or whatever. (Harlequin, the romance giant, does its own translations and distribution. According to Wikipedia, in a recent year that was 26 languages and 106 countries. That a LOT of romances!)