Ebooks from Kobo ebookstore are available worldwide (opposite to Barnes & Noble) and to get them from abroad you don’t have to pay an international fee (opposite to Amazon Kindle).
Kobo sells ebooks in epub format, either DRM-free or with Adobe DRM, what makes it compatible with many ebook distributors around the world. The same format/DRM allows to read books from different sources. Out of the biggest ebookstores with worldwide distribution Kobo seems to be most suited to meet the needs of international, non-English customers.
There are more and more ebooks in mother tongue offered by ebookstores in particular countries, but Kobo is quickly expanding worldwide and we can expect more non-English content coming to this ebookstore, as well.
If you want to check ebooks in your language, you can use one of the two methods described below.
1. Use Kobo’s search box
First, when you visit Kobo site, you’ll see a language tab in top right corner (picture below).
This might look like a way to list content by language – but it’s not. You can only use it to change site’s interface to German, French or Dutch.
The best way to find books in other languages is to use a search box. Once you type, for instance, the author’s name, and hit Go, you’ll see the Refine Your Search section on the left sidebar. On top of it there is a list of 6 languages: English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, and Spanish.
You can further on select your language and check if there are books from your favorite author.
2. Go to a specific web address
If you want to get the list of all books in your mother tongue, even if your language is not included in Refine Your Search section, you can paste in the address bar of your web browser the specific address, which returns from Kobo site the search results by language.
So, for example, if you want to see how many books in Dutch are offered by Kobo, paste this line:
At the end of the web address there is a two-letter language code. The code for Dutch is “nl”. You can replace it with your own language. Here is the full list of ISO 639-1 language codes.
Here are quick links to most popular languages, together with the number of returned titles:
Dutch – 6,323 titles
German – 80, 762 titles
French – 212,891 titles
Spanish – 20,773 titles
Italian – 40,756 titles
Portuguese – 4,358 titles
The number of available books, especially French and German, is much bigger than in Kindle Store. That’s because free titles from the Internet Archive are available directly from Kobo site – which is very convenient.
If your language is not officially supported (included in the Refine Your Search list), you won’t see its description on a book page (see picture below), but if you use this method, you can be sure the returned result is in the right language.
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Kobo site is currently under reconstruction. I hope some time soon there will be an option added to easily search and sort books by any language. It should be, if Kobo seriously thinks of global expansion.