Following up on today's post on "Call of Cthulhu" fandom in Brazil, I thought I'd offer up some ideas about the international nature of Lovecraft aficionados from my own experiences.
Roughly half the Miskatonic swag I send out travels outside the United States. Of that, thirty percent goes to France, twenty percent to Great Britain, ten percent to Canada, followed in descending order by Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Spain, Slovakia, Brazil, the Russian Federation, the Czech Republic, Japan, China (Hong Kong, specifically), and Australia. That doesn't count the nations I've sent a single package to.
The biggest surprise to me was the huge amount of swag destined for France. After discussing it with a few natives I came to the conclusion that may well be because the French version of "Call of Cthulhu" is actually better than the English one. The licensee produces material with artistic and graphic design standards that, frankly, blows many of Chaosium's own supplements out of the water.
Update: Alban, one of my French correspondents, writes: It's right that this american game invented in 1980 was introduced in France in....1981! And is still played knowing only 2 editors;, the 1st one stopping to sell the game in 2005. In the other side Lovecraft was published here in 1953 and appreciated qt 1st encounter by the new underground "intelligentsia" to finally has a re-discover in the 70's.. It's not a question of better game translation; we are all Lovecraft fans here !!!! ;0)
Update: The current French publisher is Éditions Sans-Détour. You'll find their website over here, and a version translated into English is available via Google over here.