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Harry Potter in translation

From Academic Kids

This page is part of the Harry Potter in translation series. Some information originally from this page is temporarily being stored here.

The Harry Potter books are a series of fantasy novels by J. K. Rowling chronicling the adventures of a young wizard who was orphaned as a baby and raised among non-magical people.

The Harry Potter books have become some of the most beloved -- and criticised -- works of children's literature the world has known, with readers of all ages, and Rowling has catapulted from poverty to worldwide fame and staggering wealth (recent estimates value her fortune, earned from the novels and films, at approximately US$1 billion). In America alone there are over 80 million Harry Potter books in print, and worldwide sales are estimated at over 250 million copies.

Contents

List of translations by language

See also: List of titles of Harry Potter books in other languages

The Harry Potter books have been translated into approximately 60 languages and are sold in over 200 countries.

Official translations have been done in the following languages (languages are listed twice if more than one translation was prepared, once if the difference is merely a difference of country and distributor):

  1. Afrikaans, South Africa: Human & Rousseau (pty) Ltd. (http://www.nb.co.za/HumanRousseau/hrNew.asp?iCategory_id=23), translated by Janie Oosthuysen (http://www.stellenboschwriters.com/oosttaylorj.html)
  2. Albanian, Albania: Publishing House Dituria, translated by Amik Kasoruho
  3. Arabic, Egypt: Nahdet Misr
  4. Basque, Spain: Ediciones Salamandra / Elkarlanean, translated by Iñaki Mendiguren (I-IV)
  5. Bengali, Bangladesh: Ankur Prakashani
  6. Bulgarian, Bulgaria: Egmont Bulgaria (http://www.egmontbulgaria.com/harrypotter/), translated by Mariana Melnishka (http://www.sofiaecho.com/article/potter-mania-reaches-bulgaria/id_2691/catid_29) (I-IV), Emiliia L. Maslarova (V)
  7. Catalan, Spain: Editorial Empuries, translated by Laura Escorihuela (I-IV), Marc Alcega (IV), Xavier Pàmies (V)
  8. Chinese, People's Republic of China (Simplified Characters): People's Literature Publishing House (http://www.harrypotter.net.cn/), translated by Su Nong (I), Ma Ai-xin (II, IV, V), Zheng Xu-Mi (III), Ma Ainong (V), and Ji Wen (V)
  9. Chinese, Taiwan (Traditional Chinese Characters): Crown Publishing Company Ltd (http://www.crown.com.tw/harrypotter/), translated by Peng Chien-Wen (Qian-Wen)
  10. Croatian, Croatia: Algoritam (http://www.algoritam.hr/?m=1&p=vijesti&opcija=prikaz&id=377), translated by Zlatko Crnković (I-III), Dubravka Petrović (IV, V)
  11. Czech, Czech Republic: Albatros (http://www.albatros.cz/phprs_harry/), translated by Vladimír Medek (book I) (http://www.radio.cz/en/issue/44547), Pavel Medek (books II, III)
  12. Danish, Denmark: Gyldendal (http://www.harrypotter.dk/), translated by Hanne Lützen
  13. Dutch, Netherlands: Standaard /Uitgeverij De Harmonie (http://www.harrypotter.nl/index_flash.html) (I-V), translated by Wiebe Buddingh'
  14. English: Australia, Allen & Unwin Pty Ltd (Distributor) (http://www.allenandunwin.com/harrypotter/series.asp); Canada, Bloomsbury/Raincoast (http://www.raincoast.com/harrypotter/); South Africa, Jonathan Ball Publishers (Distributors); UK/Commonwealth Bloomsbury (http://www.bloomsbury.com/harrypotter/); USA: Scholastic (http://www.scholastic.com/harrypotter/home.asp)
  15. Estonian, Estonia: Varrak Publishers (http://www.zone.ee/harrypotter/), translated by Krista Kaer, Kaisa Kaer
  16. Faroese, Faroe Islands: Bokadeild Foroya Laerarafelags (http://www.bfl.fo/bkeninfo.htm), translated by Gunnar Hoydal (I-III), Malan Háberg (IV)
  17. Finnish, Finland: Tammi (http://www.tammi.net/harrypotter/flash/index.html), translated by Jaana Kapari (I-V)
  18. French, France and Canada: Gallimard Jeunesse[1] (http://www.harrypotter.gallimard-jeunesse.fr/Pages/Menu.html), translated by Jean-François Ménard
  19. Galician (Galego), Spain: Ediciones Salamandra, translated by Marilar Aleixandre
  20. Georgian, Georgia: Bakur Sulakauri (http://www.sulakauri.ge/main.html) Publishing, translated by Manana Antadze (I), Davit Gabunia (II, III) and Ketevan Kanchashvili (IV, forthcoming)
  21. German, Germany: Carlsen Verlag (http://www.carlsen-harrypotter.de/), translated by Klaus Fritz
  22. Plattdeutsch (Low German), Germany: Verlag Michael Jung, translated by Hartmut Cyriacks, Peter Nissen et al
  23. Greek (modern), Greece: Psicholgios Publications (http://www.psichogios.gr/intro/index.asp), translated by Máia Roútsou (book I); Kaíti Oikonómou (book II-V)
  24. Greek (ancient): Bloomsbury, translated by Andrew Wilson (http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~loxias/harry_potter.htm) due October 4th, 2004
  25. Greenlandic, Greenland: Atuakkiorfik Greenland Publishers (http://www.atuakkiorfik.gl/), translated by Stephen Hammeken
  26. Gujarati, India: Manjul Publishing House Pvt. Ltd., translated by Jagruti Trivedi and Harish Nayak
  27. Hebrew, Israel: Books in the Attic Ltd. / Miskal (http://www.ybook.co.il/proza/potter/potter.asp), translated by Gili Bar-Hillel (I-V)
  28. Hindi, India: Manjul Publishing House Pvt. Ltd., translated by Sudhir Dixit (http://www.newindpress.com/Newsitems.asp?ID=IEO20031102135134&Title=This+is+India&Topic=0)
  29. Hungarian, Hungary: Animus Publishing (http://www.libri.hu/), translated by Tóth Tamás Boldizsár (I-V)
  30. Icelandic, Iceland: Bjartur, translated by Helga Haraldsdóttir (I-V) and Jón Hallur Stefánsson (V)
  31. Indonesian, Indonesia: Penerbit PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama (http://www.gramedia.com/), translated by Listiana Srisanti (http://www.thejakartapost.com/yesterdaydetail.asp?fileid=20030713.G01) (I-V)
  32. Irish: Bloomsbury, translated by Máire Nic Mhaoláin, due October 4th, 2004
  33. Italian, Italy: Adriano Salani Editore (http://www.salani.it/), translated by Marina Astrologo (I-II), Beatrice Masini (http://blogalization.info/reorganization/?q=node/view/173) (III-V) and illustrated by Serena Riglietti
  34. Japanese (modern), Japan: Say-zan-sha Publications Ltd. (http://www.sayzansha.com/), translated by Yuko Matsuoka (http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/getarticle.pl5?fl20040104a1.htm)
  35. Korean, Korea: Moonhak Soochup Publishing Co. (http://www.moonhak.co.kr/htdoc/moonhak_best.asp), translated by Kim Hye-won (I-IV), Inja Choe (V)
  36. Latin: Bloomsbury, translated by Peter Needham
  37. Latvian, Latvia: Jumava (http://www.jumava.lv/new.asp), translated by Ingus Josts (I-V), Ieva Kolmane (IV-V), Sabīne Ozola (V), Māra Poļakova (V)
  38. Lithuanian, Lithuania: Alma Littera Company Limited (http://www.almalittera.lt/lt.php/28;book;7868), translated by Zita Mariene (I-V)
  39. Macedonian, Macedonia: Publishing House Kultura
  40. Marathi, India: Manjul Publishing House Pvt. Ltd., translated by Shukla Vikas (http://cities.expressindia.com/fullstory.php?newsid=17645)
  41. Malay, Malaysia: Pelangi Books
  42. Malayalam, India: Manjul Publishing House Pvt. Ltd., translated by Dr. Radhika C. Nair (http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/mp/2004/07/05/stories/2004070502450100.htm)
  43. Norweigan, Norway: N.W. Damm & Son A.S., translated by Torstein Bugge Høverstad (I-V)
  44. Persian (Farsi), Iran: Ghazal, translated by Saeed Kebriyaee (I), Nahid (I-V)
  45. Polish, Poland: Media Rodzina of Poznan (http://www.mediarodzina.com.pl/nowa/harry_potter/index.php), translated by Andrzej Polkowski (I-V)
  46. Portuguese, Portugal: Editorial Presença (http://www.editpresenca.pt/), translated by Isabel Fraga (I), Isabel Nunes and Manuela Madureira
  47. Portuguese, Brazil: Editora Rocco Ltda. Editora Rocco Ltda. (http://www.rocco.com.br/), translated by Lia Wyler
  48. Romanian, Romania: Egmont Romania, translated by Ioana Iepureanu (http://www.cji-bullet.ro/article.html?id=396&cadate=1075327200)
  49. Russian, Russia: Rosman Publishing (http://www.rosman.ru/harrypotter/index.xml), translated by Igor W. Oranskij (I), Marina D. Litvinova (II-V), Vladimir Babkov (V), Viktor Golyshev (V), Leonid Motylev (V)
  50. Scots Gaelic, Bloomsbury, not yet translated 1 (http://www.hpana.com/news.17417.html)
  51. Serbian, Serbia: Alfa – Narodna Knjiga (http://www.narodnaknjiga.co.yu/), translated by Vesna Stamenkovic Roganovic & Draško Roganović (I, III-V); Ana Vukomanovic (II)
  52. Slovak, Slovakia: IKAR (http://www.harrypotter.sk/), translated by Jana Petrikovičová (books 1,2) Oľga Kralovičová (books 3,4)
  53. Slovene, Slovenia: EPTA (http://www.harryjezakon.com/), translated by Jakob J. Kenda (I-V)
  54. Spanish (Castilian), Spain and Latin America: Emece Editores / Salamandra (http://www.salamandra.info/): translated by Alicia Dellepiane Rawson (I), Adolpho Muñoz Garcia (II-IV), Nieves Martín Azofra (II-IV), Gemma Rovira Ortega (V)
  55. Swedish, Sweden: Tiden Young Books (http://www.harrypotter.nu/) / Raben & Sjogren, translated by Lena Fries-Gedin (http://www.swedishbookreview.com/old/2002s-gedin.html) (I-V)
  56. Thai, Thailand: Nanmee Books (http://www.nanmeebooks.com/HarryPotter/), translated by Sumalee Bumrungsuk (I-II), Waleephon (III), Ngarmphan Wetchacheewa (IV)
  57. Turkish, Turkey: Yapi Kredi Kultur Sanat Yayincilik (http://www.harrypotter.gen.tr/), translated by Mustafa Bayindir, Ülkü Tamer (I), Sevin Okyay (II-V) and Kutlukhan Kutlu (IV, V)
  58. Ukrainian, Ukraine: A-BA-BA-HA-LA-MA-HA, translated by Victor Morozov (http://www.victormorozov.com) (I - V), and Sofiia Andrukhovich (IV)
  59. Urdu, Pakistan: Oxford University Press (http://www.oup.com.pk/), translated by Darakhshanda Asghar Khokhar (http://www.dawn.com/2002/03/30/nat28.htm) (I-III)
  60. Valencian, Spain: Editorial Empuries
  61. Vietnamese, Vietnam: Tre Publishing House, translated by Ly Lan
  62. Welsh (UK), translated by Emily Huws  (http://icwales.icnetwork.co.uk/0900entertainment/1900playtime/page.cfm?objectid=13412315&method=full&siteid=50082)
  63. Zulu, rumored

Some translations, such the Latin and Ancient Greek ones, were done as academic exercises, but also to stimulate interest in the languages and to give students new texts to read. The Ancient Greek version, according to the translator, is the longest text translated into the language in over 1500 years, and took one year to complete. Note that in some countries, such as Spain and India, the book has been translated into several local languages (see section on publishers); sometimes the book has been translated into two different dialects of the same language in two different countries (for example, Brazil and Portugal).

Issues in translation

Translation is never easy or precise; it is often called an art, perhaps rightfully so, as it requires a high degree of artistry as well as technical skill. Successful translations rely on thorough understanding of both the source language and the target language, as well as the culture(s) of speakers of both languages. Successful translations are both true to the original text (not changing, adding or subtracting any part of the meaning) and authentic in the target language, that is, appearing or "feeling" to a native speaker of the target language to have originally been written in that language.

Word-for-word translations are rarely successful, not only because the nuances of the writing (the atmosphere, wordplay, language, etc) would be lost, but because cultural differences would be ignored.

The Harry Potter series presents some special challenges to translators:

Culture

The cultural environment of the book is decidedly English. The stories follow a familiar theme in English children's books, that of adventures at boarding school, and many of the cultural nuances will be unfamiliar to readers in translation. Such things require careful and creative translating.

Language

The language of the books, reflected, for example, in Hagrid's manner of speaking, reveals much about the various characters. Various expressions and forms of speech are regional, requiring translation even in the American release of the book (which was also in English).

Invented words

This includes such things as spells and incantations and magical words. Many of Rowling's spells, for example, are drawn from or inspired by Latin, and have a certain resonance with English speakers. Priori incantatem, for example (a spell which causes the last spells performed by a wand to be reproduced in reverse order), would be familiar to many English-speaking readers as the words prior ("previous") and incant ("recite, utter"). Some translators have created new words themselves, or have resorted to transliteration.

Names of people, places and things

Names such as Knockturn Alley and the Pensieve are extremely difficult to translate. The Pensieve, for example, is a magical bowl into which memories and thoughts can be placed and examined at leisure. This name is a pun on two words: pensive, meaning "musingly or dreamily thoughtful," and sieve, a type of bowl with perforations through which fine particles of a substance (such as flour) may be passed to separate them from coarser ones. The name Knockturn Alley, an unsavoury section of Diagon Alley where London's magic market is located, suggests something beaten up or twisted, and is also semi-homonymous with "nocturnally," suggesting darkness and, by extension, evil. Translators must use creativity and sensitivity in rendering such names, and some are more successful than others.

Pirate translations

Soon after the success of the first book, Harry Potter and the Philospher's Stone (released in the US as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone), the books began to be translated into other languages. In fact, Harry Potter has become so popular that even "pirate translations" (illegal, unofficial translations released ahead of the official translation) have been created.

One notable example occurred in Venezuela in 2003, when an illegal translation of the fifth book, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, appeared soon after the release of the original (English) version and five months before the scheduled release of the Spanish version. The pirate translation was apparently so bad that the translator added messages, including "Here comes something that I'm unable to translate, sorry," and "I'm sorry, I didn't understand what that meant" in some sections. Two people were arrested in connection with the pirated version.

Another notable example was the internet community formed to translate the Harry Potter books into German more rapidly [2] (http://www.harry-auf-deutsch.de/). After being prevented by the German publisher from openly releasing their translations, they converted in to a community site which (1) translates the books for the enjoyment of their own members (thus avoiding copyright issues, apparently), (2) translates fan fiction, (3) discusses discrepancies in the official translations, and (4) creates their own lexicon.

Pirate translations can often be produced much faster than official translations, for several reasons:

  • the translation can be produced as a collaborative process, with several people working in parallel on different sections of the book, thus shortening the translation time
  • less time is spent on editing and proofreading
  • Pirate translations are often published online, eliminating the time spent on printing and distributing official hard copies.

This makes it very tempting to engage in a pirate translation, rather than wait several months for an official translation to be issued. However, for the very same reasons stated above, Pirate translations are usually inferior to the official translations.

The agents representing J. K. Rowling have stated in the past, that they cannot and do not intend to prevent individuals from translating Rowling's books for their own personal enjoyment. Translation can be a fun, educational and challenging pastime. However, if anyone should attempt to publish an unauthorized translation in any form, making it accessible to the general public whether for financial gain or not, they are committing a rights violation and litigation will follow.

Fake translations

Whereas "pirate translations" are unauthorized translations of true Harry Potter books, "fake translations" are published pastiches or fanfics which a foreign publisher has tried to pass off as the translation of a book by Rowling. There have been several such books, the most famous of which is probably Harry Potter and Leopard-Walk-Up-to-Dragon which was written and published in China in 2002, prior to the release of the fifth book in the series, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

Additional "fake" Harry Potter books written in Chinese include:

  • Harry Potter and the Porcelain Doll (http://www.cjvlang.com/Hpotter/ciwawa.html) (哈利・波特与瓷娃娃 or Hālì Bōtè yǔ Cíwáwa)
  • Harry Potter and the Golden Turtle
  • Harry Potter and the Crystal Vase

And in Bengali:

  • Harry Potter Kolkataye (Harry Potter in Calcutta), by Uttam Ghosh

Related topics

External links

J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series:
Harry Potter and the ...
Philosopher's Stone book movie game
Chamber of Secrets book movie game
Prisoner of Azkaban book movie game
Goblet of Fire book movie  
Order of the Phoenix book movie  
Half-Blood Prince book    
Book Seven (as yet untitled) book    
Characters - Places - Translations - Related articles

Spinoffs
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them | Quidditch Through the Ages | Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup

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