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Harry Potter and the translator’s nightmare

25 October 2016

9 Comments to “Harry Potter and the translator’s nightmare”

  1. fascinating

  2. Cool! In the examples given, the translators did a great job with challenging material.

  3. That video really brings to light how much work translators have to put in to effectively translate fiction. 🙂

  4. I have a great deal of respect and admiration for translators, but I find “translating” from English” to “American” very annoying.

    • So do I. Even accounting for “two countries separated by the same language” it’s not as if one form is incomprehensible to the other, and I wish publishers would quit perpetuating that idea.

    • Me, too. Particularly for a fantasy book like Harry Potter – if I can cope with Expelliarmus, I think I can deal with cars having a boot instead of a trunk.

      I ended up ordering the HP books from Amazon.co.uk, and while I’d like to have them as ebooks, they won’t sell me those. I won’t buy the Americanized version from the US Amazon.

      • I, too, got the British versions, at the request of my American daughter, who absolutely loves and prefers them.

  5. I have the British and German editions. I thought the German translation was very inventive. I remember Mr. Weasley’s “escapators” (escalators) becoming “Trolltreppen” (troll stairs instead of German Rolltreppen–rolling stairs). Of course it helps that German is close to English, but there were a lot of examples like that. The German translator(s?) did a nice job. 🙂

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