A great YouTube video: Harry Potter and the translator’s nightmare
Accio Harry Potter translations!
Translating the Harry Potter books written by J.K. Rowling, in over 60 languages around the world, was not for the faint of heart or vocabulary. Translators didn’t have advanced copies of the books to get a headstart and these books could take months to adapt from English. They also had to be clever in their solutions because the books are filled with wordplays, invented words, puns, British culture references, riddles, and more. The longest book, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, at 870 pages was published June 21, 2003. The first translation of it was ready July 21, 2003. Translators had to work day and night to have them ready for eager readers. Even then, fans still banded together to create illegal translations of the series.
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