Harry Potter and the Translator’s Nightmare (video)

9780747561965As anyone who has read the books can tell you, the Harry Potter series is written in British English, and is replete with cultural references which are difficult to translate across borders, much less languages. This problem is only compounded by the words which the author created to name the people, places and things in her books.

Linguists have been talking about the problem of translating Harry Potter for over a decade, and recently Vox published a video which detailed some of the more interesting examples of the substitutions and alterations made by translators as they grappled with cultural and language barriers.

It's worth reading, and so are the half dozen links I found while I was distracted by this story.

Enjoy.

About Nate Hoffelder (11588 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

3 Comments on Harry Potter and the Translator’s Nightmare (video)

  1. They should try translating ‘Irish’ English. Now there’s a challenge!

  2. Ha!
    Try translating Discworld series.

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