UNESCO to Celebrate Literacy with International Translators of Harry Potter Novels


Sep 07, 2009

Posted by SueTLC

Tomorrow, September 8th, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization will celebrate International Literacy Day with a special gathering of translators of the beloved Harry Potter novels by J.K. Rowling. According to the official release, “translators responsible for some 20 different language versions of the
hugely successful Harry Potter book series, which has fired enthusiasm
for reading in countless children around the world, will gather at a
conference in Paris.” TLC reader Max sent us this additional article on the conference that says:

“The conference was initiated by Yuko Matsuoka
Harris, Japanese translator and publisher of the Harry Potter series,
and convened by the Organizing Committee composed of her and two other
Harry Potter translators, Gili Bar-Hillel of Israel and Torstein
Bugge-Høverstad of Norway. Harry Potter translators of more than 20
different languages will participate in this conference together with
experts on the socio-cultural, linguistic and educational aspects of
this phenomenon. These translators will share their personal and
professional experiences, which have never been discussed before.

The series of 7 Harry Potter’s books has achieved a historic
record of more than 400 million copies sold world-wide and it has
kindled enthusiasm and joy of reading in the mind of children as well
as of adults. But what is often ignored is the contribution of
translators. By virtue of creative translation into many mother
tongues, this wonderful story charmed children as well as adults and
introduced them into the magical world of Harry Potter. Through the
truly creative work of translators and their understanding of cultural
and linguistic intricacies, the story of Harry Potter has been spread
and appreciated by readers, especially young adults, all over the

The piece also says that there will be an exhibition of Harry Potter books jackets in the various languages, all signed by the translators and/or their illustrators, with some 30 different language versions of the series represented. Be sure to check out our extensive collection of book jackets from the various translations of the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling here in our galleries.

Wonderful! Thanks so much Diana and Max!

40 Responses to UNESCO to Celebrate Literacy with International Translators of Harry Potter Novels

Avatar ImageBriannaWazHere says: I love looking at the different covers from different countries. Avatar ImageBlatcher914 says: Way to go International Literacy Day! UNESCO is the best.Avatar ImageScarStruck says: that is sooo totally coooooool! i love all the different covers!!!!!!!!!!Avatar Imagecheeserpleaser says: We ought to thank all of these translators for the many hours of effort and labor they have dedicated to spreading this delightful story to countless people around the world. I hope they have a wonderful time in Paris!Avatar Imagegryffindor1991 says: all of the covers are cool. i bet i can read the spanish edition of the series. HP is the best series in the world. :DAvatar Imagefriendofblob says: It's nice that they're being reconized, and the jacket thing is very cool too.Avatar ImageLadySugarQuill says: Awesome idea! Tough I hope they don't invite the Spanish translators, those people are a disgrace *is a native Spanish speaker who suffered through HBP's translation and didn't read DH's.*Avatar ImageLadySugarQuill says: Wow, I had no idea asterisks did that...Avatar ImagePhoenix1946 says: Hurray for the translators for bringing the various peoples of the world together around a fantastic series of books. Too bad our governments and politicians can't be brought together as easily. Check out the Russian books. The seven book set is terrific. The front dust covers are exquisite but the spines, the spines are fabulous. When put in the stand in the correct order, the spines show a panorama of Hogwarts Castle. Avatar Imagehermionerules1844 says: It's amazing that only seven books can have such a big impact and be popular around the entire world.Avatar Imagewandmastercalum says: @Hermionerules1844 I totally agree. Hell just one book from her had such a huge impact on many people.Avatar ImageHBPFan says: I agree on that too!Avatar Imagelexuslovesweasleys says: yaa the bast day of the year with the best book in the world yea world Avatar ImageKissa says: Very cool! Torstein Bugge-Høverstad did an amazing job with his translation of the books, and though I didn't like that he translated a lot of names into more understandable Norwegian names, I can't deny that all names he chose were very good and fitting as well. I had no idea he was part of this! Awesome. :)Avatar Imagerons_aus_girl says: Awesome! Love the covers!!Avatar Imagebecmajec says: that is so cool! Avatar Imagedaharja says: It's great to look at the different covers before the books come out because you get different pieces of the story, like the American DH cover as opposed to the British one, with the Gringotts scene. And props to the translators! Whenever I read a book with really good language and vocabulary that wasn't originally in English, I wonder, and almost get suspicious, if the writer was that good or if some things were lost in translation, but it's nice to hear that these translators know what they're doing because every little word in HP could be important.Avatar Image-MischiefManaged- says: The Finnish translator Jaana Kapari-Jatta has been praised up to high heavens for her translations of the seven HP books, as have the translations themselves. I have only read the books in English and, because my Wizarding World is and has always been in English, I'm not sure if I will ever be able to read the translated versions. However, as someone with a Master's Degree in English Translating, I have an idea of the amount of work she has done and can appreciate her efforts accordingly -- although I don't necessarily agree with all her decisions, such as the fact that she has translated some of the names and all the spells into something more understandable for young Finnish readers (like, apparently, the Norwegian translator). But that's just me being a bit of a snob with English, really. :)Avatar ImageFifi says: When I was in Poland I watched the Polish translation of HBP and they said Hogwarts like "Hogvart"! It always makes me laugh. Avatar ImageWON_TWO says: Nicely done!Avatar ImageTheGriff says: Cool the covers are ace. Everyones saying how its amazing one series of books can be read world over and bring fans together. How bizarre must it all be for JK Rowling! haha. Well done the translators, must be some long hard hours put into their work.Avatar Imagethundermountain7 says: very cool so happy llove the coversAvatar Imagemjkalldaway says: its incredible what JKR has done. I like the coversAvatar ImageHermione Elizabeth says: How cool is that?! It is awesome! :)Avatar ImageRavenclaw98 says: that is soo cool!!Avatar ImageHeartbreakDX says: Very awesome!Avatar ImageViolaOwlfeather says: Apparently, Japanese TV even broadcast a report about that conference yesterday: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpYKtokElEYAvatar ImageFresca says: It is really amazing that so many translators from all over the world are willing to promote literacy. It makes me feel great, and proud that JKR's writings are found in so many languages and countries.Avatar Imageevannaa says: I really like the Dutch translation. And the cover too, it's quite different from most of the covers.Avatar ImageBell Dema says: I really, really hope that the bl00dy b*tch that translated the Spanish versions won't be there. She really doesn't deserve it. Avatar Imagelevi-OH-sa not levio-SA says: wow Avatar ImageAlice Weasley says: This sounds awesome- I kinda wish I could be thereAvatar Imagewing says: hahahahahahahaAvatar Imagewing says: hahahahahahahaAvatar Imagewing says: hahahahahahahaAvatar Imagewing says: hahahahahahahaAvatar Imagewing says: hahahahahahahaAvatar ImageMidnightSun321 says: woooo! go harry potter =DAvatar ImagehellomotoCOOP says: more HP respectAvatar Imagex_Potter_Lover_Forever_x says: Yes, truely wonderful!! It's brilliant that they can translate the perfection of Jo's books!!

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