In something of a landmark, Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone has just been translated into its 80th language–Scots, a language spoken by 1.5 million people in Scotland. Originally written by J.K. Rowling in Edinburgh, the first Harry Potter book was carefully translated by children’s author, writer, poet, editor and translator Matthew Fitt. You can see the first page of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stane above, and hear Fitt read samples of the text in the NPR interview below. Due out on March 1, the book can be pre-ordered now.
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Not even changing the language would appear to save one of the dullest franchise in the history of movie franchises. Seriously each episode following the boy wizard and his pals from Hogwarts Academy as they fight assorted villains has been indistinguishable from the others. Aside from the gloomy imagery, the series’ only consistency has been its lack of excitement and ineffective use of special effects, all to make magic unmagical, to make action seem inert.
Perhaps the die was cast when Rowling vetoed the idea of Spielberg directing the series; she made sure the series would never be mistaken for a work of art that meant anything to anybody?just ridiculously profitable cross-promotion for her books. The Harry Potter series might be anti-Christian (or not), but it’s certainly the anti-James Bond series in its refusal of wonder, beauty and excitement. No one wants to face that fact. Now, thankfully, they no longer have to.
>a-at least the books were good though
The writing is dreadful; the book was terrible. As I read, I noticed that every time a character went for a walk, the author wrote instead that the character “stretched his legs.”
I began marking on the back of an envelope every time that phrase was repeated. I stopped only after I had marked the envelope several dozen times. I was incredulous. Rowling’s mind is so governed by cliches and dead metaphors that she has no other style of writing. Later I read a lavish, loving review of Harry Potter by the same Stephen King. He wrote something to the effect of, “If these kids are reading Harry Potter at 11 or 12, then when they get older they will go on to read Stephen King.” And he was quite right. He was not being ironic. When you read “Harry Potter” you are, in fact, trained to read Stephen King.