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Monday, November 17, 2003

Harry Potter Worldwide 

The BBC is reporting that J.K. Rowling has begun work on book six in the Harry Potter series. According to the report, the series has been translated into 60 languages, although I'm only able to find 51 translations of the first book (and that is including the U.S. English and U.K. English and the Cyrillic and Latin Serbian editions separately):Other editions are reported to exist in Arabic, Bengali (may be only in an unofficial translation), Greek (Ancient), Greenlandic, Macedonian, Urdu, and Zulu, but I can't find the titles for them online. Which leaves about a handful of languages missing.

What's also interesting is that there seem to be a number of lesser-used languages into which Harry Potter has been translated. I suppose this is to help encourage Welsh, Basque, or Galego children, for example, to practice/use the language, just as the Latin and Ancient Greek editions can be used to encourage students to study the language.

The BBC Harry Potter subsite includes several articles about the translations of the books into various languages, as well as reports about various fan translation sites that cropped up to translate the new books before an official translation could be made.

ADDENDUM: Okay, some corrections based on comments here and over at Languagehat. I think I got the L-R/R-L character input fixed for the Hebrew. Korean, Bulagaian and Ukranian are now fixed. I'm sure I messed up copying the Hindi for "the philosopher's stone" (पारस पटभर). There could well be other problems with this list, let me know and I will try to correct them. Thanks!

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