Taking Harry Potter Global

When I heard that the latest Harry Potter book was expected to sell 10 million copies in the first day, I assumed that this number included editions in various languages. But it turns out that the book is so far only available in English…

    In Germany, where the translation is not due to appear until October – a shipment of 100,000 English-language copies were immediately snapped up by bi-lingual youngsters.

So that means that right now, around the world, there are many very tired translators hard at work. Awhile back we posted two very good articles on the logistics and business of translating Harry Potter…

  • Translating Harry – Part I: The Language of Magic
  • Translating Harry — Part II: The Business of Magic

    To give you an idea of just how busy these translators are right now, here’s an excerpt from the Part II article:

      Although a five-month period has not been unusual for the most recent, very long volumes, there is often pressure from Warner Brothers to have the translations completed much more quickly. Jean-François Ménard, the French translator, translated the 700-plus page fourth book, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, in just 63 days. Torstein Hoverstad negotiated a bonus percentage with his publisher if he was able to finish the same book in a similar two-month period. (He did.) And Hanna Lutzen and Victor Morozov each formulated plans to translate the even longer Book V, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, into Danish and Ukranian, respectively, in the same eight-to-ten week timeframe.
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    Author: John Yunker

    John co-founded Byte Level Research in 2000 and is author of The Web Globalization Report Card. He also co-founder of Ashland Creek Press.