Harry Potter in translation
The Harry Potter series of fantasy novels by J. K. Rowling have become some of the most widely read works of children's literature in history, with readers of all ages and in many countries. In April 2011 worldwide sales of Harry Potter books were estimated to be about 450 million copies, and the books have been translated from the original English into at least 68 other languages. However, there are two separate Portuguese translations (one into European Portuguese and one into Brazilian Portuguese) as well as two separate Chinese translations (one using Traditional Chinese characters and the other Simplified Chinese characters). Therefore, editions of the books have been published in at least 70 distinct language versions. (This does not include the separate American English edition, nor the Valencian adaptation of the Catalan edition, nor the separate Serbian edition published in the Serbian Cyrillic alphabet.)
- 1 Translation process
- 2 List of translations by language
- 3 Unauthorised translations
- 4 Fake translations
- 5 Americanisation as translation
- 6 Issues in translation
- 7 Notes
- 8 References
- 9 External links
For an authorised translation, the publisher must first negotiate and sign a contract with the author's agents, The Blair Partnership. A list of authorised publishers can be read on J. K. Rowling’s website. The publishers select translators locally.
Translators were not granted access to the books before their official release date in English; hence, translation could start only after the English editions had been published, creating a lag of several months before the translations were made available. This necessary delay has boosted the sales of English language editions of the books to impatient fans, in countries where English is not the first language. Such was the clamour to read the fifth book that its English edition became the first English-language book ever to top the bookseller list in France. In Italy, impatient Potter fans organised "Operation Feather", deluging the publisher Salani with feathers (reminiscent of Hogwarts' messenger owls) to demand expedited publication for the Italian translation of the seventh and final book in the series. This has also caused unauthorised translations and fake versions of the books to appear in many countries.
The high profile and demand for a high-quality local translation means that a great deal of care is often taken in the task. In some countries, such as Italy, the first book was revised by the publishers and issued in an updated edition in response to readers who complained about the quality of the first translation. In countries such as China and Portugal, the translation is conducted by a group of translators working together to save time. Some of the translators hired to work on the books were quite well known before their work on Harry Potter, such as Viktor Golyshev, who oversaw the Russian translation of the series' fifth book. Golyshev was previously best known for having translated William Faulkner and George Orwell, and was known to snub the Harry Potter books in interviews and refer to them as inferior literature. The Turkish translation of books two to five was undertaken by Sevin Okyay, a popular literary critic and cultural commentator.
List of translations by language
The original British English versions of the book were published in the United Kingdom by Bloomsbury. There is no complete official list of authorised translations currently available. Editions exist in the following languages (including the original):
|Language||Country||Publisher(s) and distributor(s)||Translator(s)||Title(s)|
|1.||Afrikaans||South Africa||Human & Rousseau (pty) Ltd.||
|2.||Albanian||Albania||Publishing House Dituria||Amik Kasoruho||
|3.||Arabic|| Arab world
(Translation origin: Egypt)
|Nahdet Misr||Muhammad Ibrahim||
|4.||Armenian||Armenia||Medianet (I 2004)
Zangak (I 2016)
|5.||Asturian||Spain ( Asturias)||Trabe||Xesús González Rato||
|7.||Basque||Spain ( Basque Country)||Elkarlanean||Iñaki Mendiguren (I-VII)||
|9.||Bosnian||Bosnia and Herzegovina||Mirjana Evtov |
|10.||Breton||France ( Brittany)||An Amzer||
|12.||Catalan||Editorial Empúries; Valencian adaptation published by Tàndem Edicions, S.L.||
|17.||Dutch||Standaard / Uitgeverij De Harmonie||Wiebe Buddingh'||
(Original editions; not translations)
(edited for American readers)
|20.||Faroese||Faroe Islands||Bókadeild Føroya Lærarafelags||
|21.||Filipino||Philippines||Lampara Books||Becky Bravo||
|23.||French||Éditions Gallimard||Jean-François Ménard (plus the school books)||
|24.||West Frisian||Netherlands ( Friesland)||Uitgeverij Bornmeer||Jetske Bilker||
|25.||Galician||Spain ( Galicia)||Editorial Galaxia||
|26.||Georgian||Georgia||Bakur Sulakauri Publishing||
|27.||German||Carlsen Verlag||Klaus Fritz||
|28.||Low German||Germany||Verlag Michael Jung||
|29.||Modern Greek||Psichogios Publications||
|30.||Ancient Greek||Bloomsbury||Andrew Wilson (I)||
|31.||Greenlandic||Greenland||Atuakkiorfik Greenland Publishers||Stephen Hammeken||
|32.||Gujarati||India (Gujarat)||Manjul Publishing House Pvt. Ltd. ||
|33.||Hebrew||Israel||Miskal Ltd. (Yedioth Ahronoth and Sifrey Hemed) / Books in the Attic Ltd.||Gili Bar-Hillel||
|34.||Hindi||India||Manjul Publishing House Pvt. Ltd.||Sudhir Dixit (I-VII)||
|35.||Hungarian||Hungary||Animus Publishing||Tóth Tamás Boldizsár||
|37.||Indonesian||Indonesia||Penerbit PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama||Listiana Srisanti (I-V)||
|38.||Irish||Bloomsbury||Máire Nic Mhaoláin (I)||
|39.||Italian||Adriano Salani Editore||
Illustrated by Serena Riglietti
|40.||Japanese||Japan||Say-zan-sha Publications Ltd.||Yuko Matsuoka (松岡 佑子 Matsuoka Yūko?)||
|41.||Khmer||Cambodia||Cambodia Daily Press||Un Tim||
|42.||Korean||South Korea||Moonhak Soochup Publishing Co.||
|43.||Latin||Bloomsbury||Peter Needham (I-II)||
|45.||Lithuanian||Lithuania||Alma Littera Company Limited||Zita Marienė||
|46.||Luxembourgish||Luxembourg||Kairos Edition||Florence Berg (I-II)
Guy Berg (II)
|47.||Macedonian||Republic of Macedonia||Publishing House Kultura (I-V)
Mladinska kniga Skopje (VI-VII)
|48.||Marathi||India||Manjul Publishing House Pvt. Ltd.||
|50.||Malayalam||India (Kerala)||Manjul Publishing House Pvt. Ltd.||Radhika C. Nair||
|51.||Mongolian||Mongolia||Nepko Publishing||Д.Аюуш & Д.Батбаяр||
|52.||Nepali||Nepal||Sunbird Publishing House ||
|53.||Norwegian||Norway||N.W. Damm & Søn A.S.||Torstein Bugge Høverstad||
|54.||Occitan||France ( Occitania)||Per Noste Edicions||
|55.||Persian||Iran||Tandis Books||Vida Eslamiyeh||
|56.||Polish||Poland||Media Rodzina||Andrzej Polkowski||
|61.||Sinhala||Sri Lanka||Sarasavi Publishers (Pvt) Ltd ||
|65.||Swedish||Tiden Young Books / Raben & Sjögren||Lena Fries-Gedin||
|67.||Tibetan||People's Republic of China (Tibet Autonomous Region)||Bod ljongs mi dmangs dpe skrun khang||
|70.||Urdu||Pakistan||Oxford University Press||Darakhshanda Asghar Khokhar (I-IV)||
|71.||Vietnamese||Vietnam||Youth Publishing House||Lý Lan||
|72.||Welsh||United Kingdom ( Wales)||Bloomsbury||Emily Huws (I)||
|73.||Tamil||India||Manjul Publishing House Pvt. Ltd.||PSV Kumarasamy (I-II)||
|74.||Telugu||India||Manjul Publishing House Pvt. Ltd.||M. S. B. P. N. V. Rama Sundari||
The government of Kazakhstan has ordered a Kazakh translation of the Harry Potter novels to be made and the Government of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan have also ordered a Tajik, Uzbek and Kyrgyz translation.
A few languages have been suggested such as Swahili, Manx, Belarusian, Maltese, Zulu and Maori.
Some translations, such as those to the dead Latin and Ancient Greek languages, were done as academic exercises, to stimulate interest in the languages and to provide students of those languages with modern reading texts. The Ancient Greek version, according to the translator, is the longest text written in Ancient Greek since the novels of Heliodorus of Emesa in the 3rd century AD, and took about a year to complete.
Note that in some countries, such as Spain and India, the book has been translated into several local languages (see section on publishers); sometimes the book has been translated into two dialects of the same language in two countries (for example, separate Portuguese versions for Brazil and for Portugal).
The impatience of the international Harry Potter fan community for translations of the books has led to the proliferation of unauthorised or pirate translations that are often hastily translated and posted on the internet chapter-by-chapter, or printed by small presses and sold illegally. The work may be done by multiple translators to speed the process. Such translations are often poorly written and filled with errors. Cases have occurred in many areas of the world, but China is one of the most common areas of the world for unauthorised translations and pirated editions to be sold.
One notable case involved a French 16-year-old who published serialised translations of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows online. He was arrested and his site was later shut down; however, the wife of the official translator noted that these works do not necessarily hurt the official translation.
Another example occurred in Venezuela in 2003, when an illegal translation of the fifth book, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, appeared soon after the release of the English version and five months before the scheduled release of the Spanish translation. The pirate translation was apparently so bad that the translator added messages, including "Here comes something that I'm unable to translate, sorry," and "I'm sorry, I didn't understand what that meant" in some sections. Two people were arrested in connection with the pirated version.
Another case involved the internet fan translation community, Harry auf Deutsch, formed to translate the Harry Potter books into German more rapidly. The German publisher of the Harry Potter books, Carlsen Verlag, filed a cease and desist against the fan translators; they complied, taking down the translations.
In some countries, when there were no authorised translations into the local language, translations not sanctioned by J. K. Rowling were prepared and published. Such was the case, for example, in Sri Lanka, where the books have been unofficially translated into Sinhala and possibly into Tamil. However, there have been more recent translations into both Sinhala and Tamil published by Sarasavi Bookshop and Manjul Press respectively that are authorised by J. K. Rowling.
In Iran, several unauthorised translations of the Harry Potter books exist side by side. According to one source, there may be as many as 16 Persian translations in existence concurrently. Iran is not a member of the Universal Copyright Convention, so publishers are not prosecuted for publishing foreign books without respecting copyright or paying royalties.
A team consisting of seven Esperantist volunteers completed the translation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone into Esperanto (under the title Hari Poter kaj la ŝtono de la saĝuloj) in 2004. Rowling's representatives did not respond to offers from Esperanto-USA to make the translation available for publication. An on-line petition aimed at raising interest in the Esperanto translation has obtained support from approximately 800 individuals.
Agents representing J. K. Rowling have stated in the past that they cannot and do not intend to prevent individuals from translating Rowling's books for their own personal enjoyment, as long as the results are not made available to the general public.
Whereas "pirate translations" are unauthorised translations of true Harry Potter books, "fake translations" have also appeared, which are published pastiches or fanfics that a foreign publisher has tried to pass off as the translation of the real book by Rowling. There have been several such books, the most famous of which is probably Harry Potter and Bao Zoulong which was written and published in China in 2002, before the release of the fifth book in Rowling's series, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
Other fake Harry Potter books written in Chinese include Harry Potter and the Porcelain Doll (哈利・波特与瓷娃娃 or Hālì Bōtè yǔ Cíwáwa), Harry Potter and the Golden Turtle, and Harry Potter and the Crystal Vase. In August 2007, The New York Times noted that the publication of Rowling's Deathly Hallows had inspired "a surge of peculiarly Chinese imitations," and included plot synopses and excerpts from a number of derivative works, among them Harry Potter and the Chinese Overseas Students at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and Harry Potter and the Big Funnel.  In 2003, legal pressure from the licensors of Harry Potter led an Indian publisher to stop publication of Harry Potter in Calcutta, a work in which Harry meets figures from Bengali literature.
Americanisation as translation
The differences between the British and American editions of the books have sometimes been referred to as "translation" into American English. The most noted example of this is the difference in the titles of the first book in the series: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone in the United Kingdom, versus Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in the United States. The book's title was changed due to the American publisher's concern that children would be confused by a reference to philosophy. Other translations have also changed the first book's title, namely the French translation which changed "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" to "Harry Potter at the School of Wizards" for the same reason as the American translation, citing that the reference to the Philosopher's Stone legend was "too obscure for a book aimed at the youth." A comprehensive list of differences between the American and British editions of the books is collected at the Harry Potter Lexicon web site. The changes are mostly simple lexical switches to reflect the different dialects and prevent American readers from stumbling over unfamiliar Briticisms. Changes of this sort are common when adapting any text from British to American editions but in the case of the Harry Potter books, this standard practice has occasionally drawn criticism from readers who feel that the British English adds flavour to the series. Rowling herself expressed regret after changing the first book's title, as the Philosopher's Stone is an age-old legend.
In an Associated Press interview, Rowling described how the alterations to the American editions came about:
Rowling pretended to bang her head against the sofa in mock frustration. "SO much has been made of that," she groans, noting that it was only done where words had been used that really meant something very different to Americans. Her American editor pointed out that the word jumper – British for pullover sweater – means a kind of dress in American. She had had no idea. "He asked, 'Can we change it to sweater,' which is just as British?" That was fine with Rowling.
I wasn't trying to, quote, "Americanize" them... What I was trying to do is translate, which I think is different. I wanted to make sure that an American kid reading the book would have the same literary experience that a British kid would have."
The same article, however, points out that some British dialect was retained in the books, and in some cases certain phrases were replaced with more stereotypical British phrases, such as "spanking good" for "cracking."
Issues in translation
The Harry Potter series presents many challenges to translators, such as rhymes, acronyms, dialects, culture, riddles, jokes, invented words, and plot points that revolve around spellings or initials. These have been dealt with by various translators with different degrees of modification to the meaning of the original text.
The books carried a number of words that are considered loaded names by linguists and translators, meaning that they carry a semantic load, and that their morphology (structure) and phonology (sound) need to be adapted when translating them to a foreign language, for example the house names (Ravenclaw = raven + claw), or Voldemort's name ("flight of death" or "theft of death" in French). These words were translated in different countries using several translation strategies, such as copying the names with no attempt to transmit the original English meaning, transliterating even if the name lost its original meaning, replacing the name with another given name from the target language, or translating the name using native words that conveyed the same meaning. For example, in the Russian first book the transliterating strategy was used for some names because the "th" sound does not exist in Russian, so "Slytherin" was transliterated as "Slizerin". The translator of the second book chose the translating strategy instead, and she renamed the houses, "Hufflepuff" becoming "Puffendui" and "Ravenclaw" becoming "Kogtevran" (from the Russian word for claw, "kogot'").
Culture and language
Many of the nuances of British culture and language will be unfamiliar to international readers. Such things require careful and creative translating. Nonstandard English present in the book also had to be given careful consideration. The character Rubeus Hagrid's West Country dialect, for example, needed to be rendered in other languages to reflect the fact that he speaks with an accent and uses particular types of slang. In the Japanese translation, he speaks in the Tōhoku dialect, which to a Japanese reader conveys a similar provincial feel. For the Hebrew translation, some of the Christian references were changed, because Israelis have less familiarity with cultural Christianity than readers elsewhere: a scene in which Sirius Black sings a parody of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" replaced the song with a parody of "Mi Y'malel," a Chanukah song. In the French translation, explanations of certain features of British schools unfamiliar to French students were inserted in the dialogues (e.g., "Prefect" and "Head Boy"), but they were not distinguished from explanations in the original text of differences between ordinary British schools and wizarding schools. This could mislead readers into thinking that these features of the house and boarding systems didn't exist in real-world British schools.
Rhymes, anagrams, and acronyms
The series involves many songs, poems, and rhymes, some of which proved difficult to translators. One rhyme, a riddle told by a sphinx in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, posed a particular problem.[note 1] The riddle involves taking words from a poem and using them to form a longer word, "spider," in answer to the riddle. In the Taiwanese translation, the English words are simply put in parentheses. In other translations, the riddle is changed to provide different words that can be put together to make up the translated version of "spider."
Some acronyms also proved difficult; the abbreviations O.W.L.s (Ordinary Wizarding Levels) and N.E.W.T.s (Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Tests) needed to be translated to reflect the fact that their abbreviations spelled out the names of animals associated with the wizarding world, which did not always work in other languages. N.E.W.T.s was translated into Swedish as F.U.T.T. (Fruktansvärt Utmattande Trollkarls-Test, Terribly Exhausting Wizard's Test). Futt means measly in Swedish.
Another issue was the translation of "The Mirror of Erised," since "Erised" is created by reading English desire backwards. In German the word desire is spelled Begehren, so the mirror was called "Der Spiegel Nerhegeb". The Finnish translation also follows this formula of reversing a word; the mirror is called Iseeviot-peili "iseeviot" being "toiveesi" (your wish) written backwards. In Polish the mirror is called Zwierciadło Ain Eingarp (Mirror = Zwierciadło; Pragnienia = Desire (in genitive case)). In Indonesian, The Mirror of Erised is called "Cermin Tarsah" (Cermin = Mirror; Hasrat = Desire). In Spanish it is called "El Espejo de Oesed" (Espejo= Mirror) (Deseo= desire)
Areas in which anagrams are present do not make the transition easily into other languages. The name "Tom Marvolo Riddle", first mentioned in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, is rearranged to spell "I am Lord Voldemort". This has required translators to alter Riddle's name to make the anagram work. Sometimes translators manage to alter only one part of the name. For example, Tom Riddle's middle name of Marvolo was changed to Marvolodemus in the Serbian second edition; the first edition had lacked the anagram and the original name Tom Marvolo Riddle had simply been copied. In the Bulgarian translation his middle name becomes "Mersvoluko" so the whole name forms an anagram for "And here I am, Lord Voldemort" (instead of "I am Lord Voldemort" as in the original English). Analogous alterations of the middle name Marvolo have been made in several other languages; for example; it became Servolo in Brazilian Portuguese, Vandrolo in Hebrew, Marvoldo in Turkish, Vorlost in German, Narvolo in Russian, Sorvolo in Spanish, Rojvol in Czech, Marvoloso in Slovak, and Orvoloson in Italian. (Note: the original Italian version kept the English name, having Riddle translate the anagram in his speech that immediately follows. The change to Orvoloson was made in later editions.)
In other languages, translators replaced the entire name to preserve the anagram. In French, Riddle's full name becomes Tom Elvis Jedusor (i.e. phonetically "game of fate" for the French "Jeu du sort"; but there is a playword: "Jedusor" is phonetically pronounced in French as "Jet du sort" which means "Casting spell") which forms an anagram for "Je suis Voldemort" ("I am Voldemort"). In Norwegian, his name is Tom Dredolo Venster, an anagram of "Voldemort den store", which means "Voldemort the Great". In Greek, his name is "Anton Marvolo Hurt" (Άντον Μαρβόλο Χέρτ), anagram of "Άρχον Βόλντεμορτ" which means "Lord Voldemort". In Icelandic, his name is Trevor Delgome, which becomes "(Ég)Eg er Voldemort" ("I am Voldemort"), but his middle name is not used for the anagram and stays as Marvolo. In Finnish his name is "Tom Lomen Valedro"; the corresponding anagram is "Ma(ä) olen Voldemort", "I am Voldemort". In Dutch, his name is "Marten Asmodom Vilijn", an anagram of "Mijn naam is Voldemort", or "My name is Voldemort". In Swedish, his name is "Tom Gus Mervolo Dolder", an anagram of "Ego sum Lord Voldemort", where "ego sum" is Latin, not Swedish, for "I am".
In Slovenian, both names are completely changed. Tom Marvolo Riddle is Mark Neelstin and Lord Voldemort is translated as Lord Mrlakenstein. When the name Mark Neelstin is rearranged in the scene, it spells Mrlakenstein. Because the books in Slovenia were released with a three-year delay, the translation of Voldemort is consistent throughout the series. The film series corresponds with the book translation. The Danish translation uses abbreviation and suffix to make the name work. The translation is Romeo G. Detlev Jr an anagram of "Jeg er Voldemort" ("I am Voldemort").
In Hungarian, Voldemort's name becomes "Tom Rowle Denem", which is an anagram of "Nevem Voldemort" ("My name is Voldemort"), with the "w" in the name becoming two "v"s. This caused a name collision with the character Thorfinn Rowle, who first appears in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, but who is not related to Voldemort. Because of this collision, in the Hungarian translation his family name was altered to Rovel. The Arabic version avoids the issue entirely by having Riddle directly write out, "I am Lord Voldemort" (أنا لورد فولدمورت). These changes to the name created problems in later books however; in the English edition, a line of dialogue mentions that Tom Riddle shares his given name with the bartender of the Leaky Cauldron, and this becomes a plot point. However, this is not the case in all translations. In the Latin version his name is Tom Musvox Ruddle, which is an anagram of "Sum Dux Voldemort", or "I am the leader Voldemort".
Invented words, proper nouns, and names
Rowling invented a great number of words and phrases for the books such as spells, incantations, magical words, items, and place names. Many of these words involve wordplay, rhyming, and historical references that are difficult to translate. A large number of spells are drawn from or inspired by Latin, and have a certain resonance with English speakers. For example, priori incantatem (a spell which causes the last spells performed by a wand to be reproduced in reverse order) would be familiar to many English-speaking readers as the words prior (previous) and incantation (spell, charm). To create a similar effect in the Hindi version, the Sanskrit, typical in mantras, has been used for the spells. Some translators have created new words themselves; others have resorted to transliteration.
Names that involve wordplay, such as Knockturn Alley and Pensieve are also difficult to translate. The former, an unsavoury area in London's magical market, is semi-homophonous with "nocturnally," suggesting darkness and evil. The latter is a magical bowl into which memories and thoughts can be placed and examined, and is a portmanteau of two words: pensive, meaning "musingly or dreamily thoughtful," and sieve, a type of bowl with perforations through which fine particles of a substance (such as flour) may be passed to separate them from coarser ones. Translators must creatively render such names. If the words are simply transliterated, the shades of meaning are lost; but, when new word-games are invented, they can end up sounding quite different from the original, and often reflect the translator's personal interpretation and preferences. For instance, the Turkish version of Pensieve is Düşünseli, which is a portmanteau of the words Düşünmek (to think, to imagine) and sel (a flood of water). The German version of Pensieve is Denkarium with denken, meaning "to think," and "aquarium." The Swedish version of Pensieve is Minnessåll which means memory's sieve. The Norwegian translation of Pensieve is tanketank which translates to Thought-tank. The Hebrew version achieves a similar effect to the English in its translation of Pensieve; Pensieve is הגיגית (Hagigit), which is a combination of the word הגיג (hagig) meaning thought, and the word גיגית (gigit) meaning tub. In the Czech translation, Pensieve is "Myslánka" (from "myslet" – think) and Knockturn Alley is Obrtlá ulice, a rather complex neologism with many meanings and associations, but based on the word "obrtlík" (swivel) and the phrase "otočit se na obrtlíku" (run away suddenly). The "Nocturnal" wordplay is not used in the Czech translation. The Vietnamese version of "Pensieve" is "Tưởng Ký", which is a combination word of "tư tưởng" ("thought" or "mind") and "ký" (literally means something to keep thoughts, like a diary.)
Often, names in Harry Potter have historical or linguistic significance in English, which may create problems if the translator does not recognise or misjudges it. Rowling commented on this phenomenon in Conversations with J.K. Rowling, in which she complained that the Italian translation of Professor Dumbledore's last name was "Silente"; rather than recognizing that "Dumbledore" was an old Devon word for "bumblebee," the translator took the word "dumb" and translated it as "silent". In contrast, the Czech translator used the Old Czech word for bumblebee – Brumbál (in modern Czech čmelák).
In some cases, English-speaking fans have sought clues to the story's mysteries by examining the way certain parts of the books have been translated in foreign editions. A case in point is the identity of a character mentioned by initials only in the book Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. The English initials R.A.B. could have belonged to several minor characters from the books, but variations on the initials in other languages gave evidence to the true identity of the mystery character: in the Dutch edition of the book R.A.B. was translated into R.A.Z., 'zwart' being Dutch for 'black'; in the Norwegian edition, R.A.B. translates to 'R.A.S.', svart being Norwegian for 'black'; and in the Finnish edition the initials were R.A.M., 'musta' being Finnish for 'black'. Fans took this to mean that the character was Regulus Black, the brother of Sirius Black; when Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was published, this was revealed to be the case.
Similarly, the title for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix did not make it obvious whether the word "Order" referred to a group of people or to a directive. The information that it was a group of people was then determined by viewing the title in other languages. The Vietnamese translation, which was originally published in instalments, originally interpreted "Order" as a directive and translated it as "Harry Potter và Mệnh lệnh Phượng hoàng"; when it became clear that "Order" referred to a group of people, the title was changed to "Harry Potter và Hội Phượng hoàng".
Rowling released an alternative title for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows for use by translators finding difficulty translating its meaning. The alternative title (in English) is Harry Potter and the Relics of Death.
A few characters in the series are identified with a title and last name, or with a gender-neutral name. In some languages—for example, those where adjectives are gendered—it was necessary for the translator to guess the character's gender. The Hebrew translation initially made Blaise Zabini a girl, though the character was revealed to be a boy in later books. To avoid this problem, Isabel Nunes, the Portuguese translator, asked Rowling about the gender of some of the characters—Zabini, Professor Sinistra, and "R.A.B."—while working on her translations.
- ABC News on Harry Potter: "Rowling has sold about 450 million copies of the Harry Potter books worldwide, according to Blair." (4 April 2011)
- Flood, Alison (2008-06-17). "Potter tops 400 million sales". theBookseller.com. The Bookseller. Retrieved 2008-09-12.
- UToday (2010-02-23). "It's all in the translation". ucalgary.ca. University of Calgary. Retrieved 2010-02-25.
- "J. K. Rowling Official Site". Jkrowling.com. Retrieved 2008-12-12.
- "OOTP is best seller in France – in English!". BBC. 1 July 2003.
- Naughton, Philippe; Sage, Adam (2007-10-12). "Who won the race to translate 'Harry Potter'? review | Children's Books – Times Online". London: Times Newspapers Ltd. Retrieved 2008-12-12.
- Steven Goldstein (2004). "Translating Harry — Part I: The Language of Magic". GlobalByDesign. Retrieved 2007-05-09.
- Emrah Güler (2005). "Not lost in translation: Harry Potter in Turkish". Retrieved 2007-05-09.
- "Harry Potter Around the World: Africa". Education.wisc.edu. Retrieved 2013-12-24.
- Rosemarie Breuer. "Janie Oosthuysen-Taylor". Stellenboschwriters.com. Retrieved 2008-12-12.
- "Script-writing, Translation and Dubbing by Kobus Geldenhuys". Jnweb.com. Retrieved 2008-12-12.
- "Nahdet Misr Group". Nahdetmisr.com. Archived from the original on 17 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-12.
- "Harri Pottere yev Pilisolayakan Kare". Abrilbooks. Retrieved 2016-07-02.
- "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone". Zangak. Retrieved 2016-07-02.
- "UNESCO Index Translationum". unesco.org. Retrieved 2015-12-29.
- "Harry Potter. Philosopher's Stone book will be released in Armenian". Aravot. Retrieved 2016-07-02.
- Unauthorized translations are not usually kept in the list; however, this one has been in the list for a long time and is commonly found for sale. Therefore, keeping it and marking it as unauthorized is useful to clarify its status.
- "Ediciones Trabe". trabe.org. Retrieved 2009-12-22.
- "С.K.Roulinq HARRİ POTTER VƏ AZKABAN MƏHBUSU". qanun.az. Retrieved 2014-08-10.
- "C.K.Roulinq HARRİ POTTER VƏ FƏLSƏFƏ DAŞI". Retrieved 2016-01-07.
- "C.K.Roulinq HARRİ POTTER VƏ SİRLİ OTAQ". Retrieved 2016-01-07.
- "С.K.Roulinq HARRİ POTTER VƏ AZKABAN MƏHBUSU". Retrieved 2016-01-07.
- "Harry Potter Eta Herioaren Erlikiak". Retrieved 2009-08-07.
- "Cover page". ankur-prakashani.com. Archived from the original on 27 October 2006. Retrieved 2009-12-24.
- "Harry Potter i Kamen Mudrosti". Retrieved 2011-06-02.
- "Harry Potter i Odaja Tajni". Retrieved 2011-06-02.
- "Harry Potter i Kamen Mudrosti". Retrieved 2015-09-17.
- "Harry Potter i odaja tajni". Retrieved 2015-09-17.
- "Harry Potter i zatvorenik Azkabana". Retrieved 2015-09-17.
- "Harry Potter ha Maen ar Furien". Retrieved 2012-10-01.
- "Harry Potter en breton. Sous presse aujourd'hui, dans les kiosques le 17.". letelegramme.com. 2012-10-01. Retrieved 2012-10-01.
- "Хари Потър". Egmontbulgaria.com. Retrieved 2008-12-12.
- "Potter-mania reaches Bulgaria – Features news". Sofiaecho.com. Retrieved 2008-12-12.
- "J.K. Rowling". editorialempuries.cat. Retrieved 2009-12-24.
- "Tàndem Edicions".
- "Harry Potter i la pedra filosofal".
- "Harry Potter i la cambra secreta".
- "哈利波特:::九又四分之三月台". Crown.com.tw. Retrieved 2008-12-12.
- "Algoritam Multimedia Bookshop". Algoritam.hr. Retrieved 2008-12-12.
- Albatros. "Harry Potter". Albatros.cz. Retrieved 2008-12-12.
- "Pavel Medek – translating the adventures of Harry Potter into Czech". Radio Prague. 2003-08-26. Retrieved 2008-12-12.
- "Harry Potter". Archived from the original on 2003-06-09.
- "Harry Potter – De Harmonie". Harrypotter.nl. Retrieved 2008-12-12.
- Whether adaptation into American English constitutes a translation is discussed.
- "Harry Potter at Bloomsbury Publishing". Bloomsbury.com. Retrieved 2008-12-12.
- "Harry Potter – Home". Allen and Unwin. Retrieved 2008-12-12.
- "Harry Potter in Canada | Raincoast Books". Raincoast.com. Retrieved 2013-12-24.
- Jonathan Ball Publishers. "Jonathan Ball Publishers :: South African Book Publishers". Jonathanball.co.za. Retrieved 2008-12-12.
- "Harry Potter books, games, and activities for Muggles | Scholastic". Scholastic.com. Retrieved 2008-12-12.
- "Varrak". Varrak.ee. Retrieved 2008-12-12.
- "Bókadeild Føroya Lærarafelags". Archived from the original on 2006-02-13.
- De Vera, Ruel S. "'Harry Potter' now in Filipino". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
- Ms. Kapari-Jatta has discussed her translation effort in the popular-style fact book Pollomuhku ja Posityyhtynen (2008).
- Naughton, Philippe; Sage, Adam (2007-10-12). "Who won the race to translate 'Harry Potter'? review | Children's Books – Times Online". London: Times Online. Retrieved 2008-12-14.
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Quidditch Through the Ages
- bornmeer. "Nijntje, Kikkert, Kameleon yn it Frysk, Lida Dykstra". Bornmeer.nl. Retrieved 2008-12-12.
- "ბაკურ სულაკაურის გამომცემლობა (Bakur Sulakauri publishing)". Sulakauri.ge. Retrieved 2008-12-12.
- "Ο Χαρι Ποτερ". Harrypotter.psichogios.gr. Retrieved 2008-12-12.
- Simon, Scott (14 February 2004). "NPR interview". Npr.org. Retrieved 2008-12-12.
- Andrew Wilson. "The Classics Pages – Greek Harry Potter". Users.globalnet.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-12-12.
- "Akikillisat – Atuakkat kiilumut – Atuakkiorfik". Atuakkiorfik.gl. Retrieved 2008-12-12.
- "Harry Potter ujarallu inuunartoq". University of Calgary Faculty of Arts. Retrieved 2013-08-26.
- "Manjul Publishing House". manjulindia.com. Retrieved 2011-12-01.
-  Archived 7 May 2004 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Books In The Attic – ספרי עליית הגג – פרטי הספר". Booksintheattic.co.il. Retrieved 2008-12-12.
- "When 'Harry' met Hebrew". Cleveland Jewish News. 18 October 2007. Retrieved 2008-12-12.
- "Manjul Publishing House". manjulindia.com. Retrieved 2011-08-13.
- "Harry Potter and the Wizard of Bhopal". Times of India. 2007-07-22. Retrieved 2008-12-12.
- "Animus Kiadó". Animus.hu. Retrieved 2008-12-12.
- "Bjartur". Bjartur.is. Retrieved 2008-12-12.
- "Gramedia Pustaka Utama". Gramedia.com. Retrieved 2008-12-12.
- "The Jakarta Post – The Journal of Indonesia Today". Thejakartapost.com. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 2008-12-12.
- "Adriano Salani Editore". Salani.it. Retrieved 2008-12-12.
- "Say-zan-sha Publications Ltd". Sayzansha.com. Archived from the original on 9 July 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-12.
- "From mourning to 'magic'". The Japan Times Online. Retrieved 2008-12-12.[dead link]
- "Harry Potter à l'école des sorciers, en khmer". Khmerologie.wordpress.com. Retrieved 2015-09-17.
- "Harry Potter mania hits Asia". MediaCorp Pte. Retrieved 2008-12-12.
- "Amazon.com: Harrius Potter et Philosophi Lapis (Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Latin Edition): J. K. Rowling, Peter Needham: Books". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2008-12-12.
- "Jumava". Jumava.lv. Retrieved 2008-12-12.
- "J. K. Rowling Official Site – List of Publishers". Jkrowling.com. Retrieved 2008-12-12.
- "Den Harry Potter an den Alchimistesteen". kairos.lu. Retrieved 2009-12-24.
- "Хари Потер промоциjа – први април во 19 часот". Младинска книга Скопје. 2009-03-23.
- UNESCO. "Index Translationum". Retrieved 2016-01-11.
-  Archived 13 January 2006 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Manjul Publishing House". manjulindia.com. Retrieved 2011-08-13.
- "The Hindu : Potter speaks Malayalam". Chennai, India: Hindu.com. 2004-07-05. Retrieved 2008-12-12.
- "Harry Potter in Nepali". myrepublica.com. Retrieved 2011-06-10.
- "Harry Potter is coming to Nepal!". Sunbird.org.np. Retrieved 2009-12-24.
- "Serie – Harry Potter – Cappelen Damm". Cappelendamm.no. Retrieved 2008-12-14.
- "Per Noste Edicions". Per Noste Edicions. Retrieved 2012-03-08.
- "Harry Potter e la crampa deus secrets". Per Noste Edicions. Retrieved 2012-03-08.
- "Wydawnictwo "Media Rodzina"". Mediarodzina.com.pl. Archived from the original on 2008-07-02. Retrieved 2008-12-14.
- "Editora Rocco – Harry Potter e as Relíquias da Morte". Harrypotter.rocco.com.br. Retrieved 2008-12-14.
- "Harry Potter și piatra filosofal". Retrieved 2015-12-01.
- "Language student finds magic in translating". Archived from the original on 2006-02-14. Retrieved 2008-12-13.
- "Azbooka-Atticus - Hachette".
- "Machaon Harry Potter Catalogue". Retrieved 2015-09-17.
- "Harry Potter". Potter.rosman.ru. Archived from the original on 2012-03-06. Retrieved 2012-02-12.
- "De Nouvelles Traduction Pour Harry Potter". 2015-02-21. Retrieved 2015-09-17.
- "Hari Poter". Evro giunti. Retrieved 2012-09-25.
- "Hari Poter". Nova Knjiga. Retrieved 2015-09-17.
- "Antikvarnica koju knjige vole". Retrieved 2010-12-12.
- There seems to be no evidence that Books 6 and 7 were ever published in the Serbian Cyrillic alphabet.
- "Kapruka Sinhala Books Store". Retrieved 2011-06-09.
- "Joanne K. Rowlingová". Retrieved 2011-06-09.
- "Ediciones Salamandra – Harry Potter". Salamandra.info. Retrieved 2008-12-14.
- "Tiden – Harry Potter". Norstedtsforlagsgrupp.se. Retrieved 2008-12-14.
- "Translation – Swedish Book Review 2002 Supplement". Swedishbookreview.com. Archived from the original on 13 November 2007. Retrieved 2008-12-14.
- "Microsite". Nanmeebooks.com. Retrieved 2008-12-14.
- This may be an unauthorised translation since one of the references cited here claims that the translation was made at least in part from the Chinese edition.
- "Tibetan version of "Harry Potter" issued". Retrieved 2010-10-21.
- "Harry Potter Goes To Tibet". Retrieved 2010-12-11.
- "J.K. Rowling – YKY". Ykykultur.com.tr. Retrieved 2008-12-14.
- "Hürriyet". Arama.hurriyet.com.tr. Retrieved 2008-12-14.
- "Miscellanea: Harry Potter in Urdu-Dawn – Young World; April 6, 2002". Dawn.com. Retrieved 2008-12-14.
- "Books by Rowling J. K. (Joanne Kathleen) 1965- Urdu". Dkagencies.com. Retrieved 2013-12-24.
- Bootie Cosgrove-Mather (21 July 2003). "Translating Harry's Magic, Vietnam Issues First Authorized Translation Of New Harry Potter Book – CBS News". Cbsnews.com. Retrieved 2008-12-14.
- "BBC NEWS | Wales | Welsh Harri Potter makes debut". BBC News. 2003-07-09. Retrieved 2008-12-14.
- "Manjul Publishing House". manjulindia.com. Retrieved 2014-06-06.
- "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone". Manjul Publishing House. Retrieved 2015-04-29.
- "News: Potter translated to Scots Gaelic". Hpana.com. Retrieved 2008-12-12.
- "Gaelic Harry Potter wait". Edinburgh: Scotsman.com News. 2006-12-05. Archived from the original on 17 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-12.
- "Kazakhstan to translate Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter books into Kazakh language". Tengri News. 12 September 2011. Retrieved 19 February 2012.
- "Harry Potter in Greek". Playalicious.com. Retrieved 2008-12-14.
- "Online translations of "Harry Potter" draw fire". News.xinhuanet.com. Retrieved 2008-12-12.also see Chinese literature, bookmarket
- Willsher, Kim (2007-08-09). "Harry Potter and the boy wizard translator | World news | guardian.co.uk". London: guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 8 August 2007 17.51 BST. Retrieved 2008-12-12.
- "Potter Pirate Sorry for Mistakes". BBC News. 3 September 2003. Retrieved 2007-02-18.
- "Harry auf Deutsch :: Projekt-Übersicht der Harry Potter Übersetzung(en)". Harry-auf-deutsch.de. Retrieved 2008-12-12.
- "BBC News | SCI/TECH | Harry Potter and the German pirates". BBC News. 2000-09-01. Retrieved 2008-12-12.
- Dilshani Samaraweera (2005). "Harry Potter to fly into Sri Lanka under tight security". Lanka Business Online. Retrieved 2007-06-05.
- "Iranian translators should observe guild's rights: Vida Eslamieh". Payvand.com. Retrieved 2008-12-12.
- AFP (2007). "Iran's Potter fans join frenzy over wizard's fate". Middle East Times. Retrieved 2007-07-21.
- Help us make an Esperanto Harry Potter!
- Amy Harmon (14 July 2003). "Harry Potter and the Internet Pirates" (PDF). NYTimes.com.
- Leifer, Andrew. "Harry Potter and the Battle of the International Copyright Law", Stanford University Boothe Prize, 2004. Retrieved on 2007-10-30.
- Op-Ed Contributors. "Memo to the Dept. of Magical Copyright Enforcement", The New York Times, 2007-08-10. Retrieved on 2007-10-30.
- Wu, Tim. "Harry Potter and the International Order of Copyright." Slate. Friday 27 June 2003. Retrieved on 11 May 2009.
- Edward Olson. "HPL: Differences: CS". Hp-lexicon.org. Retrieved 2008-12-12.
- "FAST-US-1 Intro to American English Reference File". Uta.fi. Retrieved 2008-12-12.
- Gleick, Peter H. (10 July 2000). "Harry Potter, Minus a Certain Flavour". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-01-22.
- Woods, Audrey (6 July 2000). "Success Stuns Harry Potter Author". Associated Press.
- Radosh, Daniel (20 September 1999). "Why American kids don't consider Harry Potter an insufferable prig". The New Yorker.
- Lincoln Fernandes (2006). "Translation of Names in Children's Fantasy Literature: Bringing the Young Reader into Play" (PDF). New Voices in Translation Studies (2). (page 6 on pdf)
- Judith Inggs (May 2003). "From Harry to Garri: Strategies for the Transfer of Culture and Ideology in Russian Translations of Two English Fantasy Stories". Meta Translators' Journal. 48 (1–2 Traduction pour les enfants / Translation for children): 285–297. doi:10.7202/006975ar.
- "Translation – Swedish Book Review 2002 Supplement". Swedishbookreview.com. Archived from the original on 13 November 2007. Retrieved 2008-12-12.
- 'Potter' makes Tohokuites proud, Masayuki Aihara, Japan Times, 30 July 2003
- When Harry’ met Hebrew, Cleveland Jewish News, Sarah Bronson, 18 October 2007
- Anne-Lise Feral (2006), "The Translator's "Magic" Wand: Harry Potter's Journey from English into French" (PDF), Translators' Journal, 51 (3), pp. 459–481
- Close (2007-01-26). "Daniel Hahn: Translating involves art as well as craft". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2008-12-12.
- Greg Pringle. "The Sphinx's Riddle in the CJV translations of Harry Potter (Book 4)". Cjvlang.com. Retrieved 2008-12-12.
- Conversations with J.K. Rowling, Lindsey Fraser, Arthur E. Levine Books, 2001
- Swedish Deathly Hallows translation may give clues, Mugglenet, 25 May 2007
- Rumor: Full name of R.A.B. revealed, David Haber, 8 October 2006
- Article from "Translorial", Part I, Part II
- Collection of foreign editions of "Harry Potter" books
- The Sphinx's Song in 13 Languages
- International cover gallery
- Harry Potter name and word equivalents in many different languages
- The Intricacies of Onomastics in Harry Potter and its French Translation (La Clé des Langues)
- Database of Harry Potter terms and chapter titles in different languages
- Dictionary of Dutch Harry Potter terms
- Dictionary of Norwegian Harry Potter terms and names
- Harry Potter in Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese Translation
- English – German Dictionary + Lexicon of Harry Potter terms and names
- Platform 9 3⁄4: Crown Publishing (Taiwan) site containing lists of names, books, spells, quidditch terms, etc. in Chinese and English
- Article about American English "translation"
- Harry Potter terms in Japanese
- Petition to help publish an Esperanto translation of Harry Potter
- Interview with the Swedish translator of the series
- Harry Potter books in Indian languages
- Harry Potter's Polish Translation – Has Andrzej Polkowski Managed to Put it Into Polish Successfully?