Harry Potter in Spanish
I was hoping to read the first Harry Potter in Spanish (Harry Potter y la piedra filosofal) this summer but the reviews on Amazon say that the translation is very literal and therefore not always the best translation. It's the edition translated by Alicia Dellepiane that I am looking at. Does anyone have experience with this edition? Was it easy or hard to read this particular translation? Are there any other out there that I could easily find in the U.S. (think metro Boston)?
Thanks in advance!
Which reviews do you mean? Most of the complaints I've seen about the Spanish in the Harry Potter translation gripe that it is Latin American Spanish, rather than Castilian. The book has gone through many editions in Spanish without revision. Perhaps those reviewers were being a bit picky?
I'm no judge of Spanish, but the book seems okay. Names and terms were not "converted" into some sort of Spanish form but were left as in English--Quidditch is Quidditch, Hogwarts is Hogwarts, etc. Could that be what they were saying? (Ch. 12, however, is "El espejo de Oesed.")
FWIW, I'd say if you want to read Harry Potter in Spanish, go for it. You like it, and it's familiar to you, which will help you follow better what you're reading. Or, if you can, find a book that's easier.
I read Harry Potter y La Piedra Filosofal a while ago. Everyone talks like a Spaniard in that translation, from the constant use of "vosotros" to Dudley's computer being called an "ordenador" instead of a "computadora". Hagrid does not have a different accent from the other characters, but I wonder if that's because you can't get away with intentionally misspelling words in Spanish.
My favorite part when reading the Spanish version was when Harry and Ron were discussing Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans. The "booger" flavor has been replaced with "duende". The problem is that the word "goblin" is also translated as "duende". No wonder there were so many goblin revolts! :)
So, would you recommend the translation to lizheartsthesox (OP)? The translator changes after this volume in the series, which may be an indication that the publisher was dissatisfied, but it may not.
> duende . . .
Ha, that's pretty good. Is "duende" a translation for "booger" somewhere in the Spanish-speaking universe, or do you think the translator just mistook "booger" for "bogey"?
The original Harry Potter published translation in Russian was not great. For instance, Neville Longbottom's toad, Trevor, was called a tortoise in it! The publisher hired a different translator and a revised edition was put out, although she didn't expunge all the "tortoise" references, making Trevor a sort of shapeshifter. Her translation of Harry Potter 2 was voted "worst translation of the year" by a translator convention in Moscow, if I remember right. But even so, for learning Russian (IMHO) they would be just fine. That's why I think OP could very happily stick with reading the Spanish version of HP 1.
"El duende" has several meanings. Normally, it can mean an elf, a dwarf, a gremlin, or a goblin. It has a special significance in poetry, where it can be something like "the emotional effect a work of art has on a person". "Duende" is NOT used when referring to the troll boogers later on in the book! :)
I think the translation of the first book was good. If you want to see my full review in Spanish, here's the link. Be sure to look at the status updates below the main review!
This is a great review. Thank you for the useful feedback. I've decided to give it a try keeping in mind there may be slight changes but it will still help with my Spanish practice.
I made a Memrise course for some of the less common words in the first HP book, if you want to prepare:
Hmm, I wonder if one of the reviews that I was reading was actually for the Russian edition, as it specifically mention the toad and tortoise switch. The Castilian Spanish makes me a little nervous as I'm used to Latin American but it'll be a good learning exercise. Thanks again.
You're welcome. I'm glad you've decided to read the Spanish Harry Potter. I bet you'll like it.
Hmm, I wonder if one of the reviews that I was reading was actually for the Russian edition . . .
On amazon.com it is quite possible. They lump together all (or many) reviews from different editions--hc, paperback, audio, different translators, different languages! Sometimes it is impossible to tell whether the book you are interested in buying is the one that a particular review was written about.
FWIW, I dug up the Russian translations of HP 1 this a.m., and just as I remembered, poor Trevor does indeed shapeshift. The Russian publisher really dropped the ball with the series, unfortunately--unoriginal cover art, awful typesetting, mostly sloppy translations, crappy bindings, horrible paper. Ah well. The Spanish hc copy that I have is so much nicer a book.
I have a 'Harry Potter y el prisionero de Azkaban' in my library. It was translated by Adolofo Muñoz García and Nieves Martín Azofra. And printed by a company called 'Salamandra'. I found it quite enjoyable to read. Sometimes half of the fun was wondering what the logic was behind a particular translation, but I think there will always be quirks no matter which ones you go with. The important thing is that you do read as much as you can. The more you read the more your Spanish will improve.
Thanks. Maybe I will try a different one in the series, I've read them all in English, so I will at least not be lost with the plot.
What I liked about this particular one is the different tenses that had to be used - past, present, and future - as well as perfect tense. I was glad that I had finished my tree before reading it because some of the last tenses are used fairly frequently and it was fresh in my mind as I began to read it.
Tip, instead of Harry Potter try to dive into a work originally written en español. You won't have to worry about good/bad translations.
Thanks for the tip. I'm actually doing that too, slowly but surely I've been getting through El Principe de la Niebla by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. I definitely recommend it if people haven't read it yet.
There are some literary works and some films that are best enjoyed sin traducciones. I'll admit that there are some great translations but there are probably more bad translations by comparisons. Some times there are too many cultural consideration that are not acknowledged or easily transferred.
A while back I read (. . . well still reading) "Coloquialismo y humor en South Park: análisis del doblaje al español" which I thought brought up really excellent points concerning translation. In addition to my own personal observations watching translated media and native media en español, I decided to become very selective when I chose a translated work from English to Spanish. Many things get lost in translation but I recently discovered an example where you actually get more.
I'll check out Zafón's work, this is the 2nd time or 3rd time I came across a recommendation for that book.
Hi! I'm part way through chapter 3 of this translation, and don't see a problem with this version. I'd recommend it. One advantage of reading a book with which you are familiar is that you know the plot already. That helps provide context and can help in figuring out the new vocabulary.
Reading fiction in Spanish is not fast and easy for me. I am fairly slow as I have had to look up lots of vocabulary. I made flash cards for all the words that I had to look up. Duo has helped as my grasp of past tenses is still somewhat tenuous.
I also checked the reviews for this edition on Amazon and saw a couple positive reviews regarding the Spanish language version but saw only one review like you mentioned.
Thanks for the feedback. There were a couple reviews that mentioned that it was a literal translation, so it may not make as much sense to a native speaker, which I am not. The other reviews that concerned me were ones that mentioned that things had been changed in the translation, like the bank is run by gnomes instead of goblins and that Neville has a pet tortoise instead of toad. I know those are small things but they do effect the story a little bit. I might still give it a try, keeping the changes in mind.
"Los magos tienen bancos?" "Sólo uno. Gringotts. Lo dirigen los duendes."
I read the reviews and I would definitely stay away from this translation. You don`t need poor Spanish if you are trying to learn it.
Most of the HP translations into Spanish that I have seen are quite decent, except the unauthorized translation, Harry Potter y el Principe Mestizo.
Quora: ¿Cuáles son los errores de traducción más ridículos o graciosos que hayas visto? https://es.quora.com/Cu%C3%A1les-son-los-errores-de-traducci%C3%B3n-m%C3%A1s-rid%C3%ADculos-o-graciosos-que-hayas-visto/answer/Edward-Cherlin
a small fist on a long spring/un puño diminuto durante una primavera larga
and many, many others. Calvo (bald) for bold, and so on.