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Site last updated:
1 January 2009

J. K. Rowling

Many Happy Editions

I am collecting foreign-language translations of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Probably I should have tried collecting the first book in the series because there probably won't be as many translations of book three as there are of book one.

On the other hand, a guy in Canada has already collected all the translations of book one. I'm so jealous! Plus, he says the Khmer translation is hard to get, and somehow I wasn't clever enough to get it while I was actually physically in Cambodia. It seems to be available online from Monument Books, but ordering it online at this point would be a kind of let-down.

Why am I collecting these books? Because it's neat to have books in neat languages, even if I can't read them. (Collectors don't really have reasons that make sense.) Some of them I can sorta read. I've studied Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, Latin, German and Mandarin Chinese. I've read entire books in Spanish and Italian (and French if you count studying the Little Prince in school). Actually, I'm not sure I have read a whole book in Spanish. Probably I have. Probably I could. The others? No. 'Specially not Japanese or Mandarin. 

I'm happy for Rowling that she is able to sell her books around the world, and happy for non-English speakers that they have access to her stories.

The Movies

Oh, and about the movies: they did a great job with the first one. A great book, a great story. Full of magic and wonder. The second movie was, at best, as good as the second book, which is the worst of the five. And I'm really just not a fan of spiders. Creepy. The third and other movies? I decided not to see them. For a couple of reasons. Their original Dumbledore had to be replaced, for one thing. But mostly it's two other reasons.

I heard that the director changed the style of the movie. In order to portray the characters as more normal teenagers, he dispensed with the wizard robes, etc. The most important reason, though, is that I don't want the movie to replace the book-pictures in my head.

That's what happened with the first book: now when I read it, I see the movie. I can't imagine the story for myself anymore. They did a good job, and it's a good movie, but it changed the way I experience the book. I don't want that to happen with the third book. Movie Ron is just not as cool as Imaginary Ron.

Dumbledore is cool.

Somewhere online, I encountered a contest that asked: "If you could be a character from the Harry Potter series, who would you be?" I thought about it for a minute or so, and then I knew. I would be Albus Dumbledore. He is eminently wise and kind. He is highly respected and greatly admired. Though he is not perfect, he usually turns out to be right. And in a world of dementors and death eaters, bureaucrats and bullies, he is Harry's refuge.

Books by J. K. Rowling

  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  • Quidditch through the Ages
  • The Tales of Beedle the Bard

Foreign language versions
of Harry Potter 3:

Portuguese (paperback), German, Spanish,
Italian, Chinese Simplified (paperback), Japanese,
Dutch, Czech

Not pictured: Thai, Hindi (paperback),
Korean (2 vols, paperpack), Estonian, Galician, French (paperback), Hungarian

Foreign language versions
of Harry Potter 1:

Latin, Ancient Greek, French (paperback)


Not pictured: Welsh, Catalan (paperback),
English (UK)




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Site last updated: 1 January 2009