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Off topic: 16 year old translates Harry Potter???
Thread poster: Patricia Rosas

Patricia Rosas  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:44
Spanish to English
+ ...
Aug 8, 2007

Has anyone else heard about this?

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20181772/from/RS.1/
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/6936979.stm

A 16 year old supposedly translated the latest Harry Potter book into French within days of the July 21 (and posted it on the Internet). That's 750 pages translated in just a few days!

And we thought we needed to fear machines who could translate!


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:44
English to Spanish
+ ...
Such Madness Aug 8, 2007

Well, at least if it gets kids to actually read a book, then it can't be all bad.

Then of course there are those who will put anything forth to get adults to read it as well.


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Kirill Semenov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 00:44
Member (2004)
English to Russian
+ ...
The 7th book is too simple Aug 8, 2007

Exactly for a 16-year-old to translate it. I'm really disappointed with the book. Too simple and too straightforward. Interesting for those 16-year-old kids only. Some sex, some snogging, two third of those 750 pages.

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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 22:44
Dutch to English
+ ...
Mystifying feat indeed Aug 8, 2007



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Gerard de Noord  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 23:44
Member (2003)
German to Dutch
+ ...
Project Manager Aug 8, 2007

"Blair said French police had identified an organized system of online translation networks where unofficial translations of Harry Potter are posted onto Web site networks and then onto peer-to-peer networks."

Maybe we're not dealing with the youngest and fastest translator ever. Nevertheless, if the translation is any good, the boy should be rewarded with the PM of the Year Award.

Regards,
Gerard


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James Calder  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:44
Spanish to English
+ ...
Dross Aug 9, 2007

A few days - isn't that about as long as it took JK to write it? I'll never understand the fuss about these books - the literary equivalent of McDonalds.

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casey
United States
Local time: 17:44
Member
Japanese to English
Ha, ha. Aug 9, 2007

the literary equivalent of McDonalds.

Nice one.


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Roberta Anderson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 23:44
Member (2001)
English to Italian
+ ...
last chapter only Aug 9, 2007

Patricia Rosas wrote:

HThat's 750 pages translated in just a few days!



The article I read about this on Corriere della Sera mentioned only the translation of the last chapter... a bit more feasible!

Roberta


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Jalapeno
Local time: 23:44
English to German
... Aug 9, 2007

The German newspapers reported that it was the first three chapters he translated.

Whatever the truth may be, it certainly wasn't the whole book.


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Monique Laville  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 23:44
Italian to French
+ ...
How many pages? Aug 9, 2007

I too red on the local newspaper that the translation concerned the last chapter. I wonder how many pages is that chapter?

Can you imagine telling a client that you are not able to translate those 10 pages he wants to be translated for the day after!((


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avsie  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:44
English to French
+ ...
That's interesting... Aug 9, 2007

Only the last chapter? That's interesting because the news bit I read in a Dutch newspaper this morning mentionned he only translated the first three chapters

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GaryG  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:44
English
+ ...
Sorry you didn't like it Aug 9, 2007

James Calder wrote:

A few days - isn't that about as long as it took JK to write it? I'll never understand the fuss about these books - the literary equivalent of McDonalds.


It's gotten pretty much universally good reviews in the US (don't know about the UK).

The worst review of the 7th book I read ( http://tinyurl.com/2nnzhj) said that Rowling owed a debt to Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, and others but had surpassed them. The reviewer actually thought the last two books were better than the first five.

I didn't start reading them until four years ago, after asking a librarian if indeed the books were suitable for adults as well as children.


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Patricia Rosas  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:44
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
just the last chapter? Aug 9, 2007

For Roberta: I certainly do hope it was just the last chapter. When you think he did it for free (whatever part he did), he's underbid all of us!

And for Marie-Claude: I don't think that Rowling ought to be blamed for the sociocultural context in which she lives, where everything that could possibly sold is commercialized ad nauseam ... (MacDonalized!)

Thanks everyone for weighing in!


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Can Altinbay  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:44
Japanese to English
+ ...
If the didn't like them, that's fine, but... Aug 9, 2007

GaryG wrote:

James Calder wrote:

A few days - isn't that about as long as it took JK to write it? I'll never understand the fuss about these books - the literary equivalent of McDonalds.


It's gotten pretty much universally good reviews in the US (don't know about the UK).

The worst review of the 7th book I read ( http://tinyurl.com/2nnzhj) said that Rowling owed a debt to Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, and others but had surpassed them. The reviewer actually thought the last two books were better than the first five.

I didn't start reading them until four years ago, after asking a librarian if indeed the books were suitable for adults as well as children.


(Mostly this is a reply to GaryG, but I wanted to include James's words because I wanted to address a point therein also)

"Literary equivalent of McDonald's" is grossly unfair. If you didn't like the books, fine. But they have much value.

Rowlings does a fine job of writing for youngsters without talking down to them, has important messages, and actually grows up with the readers. My wife and I, well past our teens, have read them all and enjoyed them. I was mad at times, particularly with the 6th book, but Rowlings doesn't spare us the fact that the world is a difficult and dangerous place. And she really pulled off an amazing ending, which I didn't believe was possible.

My wife, who doesn't read mysteries because she figures everything out in the first few pages (she once figured out the ending to a movie from the previews), tells me that Rowlings even stumped her on many occasions.

As for owing a debt to previous authors, who doesn't? Tolkien himself owes a debt to the Ring cycle, does he not?

I hope to reread the whole thing to see how she placed clues to the resolution throughout. I have caught some of them along the way, and my wife has caught even more. But Rowlings had the complete arc worked out before hand, and the final chapter written, before she got started.

It is an amazing cycle of books.


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James Calder  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:44
Spanish to English
+ ...
Reply Aug 9, 2007

Can,

You like the books and that's fine with me. I don't. To my mind her books are a triumph of marketing pure and simple. I read one a few years ago and thought it was poorly written with an excessive use of adverbs and a ponderous, lumbering style.

I am sure there must be lots of other children's writers out there who are receiving next to no recognition thanks to the Rowling/Potter bandwagon. If people like the books that's up to them and I respect their decision. What I do object to is blanket coverage in the media to the virtual exclusion of all other writers of the genre, with the exclusion perhaps of Madonna, such are these celebrity-driven times.

If my four-year-old daughter wants to read them when she's older, then that's up to her. I won't be queueing with her at midnight though.


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