Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone: Ancient Greek Edition (Ancient Greek) Hardcover – Jan 18 2011
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• "I've yet to meet a ten-year-old who hasn't been entranced by its witty, complex plot and the character of the eponymous Harry." --Independent
• "Spellbinding, enchanting, bewitching stuff." --Mirror
About the Author
J.K. ROWLING is the author of the record-breaking, multi-award-winning Harry Potter novels. Loved by fans around the world, the series has sold over 450 million copies, been translated into 77 languages, and made into 8 blockbuster films. She has written three companion volumes in aid of charity: Quidditch Through the Ages and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (in aid of Comic Relief); and The Tales of Beedle the Bard (in aid of Lumos). She is writing a film script inspired by Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. She has received many awards and honours, including an OBE for services to children's literature, France's Légion d'Honneur, and the Hans Christian Andersen Award.
JIM KAY won the Kate Greenaway Medal in 2012 for his illustrations in A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. He studied illustration at the University of Westminster and since graduating has worked in the Library & Archives of Tate Britain and the Royal Botannic Gardens at Kew.
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While I don't see any universities adding this Greek translation into their classics curriculum or graduate reading lists, and nor do I see anyone really sitting down to read it cover-to-cover, it is a nice little novelty to have on one's bookshelf (next Harrius Potter, of course).
Ok, so after the novelty has worn off, will you be able to read it?
You've had at least a year, if not two, of Greek or the equivalent right? Because if you don't know Greek, then no, you can't just hold it next to your English copy of Harry Potter and match up the words or anything.
But if you have the requisite background you will probably be translating it, unless you are an advanced Greek "reader."
Most students are going to be doing a lot of translation--looking things up, puzzling over forms, using a translation as a crib, but it's doable.
I expect most people, other than diehards (I consider myself a stubbornly persistent, if not particularly proficient student of ancient Greek)and teachers, will get this for the fun factor and then let it gather dust-- rather like I did in high school with my copy of Winnie Ille Pooh (Latin).
But Harry Potter is a compelling read in any language, and if you are a new student learning Greek, or an older one wanting to review--you should give it a try.
The grammar is rather easy, Rowling is known for her great characters and the amazing world she has created and not her intricate, classicising sentence structure--so you won't find any five paragraph sentences, with long subordinate clauses in the ancient Greek translation of Harry Potter ( :
But just like with most ancient Greek texts, you will need to look up a fair amount of vocabulary. All the more so, since the translator had to coin some of the words himself (think the Greeks had Quidditch?)
I recommend his site, where he explains all about his choices and the translation process,and where he posts the vocabulary for the first two chapters (so far).
Should you buy the book if you are a student of Greek/Harry Potter fan?
Sure, if you think you will either sit down and read it, or play with it off and on as a side effort in your Greek studies. It's fun, but I admit I have not gotten very far yet myself. Anything that gets you reading Greek is a good thing.
If you are a teacher of ancient Greek?
Well, it might be fun to introduce the students to the fact that such a thing exists, and some of your students may well get excited about the idea of reading Harry Potter. But, as you well know, they will have had to have had a fair amount of Greek before they can read this text, and if they are that far along, you are almost morally obligated to get them reading THE GREEKS <grin>
I don't think many Greek teachers will consider this for a text, and it's not like I have to tell teachers that, but it might be fun for you as a teacher to read it, if you are a Potter fan, and to mention to students for some extra practice during the summer or winter holidays. It might motivate them to keep up their Greek over the breaks.
It's worth a look, especially for younger students, but I mainly think it's something they might be inspired to try on their own. They know the story for the most part, so it will seem less daunting.
hope this helps
Interesting note: Don't translate this side-by-side with the English version. Translating from English to Greek and back to English will absolutely NOT yield the same results. And read it with a Scott-Liddell nearby for piece of mind.
What I can do is provide wonderful website that contains an article by the translator telling how he came to be the translator, how he chose a style and how he chose the Greek names for the characters as well as Hogwarts, Quidditch, etc. It is a very interesting read. Do a search for Greek Harry Potter on Google and go to the Classics Page.