The amount of variation in the Spanish editions of the Philosopher’s Stone is stunning. Writing is an art and from draft-to-draft, you expect the language to be tweaked. But when it has been edited and publimelted, you don’t expect noticeable variation from edition to edition; maybe simply the correction of a typo or 2. Similarly, translation is absolutely an art; arguably more challenging and nuanced than just writing by itself. In enhancement to all the very same kind of variation you expect from draft-to-draft, tright here is likewise the variation that comes from trying keep the character and also intent of the original. But aacquire, once a translation has actually been edited and publiburned, you don’t really mean that a lot variation in the final text from edition to edition. “Expect” is certainly the operative word right here. Harry Potter y la Piedra Filosofal is all over the place! I hope that Spanish is distinct in this regard because I’m terrified that if I start looking this very closely at any type of of the translations (or the original English editions for that matter!) that I’ll find that Spanish is not the exception!


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These are my Spanish ‘Tykes’: Chiquilín, Diablillo, and also Pillastre


My goal in digging right into these variations was to conclusively say how many type of local adaptations of the Spanish translation were publimelted and also as soon as. The presumption that it appears everyone has been working from was that tbelow were 2 regional adaptations: Argentina and Spain. I referred to them as “South American Spanish” and “European Spanish” and also expounded on them at length (fairly embarassingly now) on Reddit; yet in retrospect, this was an presumption of mine that came from a) the reality that I had actually an edition publimelted in Argentina and also another in Spain and also b) my past endure regionalizing software application where we offered two areas. As a collector, regional adaptations are of interemainder to me, so specifically exactly how many kind of tright here are is important to my completion criteria!

I have lastly built up enough information that I feel comfortable making some concrete assertions. Tbelow are three local adaptations of Spanish:

Southern Cone (‘Cono Sur’)Latin AmericaEurope

Additionally, the original edition of la Piedra Filosofal varies sufficient from all the succeeding editions, regardless of region, that I think it stands as a distinct linguistic variant in its own right.

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Below, I’ll define how I concerned my conclusions, administer a lot of information what type of variations exist and also tell you just how you can identify what areas your own editions belong to. If that’s all you’re really interested in here, you have the right to jump to the “Quick and Dirty Region Identification Rules” or the “Appendix of Editions“.

What We’re Working With and What We’re Looking For

After scouring the Web, I discovered proof of 32 separate editions of la Piedra Filosofal (complete list below), 2 of which I owned. After some initial investigation, I ordered one more 4 publications, acquired accessibility to one more 10 via other collectors and uncovered a pair more full-messages online: all told, 18 books representing 9 various editions.

The variations that I uncovered essentially autumn right into 2 categories: regional dialectal variation (the factor for the local adaptation) or improving the translation over time. As a non-indigenous speaker, the really tricky point is trying to figure out which is which, particularly once they might be both. To show, let’s look at really clear examples of each.

Regional Variation:

One of the many renowned differences in between Spanish as spoken in Spain and also Spanish as spoken in the Americas is in the pronoun device. The Spanish 2nd person (“you”), unprefer English, better distinguishes in between singular vs. plural and also acquainted vs. polite. That is, there are possibly 4 various words that we would certainly interpret to English, “you”. Everywhere, tright here is a distinction in the singular. In the Americas, the plural has actually no distinction between acquainted and also polite and also tbelow is just one word ustedes that covers both contexts. However before, in Spain, the distinction is kept and also tright here are 2 words: vosotros (familiar) and ustedes (polite).

Consequently, the usage of vosotros is a very clear indicator of what area a text is intended for. Finding examples is challenging as soon as comparing a bunch of paper publications that can’t be searched; yet, there is a perfect example in Chapter 4, El guardián de las llaves, “Keeper of the Keys”. Hagrid has actually simply offered Harry his Hogwarts letter and in the exadjust that follows, Harry is shocked to discover that his aunt and also uncle kbrand-new around Hogwarts and also states one of:

—¿Ustedes sabían? —preguntó Harry—. (Latin America and Southern Cone)

—¿Vosotros lo sabíais? —preguntó Harry—. (Europe)

In the latter, Harry uses vosotros bereason he’s addressing his aunt and uncle (plural) and also he knows them really well (familiar).

Translation Improvement:

It is always hard to decide whether to and exactly how to interpret proper names. The multiple layers of interpretation in Harry Potter make it also even more so. The “Mirror of Erised” for circumstances. The translator chose to leave it Erised in Spanish; a common strategy for correct nouns that don’t have excellent correspondences in the targain language. At leastern, it was Erised at first. Once it ended up being widely recognize that the “Erised” is “Desire” in reverse, something the translator probably didn’t understand originally, that presented a various way to strategy the translation of the name. “Desire” in Spanish is deseo, so Oesed becomes a pretty great candidate for translation and also that’s what later editions use:

El espejo de Erised 

El espejo de Oesed

It’s not clear precisely as soon as that change was made, but as late as 2006-2008 Erised was still being supplied. By 2014-2015, Oesed reput it in all the areas. The simplest location to uncover it is in the title of Chapter 12.

Tawny Owls and also Little Tykes

Some of the initially variations that started me thinking that tbelow were even more than one regional adaptation also turned out to be among the a lot of misleading. They are the ones that I reported on before yet will reiterate below. In Chapter 1, pretty universally on the second page, we have this passage:

Namong them noticed a large, tawny owl flutter previous the window.

At half previous eight, Mr. Dursley picked up his briefinstance, peckedMrs. Dursley on the cheek, and also tried to kiss Dudley good-bye butmissed, because Dudley was now having actually a tantrum and also throwing hisgrain at the wall surfaces. “Little tyke,” chortled Mr. Dursley as he leftthe residence. He acquired into his automobile and backed out of number four’s drive.

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Looking at the bolded phrases, I observed the adhering to translations.

“tawny owl”lechuza parda “brvery own owl”lechuza rojiza “red owl”lechuza leonada “tawny owl”búho pardo “brown owl”

The difference in between a lechuza and a búho is in the owl household and also it is one that we don’t have in English: