Anywhere on the earth that books and movies exist; people know who Harry Potter is. The story of a wizard’s blossoming from novice to expert has become a permanent fixture in the childhood (and adulthood) of millions of readers and moviegoers. Countless fans and even secondary observers are familiarized with the basics: witches, wizards, wands, and sleep-away school for studying magic. But how has Harry Potter stretched the globe beyond Great Britain and into the lives around the globe?While English is widely accepted as a sort of common language in most of the developed world, ordering a cup of coffee and reading a novel are drastically different in their levels of proficiency. For Harry Potter to become and international sensation which earned its rags-to-riches author J.K. Rowling over a billion dollars; the publishers had to have the series of novels translated into roughly 70 languages.
There even exists an English to American English version of the books. For example, one book title was changed from “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone,” in the United Kingdom, to “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” in the United States; and that’s just in the same language. If you take into account Rowling’s penchant for inventing her own words and incorporating slang into the stories, translating fantasy is a particularly daunting task.
Translators are carefully selected, certified, and serious about retaining the integrity of the work’s original intended meaning. The Harry Potter phenomenon is just one example of the importance of such translation services. Through translation, we are able to share a common experience.
As the world becomes “smaller” through the power of technology and the Internet, the need for translating information becomes bigger. Translation services are a necessary and crucial part of creating a global community that shares not just books and films but also the sharing of crucial information. Communicating political events, sharing solutions to problems, signing documents between speakers of different languages and coming to agreements by the use of the proper word choice enables humanity to connect culturally, politically, and economically.
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