Harry Potter in French
FYI: I just purchased the complete Harry Potter series -- 8 DVDs -- for $20.00 from Amazon. A great deal!
Plus it has audio tracks for English, French and Spanish AND subtitles for English, French and Spanish too. Which makes it ideal for those learning any of those three languages.
I'm learning French and what I want is French audio and subtitles, a combination which seems hard to find in the US. For instance, the Criterion releases of French films always have the English subtitles, but not the French.
I do this too. I have imported both French and Spanish Epub books. I then buy the audiobook on Audible. I read the book first in Lingq and then listen to the audiobook.
I've read it in French, Russian and German. I think it's a very good strategy.
I would also suggest all the Sherlock Holmes stories which are out of copyright and seem to have been translated into just about every language.
i read it in portuguese, it was fun, i dont recommend listening to the audio book unless you're like really into it. In my opinion it's not worth listening to how people don't naturally speak.
I'm reading Harry Potter in Greek. I use sentence view and the audio from LingQ. I use various keyboard macros or an app to deliver both languages and the audio with one key press. Why Lingq doesn't do this core function I don't know. I find large volumes of reading + translation + audio as a main part of my learning strategy. Simplifying the whole process is important so I no longer bother with LingQs - It's either known or not. I'd find aligning the Audible too much work.
Re: aligning the Audible too much work
Ain't that the truth!
I use Audacity to save the audiobook to an mp3, then Audacity to play audio while following along in Lingq. I end up taking notes on the time stamps for sentences every minute so I can regain my place if I lose it.
I still can't hear spoken French well, so it's tough to get back. The HP narrator over-acts way too much, so his voice varies greatly in speed, volume and tone. This doesn't help.
I can't quite visualize your setup with macros and app. Could you say more?
They get harder as they go. I also struggle with enjoyment some of the voices in the audio books personally. not bad to read since most people know the basic story anyway, but im half way through #5 and its a bit of a slog to get through due to sheer length of the book
I've tried the same in Spanish since it's an easy children's book for practice, but *really*, if you reached the 5th book in another language, the obvious answer would be to just find better authors... it's not as if French literature is lacking at least 100 authors better than J K Rowling.
You are 100% correct. Honestly my biggest issue in my language learning is finding books that keep my interest. I will have to dig deeper though
It's utterly different from HP, but I personally recommend Houllebecq as a contemporary French author. You either love him or hate him.
And of course for the classics you have Flaubert, Proust, Balzac, Stendhal, Rimbaud, etc, etc, etc.
For those who aren't ready for or interested in heavy French literature, I'm also reading Georges Simenon, the prolific mystery writer.
Short sentences, short paragraphs, mostly straightforward tenses, yet well-written and interesting.
Do you know where can I import a Balzac novel? Most of the audio books on youtube exceed the 90 minute limit. The only one I've found so far is The Red Inn l'auberge rouge.
Hey! That's where I am too! Yeah book 5 is a chunky one!
Boy, that's spooky. I put up this comment earlier and now after lunch I received an email, from an academic mailing list I'm on, recommending:
"Translating the Harry Potter Novels into French: Cultural Issues, Linguistic Features and Translation Strategies" by Rebecca Kirkman"
Kirkman's paper does explain some things I've wondered about while reading Harry Potter in French. Kirkman says translators have moved from a strategy of being faithful to the original to an attempt to come up with cultural equivalents in the target language and culture. Or at least the translator's notion of such equivalents.
Which I understand and can agree with to a point. However, in Jean-Francois Menard's translation it often seems arbitrary.
For instance, right off the bat Menard translates J.K. Rowling's title "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" as "Harry Potter à L'École des Sorciers," which is literally in English, "Harry Potter at the School of Sorcerers."
The latter is a good title, but different, and for no good reason I can find, from the original. How is it more appropriate for a French audience?
If anyone is curious, I have more examples.
When I am using Lingq with Harry Potter, I keep the text of the English original open in another window. I always read the Lingq translation and Rowling's original English text. It's interesting how often the two diverge.
The reason for this adaptation of the title in French is basically the same as for the American publication, different from the original title "Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone". A question of marketing.
I understand it's common for publishers to overrule the writer's choice when it comes to titles. A.E. Hotchner, a famous literary agent, promised J.D. Salinger that "Cosmopolitan" wouldn't change a thing in a Salinger story and the magazine didn't -- except the title. Salinger never spoke to Hotchner again.
OK, that was the title. However, Menard also changed things in the text. For instance, early on Dumbledore offers Prof. McGonagle a "lemon drop." Menard changed that to "esquimau au citron" -- "lemon popsicle" or literally "eskimo with lemon."
I guess Menard didn't want to translate a traditional British candy with a colloquial name, "lemon drop," into whatever the French call lemon-flavored hard candy. Apparently, he wanted a lemon sweet with a cool French name, hence "esquimau au citron."
Which I found quite confusing, as I read along in Lingq. Was Dumbledore really carrying multiple lemon popsicles in his pocket? Wouldn't they melt?
I consider that a silly choice that doesn't help any readers.
This one is maybe just a mistranslation. Lemon drop, is it the American translation ? In the original book it’s sherbet lemon, and sherbet means also sorbet (esquimau). Either Ménard didn’t know this candy, either he though it was easier for French kid reader to understand sorbet or esquimau. When I read that at 9 I didn’t pay that much attention to the feasibility.
The thing I like with his translation, it’s that he found to render the idea of some words like Poudlard, etc. You can find on Youtube a series of videos where he explains some choices:
This one is maybe just a mistranslation. Lemon drop, is it the American translation ?
That's the version I'm using. I didn't realize there was an American translation from the British!
I can see it would easier to go from "lemon sherbet" to "lemon popsicle," though even there it strikes me as needlessly rewriting the author's intention.
After a little googling I've learned that there are indeed American versions of all the Harry Potters. The changes were mostly a matter of word changes from British to American terms, e.g. "car park" to "parking lot."
In the case of "sherbet lemon" (BR), "lemon drop" (US), "esquimaux au citron" (FR)...
A "sherbet lemon" is a hard British candy with a soft fizzy center. So "lemon drop" is an understandable choice for the American. I still think "lemon popsicle" is a poor, confusing choice. I've seen enough of what looks like arbitrary translation in the French to have little faith in Menard's judgment when he departs from Rowling.
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