any relation of his would spend the trip reading Harry Potter in Latin. having read Harrius Potter et Philosophi Lapis shortly before the trip. Simpliciter sedebam et cogitabam, quattuor per horas Harrius Potter et Philosophi Lapis (“Harry Potter and the. : Harrius Potter et Philosophi Lapis (Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Latin edition) () by J. K. Rowling and a great.

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Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

But that is what I did. For eighteen days, between captaining an eighteen-foot raft down miles of the Colorado River, making sure all our human waste made it into the cans we carried for that purpose, and, late in the trip, grimly helping re-right the capsized craft that held those cans, I read Harrius Potter et Camera Secretorumhaving read Harrius Potter et Philosophi Lapis shortly before the trip.

In the introductions to several of these works, the translator mentions a hope that the translation will help learners enjoy reading a higher volume of Latin than they otherwise could, and that this increased volume will lead to pihlosophi ability to read other Latin texts.

I already liked to read Latin, but Harrius Potter was a gateway text for me, leading to regular, sustained sessions reading authors of all eras.


Sitting in that raft, I did sometimes allow myself to underline words or phrases I wanted to revisit later, either to find out what they meant or to add them to my own pottr of Latin locutions. My waterlogged copy of Harrius Potter et Camera Secretorum shows about one smudgy underline per page. For another, I would have missed much of the plot had I not already absorbed the story and no small part of the exact wording of the original.

Of course, you might worry whether the Latin of Harrius Potter is such that you would even want to soak it up. Among the readers who notice, some will find this endearing, others distracting.

The following scene from Harrius Potter et Camera Secretorum may tell you into which category you fall. There are other quibbles one might have with the translation, but the important thing is that I did not have them when I was churning pages in a blow-up boat in Arizona.

If I internalized any solecisms, the effect was far outweighed by steady encounters with correct Latin forms and syntax throughout the books.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone: J.K. Rowling: Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Harrius Potter is not the place to pick up fancy phrasing or grow your tricolon. Eventually, my delight in the books and my growing Latin competence gave me another way to play with both: Only two of the seven were Latinized. This gave me new appreciation for what Needham had pulled off. How would I translate even the short opening line of Book 3: Harrius Potter multis in rebus ab aequalibus distabat.


Inter Harrium Potter aliosque pueros plurimum intererat. Haud par ceteris pueris fuit Harrius ille Potter.

Harrius Potter et Philosophi Lapis: J.K. Rowling: Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Harrius Potter aetate similibus dissimillimus ingenio. Non una in re discrepabat Harrius Potter ab eiusdem aetatis pueris.

Rarus puer fuit Harrius Potter. In a rash moment, I took this twice-nerdy exercise far enough to philosopih Bloomsbury, the publisher of the UK original and the Latin translations, a letter offering my services to translate the third and any subsequent books, in case such translations were not already in progress.

Between grasps at wit beyond measure, he operates Indwelling Languagea collection of resources and habits for boosting joy and success in language learning and teaching. Pholosophi tweets languagy tips and tidbits as IndwellingLang.

Harrius Potter et Philosophi Lapis

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