J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series is one of the most translated works of fiction in human history. Over the last two decades, it has appeared in over 80 languages, ranging from well-trodden tongues like French and German to more exotic idioms like Gaelic and Latin. Today, that collection expands to include one more, with the debut of the official Yiddish translation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (released in the United States as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone).

How did such an unusual edition come to be produced nearly 23 years after its source material’s publication? The work of an Indian-American Orthodox Jewish translator, and printed by a publishing house in Sweden, the story behind Harry Potter un der filosofisher shteyn is almost as remarkable as the story it tells.

To chronicle that unlikely path to publication, I spoke with those involved at every step of the journey, from the translator himself to Rowling’s editors and agency. In the process, I learned not only how to say “Quidditch” in Yiddish, but about the hopes that have been invested in this improbable edition of the popular children’s tale.

The story behind the story begins in October 2018. “I’m going about my business quietly, dealing with everything else, and all of a sudden I get this pitch for a Yiddish translation almost 20 years into Harry Potter being published,” recalled Rowling’s agent, Neil Blair of The Blair Partnership. CLICK on here to read more.

Comments are closed.