March 6, 2015, by Anne S
Harry Potter and the Rosetta Stone
Never underestimate the Potterheads at The University of Nottingham.
It started with a simple idea to celebrate the different languages our staff and students speak: let’s film people reading from different translations of Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone. When I posted a call for volunteers on Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr I expected a handful of people to respond and for the filming to be done within a day. I quickly realised that I’d underestimated the Harry Potter fans at our university.
This sounds like an amazing project! I really love Harry Potter!
We soon had 30 enthusiastic volunteers ready to apparate into our filming locations around University Park. We started with Hungarian and ended with Bengali, with 18 other languages in between (not including Parseltongue). I think it’s the most fun I’ve ever had filming for a project, because every person who read from the book in their native language brought something new to our ears. Character names or pronunciation are often different, like the Lithuanian version of Justin Finch-Fletchley, but the winner of most amusing translation is Hufflepuff house in French, Hungarian, Romanian, Welsh and Brazilian Portuguese.
We asked each volunteer to read different parts of chapter 7 The Sorting Hat so that we could edit the story together. We also asked them all to wear a Sorting Hat during filming, which was borrowed from our Quidditch & Harry Potter Society. Watch the video below without the English subtitles and you’ll be amazed and amused at the story that unfolds. Over to you Professor McGonagall…