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SQUEEE - Kids and HP

What is an LJ for if not to bore my friends with things that make me happy?  

As I have mentioned before, I am raising my kiddos to be bilingual, in English and Lithuanian. I am also (yes, I know this will shock you all) an avid fan of the HP series, and this created a dilemma. I want Josh (5, and soon to start kindergarten) to share my enjoyment of all things HP, but I don't want to spend hours reading a book to him in English - he gets that from everyone else in his life.

The obvious solution - buy the translated books, available from an online book club in Lithuania that will, for a price, ship books around the world. Not too bad, actually - I paid less than I would for all 7 books in hardback in the US, and got a copy of "The Amulet of Samarkand" (which I have not read despite recommendations from several HP liking friends) as part of a promotion the club was running for the release of DH (in March, when I originally ordered the books, in Lithuania).

SQUEEEEE! They arrived! And they look nice. They are hardbacks, and use the US cover art, only printed onto the covers instead of on a book jacket (cool, cause I lose/destroy those promptly). And I can complain in great detail about the lousy translation, too!

I am soo looking forward to starting to read them with Josh, hopefully tonight. I already tested the waters with another Lithuanian book I borrowed from my sister, who has older kids (Lindgren's "Brothers Lionheart", not so far as I know available in English), and Josh does has the attention span for chapter books, if they contain adventure. And of course, he has seen the HP movies, so he is primed to like the book... It has been a long wait. The place does nto take credit cards, so I had to mail a paper check in US funds, and then wait for over a month for it to clear with the bank in Lithuania, and then have the books shipped to me.


( 33 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 10th, 2008 06:39 pm (UTC)
I think that's really cool and not boring at all.

I liked the Bartimaus trilogy. It's not HP but it is very enjoyable.
May. 10th, 2008 06:45 pm (UTC)
Yet another recommendation from an HP friend. :D I'll have to read it. Good practice for me too, I read very little in Lithuanian anymore.
May. 10th, 2008 07:33 pm (UTC)
That's really admirable (that sounds so odd, but I needed something stronger than just 'cool'!), Zara! Being bilingual will be so great for your kids - hope they enjoy HP!

And I loved the Amulet of Samarkand, too, when Iread it =].
May. 10th, 2008 07:34 pm (UTC)
Whoops, apparantly I hadn't logged in - that was me! :)
May. 10th, 2008 11:26 pm (UTC)
Ooh, I wondered who that was, that knew my name and all! I was raised bilingual myself, and am happy with how that turned out.
May. 10th, 2008 08:12 pm (UTC)
Oooh! I wish my children were bilingual! There are so many fantastic things, I think, that people can get out of life when they know more than one language. So much opens up to them.

Alas, I never learned another language... never too late to do it, I guess!
May. 11th, 2008 01:47 am (UTC)
SQUEEEEEE again :-)

Are you going to read them HP in russian next? ;)

On the other hand, don't ;))

Wait till better translation will be available and Neville will actually be teaching Herbology and not Potions.
May. 11th, 2008 02:26 am (UTC)
Just how fond a friend you are is illustrated by the charming delusion expressed in your post! (That I *could* read HP to my kids in Russian). On a good day, I remember all of the letters and can read a very simple board book out loud. Not that I would - their nanny does that, with a far better accent!
May. 11th, 2008 09:37 pm (UTC)
if I said you can, that means you can and don't you argue with me dear :-)
May. 11th, 2008 02:02 pm (UTC)
I wish I could read HP in other languages so that I could compare translations. I have 2 of the books in Russian (PS and PoA), 1 in Spanish, German, Portuguese and Polish. Actually, for some reason I have 2 copies of PoA in Spanish. Not sure how that happened. Still, the only ones I can read are the French versions and even then my French is so rusty I need an English/French dictionary at hand.
May. 11th, 2008 09:40 pm (UTC)
I wish I could read French :-)

Always wanted to learn it and never got time.

I think russian translation is, well, how to put it? Very bad. I mean, they got better after book 4, but things like Neville taking Snape's place do not exactly show improvement.

Which is quite annoying to me, since I discovered that some of the books of my childhood and early youth were translated from English brilliantly.

Why they could not hire good translator is beyond me, especially since on Internet I saw russian translations of much better quality than the official one.

But I am telling you - new covers for russian edition are beatiful, so beatiful. I will do my best to restrain myself but when they hit new york stores, I know I may be tempted, seriously tempted.
May. 12th, 2008 07:18 pm (UTC)
I didn't have much of a choice on learning French, since it's required in school here. Still, most people I know who graduate from high school French can't read it very well, so I think I lucked out there.

Yes, it is quite annoying that they would produce bad translations, especially knowing that the books are popular and they'd make enough back to pay for the good translator!

New covers? They changed them or do you just mean for the later books?
May. 12th, 2008 07:29 pm (UTC)
They have released new adult cover art for all seven of the books, quite nice:

May. 13th, 2008 02:31 pm (UTC)
Those are great covers. Somewhat reminiscent of the adult covers here in Canada. Nice and understated. Love them!
May. 11th, 2008 02:55 am (UTC)
Just for the record, I echo everything zomgjess said. :D

Bilingualism is not only awesome in itself, they say that knowing more than one language makes learning new ones even easier. And of course, the best aid to study is cool things to read in the language!

Bartameus is awesome.
May. 11th, 2008 03:07 am (UTC)
Yeah, and I believe that about learning other languages, based on personal experience. It is one reason I am doing this, even while living in a small town in the Midwest where noone else speaks Lithuanian. You get a different attitude to grammar, because you truly know that there's not just one way it can work. And you have more sounds in your toolbox for speaking.

I'm looking forward to Bartimaeus now! Though it's weird to be reading it in Lithuanian, lol.

May. 11th, 2008 05:39 am (UTC)
I absolutely agree -- such wonderful attitude...

The whole trilogy was addictive.
May. 11th, 2008 03:29 am (UTC)
That's wonderful, and I hope it was translated well.
May. 12th, 2008 05:49 am (UTC)
I've paged through OotP before. There are some very bad choices in the name translations (Malfoy and Granger are both translated, both to things that do not work with the characters' eventual story arcs at all. The translator should have known better, especially for Hermione, both were major characters IN THE FIRST BOOK!), but overall it is readable.
May. 11th, 2008 03:40 am (UTC)
Woohoo! A new HP reader!

It's wonderful that Josh is going to start reading HP in Lithuanian. That's more than I can ever hope to accomplish in another language. Good for him! :D

I have a friend who is a total HP fiend, and her parents originally came from Hungary. Therefore, she has all the books in Hungarian as well as English. XD I've taken a look at them, but I could only understand one or two words. :P
May. 12th, 2008 05:51 am (UTC)
Well, he won't be reading. He has just gotten up to words of three letters, in my/ the babysitter's attempts to teach him to read, lol. He can read them on his own in a few years, after I have him good and hooked.
May. 11th, 2008 06:43 am (UTC)
That's awesome - I know you will enjoy reading those!

And Happy Mother's Day! :)

When my husband saw how beautiful the Russian HP covers were, he was trying to figure out a way to get a set of them, and I just laughed. I said maybe janus_incantus could cross over the Finnish border into Lapland and make a deal with the reindeer people, who could send our order to Moscow, and the books might reach the U.S. by Christmas. *lol* But then, I can't read Russian anyway, so it's ridiculous.
May. 11th, 2008 10:54 am (UTC)
Totally random, sorry, but - shouldn't it be possible to get them via amazon...? I takes a while for the shipping, but I had the impression that you can get anything that any national amazon sells, on the international market also?
May. 11th, 2008 12:41 pm (UTC)
Oh, I know - but he's trying to get around Amazon's shipping fees. *lol* He's cheap!
May. 12th, 2008 05:56 am (UTC)
This would be very Russian. There seems to be some sort of cultural opposition to using the postal service. If some relative of my SO in Chicago wants to get some object to us, they will ask around, find someone who is travelling to our city who may not even know us, and then call us and arrange for us to meet them and retrieve the object. Or ask us if we know anyone who will be coming, to bring said object back with them to us.

Weird. But clearly typical/normal to them!
May. 12th, 2008 05:51 am (UTC)
Thanks! I am already. Maybe more than Josh....
May. 11th, 2008 10:52 am (UTC)
Ah, MsArithmancer! That's so great! I'm so curious how he'll like it! But I think you've said the HP train on the right tracks already for him to become a real fan! Keep us updated how he takes on! :D
May. 11th, 2008 12:42 pm (UTC)
I bet her kids will love the books - my children like the books alot better than the movies because there's more humor and more details.
May. 12th, 2008 05:57 am (UTC)
Early indications are good. (We've read the first 2 chapters...)
May. 28th, 2008 09:00 pm (UTC)
Ooh, that's awesome! I don't know how I missed this entry before...but that sounds really cool. Has he begun reading any of them yet?
May. 28th, 2008 09:08 pm (UTC)
He cannot read, except for words of 1 syllable in Russian. I am reading PS to him, though, and we are to the point where Harry is on the train to Hogwarts. And now we are taking a break to read otehr stuff, but I plan to get us back.
May. 28th, 2008 09:14 pm (UTC)
Oh, well, that was what I meant, sorry. :) How is he liking it so far?
May. 28th, 2008 09:19 pm (UTC)
Better than Pippi Longstocking, and worse than the other book we read. Since I thihnk PS/SS has a slow start myself, I am not too disturbed.

Also, in Lithuanian it strikes me more that Rowling's vocabulary isn't all that basic. Or else my Lithuanian is weak (also possible, and that would affect Joshua, as I am the only regular Lithuanian speaking presence in his life). Or else the translator made things harder, also possible. Lithuanian writers/translators seem not to grasp the concept of using simpler words to make texts more accessible to young kids.

( 33 comments — Leave a comment )