A Lady's Ruminations

"Jane was firm where she felt herself to be right." -Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice


Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Here's a thought . . .

. . . if you live in the United States, read it in English.

Yahoo News: No Potter Books Available in Spanish Yet

While millions have already finished the sixth book in J.K. Rowling's fantasy series, fans hoping to read it in other languages will have to wait. Translating a 672-page book is a long process, made longer by the strict security imposed on "Half-Blood Prince" by Rowling and her publishers: Translators didn't get to see the book until it officially came out, July 16.

"The Spanish publisher (Salamandra Editorial, based in Barcelona) is just getting started and told us that the translation will probably be ready in the spring of 2006," says Marjorie Samper, product manager of Lectorum Publications, a Spanish-language book distributor that oversees the Lectorum store and is in turn owned by Scholastic, Inc., Rowling's U.S. publisher.

The Potter books are enormously popular throughout the world and have been translated into dozens of languages, with German and Japanese editions doing especially well. But Neil Blair, a representative from Rowling's literary agency, said that the first translations of any kind for "Half-Blood Prince" — German and Mandarin so far — aren't expected until the fall.
What a wait!

"A lot of customers are asking about it. I have a waiting list of 80-90 people," says Miguel Salvat, marketing director for the Miami-based Libreria Universal. "Obviously, people would be happier if we had the book, but they don't get upset. They understand there's nothing we can do about it.

With the Hispanic population topping 35 million in the United States, the book industry is well aware of the Spanish-language market, by far the biggest non-English market in the country. Random House, Inc., Harper Collins and Simon & Schuster are among the publishers with Spanish-language imprints; the superstore chains Barnes & Noble, Inc., and Borders Group have expanded their Spanish offerings.

"We've consistently seen double-digit growth for the last number of years," says Randi Sonenshein, Border's category manager for books in Spanish. She said demand was high both for books originally published in Spanish, such as the novels of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and for books in translation, such as "Da Vinci Code" author Dan Brown's works.
Here's the thing, we live in the United States of America. We speak and read English. If you are going to live here, speak and read English. If you are going to be here long enough to wait for the translation, then you need to start learning English anyway.

I don't really care what language people speak in their homes, but when their selfishness begins to creep into our culture---people not bothering to learn the language of this country, even though they live here, and demanding everything be done in their languages---then I get bothered.

Granted, it is perfectly reasonable that people in Germany, Spain, etc., would want to read translations in their own languages. But if you live in America, try English. Is it too much to ask that people we allow into our country learn our language? I wouldn't move to Spain and then wait around for the English version of some fabulous novel to come out, I would buy the Spanish edition and learn the language!