Harry Potter and the Spanish ‘Tykes’

An update to Harry Potter and the Spanish Rabbit Hole

The amount of variation in the Spanish editions of the Philosopher’s Stone is stunning. Writing is an art and from draft-to-draft, you expect the language to be tweaked. But once it has been edited and published, you don’t expect noticeable variation from edition to edition; maybe just the correction of a typo or two. Similarly, translation is absolutely an art; arguably more difficult and nuanced than just writing by itself. In addition to all the same kind of variation you expect from draft-to-draft, there is also the variation that comes from trying maintain the character and intent of the original. But again, once a translation has been edited and published, you don’t really expect that much variation in the final text from edition to edition. “Expect” is definitely the operative word here. Harry Potter y la Piedra Filosofal is all over the place! I hope that Spanish is unique in this regard because I’m terrified that if I start looking this closely at any of the translations (or the original English editions for that matter!) that I’ll find that Spanish is not the exception!

These are my Spanish 'Tykes': Chiquilín, Diablillo, and Pillastre

These are my Spanish ‘Tykes’: Chiquilín, Diablillo, and Pillastre

My goal in digging into these variations was to conclusively say how many regional adaptations of the Spanish translation were published and when. The assumption that it appears everyone has been working from was that there were two regional adaptations: Argentina and Spain. I referred to them as “South American Spanish” and “European Spanish” and expounded on them at length (rather embarassingly now) on Reddit; but in retrospect, this was an assumption of mine that came from a) the fact that I had an edition published in Argentina and another in Spain and b) my past experience regionalizing software where we used two regions. As a collector, regional adaptations are of interest to me, so exactly how many there are is important to my completion criteria!

I have finally collected enough data that I feel comfortable making some concrete assertions. There are three regional adaptations of Spanish:

  1. Southern Cone (‘Cono Sur’)
  2. Latin America
  3. Europe

Furthermore, the original edition of la Piedra Filosofal varies enough from all the subsequent editions, regardless of region, that I think it stands as a distinct linguistic variant in its own right.

Below, I’ll explain how I came to my conclusions, provide a lot of detail what kind of variations exist and tell you how you can determine what regions your own editions belong to. If that’s all you’re really interested in here, you can jump to the “Quick and Dirty Region Identification Rules” or the “Appendix of Editions“.

What We’re Working With and What We’re Looking For

After scouring the Internet, I found evidence of 32 separate editions of la Piedra Filosofal (full list below), two of which I owned. After some initial investigation, I ordered another 4 books, got access to another 10 through other collectors and found a couple more full-texts online: all told, 18 books representing 9 different editions.

The variations that I found fundamentally fall into two categories: regional dialectal variation (the reason for the regional adaptation) or improving the translation over time. As a non-native speaker, the really tricky thing is trying to figure out which is which, particularly when they might be both. To illustrate, let’s look at really clear examples of each.

Regional Variation:

One of the most well-known differences between Spanish as spoken in Spain and Spanish as spoken in the Americas is in the pronoun system. The Spanish 2nd person (“you”), unlike English, further distinguishes between singular vs. plural and familiar vs. polite. That is, there are potentially 4 different words that we would translate to English, “you”.  Everywhere, there is a distinction in the singular. In the Americas, the plural has no distinction between familiar and polite and there is only one word ustedes that covers both contexts. However, in Spain, the distinction is maintained and there are two words: vosotros (familiar) and ustedes (polite).

Consequently, the use of vosotros is a very clear indicator of what region a text is intended for. Finding examples is difficult when comparing a bunch of paper books that can’t be searched; however, there is a perfect example in Chapter 4, El guardián de las llaves, “Keeper of the Keys”. Hagrid has just given Harry his Hogwarts letter and in the exchange that follows, Harry is shocked to discover that his aunt and uncle knew about Hogwarts and says one of:

—¿Ustedes sabían? —preguntó Harry—. (Latin America and Southern Cone)

—¿Vosotros lo sabíais? —preguntó Harry—. (Europe)

In the latter, Harry uses vosotros because he’s addressing his aunt and uncle (plural) and he knows them really well (familiar).

Translation Improvement:

It is always difficult to decide whether to and how to translate proper names. The multiple layers of meaning in Harry Potter make it even more so. The “Mirror of Erised” for instance. The translator decided to leave it Erised in Spanish; a common strategy for proper nouns that don’t have good correspondences in the target language. At least, it was Erised at first. Once it became widely know that the “Erised” is “Desire” in reverse, something the translator probably didn’t know originally, that presented a different way to approach the translation of the name. “Desire” in Spanish is deseo, so Oesed becomes a pretty good candidate for translation and that’s what later editions use:

El espejo de Erised 

El espejo de Oesed

It’s not clear precisely when that change was made, but as late as 2006-2008 Erised was still being used. By 2014-2015, Oesed replaced it in all the regions. The easiest place to find it is in the title of Chapter 12.

Tawny Owls and Little Tykes

Some of the first variations that started me thinking that there were more than one regional adaptation also turned out to be one of the most misleading. They are the ones that I reported on before but will reiterate here. In Chapter 1, pretty universally on the second page, we have this passage:

None of them noticed a large, tawny owl flutter past the window.

At half past eight, Mr. Dursley picked up his briefcase, pecked
Mrs. Dursley on the cheek, and tried to kiss Dudley good-bye but
missed, because Dudley was now having a tantrum and throwing his
cereal at the walls. “Little tyke,” chortled Mr. Dursley as he left
the house. He got into his car and backed out of number four’s drive.

Looking at the bolded phrases, I observed the following translations.

  • “tawny owl”
    1. lechuza parda “brown owl”
    2. lechuza rojiza “red owl”
    3. lechuza leonada “tawny owl”
    4. búho pardo “brown owl”

The difference between a lechuza and a búho is in the owl family and it is one that we don’t have in English:





  • “Little Tyke”
    1. Tunante “scamp”
    2. Diablillo “imp”
    3. Chiquilín “tiny tot”
    4. Pillastre “rogue”
  • “Chortled”
    1. dijo “said”
    2. exclamó “exclaimed”
    3. rió “laughed”

And then there was “You-know-who”. The first time we encounter this phrase is another couple of pages into Chapter 1:

“Sorry,” he grunted, as the tiny old man stumbled and almost fell. It was a few seconds before Mr. Dursley realized that the man was wearing a violet cloak. He didn’t seem at all upset at being almost knocked to the ground. On the contrary, his face split into a wide smile and he said in a squeaky voice that made passersby stare, “Don’t be sorry, my dear sir, for nothing could upset me today! Rejoice, for You-Know-Who has gone at last! Even Muggles like yourself should be celebrating, this happy, happy day!”

  • “You-Know-Who”
    1. Quien-usted-sabe (Quien-tu-sabes) “who-you-know”
    2. Innombrable “unnameable”
    3. Usted-Sabe-Quién (Tú-Sabes-Quién) “you-know-who”

In 1 and 3, the form in the brackets is the familiar form of “you” as discussed above.

Superficially, it looks like there’s three or four possible variations, but they weren’t being used consistently together. Looking at them together there were 6 different combinations of these phrases together. So what gives?? 6 regional variations? Unlikely…

Settling on 3 variations, as I previously reported, came from an extra-linguistic clue: the ISBN numbers of the new illustrated editions. Three sequential ISBNs generally available in three different parts of the world:

  1. 978-84-9838-707-0  –  Spain (only edition available on http://www.libreriauniversitas.es/)
  2. 978-84-9838-708-7  –  Argentina, Chile (http://edhasa.com.ar, http://goldenbook.cl)
  3. 978-84-9838-709-4 – US, Mexico (http://www.amazon.com, http://librosmexico.mx)

I wasn’t about to get three illustrated versions to prove a point, but there were also three other closely-space ISBNs that corresponded to new Spanish cover art in paperback and showed a similar variation in their regional availability:

  1. 978-84-9838-631-8 – Spain
  2. 978-84-9838-656-1 – Argentina
  3. 978-84-9838-694-3 – US

So, I did buy all of those!  Once you have enough data points, the patterns start to emerge. So with regards to these crazy variations in the first couple pages of the books, here’s what I have concluded. The first edition that was printed in Argentina is a complete outlier so let’s separate it out and look at it later (you’ll get an inkling of why I think it deserves it’s own recognition as an interesting variant). Also, some updates were made in the most recent editions, so let’s ignore those for the moment too and just look at editions between ~2000 to ~2012ish. For these editions, three consistent patterns emerge.

 < 2012 tawny owl little tyke chortled You-Know-Who
Latin America lechuza parda Diablillo dijo Quien-usted-sabe
Southern Cone lechuza rojiza Chiquilín exclamó Innombrable
Europe lechuza parda Tunante dijo Quien-usted-sabe

For some reason, they decided ~2014 to make a couple of changes, introducing búho for one. But again, looking at these editions in isolation, three consistent patterns emerge.

 > 2014 tawny owl little tyke chortled You-Know-Who
Latin America lechuza parda Diablillo dijo Quien-usted-sabe
Southern Cone búho pardo Chiquilín exclamó Innombrable
Europe búho pardo Pillastre dijo Quien-usted-sabe

Google does a pretty good job of giving you quick estimates for word frequency and it seems that búho is about twice as common as lechuza, so that probably is a factor. Also, the connotation for lechuza seems to be whitish snowy owls like Hedwig (try a Google image search!) so, perhaps the tawny/brown/red colour ultimately caused some cognitive dissonance. Although in that case, you might expect that they distinguishing between the two: búho for mundane owls and lechuza for Hedwig? They did not do that. Hedwig is a búho in those editions.

Putting it all together and adding in the outlying first edition:

tawny owl little tyke chortled You-Know-Who
First Edition (Argentina) lechuza leonada Chiquilín rió Usted-Sabe-Quién
Latin America lechuza parda Diablillo dijo Quien-usted-sabe
Southern Cone < 2012 lechuza rojiza Chiquilín exclamó Innombrable
> 2014 búho pardo
Europe < 2012 lechuza parda Tunante dijo Quien-usted-sabe
> 2014 búho pardo Pillastre

I believe that most of the changes between the first edition and the later editions were improvements in the translation. “Tawny” is a pretty infrequent word in English and possibly leonada is even more so, although it is probably a more accurate translation (“tawny” is most commonly used in the context of lions; leonada…) it may be one that is unfamiliar to younger readers. Why is there a regional variation between “brown” and “red”? We’d need a native speaker I think; it seems pretty arbitrary, although it may have to do with people’s interpretation of the actual colour of a lechuza vs a búho in different regions.

Chiquilín is one of the only words I found as specifically flagged as specific to South American Spanish and the other variations seem similarly regional.

“Chortled” seems just not to have a good corresponding word in Spanish which could account for the variation there.

I did find some discussion online about how unnatural “You-Know-Who” sounds in Spanish. The first edition’s translation especially seems to have kept English word-order and it probably was unnatural sounding. Apparently even more so to the Argentinians because they ended up avoiding it all-together!

Some More Random Variation Examples

beans* dears* The Boy Who Lived The Vanishing Glass Platform 9 3/4 trapdoor
First Edition (Argentina) grajeas queridos El niño que vivió El vidrio se desvaneció La Platforma 9 3/4 puerta-trampa
Latin America pepas guapos El niño que vivió El vidrio que se desvaneció El Andén 9 3/4 trampilla
Southern Cone grageas queridos El niño que sobrevivió El vidrio desapareció La Platforma 9 3/4 puerta trampa
Europe grageas guapos El niño que vivió/sobrevivió(>2014) El vidrio que se desvaneció El Andén 9 3/4 trampilla

*beans: as in “Bertie Botts Every-flavour Beans”

*dears: as in “Anything off the cart, dears?”

The Region Boundaries and Labels

Let’s back track a little. For simplicity’s sake, I have been using the region definitions I settled on, but I still haven’t justified where I drew the boundaries and why I’ve named them as I have.

“Europe” vs. “Not Europe” is an easy boundary to draw. Not only is there an observable linguistic distinction in the Spanish spoken, there is a huge geographical discontinuity as well. “Europe” rather than “Spain” because first, there are Spanish speakers in Europe outside of Spain and second, because “European Spanish” sounds better than “Spanish Spanish”. One could perhaps use “Castilian Spanish”, which in English at least, targets that dialect, but I’d rather a purely geographical term to be consistent with the other regions.

In the Americas, the boundaries are not as clear because you can find Spanish speakers the length of the two continents and there are also big distinctions in their Spanish as well. The only editions not printed in Spain were printed in Argentina (at least that I’ve seen so far), so no help finding different distribution centres there.

I’d like to say it was my linguistic prowess that broke the case, but sadly, Salamandra provided the clue themselves. One edition—the only one I have seen thus far—said what region it was intended for. Right above the ISBN barcode on the back cover of 978-84-9838-017-0 is a little Cono Sur which translates as “Southern Cone”, the common term for the pointy part of South America that includes Argentina, Chile and Uruguay. That region also represents a distinct form of Spanish, Rioplatense Spanish. Region number two defined!

“Latin America” becomes just a catch-all for “Not Southern Cone” in the Americas.

First Edition as Collectible Variant

My primary collecting interest is Linguistic, so on that basis alone, the differences in the first edition that I laid out above are on par with the regional variations in my opinion. Knowing what I know now after this investigation, it is definitely an edition I need in order to consider my collection “complete”. Fortunately, it was one of the two editions I owned originally!

There are other reasons that I would think collectors would find it unique aside from having the “first edition” thing going for it. Given the history of the publishers that I discussed previously, having an Emecé imprint is definitely rarer than a Salamandra imprint. But also, this edition is the only one that carries an Argentinian ISBN number (978-950-04-1957-4); all the other Emecé imprints, despite carrying the name, were produced through their (at the time) Spanish subsidiary Salamandra and so all have Spanish ISBN numbers (ex. 978-84-9838-709-4). (Actually, there are also library / school editions farmed out to other publishers that inexplicably have the English language “0” identifier (ex. 978-0-320-03782-5) but that’s a bit of a tangent.)

Furthermore, and this does carry some linguistic-weight with me as well, it seems that this first edition was distributed throughout the Spanish speaking world without being regionalized. Even though a European Spanish library edition came out in 1999 and public regionalized versions appeared in the same year (2000) that this edition was still being produced. The evidence for this is not totally conclusive, but I was able to see samples of three copies of the first edition: 4th, 14th and 17th printings, all produced between the fall of 1999 and August of 2000. The 4th and the 17th were printed in Argentina; the 14th was printed in Spain. This strongly suggests to me that the book was being distributed is Spain as well as Argentina, and most likely everywhere else as well.

 Quick and Dirty Region Identification

If your edition is not in my list below: first please help me fill in the gaps! Especially if you notice any differences from what I’ve mentioned in this article! Most of the editions are still not identified and I would love to change that. But, if you want a quick and dirty answer: you only need to check, at most, two words (but check in order!):

  1. Check for vosotros. To reitterate from above:
    • Chapter 4: Hagrid has just given Harry his Hogwarts letter (easily identifiable because of the formatting) and in the exchange that follows, Harry is shocked to discover that his aunt and uncle knew about Hogwarts and says one of:
      • —¿Ustedes sabían1? —preguntó Harry—.
      • —¿Vosotros lo sabíais? —preguntó Harry—.
    • If vosotros is there, you’re done. The region is Europe. If not, go on to 2.
  2. Check for Chiquilín
    • Chapter 1: second page almost always, middle of a paragraph, Mr. Dursley, comments on Dudley. If it is Chiquilín like in this example:
      • «Chiquilín», exclamó entre dientes el señor Dursley
    • If you find Chiquilín, the region is Southern Cone, if not it is Latin America

Appendix of Editions

Here is my complete list of Spanish editions and as much information as I know about them. Details are sometimes sketchy and rely on the accuracy of random sellers on the Internet, so take them with a grain of salt. Corrections and additions are absolutely welcomed! Books that I have in hand or have gotten photos of from other collectors are obviously have more reliable details. If the publisher is listed as “Emecé / Salamandra” it means that the book was (or allegedly was) published under both imprints. Other publishers listed with Salamandra are licensed by Salamandra to print and distribute special editions of the book, but in most cases it seems the imprint still just says Salamandra (Circulo de Lectores is a notable exception). “Year(s)” includes observed printings, not just the original edition copyright which is why there is a range. The Region is my determination based on the information I had available and should always be double-checked. It is not impossible for different printings to have significant variations! Under “Just(ification)” I have indicated why I believe the edition belongs to that region. For some newer editions, their regional availability seemed sufficient evidence to categorize them sight-unseen; those determinations should be considered less reliable than when I inspected the book for linguistic characteristics.

ISBN Publisher Year(s) Edition Region Just.
978-950-04-1957-4 Emecé 1999-2000 paperback N/A inspection
978-84-7888-445-2 Emecé / Salamandra 1999-2012 hard cover Europe inspection
978-84-7888-548-0 Emecé 2000 paperback
978-84-7888-554-1 Emecé / Salamandra 2000 paperback
978-84-7888-561-9 Emecé 2000 paperback Latin America inspection
978-84-7888-611-14 Emecé / Salamandra 2001 paperback Southern Cone inspection
978-84-7888-612-8 Emecé 2000 paperback
978-84-7888-642-53 Salamandra 2000 hard cover Europe inspection
978-84-7888-613-5 Salamandra paperback
978-84-7888-654-8 Salamandra
/Lectorum Publications
2001-2013 paperback Latin America2 inspection
978-84-7888-759-0 Salamandra
/Editorial Oceano de Mexico
2002 hard cover
978-84-7888-779-8 Salamandra 2002 paperback
978-84-7888-861-0 Salamandra 2003-2004 paperback Southern Cone inspection
978-84-7888-902-0 Salamandra hard cover
978-84-9838-012-5 Salamandra 2006 paperback
978-84-9838-017-0 Salamandra 2006-2008 hard cover Southern Cone inspection
978-84-9838-266-2 Salamandra 2010-2017 paperback Europe5 inspection
978-84-9838-437-6 Salamandra 2010 paperback Southern Cone availability
978-84-9838-438-3 Salamandra 2010-2015 paperback Latin America availability
978-84-9838-631-8 Salamandra 2014 paperback Europe inspection
978-84-9838-656-1 Salamandra 2015 paperback Southern Cone inspection
978-84-9838-694-3 Salamandra 2015 paperback Latin America inspection
978-84-9838-707-0 Salamandra 2015 illustrated Europe availability
978-84-9838-708-7 Salamandra 2015 illustrated Southern Cone availability
978-84-9838-709-4 Salamandra 2015 illustrated Latin America availability
978-0-320-03782-5 French & European Pubns 2005 library / school
978-0-320-04848-7 French & European Pubns 2000 library / school
978-0-320-04851-7 French & European Pubns 2004 library / school
978-0-606-20489-7 Turtleback Books 2002 library / school
978-0-606-88445-7 Turtleback Books 2001 library / school
978-0-613-35960-3 Turtleback Books 2001 library / school
978-84-226-7987-5 Circulo de Lectores 1999 library / school Europe inspection
978-84-666-0455-0 B Ediciones 2001 deluxe



A special thank you to all the people that submitted images from their editions that helped me sort out all these editions!

Instagram: @thepottercollector, @foreverpotterish, @alltheprettybooks, @mypotterbooks

Other: MSpeigel, M.H., peterjcarroll, S.H.


1 Thank you to M.H. for catching a typo here! Replaced sabien with sabían.
2 2016-07-03 More reliably identified as Latin America. (Thanks @mypotterbooks and peterjcarroll!)
3 2016-07-03 Thanks for the addition @mypotterbooks!
4 2017-03-17 Thanks for the addition MSpiegel! Also note that this edition may come with a first edition cover with ISBN 978-950-04-1957-4 printed on the back.
5 2017-11-29 Thanks for the identification S.H.!

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19 responses

  1. Peter says:

    Great article! I have a copy with ISBN 978-84-7888-654-8, but with the criteria you listed in the article, it’s definitely Latin America and not Southern Cone. I would be happy to provide photos if you like.

    • UrbanAbydos UrbanAbydos says:

      First — sorry for the response delay! I had a baby and then moved. So life has been a little hectic!

      I do very much appreciate you telling me that! My previous categorization was not very confident—I should figure out a way of indicating that… hm.

      Anyway, I would *LOVE* to have pictures if you’re still willing!

      * front cover
      * back cover
      * copyright page
      * chapter 1: 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th pages
      * chapter 4: the ¿Ustedes sabían?

      You can send them to urbanabydos@potterglot.net

  2. Jim says:

    The Kindle edition that I have, ASIN B0192CTNHW, appears to be a post-2014 European edition, using your tests.

    • UrbanAbydos UrbanAbydos says:

      Thank you Jim! Classifying the Kindle versions kind of terrifies me… If for no other reason than they can be updated without notice… well maybe not. Did you do the thing where you have to buy it through the official site and then download it to your e-reader account?

      But definitely I should be taking e-books into account at some point… just not sure what the best way to do that is!

      Made note of it though, thank you!

    • UrbanAbydos UrbanAbydos says:

      PS. Sorry about the response delay. I had a baby and then moved. 😉

  3. Luis says:

    Nifty survey – thanks for sharing! For what it is worth, the Kindle edition (as of May 2016) seems to be the Spaniard version. I can see no way (at least from within the US) to get the Latin American version. This is driving me nuts with the vosotros. 🙂

    • UrbanAbydos UrbanAbydos says:

      Huh. That is kind of odd, isn’t it… that the they would distribute to different regions in print but not in digital form. Way easier in digital form!

      It’s also weird to me that they don’t actually mark these things more clearly… like why wouldn’t you tell people what it is and just let them decide what version they want?

  4. Teresa says:

    I am from Spain and I have one of Salamandra’s first editions (bought in 2001) With “tunante” and lechuza parda.

    Last Christmas I got the new illustrated edition and I was shocked by the “pillastre” thing. I went to checked my old book to verify that the word used to be tunante and then google for an explanation.

    You should be proud of yourself, you are the only one that I have been able to find (both in English and Spanish) that has done some research on the topic. So thank you very much 🙂

    I still don’t get why do they feel that pillastre is more common to the new generation than tunante, when both of them are pretty odd and uncommon in the everyday language (I’m 24) but anyway.

    Keep updating your blog. Nice job!


    • UrbanAbydos UrbanAbydos says:

      Teresa, thank you very much for the comment! Not being a native speaker, it’s always good to hear from native speakers and what their intuitions are.

      I haven’t actually had a chance to inspect any of the illustrated versions yet, so if you’re willing I would love it if you could take some photos from your edition and email them to me! (urbanabydos@potterglot.net). What I usually ask for is:

      • front cover
      • back cover
      • copyright page
      • chapter 1: 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th pages — not sure what that would equate to in the illustrated, but targeting:
        1. Title of chapter 1
        2. ‘tawny owl’
        3. ‘little tyke’
        4. ‘chortled’
        5. ‘you-know-who’
      • chapter 4: the ¿Ustedes sabían? or ¿Vosotros lo sabíais?

      If you’re willing, I’d love the same for your earlier edition too! 🙂

  5. Jaime says:

    I’m Jaime, form México, and I’m writing my final paper on criticism to Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’s translation to Spanish. I’ve been also looking for how many editions there are an what kind of differences there are. It’s been more or less difficult… until I fount this site!

    I must tell you that the editions that have the new cover (the first photo you have in this article) have been corrected in some places (although some errors are still there, and some parts have been worsened regarding the adaptation to different Spanish-speaking areas).

    I’ll give you a pair of examples:

    First, any book prior to the new cover have “Hogwarts Escuela de Magia” instead of “Hogwarts Escuela de Magia y Hechicería”. That was an omission on behalf of the translator.

    Second. In Spanish, when talking about the weather you use “tiempo” with the verb “estar”. However, still in the latest edition the says “El tiempo es horrible”. The translator used “ser” instead of “estar” and non of the editors have noticed this.

    I have analysed the fourth chapter of the edition available in México. I used the following editions:

    “Old” translation: 6th pocket edition, 2015 ISBN 978-84-9838-438-3
    “New”translation: 1st edition, 2016 ISBN 978-84-9838-657-8

    If you need more information, don’t be shy to ask!

    • UrbanAbydos UrbanAbydos says:

      Jaime, thank you so much for sharing this! Disappointing that they’ve managed to introduce some errors, but hopefully on the whole the translations improve. Given the diversity of “Spanish” it’s such a complex language to translate!

      I’d love to see your final paper when it’s complete!

  6. Alexandra says:

    Thank you very much for this precious work !
    Can I ask you something ? I just want to be sure : when JK Rowling’s website says that’s 80 translations today (including the scots), does it means that they count these three translations : 1. Southern Cone (‘Cono Sur’), 2. Latin America, 3. Europe ?
    Thanks in advance for your answer ^^
    Alexandra from France.

    • UrbanAbydos UrbanAbydos says:

      No, they definitely do not! I have another article
      about exactly this because it really annoys me that they are so painfully imprecise.

      None of the adaptations, transliterations or variations are included in that number. Their number is basically:

      * 1 original UK English
      * 73 the languages it has been (officially)translated into
      * 5 more languages it has been translated into a second time (Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian, Turkish and Romanian)
      * 1 announced Scots translation

      1+73+5+1 = 80

      20170807 Edit: I can’t even keep my own counts straight! *73* languages, *5* double translations

  7. JJ says:

    Anyone know of any South American OR Argentinian translations of later books (i.e. beyond book 1?) The vosotros drives me crazy lol

    • PotterGlot PotterGlot says:

      I’m sure they exist! But I have not yet tried to itemize them! It’s a little daunting and while I know lots of people that have the first book, I don’t know a lot that have the remainder.

      That said, your best bet would be to try ordering them from Argentina… Generally, since they’re made for that region, they’re most likely to default to those ones.

  8. jsonnier says:

    I’m doing a study of the text in Spanish. As I read the Spain Spanish version I find the vosotros forms distracting. Every time I read it, although I understand what it means, I’m so accustomed to the more common Latin American Spanish that it takes me out of the story. Thanks for posting the ISBNs above. I’m certain that the Mexican Spanish version will be better, especially if I use this with my students. I just love that this page exists; now I know that I am not the only fan of Harry Potter and Spanish enthusiast in the world.

  9. Alvaro says:


    My name’s Alvaro, I’m from Spain, and I remember coming across this post for the first time shortly after reading the translated version of Cursed Child, which talked about “búhos” instead of “lechuzas”.

    I wasn’t surprised by the fact that there are several adaptations of the Spanish translation (since there’s only one set of translators credited, yet I’ve seen no one online complain that the version they read is in a different dialect), but it really struck me as odd that the European version of the text was changed after 2014. Fixing typos was one thing, but I thought that suddenly changing terminology was a weird thing to do, especially if only some things changed (and, again, I hadn’t heard anyone mentioning that the translation had changed)

    I remembered it a few months ago, when I was at a library, and decided to have a look at the book to see what I found. I checked the text and both “lechuza parda” and “tunante” were intact.

    The edition was this one: 978-84-9838-266-2 (https://salamandra.info/libro/harry-potter-y-piedra-filosofal-bolsillo). I didn’t check the year it was printed, but it looked like a fairly recent print, and certainly not over 4 years old.

    I’m not sure whether I’m missing something, but I thought you might find it interesting.

    • PotterGlot PotterGlot says:

      Thanks for the reply Alvaro! I’m so glad that there are people that are interested in these editions!

      This edition is on the list and identified as the European which is consistent with the “lechuza parda” and “tunante”—but you’re totally right! The weird thing is that I have seen evidence of it being reprinted as late as 2017. I guess the real mystery is why they would continue to reprint an older edition after the new one came out. My guess is that they wanted to continue to have a cheaper edition available perhaps? And if that’s the case, I can see that you wouldn’t want to revise the text of that cheaper edition because that in itself would be an expensive process. My assumption would be that any edition typeset after 2014 would have the revisions and, for example, the illustrated editions (2015) appear to (although I’ve only seen details of the European).

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