Title: Harry Potter y la piedra filosofal
Author: J.K. Rowling (translated by Alicia Dellepiane)
Genre: Fiction: children’s; fantasy
Harry Potter se ha quedado huérfano y vive en casa de sus abominables tíos y del insoportable primo Dudley. Harry se siente muy triste y solo, hasta que un buen día recibe una carta que cambiará su vida para siempre. En ella le comunican que ha sido aceptado como alumno en el colegio interno Hogwarts de magia y hechicería. A partir de ese momento, la suerte de Harry da un vuelco espectacular. En esa escuela tan especial aprenderá encantamientos, trucos fabulosos y tácticas de defensa contra las malas artes. Se convertirá en el campeón escolar de quidditch, especie de fútbol aéreo que se juega montando sobre escobas, y se hará un puñado de buenos amigos… aunque también algunos temibles enemigos. Pero sobre todo, conocerá los secretos que le permitirán cumplir con su destino. Pues, aunque no lo parezca a primera vista, Harry no es un chico común y corriente. ¡Es un verdadero mago! (de Goodreads)
Thoughts: This isn’t going to be one of my more typical reviews; instead of talking about the book, I’m going to talk about the experience of reading the book in Spanish. I had originally planned to read Harry Potter y la piedra filosofal as part of Ekaterina’s Language Freak Summer Challenge. Alas, it didn’t happen. I am about a month late- but never late then never!
I chose this book for a couple of reasons: first, I know the story quite well so even if I was confused I would still have some vague sense of what was going on- I was obsessed with Harry Potter in high school and read each book several times. Second, it is a children’s book so the language wouldn’t be overly difficult. Since graduating from college I haven’t used my Spanish at all and I have been worrying about loosing it so I thought this might be an appropriate place to start.
By reading this book in Spanish I found a couple of things out. First, I am not as rusty as I thought! I could follow along quite easily and on the couple of occasions that I lost track of what was going on it was usually only for a paragraph or two. Of course, I didn’t know every word I came across, but for the most part I could figure our the meaning from context clues.
Second, I discovered that I read in Spanish very slowly- at least at half the speed that I read in English of not more. While reading I would often feel like I was zipping along only to look up and realize just how much time had passed and just how little I had to show for it! The chapter lengths in this book range from about 10-20 pages which worked out perfectly as after about 20 pages I tend to need to rest my brain for a bit; so I read this book in smaller chunks then I usually would. About 3/4 of the way through the book I did notice that I was improving in my reading speed, which I am happy about.
Third, I enjoyed reading this book in Spanish! I did not really find it difficult to engross myself with the story, which was something that I was worried about. This is also my first book that I’ve read in Spanish so I am rather proud of myself 🙂 I plan to continue reading through the Harry Potter series in Spanish; the books, and the language, get more complex (and longer) as the series progresses so as I continue reading I will also continue to challenge myself (although I must confess, I somewhat nervous about how long it will take me to get through the fifth book in the series!) which I think is a good idea. Anyway, Harry Potter y la camara secreta is up next! Not sure exactly when I will get around to it; I will most likely not start it for a month or two but I will be ordering it!
What about you guys, do you read in another language? What do you like/dislike about it?