Top positive review
One person found this helpful
Good for German reading practice
on 25 May 2010
Many years ago I studied German and French and then went and forgot it all again as I got on with my life. Now, in an attempt to pick up where I left off, I have been trying to read familiar books in those languages. Something like this Harry Potter is ideal:- I'm ashamed to say I know them inside out in English, so I usually know what's happening before I have deciphered the meaning of every word and as they are basically children's books they are written in fairly 'easy' German. You do need a certain level of German or else it will become to slow and frustrating, luckily I remember most of the basic grammar, and enough vocabulary to get by.
That said, I find the German harder than the French. Many irregular verbs change vowel so they can take a bit of guess-work to find in the dictionary. Worse still are the many compound words, often made up on the spot. Words like 'Vertrauensschulerabzeichen' can leave all but the bravest non-German-speaker a quivering wreck. This long word, which wasn't in either of my dictionaries, is the translation for Percy's 'prefect badge' and the literal translation would be something like 'trusted-student badge'.
I'm not really qualified to judge how good the translation is, it seemed fine to me; it made sense and matched the character of the speaker etc without changing too much. However I was surprised to read Lockhart exclaiming "Grosser Scott" - the exact translation of "Great Scott" - I don't know what a non English-speaker would make of that.
Although this isn't the best of the Harry Potter series, it is quite short and has plenty of action and comedy; it would be useful reading practice for someone with about Leaving Cert/A Level German who is familiar with these books.