Translating the Language of J. K. Rowling – an Analysis of the Bosnian Translation of The Prisoner of Azkaban

Amira Sadiković, Selma Đuliman


The Harry Potter franchise has proven an incredible success since the publication of J. K. Rowling’sdebut novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, in 1997. Achieving a worldwide success, theHarry Potter novels have been translated into many languages, including those spoken in Bosnia andHerzegovina. However, many of those translations originate from Serbia or Croatia. Our goal is toexamine strategies the Bosnian translator opted for in her translation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, published by Buybook, Sarajevo, in 2015. Translating literature for children is a demanding task since children are the most honest critics, hence, failure of the writer to enchant, and of the translator to successfully transpose the magic of a fairy tale, a poem, etc., is made clear upon first reading. In that sense, the Harry Potter novels are no exception. What is more, the translation process is even more challenging because Rowling created a new fantasy world, abundant with new phenomena (creatures, games, spells, geographical locations, etc.). How does a translator find suitable solutions for notions that had not been known prior to the publication of the first Harry Potter novel, and, at the same time, feel comfortable with the quality of the translated text, keeping in mind the young recipients? Our paper will focus on analysis of lexical categories and translation procedures observed in the translation of this novel into the Bosnian langugage.


children’s literature; Harry Potter; translation strategies; lexical categories; culture-specific terms;

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