What I Learned From Re-reading Harry Potter… In Spanish!

It took me about a month to re-read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in Spanish. I originally got the book when I was in high school. I attempted to read it, but the Spanish was too much for me, even though I had grown up speaking the language.

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I eventually put the book down.

After graduating from my graduate program, I finally had the time to read whichever books I wanted. Having spent years studying Spanish, I decided reading HP y la piedra filosofal would be a fun way to maintain the language… not to mention I miss Hogwarts!

What I learned and realized:

  1. Peeves SO wasn’t necessary. As you probably already know, Peeves was the poltergeist on the Hogwarts grounds. He was quite mischievous, would pull pranks on the first year students, and was only afraid of the Bloody Baron. And in my humble opinion, he was very annoying. To the disappointment of many, Peeves was not in the movies. At first, I wasn’t sure if leaving him out negatively affected the world of Hogwarts. However, upon this second read of the first book, I’m sure I didn’t miss him in the movie. I continue to find Peeves annoying. Unpopular opinion, maybe?
  2. Minimal Difference. The differences between the book and movie were extremely minimal. There were a few that stood out to me, but none that I thought were extremely crucial to the story line. In fact, I think some of the movie modifications made more sense. Example, Harry being paired with Malfoy from the get-go when they had to wander around the Forbidden Forest. It was straight to the point and drove the storyline. All in all, I was please by the movie adaptation upon having this realization, even all these years later.
  1. Reading in Spanish was extremely beneficial (and fun)! I’ve spent the last two years reading about international relations and economics in Spanish. Not that that wasn’t extremely necessary for my language development, but reading HP kept me much more engaged with the construction of the language and taught me words that may pop up in everyday conversation that reading about the many international, Latin-American summits and organizations simply won’t. Both are necessary. Harry Potter is just… Harry Potter. ‘Nuff said.

Even though, I have not moved on to the next Harry Potter installment, I am really looking forward to it! I still need to buy it, and, yes, I will be getting it in Spanish.

-Marisol

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