A Magia da Tradução
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J.K. Rowling's books about the adventures of Harry Potter, and the subsequent films and computer games, are an enormous success all over the world and in many countries have become part of modern culture. The books appeal to people of all ages, not only because of the stories, but also as a result of the magical world created by the author and the creative manner in which she uses language. It goes without saying that the popularity of Rowling's books in countries where English is not the native language, is in part due to the work of the respective translators. As the books create a large number of problems for translators, it can be very interesting to compare the ways in which different translators resolve these issues. In this paper the Portuguese translation – Harry Potter e a Pedra Filosofal, translated into Portuguese by Isabel Fraga – with the Dutch translation – Harry Potter en de Steen der Wijzen, translated into Dutch by Wiebe Buddingh' – of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, the first book in the series, are compared. The translations are analysed in three different ways, using various translation theories. In the detailed analysis, one chapter, named “Diagon Alley” in the original book, and the translations of that chapter, are examined. First of all, both translation are analysed as independent texts, i.e. without taking the source text into consideration, in order to analyse the use of language in the target texts. Subsequently, both translations are compared with the original text to analyse the choices made by both translators. Lastly, a comparison is made between both translations, to analyse whether both translators have made the same choices in the translation process and if not, to try and determine whether one of the two translators found a better way of dealing with a certain translation problem than the other. Because of the vast amount of possibilities for analysis in the translations, this paper is focused on four aspects: the translation of the title of the book, the translators' solution to the problem created by the accent of a character called Hagrid, the way in which a particular poem is translated, and the translation of the names of characters, objects and places and the neologisms coined by Rowling. The clearest difference between the Portuguese and the Dutch translator lies in the manner in which they decided to translate the names of characters, objects and places and neologisms. In general, Buddingh' opted for adaptation and/or the use of calques, giving the Dutch translation a natural effect, whereas Fraga chose to maintain most of Rowling's original terms, giving the Portuguese translation a more exotic effect. Although both are perfectly defensible strategies, seeing as Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is a book written for young children, a translation with a natural effect probably serves the needs of the target audience better.