Progress in Harry Potter

At this point, a few pages into the first Harry Potter, I can say that my progress is remarkable. On two levels this works: those languages I know reasonably well are replete with expressions, vocabulary, syntactic devices, and cultural tidbits that I record in notebooks for each Einzelsprache. Eventually I will put some of the most intriguing ones on this blog.
The other level is more dependent upon my familiarity with the book and that is obtained by reading the same passage in English, Spanish, Russian, and French. At that point, I drop down to Italian and Latin where I copy out vocabulary mainly; I can still read those languages with some facility, but no doubt given the passage without previous readings, I might have trouble getting the sense of it. And finally I drop down to Dutch, Urdu and Greek. The Dutch is surprisingly easy, due in part to the many cognates and familiar grammar. Urdu is replete with new vocabulary items for me but the progress I experience in instilling the word order of Urdu and its manner of presenting a scene into my facility with the language is most valuable to me. In addition, just reading the script is still difficult for me and this reading, along with much else, is bringing the script more and more to the point that I can scan a page and find a word. Then the Greek is fascinating because of the covert cognates, those words embedded in English scientific and academic vocabulary but expressing everyday meanings in Greek. They allow me to stumble through a passage, again, given the previous readings. I write down less vocabulary because I am trying to get familiar with the connecting, linking, subordinating, and expressive words as I read. I can always pick up everyday vocabulary and special vocabulary as I continue reading.
The only languages I am missing are Norwegian, which I will purchase soon, and Kweyol, which has no translation of H.P. This is proving really fun. Ye mazaah hona sabyt hay. (Urdu)

Oct. 21 – checked again for H.P. in Norwegian on Amazon. They’ve added a hardcopy edition, finally, for a mere $200. These jerks know they can get it for less than $20 but hope some naif will buy it in desperation. I wrote to one house offering the book at an inflated price and they did have the courtesy to reply that they charge what the market will bear. Nice. Soon I’ll just order it direct from Norway.

Here – “” – I wrote more extensively on the experience of reading H.P. in these various languages.

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