Author and winner of the South African Translators' Institute's 2003 award for outstanding translation, Janie Oosthuysen finds translating the Harry Potter books' plot and character names an enjoyable, but worthwhile task:
Janie Oosthuysen is responsible for making Harry Potter accessible to thousands of Afrikaans children, through her translations of the four books in the series. She's also the author of "about 14" children's books.
Translating Joanne Rowling's Harry Potter books was great fun, she says. The challenge was to translate characters' names in a way which would convey the sense of fun inherent in the names. "I use names that sound like the English ones," she says . So Professor Snape became Professor Snerp and Professor Flitwick became Professor Flikkerbit.
The themes in Harry Potter are universal, and the characters are well drawn, she says, making the translations easy and fun to do.