The Harry Potter series will be translated into Kazakh in 2014, Tengrinews reports citing the Marketing Director of Azbuka-Attikus publishing house Dmitri Yaronov.
In his 2012 annual State-of-the-Union Address President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev suggested putting together a list of 100 world literature hits and translating them into the Kazakh language. The 100 Books website was launched to choose the books through online voting. In addition, young volunteers have conducted a survey to determine the most popular books among Kazakhstanis from all the regions of the country. The list of the world literary pieces that they put together includes: J. R. R. Tolkien’s the Lord of the Rings , J. D. Salinger’s The Catch in the Rye, Stephen King’s Green Mile, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain. Harry Potter’s magic wand brought the young wizard into the list of the books popular books among Kazakhstanis as well.
The J.K. Rowling’s series has “all the makings of a classic”, according to Scottsman. The Ministry of Education of Kazakhstan even suggested to included it into the school curriculum.
The official Harry Potter publisher in the CIS countries (post Soviet space) Azbuka, a part of the biggest publishing group in Russia Azbuka-Atticus, will work with Meloman, a media store chain, to publish Rowling’s books in the national language.
The publishing house is planning on translating all 7 books from the wizard series. According to Yaronov, to launch the project, Meloman has requested financial support from the publishing house. “The most important for Kazakhstan is to have a high quality translation. With the distributional opportunities of the company, we can hope for high sales. As for now, we will try to sign an agreement with a British copyright licensing agency to publish Harry Potter in the Kazakh language as soon as possible,” said Yaronov. The Marketing Director of Azbuka added that Meloman will work on the distribution of the Kazakh Harry Potter with the same agency that distributes films in the Kazakh language. In addition, the series will also be republished in the Russian language in Maria Spivak’s translation.
The Harry Potter books have been translated into 67 language so far. In 2011, 450 million copies of the book have been sold worldwide. To publish a translation of Rowling’s series, a publishing house has to contact the author’s agent, The Blair Partnership.
A controversy surrounds translations of the Rowling’s popular series. Influenced by the works of the translators, Harry Potter loses Rowling’s prose and humor. But as with all translated works of literature that lose and gain in translation, the wizard series absorbs particular accents and voices relevant to the Non-English speaking countries. It is yet unknown what Rowling’s books will gain through translation into the Kazakh language. But readers are hopeful that the charm of the books will remain intact.