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The importance of localization - illustrated with Harry Potter -

You may not know about this, but Harry Potter’s wizards and witches school doesn’t have the same name in English and in French. Indeed, Hogwarts became Poudlard in the French version of the saga. French traducer Jean-François Ménard chose to translate it because he wanted French readers to get the same impression as English readers. Hogwarts evokes pigs and Poudlard evokes “lard” which is the French for “bacon”.

But the school’s name is not the only proper noun that Jean-François Ménard translated. He also changed the name of the houses. For instance, Ravenclaw became Serdaigle which is a mix of “serre” and “aigle” meaning “claw” and “eagle” in French. Even some characters got a new name. For instance, Neville Longbottom became Neville Londubat and Barty Crouch is Barty Croupton.

What Jean-François Ménard wanted to do was not only to translate the story of Harry Potter but also to give the French readers the opportunity to experiment the books with the intentions of JK Rowling who originally wrote them and wanted the names to evoke this or that.

This shows the importance of localization. 2002 Studios Media, specialises in localization. Let us help you make your content relevant and resonate with an international audience. Audio, video, graphics and more. Customer facing content or internal communications. Bring it life with 2002 Studios Media.

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