Pope: “Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone Is Also Badly Translated”

December 12, 2017 by  
Filed under Vatican

Credit: Malacañang Photo Bureau

 

Pope Francis has called for the renaming of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, saying current translations that changed it from the original “Philosopher’s Stone” to “Sorcerer’s Stone” does not make sense.

Read by millions of people across the world, the young adult fantasy novel has become a staple read in many homes. But in a recent interview, Pope Francis said that the word “Sorcerer” should be changed because it has been translated badly.

“It’s not a good translation because the Philosopher’s Stone is an actual legend dating back to 300ad whereas the Sorcerer’s Stone was simply made up,” he told TV2001. “The changing of the name implies that American children are too stupid to understand the word or, if not stupid, than clearly not being given the opportunity to learn a new word. The Harry Potter publisher Scholastic is essentially saying that American teachers actively push their students to fail. But it’s not teachers pushing anyone to fail. A teacher doesn’t do that—a teacher helps you learn how to open a dictionary.”

Last month, publishers in France agreed to switch from “Sorcerer” to “Philosopher.” The pope said he was impressed with the new wording.

  • Wiffle

    I assume you know that it actually is Harry Potter and the Philospher’s Stone in the UK and Canada. 🙂

    • Holly McWilliams

      Um, that’s the whole point of the article?

    • samton909

      Nobody cares. Really.

  • bhallett

    The original title of the book was “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”, written by JK Rowling, and published in Britain by Bloomsbury in 1997. For the US release in 1998, the US publisher, Scholastic, suggested the title change because they felt that the American public would not understand or be interested in a book about Philosophy (that says a lot about American education!!), and Rowling reluctantly agreed. In fact, it was she who suggested the change to “Sorcerer’s” – a change she now regrets.
    The texts of the 2 versions are materially identical, with changes being made only to cater to the differences in the spoken language on the opposite side of the Atlantic, e.g. ‘cinema’ became ‘movies’, ‘dressing gown’ became ‘bathrobe’, ‘sweets’ became ‘candy’ etc.
    (I do not know how well the movie script follows the text of the book, but the only difference between the movies released on each side of the Atlantic was in the dialogue – about 3 instances – where the stone is mentioned, where “philosopher” is replaced/dubbed with “sorcerer”.)
    The ‘real’ Philosopher’s Stone dates to about AD300, and was not a physical stone (or any other tangible object). It was the idea that a substance existed that could change base metals (lead, mercury, etc.) into gold or silver, and also had properties that would ensure good health and even immortality. Modern science does not support the existence of such a substance!

    • Holly McWilliams

      You must be popular at parties.

      • You are good at put-downs.

        • Lorelei Osipov

          You are good at giving compliments.

      • JabbaPapa

        And you not …

    • GaryLockhart

      You miss that bar stool in Boston, don’t you?

    • Casper

      I think that’s what they call “mansplaining”.

    • samton909

      Nobody cares.

  • pat

    If he is humble enough to tell the world he knows better than St. Jerome, Harry Potter is certainly within his realm of expertise.

    • HermitTalker

      pat The translation of the Pater Noster has the correct translation Saor sin o olch. Free us from evil. Jerome should have travelled outside his cave in Bethlehem. Bet Bibi Netanyahu does not know a Catholic scholar lived there before Israel the State was rammed down the world’s throat in 1948. ##### More seriously, medievalists tried alchemy to turn lead into metal before Balfour totally messed up Arab and Jew in Palestine. More of the former Empire’s ,world meddling. Still messing it with Brexit the inbredv blunderers.

      • Lorelei Osipov

        I’m sorry, anything I could’ve gained from your comment was lost at the end by your typo at “inbred” coincidentally coming before the word “blunderers”.

        • HermitTalker

          I added a v. Bet you have one really smart pair of hips. You sound like a smug lady.

          • Lorelei Osipov

            Smug AND facetious, sir. Does not change the fact that your typo obliterated the meaning out of reading your comment. Like hearing a beautiful symphony and just before the last few notes are played, the guy next to you begins a spastic, dry coughing fit. Your memory of that concert is no longer the pleasurable symphony, but rather that coughing fit.

          • paulavizinis

            He can dish it but he can’t take it…He should be apologizing for the sexist remark.

      • pat

        I don’t understand since your rants usually veer off into blithering nonsense after the first few words, but I take I take it you also contend to know better than St. Jerome.

        • HermitTalker

          Another arch-critic.

          • pat

            “blessed are you when men persecute you for the sake of the pope of humility and mercy… rejoice and be glad for your reward is great in the kingdom of Hollywood”

          • HermitTalker

            You be so klever velly flunny

          • pat

            mocking people who can’t talk without an accent, are we? or can you just not spell?

          • HermitTalker

            Rx Get a life and buy a sense of humour.

    • Valerien

      I studied a bit St Jerome’s letters. I confess my lack of humility, but considering his convoluted latin, I wouldn’t pledge my blind faith on his translations. Also, Vulgata has been written by many other hands along the centuries.

      • pat

        the pope of “breeding like rabbits” and “who am I to judge” vs ST. Jerome and 1200 years of Catholic wisdom…. Hmmm….who to trust….

  • christopherschaefer

    Yet another example of why we never should have introduced the vernacular. If we simply stuck with the original “Hereweldus Figulus et Lapis Magi” all children throughout the world would be united with this single language, knowing that children on the other side of the globe would be reading the very same text. The plot in the original Latin is no more confusing and convoluted than in the pathetic English translation that was produced by the International Committee on English in the Legends (ICEL).

    • Casper

      Yes, I believe that HH Francis is implying that all schoolchildren are too stupid to learn the Latin version.

    • pat

      The tower of babel put an end to that idea.

  • Casper

    But, most importantly, what does the Rev. James Martin have to say about this?

    • HermitTalker

      Jesuits who know everything never consult even a Jesuit Pope.

    • christopherschaefer

      We need to “build bridges” between enduring this papacy and our hopes for the next.

      • HermitTalker

        Ya mean Jesus is coming back to be elected Pope and crucified like Papa Bergoglio?

        • pat

          But, he wouldn’t be as humble or caring or merciful as Francis, would he? I mean, he might still be hung up on that whole marriage thing.

      • christopherschaefer

        @pat Enough with this humble and merciful stuff. I’m hoping the next guy will bring back the sedia gestatoria and the Holy Office.

        • pat

          So am I, and the flabella

          • christopherschaefer

            Yes, yes! And the Tiara! I mean, why bother to even HAVE a pope if he’s not going to wear a tiara?!

          • christopherschaefer
          • Casper

            So much better than the popemobile…

      • paulavizinis

        Hey, I thought this whole thing was about Hairy Plotter and ,wow, now it’s about the Enduring Papacy. The media hype and misquoting and the misreading surrounding this apocalyptic controversy is over the top.

    • samton909

      He says that anyone who does not like Harry Potter and his witchcraft is a Pharisee.

  • bharper8

    The retitling WAS a bad idea, but would changing it now accomplish anything? I don’t know, but it might be worth trying.

  • JabbaPapa

    Henricus Glutefactor et Solidus Philosophi

    • HermitTalker

      Henry’s Glutes, were they as active as his eighth testes?

  • Ang dami kong tawa. Mga isang milyon 😂😂😂😂😂

  • Thibaud313

    Just FYI; in France, Catholics the media would call “conservative” have been clamoring for a new translation of the Our Father ever since the last translation after Vatican II and, thus, those same Catholics (like me) celebrated the new translation and completely agree with Francis on that one.
    The panicked knee-jerk reactions of some (*) “conservative” US Catholics about one of the rare time Francis said something smart would almost make me sympathise with him (**).

    (*) I wrote “some”. Don’t bite my head off.

    (**) Just almost, given all the actually horrible things he did.