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Listen to the first chapter of Harry Potter in Yiddish

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The first chapter of Harry Potter in Yiddish can now be heard online, read by translator Arun Viswanath. Although Viswanath reads the narration in his native Ukrainian Yiddish, he acts out certain characters’ dialogue in their respective dialects. Hagrid’s thick West Country accent of the original is transformed in the Yiddish version into an exaggerated Polish dialect, while Professors McGonagall and Snape speak a Lithuanian (“Litvak”) Yiddish.

The recording is the first installment of a new initiative from the League for Yiddish “Have You Heard?”, which will present excerpts of Yiddish texts as audio recordings.

The Yiddish edition of Harry Potter sold out its first two printings and a third edition is in the works.

A message from Forverts editor Rukhl Schaechter

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you move on, I wanted to ask you to support the Forverts' 127-year legacy — and its bright future.

In the past, the goal of the Forverts was to Americanize its readers, to encourage them to learn English well and to acculturate to American society. Today, our goal is the reverse: to acquaint readers — especially those with Eastern European roots — with their Jewish cultural heritage, through the Yiddish language, literature, recipes and songs.

Our daily Yiddish content brings you new and creative ways to engage with this vibrant, living language, including Yiddish Wordle, Word of the Day videos, Yiddish cooking demos, new music, poetry and so much more.

—  Rukhl Schaechter, Yiddish Editor

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