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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.