“Harry Potter” Series to Be Translated into Kazakh in 2014

Harry PotterASTANA – Harry Potter will be the newest literary character to learn Kazakh, according to Marketing Director of Russia’s Azbuka-Attikus publishing house Dmitri Yaronov.

Tengrinews reported that Azbuka-Attikus plans to begin translate J.K. Rowling’s entire seven-book series about young wizards into Kazakh in 2014.

Azbuka-Attikus is the official publisher of the series in the Commonwealth of Independent States and already distributes a Russian translation of the books. Kazakhstan’s Meloman, which already markets “Harry Potter” toys and other products, has asked for financial assistance from the publisher in creating its Kazakh translation. The company is hoping to sign an agreement with a copyright licensing agency to publish the series as soon as possible.

“The most important thing for Kazakhstan is to have a high quality translation,” Yaronov said. The books will be distributed by the same agency that distributes films in the Kazakh language, and Yaronov said they have high hopes for good sales. Kazakh officials have already discussed including the modern classics in school curricula.

In 2011, Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Culture and Information created an online contest to submit and vote for books to be translated into Kazakh, as well as to draw attention to reading and literature. In 2012, President Nursultan Nazarbayev suggested the idea of creating a national list of 100 popular books to receive modern Kazakh-language translations. The 100 Books website currently lists Rowling’s series at number three, behind J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” series and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s complete “Sherlock Holmes” collection.

The “Harry Potter” books have already been translated into 70 languages and dialects. Other books slated for translation into Kazakh earlier this year by the Foliant Publishing Company included 10 encyclopaedias and 13 of the “Walt Disney’s Golden Classics” series.