The Mezzofanti Guild Language Learning Made Simple

How To Learn Languages From Harry Potter

Harry Potter Arabic

UPDATE: To get the Harry Potter books in many different languages, click here and select a language on the left sidebar (or use the search bar).


Edit: A few of my readers have brought to my attention that the University of Calgary has only provided the first two paragraphs at the link below.


Now here’s a very handy language resource that’s freely available online thanks to a few good folks over at the University of Calgary, Alberta.

From MarketWatch [UPDATE: This post is no longer available.]:

On November 25, the University of Calgary’s Language Research Centre will launch a one-of-a-kind online collection of audio readings from all 70 translations of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the first novel in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. The multilingual collection of readings was created as a resource for students and teachers of language, but is expected to appeal to anyone who is interested in language or is a Harry Potter enthusiast.

The audio library of all 70 translations of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone can be found here on the University of Calgary website.

Whether or not you’re into Harry Potter (I’m not really), children’s books are an excellent tool to use when learning languages. The reason for this is that when we’re starting out, we are on the same if not lower level than kids are in our speaking and comprehension.

My very first Arabic book was a Kermit the Frog alphabet book written in colloquial Egyptian!

Check out the Harry Potter audio readings at the link above, listen to small bits over and over, and try to grab an English copy so you can follow along with it.

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  1. Can’t say that I’m not impressed, far from it, but as I was crawling through the languages, happy to see: ‘Galician’; ‘Basque’; ‘Asturian’; finishing off with ‘Welsh’, all neighbouring minority tongues; I must say that I was disappointed not to see ‘Breton’ entitled to be in this illustrious class of its linguistic peers.

  2. This was pretty good. The Malay version wasn't as good as it could've been if it's been read by someone else. But this was an awesome project 🙂

  3. I could only access a short snippet in each language, and wondered if that's the full thing or if it's the whole book or even a chapter translated?

    1. I could also only access 0:52 seconds of each translation, and saw that both the link in the article and the link in your above comment are the same. is there another link or part of the university’s archives that include the full audio files? -Thanks

  4. Is there a way I can access the full audio?

  5. Hello, I was wondering if the short snippets were all that was available?

  6. I am in Chapter 6 of The Philosopher’s Stone in Spanish, Russian, French, Latin, Italian, Urdu, Dutch, Norwegian, and Modern Greek. I can read the first four languages cold and then use the knowledge of the text on one page to make my way through the next five languages. So far, it seems to be working. A contact in Iran sent me the book in Farsi pdf and that would be starting from scratch. I am not sure I need to add another language to all this but I’m doing well and have a good start on the vocabulary from Urdu, which borrowed a lot from Farsi. My wish has been expressed in the other comments: the full version. Is it available in any of these languages?

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