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Rich Dad, Poor Dad and Harry Potter
May 10, 2010 5:52 AM   Subscribe

"There was a hobbit, who didn't even know how to return home. He lived in a hole in the ground, and didn't know where he came from or where he was going to. He even didn't know why he had become a hobbit. This was Hogwartz School of Witchcraft and Wizardry 5th year apprentice Harry Potter. " 11 fake Harry Potter books from China.
posted by Bulgaroktonos (37 comments total) 44 users marked this as a favorite

 
Looks like Cervantes is going to have to write part two and kill off Quixote in the end.
posted by Pollomacho at 5:57 AM on May 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


I would totally buy #10 for the cover too. That made me lol so hard. :D
posted by Xany at 6:03 AM on May 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


I would buy a book called Harry Potter and the Filler of Big. "Filler of Big" would be an awesome username or maybe a not-so-awesome band from the mid-90s.
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:12 AM on May 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Harry Potter and the Glorious Advance to a Harmonious, Moderately-Well-Off Society Through the Socialist Market Economy is a thrill-a-minute page-turner in my view unequalled as bedtime reading by anything since the unexpurgated 'Sichuanese sweary' minutes of the Third Full Plenum of the Eighth Congress.
posted by Abiezer at 6:13 AM on May 10, 2010 [18 favorites]


It seems like America's choice for fan fiction interjections is to add unnecessary sexual affairs, but China's choice is just to add dinosaurs and or Chinese wizards. No wonder they're poised to be so dominant over the next century...
posted by Kiablokirk at 6:21 AM on May 10, 2010 [10 favorites]


I actually co-wrote a newspaper piece on fake Harry Potter books a few years ago - for which I actually read all of 'Harry Potter and the Porcelain Doll.' What basically all of these books have in common is that they feature Harry Potter going to China and making Chinese friends. I actually found the whole thing pretty endearing.

An even bigger problem, from the Chinese publisher's point of view, was the crowd-sourced translations. Starting with the fifth Harry Potter book, people online would get their hands on the English book and do a group translation of it for their fellow fans -- and in every case except for the very last book (which had a simultaneous release here, if memory serves) they were faster than the official translation. Quality varied (they misinterpreted "Order of the Phoenix," part of the title of Book 5, as "Command of the Phoenix), but in some cases I thought they did a better job than the official translators.
posted by bokane at 6:25 AM on May 10, 2010 [14 favorites]


Oh come on Kiablokirk - anyone can see those dinosaurs and Chinese wizards are so gonna get it on.
posted by RokkitNite at 6:26 AM on May 10, 2010


An interesting thing in the Guardian the other day on book covers shows the Italian version of Harry Potter wears a mouse's head hat for no apparent reason...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:31 AM on May 10, 2010


I once saw a Chinese bootleg of one of the films. It was dubbed into Chinese with English subtitles. The subtitles, of course, made no sense. Snape and Harry going on at length about the love they feel for each other and their ancestors was particularly funny.
posted by munchingzombie at 6:33 AM on May 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


"Harry Potter and the Chinese Porcelain Doll"

That made me laugh so hard, I startled the dog. I can't quite put my finger on it, but I'm guessing it is because Chinese Porcelain Dolls don't have a sense of wonderment or adventure about them; they seem more like a middle-aged person's collectible. It would be like:

Harry Potter and The Linen Napkins

Harry Potter and The Tiled Ashtray

Harry Potter and The 50 States Thimbles

Don't know the plot here, just know that they took some artwork from a "Harry Potter" movie, put it on a book cover, then added a clip art triceratops, an angry buzzard and, most inexplicably, Flick, the star of Disney/Pixar's "A Bug's Life."

Not gonna lie -- I would buy a book with that cover.


Oh so would I! In fact I, I am ready to travel to China right now!
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:41 AM on May 10, 2010 [6 favorites]


An even bigger problem, from the Chinese publisher's point of view, was the crowd-sourced translations.

I have this same problem, linguistically reversed, for Louis Cha/ Jin Yong novels. Which I enjoy, but are generally not translated into English commercially. Fan translations on the web are often very well done, but fall prey to the translator graduating and suddenly having no time. There are some nice TV adaptions, but they tend to play fast and loose with the (already fast and loose) story lines. I would rather have a couple of random dinosaurs than a random rewriting of the end of Yang Kang's story. What the hell were they thinking!
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:42 AM on May 10, 2010


Harry Potter and The 50 States Thimbles

I am ashamed to admit it, but I might just buy this to read on a plane.
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:43 AM on May 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


EACH THIMBLE CONTAINS A POWERFUL SPELL TIED TO THE STATE IT REPRESENTS.


Vermont? Maximum Chesseitator!
posted by The Whelk at 6:46 AM on May 10, 2010 [13 favorites]


the plot feels more like "The Little Mermaid" meets "Super Mario Brothers"

This makes a fair amount of sense when you consider that Dolores Umbridge as originally written sounds like the offspring of an unholy union between Ursula the Sea Witch and King Koopa.
posted by kittyprecious at 6:54 AM on May 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


I was happily reading along until this guy earnestly used the word "embiggen". I just couldn't recover after that.

That said, I would love get my hands on translated copies of some of these. The Hobbit/Potter mashup actually sounds pretty good.
posted by JeffK at 7:26 AM on May 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


I recall there was also a Russian knockoff titled Tanya Grotter And The Magic Double-Bass, which was meant to be the Harry Potter formula translated into a culturally Russian setting. It got smacked down by the courts, alas.
posted by acb at 7:28 AM on May 10, 2010


In my head, Dolores Umbridge is Hazel Blears.
posted by djgh at 7:30 AM on May 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


This reads like a list of dreams I would have had if I had read any Harry Potter books.
posted by amethysts at 7:31 AM on May 10, 2010


Harry Potter and The 50 States Thimbles

I am ashamed to admit it, but I might just buy this to read on a plane.


It's got to be better than #5 in the original series.

I was happily reading along until this guy earnestly used the word "embiggen". I just couldn't recover after that.

It's perfectly cromulent. New to the internet?
posted by DU at 7:54 AM on May 10, 2010


""There was a hobbit, who didn't even know how to return home. He lived in a hole in the ground, and didn't know where he came from or where he was going to. He even didn't know why he had become a hobbit. This was Hogwartz School of Witchcraft and Wizardry 5th year apprentice Harry Potter. ""

Don't put spoilers on the front page!
posted by klangklangston at 7:58 AM on May 10, 2010 [3 favorites]




Another exciting excerpt from an illicit knockoff:
After this I saw four dementors standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth to prevent any wind from blowing on the land or on the sea or on any tree. Then I saw another dementor coming up from the east, having the seal of the living Minister. He called out in a loud voice to the four dementors who had been given power to harm the land and the sea: "Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God." Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the schools of Hogwarts...
posted by boo_radley at 8:30 AM on May 10, 2010 [6 favorites]


Jin Yong has actually been translated by a couple of people -- John Minford, who's done very good work on other things (Hongloumeng, in particular, which he translated with David Hawkes), did The Deer and the Cauldron, and Graham Earnshaw did The Book and the Sword. Haven't seen either, so I cant vouch for the quality of the translations, but they've done good stuff elsewhere. Attention span really is the determining factor, though -- Chinese fan translations of English works do frequently suffer from a lack of time and polish, if not of care.
Then again, many professional translators here get a pretty raw deal too: the Chinese translation of Cat's Cradle, one of my all-time favorite books, has got three or four major errors on the very first page, and other translations I've seen, even of high-profile books, are pretty clearly the work of some poor grad student who was handed a dictionary and a pitifully small amount of money and given a week to finish. (The most widely circulated mainland translation of Dante's Commedia is pretty much unreadably bad.) Abiezer will probably remember this from a thing we were at a couple of years ago: there was a professor of English literature from Fudan (?) who said he once took a job that gave him two weeks to translate a Shakespeare play. He knew it was a bad deal, he said, but he took it, because when else would he get the chance to translate Shakespeare?
posted by bokane at 8:34 AM on May 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


That Italian cover is brilliant. It looks like Harry and Ron are struggling to play a game of chess the night after a moderately heavy session on the witches' brew.
posted by MuffinMan at 8:38 AM on May 10, 2010


I was happily reading along until this guy earnestly used the word "embiggen". I just couldn't recover after that.

It's a perfectly cromulent word.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:03 AM on May 10, 2010


Harry Potter and the Crock of Shit - Stewart Lee on form.
posted by jiroczech at 9:03 AM on May 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


He lived in a hole in the ground, and didn't know where he came from or where he was going to.

I take it this was a quote from Harry Potter and the Talking Heads? Later in the book, Harry is stalked by a Psycho Killer before Burning Down the House.
posted by GuyZero at 9:12 AM on May 10, 2010 [8 favorites]


THIS IS NOT MY BEAUTIFUL WAND
posted by The Whelk at 9:14 AM on May 10, 2010 [15 favorites]


China has nothing on Diana Wynne Jones; she's been ripping off Harry Potter for DECADES now...
posted by Ian A.T. at 9:30 AM on May 10, 2010


China has nothing on Diana Wynne Jones; she's been ripping off Harry Potter for DECADES now...

Oh, snap!
posted by GuyZero at 9:35 AM on May 10, 2010


This is too good to be true. Endearing is the word.
posted by flippant at 10:08 AM on May 10, 2010


Jin Yong has actually been translated by a couple of people

And Oliva Mok's translation of Flying Fox of the Snowy Mountain. I have read all three -- they are pretty good, in their way, but they are also really idiosyncratic books. The Deer and the Cauldron is Cha's last book and it kind of a parody of his previous work. The Book and the Sword is Cha's first and shows it. Flying Fox is -- I don't know; it's like he got tired halfway through the story and dropped it -- as I recall, half the cast is lost in a cave and then... just... disappear from the story. Cha's signature work has not been translated outside partial fan jobs on the internet, as far as I know.

Sorry, back to Harry Potter and the Wuxia Translation Deficit....
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:39 AM on May 10, 2010


I believe you mean Harry Potter and the 神凤教, which in retrospect would have been a way sweeter translation of "Order of the Phoenix."
posted by bokane at 11:02 AM on May 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


My god, I burn to read each and every one of these ridiculous books. BURN.
posted by elizardbits at 12:03 PM on May 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Harry Potter and The 50 States Thimbles

Sufjan Stevens already admitted this was a hoax.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:38 PM on May 10, 2010 [5 favorites]


[Warning: Spoiler for Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality]

Speaking of awesome Harry Potter Fanfics mentioned on MeFi...
posted by effugas at 11:29 PM on May 10, 2010


the meteor you saw in the sky was my traipsing manteau

I don't know how I am going to use this in my life, but I will find a way to work it into some part of my daily routine, because this is one of my favorite English sentences of ALL TIME right here. It's like a Joanna Newsom lyric, only I know it's supposed to be quoting Harry fucking Potter. Magnificent.
posted by little light-giver at 11:41 PM on May 10, 2010


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