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Celebrating Multilingualism through Harry Potter

Welcome to the database of recordings of all translations of the first book in the Harry Potter series. You can find the recordings of the translations by clicking on the "Harry Potter Editions" link. We hope that you will make use of it for a variety of purposes including, but not limited to, a number of the following:

  • to gain an appreciation for the sounds of other languages;
  • to make comparisons across languages;
  •  to hear how the book has been translated into a language you know; and
  •  to share the sounds of the language(s) you know with others.

We have some ideas on the link to the left called “Active Listening.” In addition, Sarah Eaton (LRC Research Associate) put together some more information on the project as well as ideas for making use Harry Potter in the classroom. Her work can be found here.

This website is the culmination of a great deal of work put in by a team of dedicated and innovative individuals. The books themselves and the concept for the collection of recordings belong to Nicholas Žekulin, former Director of the Language Research Centre. The first Harry Potter event was organized in 2010 by Florentine Strzelczyk when she was Director of the Language Research Centre. Isabell Woelfel and Mike Ryszka, both graduate students in German, spent countless hours meeting with readers and posting the recordings on the website. Technical assistance was provided by Jason Reid from Arts IT. The database itself could only be created because native speakers of 70 languages were willing to share their time and their voices to record the story. Many of these people met with us at the Language Research Centre. Others met with us at locations that were more convenient for them. Still others took the time to make the recordings at their homes in various parts of the world. Thank you all!

Please let us know how you’ve made use of the site. Contact us at


Mary Grantham O’Brien
Director, Language Research Centre