Spain seems to be confused


I’m still working my way through Harry Potter y el prisoner de Azkaban. It’s actually my New Year’s resolution to finish it. However, there seems to be a translation faux pas.

Let’s break it down, shall we? Here’s a passage from the book in Spanish:


Si recuerda a los clientes que hasta nuevo adviso los dementores patrullarán las calles cada noche después de la puesta de sol. Se ha tomado esta medida pensando en la seguridad de los habitantes de Hogsmeade y se levantará tras la captura de Sirius Black. Es aconsejable, por lo tanto, que los ciudadanos finalicen las compras mucho antes de que se haga de noche.

Felices Pascuas!

This is the same passage in English:


Customers are reminded that until further notice, dementors will be patrolling the streets of Hogsmeade every night after sundown. This measure has been put in place for the safety of Hogsmeade residents and will be lifted upon the recapture of Sirius Black. It is therefore advisable that you complete your shopping well before nightfall.

Merry Christmas!

The difference between the two is that “Pascuas” means Easter, not Christmas. And at other points in the Spanish version, it mentions “arboles de Navidad”, or Christmas trees. But then in the dialogue, Harry, Ron, and Hermione say “Felices Pascuas”. How did the two holidays get mixed up in the translation, and why does it switch from talking about Easter to talking about Christmas? The only thing I can think of is that someone had a bit too much “cerveza de mantequilla”, or butterbeer, while they were translating.

2 responses to “Spain seems to be confused”

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