University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa language instructor Keao NeSmith is the linguist behind Harry Potter a Me Ka Pōhaku Akeakamai, an ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian language) translation of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
NeSmith, a cultural practitioner, was born and raised in Kekaha, Kauaʻi, where he regularly spoke Hawaiian with his grandmother. Translating Harry Potter was a fun endeavor for NeSmith, and he was not anticipating such a powerful reaction.
“A couple of people have expressed to me, in tears, how they never would have imagined having it in Hawaiian,” said NeSmith.
- Related UH News story: Harry Potter and the ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi translation, December 10, 2018
Watch the interview with NeSmith about his passion for working on ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi translations.