Harry Potter and the ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi translationUniversity of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Indo-Pacific Languages and Literatures
Harry Potter fans now have another way to read this world famous book—in ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi. University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa faculty member Richard Keao NeSmith has released 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, who teaches Tahitian language courses in UH Mānoa’s Department of Indo-Pacific Languages and Literatures, said it took about six weeks to translate the book. He finished the project on a train from Paris to Barcelona. “It really felt like I was in the story with Harry Potter at the end of the first book,” he said.
It’s not the first time NeSmith has translated the classics. In 2013, he released the ʻōlelo-Hawaiʻi version of The Little Prince by French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Other translated books include J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There.
NeSmith said translating Lewis Carroll was intriguing. “He was at the forefront of the literary nonsense genre in the mid-1800s and, at the same time here in Hawaiʻi, there was an explosion of production of translations from westernliterature,” NeSmith said. He plans to translate the rest of the Harry Potter series.
Harry Potter a Me Ka Pōhaku Akeakamai: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in Hawaiian (Hawaiian Edition) is available on Amazon.com, through Evertype Publishing and in local bookstores that carry Hawaiian books.