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84 of 86 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great way to improve your French
I took French years ago but like many US citizens, I rarely had the opportunity to actually use even what little I knew. Remembering the old saw that "If you don't use it, you lose it," I tried from time to time to improve my reading skills by taking up a book that I knew I had enjoyed in English. Although still difficult to find, books in French are becoming more...
Published on December 3, 2004 by Atheen

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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Horrible translation
The English version of this book is great. Unfortunately, the French translation is dreadful. The translator apparently became bored with the book and has left out ENTIRE PAGES of the story. It is probably the worst translation I have ever read of any book.
Published on September 2, 2000


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84 of 86 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great way to improve your French, December 3, 2004
By 
Atheen "Atheen" (Mpls, MN United States) - See all my reviews
I took French years ago but like many US citizens, I rarely had the opportunity to actually use even what little I knew. Remembering the old saw that "If you don't use it, you lose it," I tried from time to time to improve my reading skills by taking up a book that I knew I had enjoyed in English. Although still difficult to find, books in French are becoming more common than they used to be and less expensive too. I found this one with little difficulty on Amazon, and have added other books in the language from the site to my wish list.

I was so successful in reading and understanding the simple French of Harry Potter, that I was almost at my normal reading speed. Although there were sentances and phrases that did not always make sense to me, I found that if I pronounced the French words in my mind rather than trying to translate the material into English, I often understood much better. I also found that the next time I ran across a new or difficult word that I had found in one context, I recognized its meaning much more quickly in another. Just as in learning to read English as a young person, I find that reading persistantly is the key to developing a vocabularly.

Though I don't ever expect to be a fluent French speaker and will probably never sit down and write my reviews in any language but English, I really, really, really enjoyed having an opportunity to re-read Harry Potter, this time in French. I recommend the series to parents of children learning to read French and adults who wish to improve their language skills.
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48 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A la rencontre de Harry Potter, February 27, 2004
By 
J. Meade (Nouveau-Brunswick) - See all my reviews
(Pardonnez l'orthographe et les accents manquant)
Ce livre est super pour nous faire rencontrer Harry Potter. Comme adulte, je le trouve tres facile a lire, mais comme parent j'apprecie que mes enfants se trouvent resolue a ecoute l'histoire au complet! On en a lu deux chapitre le jour, et ca seulement a cause que ma voix manquait si j'en lisais plus!
Bien ecrit, avec un complot mouvementez, J. K. Rowlings nous apporte facilement de chapitre en chapitre et d'aventure a aventure. Elle nous intrigue avec ses descriptions et nous nous retrouvons a en vouloir savoir de plus en plus.
Personellement, j'ai lu se livre en une journee, et puis les trois livres suivant en moins d'une semaine! Je ne peux attendre a me retrouve avec le tome 5 de Harry Potter.
Je le conseille fortement aux enfants et aux parents.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ABRIDGED!!!, January 5, 2012
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This review is from: Harry Potter A L'Ecole des Sorciers (French Edition) (Mass Market Paperback)
Great book especially to learn French with. Keep in mind that it is abridged, wasn't aware of that when I bought it.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good in French, too, March 11, 2006
By 
Bede (Philadelphia) - See all my reviews
Having just finished a degree in English Literature, I've been avoiding any remotely serious reading like the plague. I've also been a fan of Harry Potter since one of my friends sat me down and told me I wasn't allowed to make snotty remarks about Harry Potter fans unless I at least tried to read one of the books. So when I decided that my post-graduation project would be to dust off my French skills, reading the French translations of Harry Potter seemed the way to go.

I was actually pretty surprised at how much I was able to understand. The grammar and sentence structure is relatively simple, and the wry voice and wit of Rowling still shows through. There was definitely a lot of vocabulary that I had to look up, but there was also a lot of vocabulary that I could pick up from the context: in particular, hibou, voler and cicatrice (owl, fly or steal, and scar). Granted, my familiarity with the series provided a bit of that context, so I would consider this to be between reading a book you have no familiarity with and reading a dual language book with the English on the facing page.

My main complaint with the translation is that some of the names were changed. I'm in book 2 right now, and I still have a hard time accepting Professor Rogue as Professor Snape. Neville Londubat is not quite as bad, but I think there could have been a better way to convey that Snape's name has certain connotations in terms of the character's personality.

Overall, I've been thoroughly enjoying reading in French, which I could not say when slogging through some of The Classics in class. The more I read on, the more I realize that I'm not translating to English in my head but thinking in French. Highly recommended.
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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable translation, November 13, 2007
I purchased this book along with all the other Potter books in French as part of my attempt to learn French some 40 years after high school. I had read the English and Spanish versions previously and found this and the other FRench volumes to be delighful although it took a little getting used to name changes for places and characters that probably made sense for francophiles but seemed unnecessary -- unless the french language versions of the movies also had the changes.

That said, the books have been a great aid in language learning. The translations seem pretty capably done insofar as keeping the story line anchored to the original. I have seen many book translations (such as the Fernch version of The DaVinci Code) that are not faithful to the original in many respects such as cutting out dialogue and scene descriptions.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is amazing, May 19, 2008
By 
L. Jones (New York, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This book is amazing in English but when I wanted to to review my very rusty French, it was even better. It is very hard to find any books in French that keep your interest and still allow you to improve your french. This is great!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it, February 7, 2008
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I've read this book in english and spanish. I had to get it in french and russian. So far the book is great. Yes the humour isn't going to equate to the english version but it's still sufficient, especially for the avid learners of french.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good 1st french novel, November 17, 2009
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I knew one of the most natural ways to gain new french vocab was to read french novels, the same why one picks up one's own language. I had picked up Tome 1 of my favorite, Les Miserables, but the realized I needed a few stepping stones between that and, say, Le Petit Prince. Harry Potter a l'ecole des sorciers is perfect for that. If you like the series in english and you know a little french, why not give it a try? Besides...the french word for "wand" is "baguette" so that imagery alone you may find entertaining...
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Horrible translation, September 2, 2000
By A Customer
The English version of this book is great. Unfortunately, the French translation is dreadful. The translator apparently became bored with the book and has left out ENTIRE PAGES of the story. It is probably the worst translation I have ever read of any book.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Horrible Quality, but a great read., February 11, 2007
I'm in the equivalent of 3rd year french (advanced conversational) and found this to be a WONDERFUL read, it read pretty easily, especially since i've read it in english.

HOWEVER... the book is HORRIBLE quality. The pages come out if you so much as look at them funny. I am NOT hard on books, but just in the first reading, 10 pages pulled out. I HIGHLY recommend finding a different edition.
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Harry Potter A L'Ecole des Sorciers (French Edition)
Harry Potter A L'Ecole des Sorciers (French Edition) by J. K. Rowling (Mass Market Paperback - November 11, 2011)
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