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    • Join Date: Dec 2006
    • Posts: 2
    #1

    "Hallow"

    Hello everyone!
    I'm from Brazil and am an autodidact English speaker.

    Anyway, some of you may be aware that J. K. Rowling has unveiled the name of Harry Potter's final book, and therefore many people from non-English speaking countries are wondering how does the name (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) translate in their language.

    Consensually, everyone down here in Brazil is translating 'Deathly' as the adjective 'lethal' and variants ('mortal', 'fatal', 'letal' in portuguese), which I assume is perfectly correct. However, the word "Hallows" is causing some disagreements.

    I know that "Hallow" is a verb meaning "consecrate", "sanctify" and (hence I'm assuming) that the addition of an 's' makes it a plural noun - it's the hallowing of more than one person/thing.

    In Brazilian Portuguese, I translated 'Hallows' to 'Consagrações' (portuguese form of `consecrations`). Thus, according to me, the title could be like this...

    Harry Potter and the Deathly Consecrations
    [Harry Potter e as Mortais Consagrações]

    ...without losing its sense.

    Many brazilian friends of mine agree with me, but some people are translating `Hallows` as `Saints` (the noun), making the title

    Harry Potter and the Deathly Saints
    [Harry Potter e os Mortais Santos]

    Finally, my questions are:
    1) Does 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Consecrations' really hold the same meaning as does 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows'? Are 'Consecrations' and 'Hallows' synonyms?
    2) Can 'Hallows' be possibly translated as the noun 'Saints'?


    Thanks in advance,
    Phillipe Marcell.


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434
    #2

    Re: "Hallow"

    Frankly, not even J.K. Rowling seems to know what she means in the title. It sounds ominous. Whatever, "saints" is not the right word to use in this context. I think you need to think laterally here, and work along the lines of "world of the dead".


    • Join Date: Dec 2006
    • Posts: 2
    #3

    Re: "Hallow"

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    Frankly, not even J.K. Rowling seems to know what she means in the title. It sounds ominous. Whatever, "saints" is not the right word to use in this context. I think you need to think laterally here, and work along the lines of "world of the dead".
    I didn't get what you meant by "work along the lines of 'world of the dead'"... but thank you very much!


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434
    #4

    Re: "Hallow"

    You are trying to translate a title which is untranslatable in a literal way. The nearest phrase is to "Deathly Hallows" would be "world of the dead". Until the book is finally published, no-one will really know what the author means.

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    • Join Date: Jul 2006
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    #5

    Re: "Hallow"

    Quote Originally Posted by Phillipe View Post
    I didn't get what you meant by "work along the lines of 'world of the dead'"... but thank you very much!
    The people who say 'saints' are - probably not intentionally! - referring to exactly this - the world of the dead. A saint, according to Christian belief, is not just 'someone who happens to have the word Saint added to their name', but any dead person whose soul is in Heaven. Hence the (fairly mild and very dated expression) 'my sainted aunt'. 'The world of the dead', by this definition, includes several billion saints.

    'Hallow' got its pejorative connotations (which JKR seems to have picked up on) by association with 'Hallowe'en' - the eve of All Hallows Day, now more commonly called All Saints Day (1 Nov).

    By contrast, dead people whose souls are not yet in Heaven are prayed for on the following day - All Souls Day.

    I agree with Anglika though: 'saints' would be a bad translation, and I doubt very much if JKR had any clear idea of what she 'meant'.

    Here endeth the First Lesson.

    b

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