Chapter 1 🧙 Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone 🪄 Multilingual 💬

Harry Potter lives in the cupboard under the stairs at his uncle and aunt’s house at number four, Privet Drive - until the day when a mysterious letter arrives from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and a giant on a flying motorcycle arrives to change his life with four simple words: ‘Harry - yer a wizard.’

Natively Links

Book Club Links

Reading Schedule

The regular schedule covers one chapter a week, but if you find this too fast, the relaxed schedule covers one chapter every two weeks. :slightly_smiling_face:

Regular Schedule

Week Start Date Chapter
1 Apr 1 Chapter 1

Relaxed Schedule

Week Start Date Chapter
1 Apr 1 Chapter 1 (first half)
2 Apr 8 Chapter 1 (second half)

Discussion Guidelines

  • Spoilers should always be hidden using spoiler blur.
  • When discussing a specific section, please mention where you are in the book, ideally by chapter so people reading different versions have a clear point of reference.
  • Feel free to read ahead if it’s exciting, but please refrain from spoiling ahead of the appropriate week.
  • If you have a question about grammar, vocab, cultural things, etc - ask! That’s a welcome part of the discussion too, and other readers will be happy to help.


Are you reading along with us?
  • Yes! :smile:
  • I’m reading at my own pace :smiling_face:
  • I’m just here for the discussion :popcorn:
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I read chapter 1 in Spanish a couple of days ago while I had some time to kill on a journey. Chapter 1 was a fairly straightforward read, I wonder if it will get harder when more fantasy vocabulary kicks in. There was one tricky sentence I need to come back to when I have the book to hand.

I’ve wondered for a while how they handle some aspects of the story and language in other languages. This week we had Quien-usted-sabe for You-Know-Who.


Not sure, but I feel like I have to reread the first few books because it’s been so long lol, will read the first chapter somewhen during the week because I can’t remember most of the details anymore.


I just read the first chapter in Spanish as well, but that translation of You-know-who was actually el Innombrable , so closer to He-who-must-not-be-named. I already read the first book in Spanish some years ago, and I didn’t remember him being called that, so I guess that means I read the same edition as you at the time. I don’t understand how translations can be so inconsistent.

It’s been a while since I’ve reread the actual books (instead of just reading fanfics) so it was nice to notice some things I’d forgotten or simply missed.

Sometimes when I read a sentence and there’s a word I don’t know, the french sentence just pops into my head because of how many times I’ve read it. So that’s nice, and I guess part of the appeal in reading Harry Potter as a language learner.


I already finished with chapter 1 listening to the audiobook. Makes me wonder what the Japanese voices in the movies are like, because the book voices sound very different to the English movie voices, which I have in my head. :rofl:

Doesn’t English use both of these? (Thus requiring both versions in Spanish as well)
Maybe I remember that wrong.


I know that this is the customary statement, but most people here have already read Harry Potter.

I noticed something in chapter 1, but it’s related to things from book 6/7. So should I avoid mentioning it, or can this bookclub be considered as different than other ones?

(Of course, if I did mention it, it would be under spoilers and after a bold spoilers for book…)

What does everyone think?


Yeah, English has both, but my first chapter only has El Innombrable while @Micki 's first chapter only has (if I understood correctly)Quien-Usted-Sabe. That’s where the discrepancy is.


I think it’s fine to mention it as long as it’s spoilered (blur or curtained) and you clearly state that it’s a spoiler for a specific book or meant for people who are familiar with the whole story.


I had to check this but yes the English version has both. I checked the English version and McGonagall says “You-Know-Who” - so Quien-usted-sabe is the more direct translation.

There are lots more things I’m looking forward to seeing how they handle in the translation but the big one is:

Massive spoiler for volume 2

How they handle the anagram of Tom Riddle/I am Lord Voldemort. Especially in Japanese!


I low-key think they might have kept that in English.



Massive spoilers for volume 2

I’m also curious about the Spanish and Korean versions of his name.
I know for French, they changed his middle name and last name, but still staying very vaguely in the spirit of Riddle. So it’s Tom Elvis Jedusor instead, turning into “Je suis Voldemort”.

Massive spoilers for volume 7

Upon rereading this chapter, I realized something.

“-¿Fue aquí…?” -susurró la profesora McGonnagal.
“Sí” -respondió Dumbledore-. Tendrá esa cicatriz para siempre.
“¿No puede hacer nada para eso, Dumbledore?”
“Aunque pudiera, no lo haría. Las cicatrices pueden ser útiles.”

Minerva McGonagall: “Is that where — ?”
Albus Dumbledore: “Yes. He’ll have that scar forever.”
Minerva McGonagall: “Couldn’t you do something about it, Dumbledore?”
Albus Dumbledore: “Even if I could, I wouldn’t. Scars can come in handy.”

At this point, Dumbledore is already saying that Harry should keep his scar, because it could be useful. So could that be foreshadowing for the whole horcrux/self sacrifice? Does Dumbledore already know?

Massive spoilers for volume 7

I noticed that as well. I didn’t think there would be much plot discussion, but I’ve only read through the books once before, so it’s interesting already spotting things that foreshadow things to come much later in the story.

I just took this as a mysterious “scars can by useful”, a knowledge that scars can have magical properties. It’s hard to imagine that even Dumbledore can envision that far ahead?


I came to Hogsmeade today just so I could fully enjoy day one of this book club!

Massive spoilers for volume 7

I’ve read the books a lot. Really, a lot. Plus numerous Harry Potter fanfictions. So I’m always up for making theories and investigating every single point.


You guys may find this interesting: someone did some investigation some time ago on all the different Spanish variations of HP 1. I’m not surprised we’re already finding regional variations in just the first chapter.


Wow that is an interesting article. Looks like you really end up going down a rabbit hole when you start looking into this!


Finished chapter one of ES HP, reading + listening. I’m not a big fan of the narrator of my audiobook so far, Carlos Ponce. His sentence flow feels odd, and I don’t like anyone’s voice but maybe Dumbledore’s so far; Uncle Vernon in particular sounds like a Muppet.

My audiobook and physical book also differ translation-wise in a few areas; mostly word choice, but a few sentences as well, so I can’t tell if one is a cleaned-up translation or an altogether different one.

My version of You-Know-Who is «Quien-usted-sabe», for reference, and I’ve got búhos everywhere in my audiobook and just lechuzas in the physical.

JP next; I’ll just be listening to the audiobook for that one.


This was the sentence I wanted to come back to in Spanish:


El señor Dursley se quedó completamente helado. Lo había abrazado un desconocido. Y por si fuera poco lo había llamado «muggle», fuera lo que fuese aquello.

Mr. Dursley completely froze. He had been hugged by a stranger. And if that were not enough he had called him a “Muggle”, whatever that was.

So, por si fuera poco can be translated as a phrase - as if it weren’t enough or on top of that.

And as if that were not enough… there are two more imperfect subjunctives to finish the sentence!

Fuera lo que fuese doesn’t seem to be a set phrase in my dictionary, but lots of example sentences of it meaning whatever or whatever it was.

Understanding the difference between fuera and fuese has been asked a few times in Spanish learning forums when you google it,. At least one of those articles referred to the phrase fuera lo que fuese being used in Harry Potter. The phrase came up again later in the chapter.


Here is an article (in Spanish) explaining the slight difference between the two forms.

As for “fuera lo que fuese”, “fuera lo que fuera” is also an acceptable form. (You’ll even encounter the more common “sea lo que sea” and the less common “sea lo que fuere”) I’m not sure how often both of these come up, but I also feel like I’ve heard both of these before, in the sense that they feel natural enough. These are kind of like idioms, so at one point you just have to learn the meaning, and it’ll be the same every single time it comes up. The nuances come from the differences in tenses, but for this one at least I don’t think there’s a difference between “fuera lo que fuera” or “fuera lo que fuese”. :thinking:

Massive spoilers for volume 7

OMG how did I never notice that!? I just thought of it as some fact, similar to what @micki said