Harry Potter Returns to Tibet!

Back in October 2008, we here at High Peaks Pure Earth wrote a blogpost about the first Harry Potter book, “Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone” that had been translated into Tibetan (via Chinese) by Norkyil Buchung Gyal (???????????????????? Nor dkyil Bu chung rgyal).

It’s been over two years since we wrote that blogpost but we have constantly received emails enquiring after the book and how to get hold of it outside of Tibet and China. It has also remained a popular blogpost of ours, despite not being that new.

Whilst it might be the final Harry Potter book, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”, that is starting to hit our screens now, earlier this year, the second Tibetan translation was published in Tibet by the Tibet People’s Publishing House (Bod ljongs mi dmangs dpe skrun khang). Official Chinese state media articles about the translation tell us that Norkyil Buchung Gyal “cleverly translated “Potter” into “Podder”, which means “brave” and “live by fortune” in the Tibetan language.” Quite interesting and far too “clever” for us, we don’t think that it makes any sense!!

As usual, we’ve been eagerly awaiting our copy! Here are two images of the translation of “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”, rendered into Tibetan as ??????????????????????????????? (Ha ru’e pho thar. gSang ba’i khang pa).

We do expect (and hope) that High Peaks Pure Earth readers might be interested in the Harry Potter translations in Tibetan and want to get hold of them in time for the holidays so feel free to drop us a line on hp****@hi****************.com

Similarly if any readers have read the translations and have any thoughts to share, feel free to leave a comment below.


  1. Too awesome!! Does anyone know whether this Tibetan translation, like the previous, was made from the Chinese?

  2. High Peaks Pure Earth

    Hi SauLan, Yes, like the previous one, this translation was done from the Chinese to Tibetan!

  3. Okay – well, it's good to have a translation, regardless! Thanks for the info!

  4. What a pity the Tibetan Harry Potter is based on the Chinese!

    I assume it was based on the mainland Chinese version. The poor standard of English-to-Chinese translation plus the rush to publish the Harry Potter books in China no doubt make for pretty poor copy…which will then be reproduced in the Tibetan, alas.

    It would be great to see a study comparing the Tibetan and the English original.


  5. jessica_lb@hotmail.co.uk

    Where can I buy this? I would love to buy it as a gift for Lhamo Tso's children! 🙂

  6. I would recommend to the publishers to use the form Phod-mthar, instead of Phod-thar. You are right, the latter just doesn't make much sense. But Phod-mthar could be understood as a very elegantly abbreviated form of Phod-pa Mthar-thug, which would mean "Daring Taken to the Limit" or "Ultimate Daring" or "Daring Actualized."

    Phod-thar makes me think of Sri-thar or something. Anyway, I think Harry deserves better.

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