ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Children's Books Translated into Latin

Updated on December 28, 2014
My own copy of Winnie Ille Pu.
My own copy of Winnie Ille Pu.

Libra Liberis

Children's books translated into Latin are a fabulous educational gift.

I received a copy of Winnie Ille Pu (a translation of Winnie the Pooh) while studying Latin in high school. It helped me practice because it was fun-- and very funny!

There are a number of famous and beloved children's books in Latin out there for kids. They make great gag gifts for erudite adults with a sense of humor, too!

Here's several popular children's classics which will make studying Latin a treat.

Winnie Ille Pu

Not only has Alexander Leonard translated Winnie the Pooh into Augustan Age Latin, not only has he slipped in phrases borrowed from classical authors, but also, he managed to commission illustrator E.H. Shepard to pen a few classical illustrations of our old friends from the Silva C. Jugerum (Hundred Acre Woods). Shepard was the illustrator for A.A. Milne's original Winnie the Pooh books.

Winnie Ille Pu would be hard going for any student who hasn't reached the A.P. Latin level, except for two things. First, as it is a children's book, it employs repetition and simple syntax which make for easier reading than windbags like dear old Cicero. Second, a child can sit with the original text and the Latin side by side, plus a dictionary, and puzzle out most of it. I know... because that's just what I did!

Note: If you would like the old cover art with Pooh and Piglet dressed as Roman soldiers, look for used hardbacks from Amazon's third-party sellers.

There has also been a sequel to Winnie Ille Pu by a different translator, Brian Staples. Winnie Ille Pu Semper Ludet is a Latin edition of The House at Pooh Corner. I am not sure why Staples altered the book's title to "Winnie the Pooh Always Plays," but despite that eccentricity, it's a good translation.

Harrius Potter

It's only fitting that Harry Potter be translated into Latin, with all the pseudo-Latin floating around Hogwarts.

As one's first introduction to Harry Potter, Harrius Potter et Philosophi Lapis is quite an entertaining book. I must say it is a challenge reading all the strange foods served in the cafeteria, not to mention the unusual candies, when one is unfamiliar with the story. ("Vomitum? Earwax? Am I reading that right?")

The translation is less classically erudite and a little closer to English in style than Winnie Ille Pu, which makes it easier reading. Nevertheless, it's a perfectly good translation.

My only quibble is that the pseudo-Latin spells in the original Harry Potter ought to have been translated into quirky English, for consistency's sake. "Wingydingy Upsy-Daisy!" might not sound quite so dignified, however.

Following the unsurprising success of Harrius Potter et Philosophi Lapis, translator Peter Needham has also produced a Latin edition of Chamber of Secrets, Harrius Potter et Camera Secretorum.

Quomodo Grinchus...

Translators Jennifer and Terence Tunberg have done a magnificent job of rendering the rhymes of the good Doctor into readable Latin prose.

They wisely did not attempt to create Latin poetry, but simply captured the meanings as faithfully as possible. A glossary in the back should get all but beginning students through this towering classic of children's literature.

This edition includes all of Dr. Seuss' original illustrations.

In addition to How the Grinch Stole Christmas, these translators have given us Latin editions of The Cat in the Hat (Cattus Petasatus) and Green Eggs and Ham in Latin (Virent Ova! Viret Perna!)

Gratias sibi! Or, as Ron says over and over in the Latin edition of Harry Potter: rem miram! (Brilliant!)

Fabulae Dives - Fairy Tales

This is a fascinating and unusual book. It is a 1918 translation of a Victorian fairy tale book, The Rose Fairy Book by Heriberti Strang, plus an adaptation of the Cupid and Psyche myth from an ancient Roman collector of myth and folktales, Apuleius.

The translation was done by one Arcadius Avellanus. Popularly acclaimed as the last native Latin speaker, he was an eccentric Hungarian who championed the Latin language until his death.

Stories include: Aladdin's Lamp, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Beauty & the Beast, The Water of Life, The Swans, and Little Cherry from The Rose-Fairy Book plus Cupid & Psyche.

It includes notes and commentary by the author, but they, too, are in Latin. So this book is for advanced students.

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry is just as whimsical, charming, and odd in Latin as it is in English. Once again, original illustrations have been paired with a good Latin translation by one Augustus Haury.

This is actually one of the first children's books to be translated into Latin, back in 1961.

Of course, the original Little Prince was in French, so Le Petit Prince is good practice for French students.

I'm Not Sold on "Hobbitus Ille"

I haven't bought "Hobbitus Ille," the 2012 translation of The Hobbit into Latin, but reading some of the reviews, it sounds like it contains many errors and grammatical mistakes compared to Harrius Potter and Winnie Ille Pu. (My Latin is a little rusty, but don't demonstratives like "Ille" usually precede their nouns, as in "Ille Pu"?)

Which is the best children's book in Latin? - Latin fun for kids!

Which is the best children's book translated into Latin?

See results

Feel free to drop a note or a tip about another children's book translated into Latin. Gratias tibi!

© 2011 Ellen Brundige

Guestbook - Salve!

Submit a Comment

  • profile image

    BarbaraCasey 

    3 years ago

    My Latin education was too long ago to make sense of Harrius Potter... a story I already know, for goodness sake! It was fun to "look inside the book," though.

  • anansigirls lm profile image

    anansigirls lm 

    7 years ago

    Translations are a really high expense for publishing companies (they have to pay the writer as well as translator) and I am really glad that they decide to put some money into latin. thank you for the lens.

  • LouisaDembul profile image

    LouisaDembul 

    7 years ago

    Makes learning Latin more fun, for sure!

  • FanfrelucheHubs profile image

    Nathalie Roy 

    7 years ago from France (Canadian expat)

    I don't know which book could be the best in Latin, but I'd pick one of the Winnie the Pooh one because the had the good idea to adapt the cover art!

  • traveller27 profile image

    traveller27 

    7 years ago

    I should look at one of these sometime...since I know French and Italian, and some Spanish, I should be able to get the gist at least...I hope!

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)