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Old 08-02-2019, 08:51 AM
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Is it possible to buy the British versions of the Harry Potter books on a US kindle?


See the thread title. Iíve tried buying the British versions from the kindle store on my device here in the US. Is it possible to buy the British editions, and if so, what are the steps to doing so? The question also applies in general to buying English books from countries other than the US or for books in other languages.
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Old 08-02-2019, 10:31 AM
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amazon.o.uk I think that will work.
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Old 08-02-2019, 10:42 AM
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amazon.o.uk I think that will work.
You can see it for sale there, but when it comes to actually buying it, I don't think you can if you're in the US. (Note: Paintcharge's link does work, and points to a specific book, even though it looks like there's a typo (missing c).)

There are licensing issues, where certain items are only licensed to be sold in certain countries. That might mean that there's no way of doing this that is both legal and uncomplicated.
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Old 08-02-2019, 03:35 PM
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When I try to buy a e-book on amazon via my kindle, and I'm in the wrong country, it asks me if I've changed countries, as that book is unavailable in my country.
It then handily tells me how to change my location with them so I can get that book.
If I did that, buy said book, and then return the setting to my own country. The book is still there.
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Old 08-03-2019, 03:54 PM
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Harry Potter ebooks specifically is (or at least was) sold only through the Pottermore website. I tried to buy the British versions and was prevented from doing so. Rather frustrating, as I gather the earlier ones at least had a lot of dumbing down for the American audience (e.g. Sorceror's Stone).

I have to think there's *some* way of getting around this. I seem to recall I *could* link them to my Amazon account - but did not *have* to, as in I could have downloaded the epubs and sideloaded them. If that's true, you might be able to find a way around the geographical issues.

lilihob, that's interesting. I wouldn't trust that they wouldn't make the book go away at some point, however.

Last edited by Mama Zappa; 08-03-2019 at 03:57 PM.
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Old 08-03-2019, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Mama Zappa View Post
Harry Potter ebooks specifically is (or at least was) sold only through the Pottermore website.
Not any more. For a couple of years now, the ebooks have been available on Amazon, and the audiobooks on Audible. (In America, the audio versions available are the ones read by Jim Dale, while in Britain, they're the ones read by Stephen Fry.)

Quote:
Rather frustrating, as I gather the earlier ones at least had a lot of dumbing down for the American audience (e.g. Sorceror's Stone).
See here for links to lists of the differences between the US and UK editions of the books, and here for a list of some of the specific words that got translated.
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Old 08-03-2019, 06:32 PM
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Yes, you can. When they first released in e book, I went through a few hoops and was able to buy the uk version.

There was a link on an old thread here about the way to go about it.

As I remember, you get an account on Amazon uk using a free email. You tell the free email site you are in the uk. Then you buy the books as a pressie (use uk idioms and spellings), for the non uk human. The books are charged to your card and bob's your uncle!

Good luck.
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Old 08-06-2019, 03:56 AM
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So what's the difference apart from the title? Do they lose a thousand odd pages past the third book in the US? In which case I'd read the american versions...
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Old 08-06-2019, 05:36 AM
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Changes to vocabulary and spelling throughout. Americans aren't supposed to know what a scone is so no scones are mentioned; colour becomes color; things like that. Apparently the US editors believe that US English is indeed a different language from Everybody Else's English. Americans are also (according to the same source) unfamiliar with some of humanity's oldest mythos.

Last edited by Nava; 08-06-2019 at 05:38 AM.
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Old 08-06-2019, 09:53 AM
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Americans are also (according to the same source) unfamiliar with some of humanity's oldest mythos.
American children, specifically. Remember, this was a kids' book that nobody originally imagined would be popular with adults.

Put yourself in the mindset of a kid who's never heard of Harry Potter or the Philosopher's Stone: What kind of book would you imagine "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" to be? That, anyway, was the reasoning of the editors who changed the title, justified or not.

Looking over the other changes, some of them make more sense to me than others. Some of the words and phrases that got changed might be confusing or misleading to an American child. But others should be totally clear from the context; they just sound more British, which is not a reason to change them in a book set in the UK.
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Old 08-06-2019, 11:22 AM
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Still lousy reasoning. If it's confusing, that's a learning and teaching opportunity. There is a large quantity of well-known and widely read children's literature that is British in origin and chock full of British idiom, but I know of no American "translations" of Beatrix Potter or Wind in the Willows or Paddington Bear.
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Old 08-06-2019, 03:06 PM
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As a Canadian I got the UK edition. There was only place where I did a double take until I realized that "revising a course" meant studying for it. The remaining changes were trivial or obvious. "Truck" for "lorry", things like that. But changing the title was stupid.
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Old 08-06-2019, 03:11 PM
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I'm an American and I never heard "snogging" before Harry Potter
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Old 08-07-2019, 11:53 PM
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Originally Posted by rocking chair View Post
Yes, you can. When they first released in e book, I went through a few hoops and was able to buy the uk version.

There was a link on an old thread here about the way to go about it.

As I remember, you get an account on Amazon uk using a free email. You tell the free email site you are in the uk. Then you buy the books as a pressie (use uk idioms and spellings), for the non uk human. The books are charged to your card and bob's your uncle!

Good luck.
Oh interesting. I was wondering how you got the books onto your US kindle which is tied to your US Amazon account, then I reread the pressie / prezzie bit.

How would this work with using a US-based credit card on the non-US-based account? or doesn't Amazon know or care? I know I was able to buy the dead-tree versions from amazon.co.uk with no problems. As I recall, the shipping wasn't even all that crazy.
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Old 08-08-2019, 01:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Nava View Post
Changes to vocabulary and spelling throughout. Americans aren't supposed to know what a scone is so no scones are mentioned; colour becomes color; things like that. Apparently the US editors believe that US English is indeed a different language from Everybody Else's English. Americans are also (according to the same source) unfamiliar with some of humanity's oldest mythos.
I believe the rationale was to make the books more accessible to younger readers, particularity those of lower reading skills. I'm not sure how sound that reasoning was, but I could see the dialect differences being a stumbling block for someone 8 or 9 who isn't a strong reader. Or even some adults - Americans are still less likely to be exposed to Everybody Else's English than everybody else, and that was even more true in past generations. We also have sub-groups with their own dialects who are familiar with standard American English but not the British version. The Potter books were read not just by strong readers by also by those who normally did little or no reading for entertainment. Making sure they were accessible so people could enjoy the story without stumbling over the language was important to many.

Me, I started reading early and voraciously. I started picking up on Everybody Else's English at a young age. That said, I never fretted about reading the American editions of the Potter books. It would be nice if the original dialect books were more readily available to those of us across the pond.
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Old 08-08-2019, 10:12 AM
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I believe the rationale was to make the books more accessible to younger readers, particularity those of lower reading skills. I'm not sure how sound that reasoning was, but I could see the dialect differences being a stumbling block for someone 8 or 9 who isn't a strong reader. Or even some adults - Americans are still less likely to be exposed to Everybody Else's English than everybody else, and that was even more true in past generations.
I think you're right- I mean, I can read a British book and do the mental translations to know what a hob is, for example, but my 8 year old son (who's reading "Chamber of Secrets" right now), wouldn't. I'd either get a "Dad, what's a hob?" or he'd just file that away and either figure it out from context or just not know.

That said, I've listened to the US audiobook(Jim Dale) of "Sorcerer's Stone", and the vast majority of the changes didn't stand out at all to my ear, with one exception- it kept mentioning "soccer", which just sounded flat-out wrong to me, considering that Dale has an English accent.
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Old 08-09-2019, 11:01 AM
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Oh interesting. I was wondering how you got the books onto your US kindle which is tied to your US Amazon account, then I reread the pressie / prezzie bit.

How would this work with using a US-based credit card on the non-US-based account? or doesn't Amazon know or care? I know I was able to buy the dead-tree versions from amazon.co.uk with no problems. As I recall, the shipping wasn't even all that crazy.
as long as your email thinks you are in the uk, everything else works. I used a gift card, (sometimes I load up an amazon gift card just so I don't have to think about it if I pre order stuff) and it sent the e books to my kindle; with a little note that I got a lovely gift from chaise lounge.

I have the us version in hard back and uk on kindle.
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Old 08-09-2019, 11:29 AM
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as long as your email thinks you are in the uk, everything else works. I used a gift card, (sometimes I load up an amazon gift card just so I don't have to think about it if I pre order stuff) and it sent the e books to my kindle; with a little note that I got a lovely gift from chaise lounge.

I have the us version in hard back and uk on kindle.
Be cautious about the gift card balance; if Amazon decides you've violated terms of service somehow, they have on numerous occasions in the past shut down an account and confiscated the balance. If you google it, you'll find lots of hits; in the reports I read, Amazon basically refused to explain their actions or do anything about the gift card balances.
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Old 08-09-2019, 11:31 AM
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Still lousy reasoning. If it's confusing, that's a learning and teaching opportunity. There is a large quantity of well-known and widely read children's literature that is British in origin and chock full of British idiom, but I know of no American "translations" of Beatrix Potter or Wind in the Willows or Paddington Bear.
No, but are those as well-known in America? I know that, when the Paddington movie came out, I ran into a lot of people who had no idea who he was. And I still to this day think of Bellatrix LeStrange every time I hear of "Beatrix Potter," because the first "Potter" I was aware of in fiction was Harry.

Plus those "teaching opportunities" get in the way of getting lost in a good book. The most fun reading is when you don't have to stop to try and understand something.

That said, I'm all for leaving in most Britishisms unless they are confusing, and even teaching directly in the text itself.

And I HATE the rename of the first book. That was just dumb. And it honestly seems weird that they've not went back and fixed that mistake: keep the title, sure, but call it the Philosopher's Stone in the text.
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