Harry Potter fans line up to meet Hebrew translator at Jerusalem book fair
Over 100 devotees queue at Jerusalem International Book Fair to meet translator of best-selling series.
Harry Potter fans elbowed their way in for autographs and photos - not with the author of the best-selling books, but with the Hebrew translator.
Over 100 devotees of British writer J. K. Rowling's series about a young wizard sat and stood for an hour Wednesday listening to Gili Bar-Hillel discuss the process of translating the six Harry Potter books, hoping for a hint about the upcoming seventh and last book.
"It's ridiculous, this is something that never happens to translators," Bar-Hillel said after speaking at the Jerusalem International Book Fair. "The attention I've received is because I'm translating Harry Potter. It's Harry, not me."
The six Harry Potter books have been translated into 64 languages and are such a huge hit that even their translators get a slice of the fame.
Fans crowded Bar-Hillel for handshakes, hugs, pictures and autographs. One even had Bar-Hillel sign his well-worn copy of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, even though it was in English.
Yuval Avrami, a 17-year-old wearing a Harry Potter scarf his aunt made for him, said he had to come to hear Bar-Hillel speak because he's read all the books in English and Hebrew. The fifth book, he said, was even better in Hebrew.
"I grew up with Harry," Avrami said. "When I was seven, he was 11 and we just grew up together."
The book fair teased fans by hinting that Bar-Hillel might give some educated guesses on the content of the seventh book, but she wasn't talking.
"I know one single shard of information, but I'm not allowed to reveal it," Bar-Hillel said. "And I don't like to make speculations."