09 May 2012

The Hobbit Gets Latin Translation

There’s no doubt that the growing anticipation for Peter Jackson’s upcoming Hobbit films, based on the classic by J.R.R. Tolkien, has led to further interest in the book and encouraged new translations to become available within the last year. 

Last July, The Hobbit was translated in Marati, and in March we (Middle-earth News) reported that a Gaelic translation (An Hobad) had become available as well. This September, HarperCollins will publish a Latin translation of The Hobbit, titled Hobbitus Ille, to mark the story’s 75th birthday.  Translated by classicist Mark Walker (author of Latin for Everyday Life and other Latin books), Hobbitus Ille will see Tolkien’s songs and verses translated into classical Latin metre.

Hobbitus Ille is “great for students learning Latin, but also for fans who want to dip in and find favourite passages,” said the publisher, who also shared the first line of the translation: “In foramine terrae habitabat hobbitus.”

And for those interested in learning Latin, Mythgard Institute is offering a course on Elementary Latin this summer – just in time for the release of Hobbitus Ille!

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