top of page

France is home to three lovely Harry Potter translations - French, Occitan, and Breton! These languages are so very interesting and sound quite different. We are still trying to track down Breton recording for the Book that Lives Project (If you can help with that, email me, we do have recordings of French and Occitan so you can hear the differences between the languages.

To hear the 1st Paragraph of 1st book in French, 

To hear the 1st Paragraph of the 1st book in Occitan, 

Breton, an endangered language, is a Celtic language that is found in the Brittany region of France, and is the only Celtic language that has French influence. The linguistic history of Breton is interesting and long, so I won't get into much detail here, BUT if you want to learn more about the Breton language, Click here.

Harry Potte Breton Philosopher' Stone Book 1

The Breton translation of book 1 was first published in 2012 by An Amzer and translated by Mark Kerrain. The first book was reprinted when the 2nd book was published in 2017 (also translated by mark Kerrain). Thus far only the 1st two books have been published, BUT I've heard rumors that book 3 is supposed to come out later 2024. 

ISBN: 9782363120083

Harry Potter Breton Chamber of Secrets Book 2
Harry Potter ha Maen ar Furien
Harry Potter ha Kambr ar Sekredoù

ISBN: 9782363120533

The French language is a descendant of Latin, as are other Romance languages. Like most other languages, there were dialects of Old french (the predecessor of Modern French), but the most dominant was the one spoken on the Ile de France region , Francien - this dialect thrived and became known as Middle French. In 1539, King Francis I, declared French would the language used for all legal matters.

French was not written down until 842 A.D. in the Strasbourg Oaths, but French literature wouldn't become popular until the 12th Century. 

To learn more about the French language, Click Here and Here.

Disclaimer: the books below are not representative of ALL of the French editions; what is represented here are my own personal books. There are a few editions and box sets I do not own. 

To hear the Dialogue Alley episode discussing all of the French Books, Click Here.

1st Edition

The French books have a bit of an odd publishing history as far as determining 1st editions. From my memory, books 1-4 were published in the smaller "Folio Junior" format (see directly below) first; however books 5-7 first appeared in the LARGER edition, making a first print set, a bit awkward....Also importantly, this set directly blow does NOT have a book 7; it only went up to 6. 

French 1st Edition

1st Print, 1st Edition L'Ecole des Sorciers, 1998

Philosopher's Stone

ISBN: 978070518425

The first print of the 1st French edition, I've been told is becoming quite hard to find, which makes sense given how many of these books were made (making identifying a 1st print harder in the wild), and the shoddy overall quality of the these editions. While the 1st prints look a lot like the other pre-movie font books, there are few things to help identify it. 

- white writing to the front middle bottom cover "En si rien / ne se passe / quand j'agiterai /ma baguette?" 

-Snape to the bottom back left corner (removed in second prints)

-internal chapter illustrations by Emily Walcker

-Chapter 6 illustration is upside down (corrected in 2nd print).

2nd Print, 1st Edition

ISBN: 978070518425

Harry Potter French 2nd Print 1st Edition Premovie Philosopher's Stone Ecole des Sorciers Book 1
Harry Potter French 2nd Print 1st Edition Premovie Philosopher's Stone Ecole des Sorcies Book 1
Harry Potter French 2nd Print 1st Edition Premovie Philosopher's Stone Ecole des Sorciers Book 1

Similar the to the 1st print of the first edition, this 2nd Print French translation of harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, published by Gallimard, features internal chapter illustrations. The 1st print also has these illustrations, but i believe it's either chapter 6 or 8 that has the chapter illustration upside down; this was fixed in the 2nd print and by the 3print, all of the internal illustrations were removed. This book also has the pre-movie font, which makes it harder to find than the later print French Potter Stone books

1st Edition, Later Print

Harry Potter French Later Print Philosopher's Stone Ecole des Sorciers Book 1

1st Edition, later print translation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, published by Gallimard. This edition, like it's Occitan neighbor, has cartoon-like cover art. The book is small would be considered a pocket-sized edition.

2nd Print, La Chambre des Secrets, ISBN: 2070524558

Harry Potter Cover French 2nd Print Premovie Chamber of Secrets La Chambre des Secrets Book 2
Harry Potter Title Page French 2nd Print Premovie Chamber of Secrets La Chambre des Secrets Book 2
Harry Potter Internal Illustration, French 2nd Print Premovie Chamber of Secrets La Chambre des Secrets Book 2

Like the 1st and 2nd prints of Book 1, book 2 1st and 2nd prints also have internal illustrations by Emily Walcker.

And not surprisingly, as collectors become more aware of these prints, demand is increasing, reflecting in the prices being paid for these books. I've heard from my friends in France that 1st/2nd prints of Chamber are also becoming quite hard to find.

Le Prisonnier d'Azkaban, 2001

La Coupe de Feu, 2001

L'Ordre du Phenix, 2003

Le Prince de Sang-Mele, 2005

ISBN: 9782070528189

ISBN: 9782070543519

ISBN: 9782070525577

ISBN: 9782070577644

Harry Potter Later Print Prisoner of Azkaban Le Prisonnier d'Azkaban Book 3
Harry Potter French Order of th Phoenix l'Ordre du Phenix Book 5

2007 Edition

In 2007, Gallimard published editions featuring similar cover art but more subdued and a bit more "adult" looking than the above. This edition is the same size as the 1st edition. Also, book 7 was published in 2008.

French 2007 Edition

L'Ecole des Sorciers, 2007

La Chambre des Secrets

ISBN: 9782070612369

ISBN: 9782070612376

Harry Potter French 2nd Edition Philosopher's Stone Ecole des Sorciers Book 1
Harry Potter French 2nd Edition Chamber of Secrets Chambre des Secrets Book 2
Harry Potter French 2nd Edition Prisoner of Azkaban Book 3

Le Prisonnier d'Azkaban

ISBN: 9782070612383

I keep forgetting I need buy book 5 of this edition;

when I do, I'll add it here. 

La Coupe de Feu

Les Reliques de la Mort, 2008

Le Prince de Sang-Mele

ISBN: 9782070612390

ISBN: 9782070612413

ISBN: 9782070615377

Harry Potter French 2nd Edition Coupe de Feu Goblet of Fire Book 4
Harry Potter French 2nd Edition Half Blood Prince Le Prince de Sang-Mèlé Book 6
Harry Potter French 1st Edition Deathly Hallows Les Reliques de la Mort Book 7
French Large Edition

Large Edition

in 2002, Gallimard starting producing larger softcover editions featuring the original covers. The earlier prints of these larger editions had the cover art inset to the top right corner (books 1-3 can be found like this). Later prints of this edition feature the full-sized illustration. As far as rarity goes for this edition, i've heard collector friends now (2024) grumbling that it is getting harder to find; I've not looked so I cannot attest to this.

L'Ecole des Sorciers, 2003

La Chambre des Secrets, 2002

Harry Potter French Large Edition Philosopher's Stone Ecole des Sorciers Book 1

Later Print, 2006


ISBN: 9782070541270

ISBN: 9782070541270

ISBN: 9782070541294

Le Prisonnier d'Azkaban, 2002

ISBN: 9782070541300

La Coupe de Feu, 2002

ISBN: 9782070543588

L'Ordre du Phenix, 2003

ISBN: 9782070556854

Le Prince de Sang-Mele, 2005

ISBN: 9782070572670

Les Reliques de la Mort, 2007

ISBN: 9782070615360

Large Print Edition (Edition en Gros Caracteres)


The large editions above are not to be confused with the Large Print Editions, however. The large print editions are only available in books 1 and 2 as far as I'm aware and are published by Feryane in 2005. Of the French books, the large print books tend to be on the harder to find. I'm also uncertain how many copies were produced.

ISBN: 9782840116462

40th AnniversaryEdition - 2012

2012 40th Anniversary Edition
Harry Potter French Gallimard 40th Anniversary Celebration Edition Philosopher's Stone Ecole des Sorciers Book 1

Gallimard 40th Anniversary Edition celebrating 40 years of their publishing house. This edition is lovely and made very well. It's easily one of my favorite French Potter books.

Title: Harry Potter et l'École des Sorciers

ISBN: 9782070649693

Translator: Jean-François Ménard

Format: Softcover with Jacket

Notes: Preface by Anna Gavalda

2011 Edition

Sometime around 2011, Gallimard once again came out with this lovely edition, again in small softcover format. I've seen these books available in a box set as well; I don't own that one, but maybe one day. *The dates for the books are from my own personal copies. 

L'Ecole des Sorciers, 2016

La Chambre des Secrets, 2011

Le Prisonnier d'Azkaban, 2015

Harry Potter French 2016 Edition Philosopher's Stone Ecole des Sorciers Book 1

ISBN: 9782070643028


ISBN: 9782070643035

ISBN: 9782070643042


La Coupe de Feu, 2012

ISBN: 9782070643059

L'Ordre du Phenix, 2012

Le Prince de Sang-Mele, 2011

Les Reliques de la Mort, 2014


ISBN: 9782070643066

ISBN: 9782070643073

ISBN: 9782070643080

2017 Editions

The 2017 editions feature the art of Olly Moss. This art was first found on audio books before finding its way onto the covers of a few different translations - the French being among them. Also, these editions can be found in both large and smaller (folio junior) sized books. The wraps are thicker and less shiny on the larger books. All 7 books were published.  Here I will only be showing you book one from both editions.

The larger of the 2 editions, interestingly, this edition is still a bit smaller than the other large editions Gallimard printed earlier on when the books were first being published. 

ISBN: 9782070624522

The folio junior version, featuring the same art. There are a few differences - namely the Harry Potter font and wrapper glossiness/thickness.

ISBN: 9782070584628

20th Anniversary Edition, 2019

Beginning in 2017 with the Bloomsbury UK House Editions, Harry Potter translation publishers the world over began creating their own anniversary editions - sometimes using the Bloomsbury cover art (as French did) or having their own unique covers (like Thai for example). As far as I'm aware, all 7 books are available in the French House Editions, but I only bought the first book. Unusually for Gallimard, this edition is a nice hardcover book. Also similar to the UK House Editions, the side-edge is sprayed to look like a Slytherin scarf.

ISBN: 9782075094450


2023 Edition

Gallimard has once again released a new edition of books featuring unique covers. I only have books 1 and 2 of this edition so far, but as I complete it, I will update here. Honestly, while I enjoy most of the french covers, the art from this edition here may honestly be my favorite French covers. 

L'Ecole des Sorciers

La Chambre des Secrets

ISBN: 9782075187541


ISBN: 9782075187596


Box Sets

While French box sets are not incredibly common (say as with UK, where it is unusual to find an edition that does not also come in a box set), they do exist. Currently, I own two. 

ISBN: 9782070549726


1st Edition, Books 1-4; the box art is simply the cover of book 4 on the front and back of the box.


This French box set is one many collectors want, not only because it's so rare (limited 20,000 sets), but also because the spines form this really amazing, unique piece as well. Additionally, the covers feature a variation of the 1st edition covers. Also importantly, the books were not available to buy outside of this set (they the books don't have ISBNs on them - just the box) - if you wanted these books, you had get them in this set. My set is numbered 04462/20000. There are also cartoons that come with the set showing off the illustrator's fine art.

ISBN: 9782070621989


Other Books

ISBN: 9782070623440


Alongside the 7 Potter books, the "school books" were also translated and are available in multiple, unique and fun covers as well. While I "don't collect" the Tales of Beedle, the Bard, I couldn't help myself when this lovely copy showed up on ebay. And, the softcover book is in a fun slipcase!

Alongside French, Occitan, another Romance language, is mostly closely related to Catalan, and is another language that is found in France. While the linguistic borders are blurrier for this language than with French, this language is found in Southern France. Also interestingly, Occitan is closest related to Catalan. 

To learn more about this language: Click Here.

Occitan Chamber of Secrets

Occitan, published by Per Noste, is only available in books 1 and 2 (book 1 translated by Karina Richard Bòrdanava; book 2 translated by.Patric Guilhemjoan) and only in softcover. Also, these books feature some of the most polarizing covers out of all of the Harry Potter translations printed to date. People either really like these covers or they don't at all. These covers, illustrated by Kalou, may not appeal to everyone, BUT they are certainly memorable. And, the language itself it very awesome! 

Harry Potter e la Pèira Filosofau

ISBN: 9782868660695

Harry Potter Occitan Philosopher's Stone Book 1

Want to buy your own copy and support this awesome little Occitan publisher-

Click HERE!

Harry Potter e la Crampa deus Secrets

ISBN: 978286880862

Harry Potter Occitan Chamber of Secrets Book 2
bottom of page