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The German language belongs to the Western Germanic Group of the Indo-European language family along with English, Frisian, and Dutch. German is the official language of German and Austria as well as one of the Official languages of Switzerland. "The recorded history of Germanic languages begins with their speakers’ first contact with the Romans, in the 1st century BCE. At that time and for several centuries thereafter, there was only a single 'Germanic' language, with little more than minor dialect differences. Only after about the 6th century CE can one speak of a 'German' (i.e., High German)" language.

There are approximately 95 million native speakers and 85 million second language speakers throughout the the world.

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

To hear the 1st paragraph of the 1st book, Click Here.  

German

The first edition German books were first published in hardcover by Carlsen Verlag in 1998. The books were translated by Klaus Fritz with original cover art by Sabine Wilharm. Softcover editions featuring the same cover art were also released after the first editions. Many, many editions published by Carlsen Verlag and book clubs have been published over the years, with the most recent being a beautiful all-in-one volume of all 7 books for the 25th Anniversary. Most of the covers of the German books are unique to Germany alone and are all very beautiful.

(Pre-Movie)
(Pre-Movie)
Harry Potter und der Stein der Weisen
ISBN: 978355155672
Harry Potter German 1st Edition 1st Print Premovie Philosopher's Stone Der Stein Der Weisen Book 1
Harry Potter German 1st Edition Later Print Philosopher's Stone Der Stein der Weisen Book 1; Harry Potter und der Stein der Weisen
Harry Potter und der Gefangene von Askaban
Harry Potter und der Feuerkelch
ISBN: 9783551551696
Harry Potter German 1st Edition Premovie Early Print Prisoner of Azkaban Book 3; Harry Potter und der Gefangene von Askaban
Harry Potter German Goblet of Fire Book 4; Harry Potter und der Feuerkelch
1st Ed. Prisoner of Azkaban
1st Ed. Philosopher's Stone
1st Edition Hardcover
1st Ed. Goblet of Fire
ISBN: 3551551936
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ISBN: 9783551354013
Harry Potter German Softcover Edition with Sabine Wilharm cover art Philosopher's Stone Book 1; Harry Potter und der Stein der Weisen
Unlike the hardcover 1st editions above, the softcover books have sold yellow spines and really dress up a shelf nicely. 

In 2000, Carlsen published the first book in beautiful, unique "adult" cover art. These books were only published in hardcover and of the German books, are not too common, but also not considered very rare; they are really nice to have, however. This set is definitely one of my favorites among the many German editions.  

Harry Potter Germa Adult Edition Philospher's Stone Stein der Weisen
Hardcover Adult Edition
Harry Potter German Adult Edition Prisoner of Azkaban Book 3; Harry Potter und der Gefangene von Askaban

ISBN: 3551552002

ISBN: 355155210x

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ISBN: 3551552096

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ISBN: 3551552533

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ISBN: 3551552975

ISBN: 3551556008

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ISBN: 9783551557001

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There are a few German book clubs around as well as the trade editions published by Carlsen Verlag. I really enjoy the book club cover art :)

German Book Clubs
Harry Potter German Wizard Hat Edition Der Club Book Club Edition Hardcover Philosopher's Stone der Stein der Weisen

ISBN: 054866

I love this the cover of this German translation; from the moment, I saw it, I KNEW I had to own one--I mean, LOOK AT IT :) Anyway, this book too was printed before the movie (2000), which again you'll notice the font difference.  Published by GGP Media GmbH, Pößneck. It seems like the hardest part of getting this particular edition is finding someone who will ship outside of Germany. So, make sure to ask your seller before purchasing.

Harry Potter German Book Club Edition Philosopher's Stone Stein der Weisen Book 1

Here we have other early Book Club Editions, but I'm unsure which book club these are attached to. Again, the font is that of a book published before 2001 when the first movie came out and font changed around the world to match that of the movie title font. This book is around, more so on German e-commerce sites than US ones. This book club edition is a bit more common than the above, which I honestly think is mainly now because the above is just a prettier book, causing the demand to be higher for it than this one. All the same, I love the blue and orange with the piece of the trade 1st edition cover art.

I own 2 - 4 as well and will add them when I can.

ISBN: 060509

1st Ed. Softcover

Carlsen has released some of the loveliest Harry Potter sets, in my opinion. Always wonderful, distinct cover art and attention to detail throughout. They really are magnificent.

This box set consists of only books 1 - 4. The front covers of this set look very similar to the 1st edition softcovers, with the exception of the light green border. The spines, though, make up a wonderful picture of Harry. The back covers also bear illustrations pertaining to that particular book. These books, as far as I know, were not sold separately. You can find them now without a box, but that is probably because the box was thrown out sometime in the past. The box for this set has wonderful illustrations and has the bar code for the set on the bottom.

 

ISBN: 3551553009

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Like this above set, published in 2010, has illustrations on the spine and back covers. They were not sold independently, so if you'd like this one, you more than likely have to buy the set. The front covers look similar to the 1st editions, only the border is turquoise/teal AND there are no title words -- just stand-alone illustrations. The box for my set was lost before it ever came to me, so I cannot speak to the box art, but I'm sure it's lovely, like everything else they produce. 

 

ISBN: 9783551553492

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This beautiful Spell Box Set is aptly named because it has spells on the side edge -- so very creative! It was publishing in 2013 by Carlsen.  And while the box has beautiful art as well, like the other boxes by Carlsen, it's prone to tearing at the joints.

ISBN: 9783551313102

Checkout my YouTube Video!

Spell Box Set
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The German "Rainbow" box set is one that is favorite among Harry Potter collectors, and it's easy to see why with its vibrant colors, minimal yet fun spine art and charming covers. Like the rest of the German books, when I first saw this set, I KNEW I had to buy it - and I did with the help of a wonderful Potterhead from Germany! I'll post the individual book photos as soon as I can. For those wanting to see a glimpse of the covers, I have a few pictures of them up on my Instagram.

I'll post more information on this set as soon as I can as well.

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Alongside having beautiful 1 - 7 sets, Carlsen has produced lovely special editions of the 1st book as well, each of these 3 were illustrated by Sabine Wilharm. In 2018, Carlsen released their 20th Anniversary Editions, which featured not only new illustrations by a new illustrator (Iacopo Bruno), the revised the textblock. This revised texblock also found itself in the 2018 Special Edition. 

German Special Editions
2015 Special Edition Harry Potter German Philosopher's Stone Stein der Weisen Book 1

ISBN: 9783551315120

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ISBN: 9783551317254

ISBN: 9783551320117

20th Anniversary Edition

The German 20th Anniversary Books were published by Carlsen Verlag in 2018. Unlike most other German books, a different illustator, Iacopo Bruno, illustrated the books, and I think he did a great job! Also, this edition was revised in certain places to help continuity. All 7 books available at Carlsen.de

Difficulty to Find Rating for all 7 books: 3, Common

I actually own this beautiful box set and will update as soon as I can!

German 20th Anniversary Edition Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone; Harry Potter und der Stein der Weisen
German 20th Anniversary Edition Harry Potter an the Chamber of Secrets; Harry Potter und die Kammer des Schreckens
German 20th Anniversary Edition Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban; Harry Potter und der Gefangene von Askaban

ISBN: 9783551557414

Title: Harry Potter und der Stein der Weisen

Translator: Klaus Fritz

Format: Hardcover, no jacket

Title: Harry Potter und die Kammer des Schreckens

ISBN: 9783551557421

Translator: Klaus Fritz

Format: Hardcover, no Jacket

Title: Harry Potter und der Gefangene von Askaban

ISBN: 9783551557438

Translator: Klaus Fritz

Format: Hardcover, no Jacket

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Low German

The 1st Edition Low German translations of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and Chamber of Secrets, published by Verlag Michael Jung in 2002. This translation is increasingly becoming scarce, especially at a decent price. I'm assuming, given the lower number of speakers and social status of the language that this book wasn't widely printed or distributed. Only the 1st 2 books were published. To learn more about Low German, click here.

Low German
Harry Potter Low German Philosopher's Stone Wunnersteen Book 1
Harry Potter Low German Grulig Kamer Chamber of Secrets Book 2

Title: Harry Potter un de Wunnersteen

ISBN: 9783898820127

Translators: Hartmut Cyriacks; Peter Nissen; et al.

Format: Hardcover, no Jacket

Difficulty to Find Rating: 8, Hard

Title: Harry Potter un de grulig Kamer

ISBN: 3898820181

Translators: Hartmut Cyriacks; Peter Nissen; et al.

Format: Hardcover, No Jacket

Difficulty-to-Find Rating: 8, Hard

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