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Brian Kantor's Get South Africa Growing will add to the layman's understanding of the economy

South Africans have been poorly served by the economic choices their governments have made.

The consequences of these choices are everywhere to be seen but most importantly in unemployment and poverty.

In this book Brian Kantor advances spirited economic arguments for freer markets and less government intervention and regulation of the South African economy; the book will add significantly to a layman’s understanding of how our economy works.

It offers a succinct review of all the key drivers that determine a modern economy’s performance as well as the key institutions of a modern economy.

The book presents an insightful review of the challenges facing the South African economy and its policy makers.

Kantor’s sound economic insights, enriched by his familiarity with current affairs and developments in the local political milieu and financial markets, make his book a key and important contribution to the continuing debate which rages around our failing economy – indeed it presents solutions which policy makers ignore at their (and our) peril.
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Harold the ceramicist and the Melon’s gallstone - Sue de Groot on the (many) comical translations of Harry Potter

Everyone loves JK Rowling, except perhaps those who cursed her when translating Harry Potter

By Sue de Groot

SPARE a thought for those who translate English texts. Mastering English is a Sisyphean task for those who speak it from birth; learning it as a second language is, to put it mildly, a bastard. Now imagine what it must be like to transform the infinitely complex twists and turns of an idiomatic, idiosyncratic English sentence into something that makes sense in another language.

As if that weren’t difficult enough, imagine trying to translate words that do not exist in any dictionary, English or otherwise. You might think everyone in the world worships and adores JK Rowling, but I suspect those who had to translate the Harry Potter books occasionally cursed her.

How do you translate quidditch, horcruxes, wrackspurt and crumple-horned snorkacks into other-language words of similar bounce and gravitas? And what about those quibbilicious character names? These are the things that kept translators awake at night.

One solution would have been to leave Rowling’s words alone, but translators are a brave bunch and besides, English wordplay only works if you understand English. To be effective in other languages, names and places would have to be rewritten, and some of the interpretations of Potterverse are almost as entertaining as the books themselves.

Take the “pensieve”, a bowl containing someone’s memories. Rowling’s word combines the properties of a colander and deep thought. The Germans turned it into the lovely Denkarium, a made-up word that married thinking with an aquarium. The Norwegians, if you ask me, fell a little short of the mark. They call it a tanketank, literally a “thought-tank”, which sounds more like a gathering of business executives than a magical device.

Chinese translations are inscrutable unless one can read Chinese characters, but if you ever get a chance to watch the dubbed Harry Potter films with English subtitles, do treat yourself. For some reason the Chinese word for “Muggle” (a non-magical person) translates back into English as “melon”.

As any Pottermaniac knows, Muggles are spread thickly throughout the seven books. Turning them into Melons results in a giant fruit basket. To pick just a few random sentences: “Melons have garden gnomes too, you know”; “You should take Melon studies next year”; “I was merely reading the Melon magazines”; “Melon women wear them, Archie; not the men”; “Even Melons like yourself should be celebrating”; “My parents are Melons, mate”; “How come the Melons don’t hear the bus?” And so on.

As for the character names, Harry, Ron and Hermione have escaped intact, as has Voldemort, but the key plot point involving an anagram presented a huge translation challenge. He-who-should-not-really-be-named made up his own creepy label by jumbling up the letters of his given Melon name, Tom Marvolo Riddle — the anagram is “I am Lord Voldemort”. The French got around this by changing Voldemort’s original name to Tom Elvis Jedusor, which yielded the anagram “Je suis Voldemort”. But how can one take a supervillain called Elvis seriously?

The French have also had fun with the names of animals. Hermione’s cat Crookshanks is known as Pattenrond in France. Ron’s rat Scabbers is Croûtard, and Dumbledore’s phoenix Fawkes has become Fumseck — which sounds like a thumbsuck to me.

The Mentalfloss website has investigated foreign names for the Hogwarts houses. In Spanish, Swedish, German, Polish, and Hebrew they remain Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin, but in other countries they have been reinterpreted in some mystifying ways. The French, for instance, changed Hufflepuff to Poufsouffle, which sounds like a cross between something you eat for breakfast and something you rest your feet on. They changed Slytherin to Serpentard — Harry’s Gryffindor mates would no doubt have howled with joy at the implied insult.

Hufflepuff seems to have given translators the most trouble. In Brazilian Portuguese it is Lufa-lufa, like something one might use in the shower. In Italian it is Tassorosso (“red badger” for the house’s mascot) and in Welsh it is Wfftiwff, which apparently is not an acronym. In Czechoslovakia they settled for Mrzimor.
There’s much more to this than Mrzimor and Melons. I recommend this rabbit hole whenever you need a mood lift.

*This is an extended version of the Pedant Class column published in Sunday Times Lifestyle Magazine on March 26 2017

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets


Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban


Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire


Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix


Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Book launch: Business Writing for South Africans by Bettie Viljoen-Smook et al

Business Writing for South Africans Corporate editor and independent publisher Gary Cummiskey will be in conversation with the authors to discuss the secrets of effective business communication…

Event Details

  • Date: Thursday, 16 March 2017
  • Time: 6:00 PM for 6:30 PM
  • Venue: Love Books, The Bamboo Lifestyle Centre, 53 Rustenburg Road, Melville, Johannesburg
  • Guest Speaker: Gary Cummiskey
  • RSVP: Kate Rogan, Love Books,, 011 726 7408, 011 726 7408

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By popular demand: The Disruptors Extended Ebook Edition by Kerryn Krige and Gus Silber out now

The DisruptorsThe Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) has announced the official release of The Disruptors Extended Ebook Edition: Social Entrepreneurs Reinventing Business and Society by Kerryn Krige and Gus Silber.

The Disruptors Extended Ebook Edition is a follow up to the The Disruptors, which was released in March 2016.

Both editions are published by GIBS and Bookstorm, with support from the National Treasury and the government of Flanders, and are authored by Kerryn Krige, head of the GIBS Network for Social Entrepreneurship (GIBS NSE), and award-winning journalist Gus Silber.

“Social entrepreneurship makes sense,” Krige says. “We know that business cannot focus on generating profit alone if it wants to thrive, and our social entrepreneurs show the enormous value of setting up hybrid businesses that generate both social and economic value.”

From GIBS:

The Disruptors Extended Ebook Edition: Social Entrepreneurs Reinventing Business and Society tells the stories of South Africa’s social entrepreneurs, such as Vuyani Dance Theatre’s revolution of township dance and Stacey Brewer and Ryan Harrison’s Spark Schools which are transforming the landscape of affordable, quality education.

The first edition of The Disruptors has already been reprinted in SA and the US after exceeding sales. This extended edition, available as an ebook for Kindle and Kobo, profiles four social entrepreneurs: Trevor Mulaudzi, whose work in sanitation has earned him the nickname the Doctor Shit, Tsonga Shoes’s Peter Maree, early childhood development visionary Jane Evans, and Guy Stubbs whose naked honey, on sale in Dis-Chem, is transforming the lives of communities in Mpumalanga.

Founder and chair of the Women’s Development Bank Trust Zanele Mbeki says in the book’s foreword, “GIBS with its academic and executive programmes in social entrepreneurship and its networks, is the potential catalyst that we need in South Africa to bring big business, government and civil society together.”

The Disruptors Extended Ebook Edition: Social Entrepreneurs Reinventing Business and Society is written in an engaging manner that defies the boundaries of traditional business books. Krige and Silber storify the turning point that led to the creation of the social enterprises and balance this with a compelling academic take that positions the entrepreneur on a social enterprise spectrum.

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Join some of our greatest social entrepreneurs for the launch of The Disruptors in Port Elizabeth

Invitation to the launch of The Disruptors

The Disruptors: Social Entrepreneurs Reinventing Business and SocietyThe Gordon Institute of Business Science and Bookstorm invite you to the Port Elizabeth launch of Kerryn Krige and Gus Silber’s new book, The Disruptors: Social Entrepreneurs Reinventing Business and Society.

Join the authors and some of South Africa’s greatest social entrepreneurs as they share insight into their organisations, what drives them and sustains them.

The event will take place on Friday, 28 October at the GFI Art Gallery. Don’t miss it!

Event Details

  • Date: Friday, 28 October 2016
  • Time: 5:30 PM for 6:00 PM
  • Venue: GFI Art Gallery (previously known as Ron Belling)
    30 Park Dr.
    Port Elizabeth | Map
  • RSVP: Kovashni Gordhan,, 083 222 5781

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"People are generating a profit by doing good in their communities" - Kerryn Krige on The Disruptors (Video)

The DisruptorsThe Disruptors: Social Entrepreneurs Reinventing Business and Society by Kerryn Krige and Gus Silber tells the story of how social entrepreneurs are imagining a better way to a better world.

GIBS Business School has shared a video of the launch of The Disruptors on their YouTube channel in which Krige explains why she is so excited by this important study. The launch took place at the University of Johannesburg earlier this year.

“For the first time, we really have a full profile of what modern-day social entrepreneurship looks like in South Africa and the real breadth of activity that is happening in this space,” Krige says. “So, people are generating a profit by doing good in their communities.”

Watch the video:

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