Harry Potter

You might wonder, why Harry Potter? Leave it with us!

For our last question we decided to not introduce another book in translation, but to highlight how the language and culture of other countries has influenced works in popular culture, books and movies in particular. To introduce you to our last language, Portuguese, we will show you how J.K. Rowling has been influenced by her stay in Porto while writing Harry Potter:

  1. One thing that is certain and has been confirmed by J.K. Rowling is that the founder of Slytherin, Salazar Slytherin, has taken his name from the former Portuguese dictator, Antonio de Salazar.
  2. You usually find long cues before the Livraria Lello in Porto; word is that the famous moving staircases in Hogwarts have been inspired by the bookshops’ interior.
  3. Some descriptions of Hogwarts also remind of landmarks in Porto, e.g. the Astronomy Tower and the Gryffindor house mascot have a striking familiarity to Porto’s bell tower and the Fountain of the Lions.
  4. Last, but not least, the school uniforms of Portugal’s oldest university, Coimbra University, contain the same pieces of clothing, including the black cloak, that we know from J.K. Rowlings descriptions of Hogwarts students.

The Harry Potter Fan’s Guide to a Portugal Vacation (inverse.com)


With 260 million speakers, Portuguese is one of the top ten languages spoken in the world. The vast majority of Portuguese speakers live in Brazil – the world’s eighth largest economy. It is an official language in nine countries, including Angola and Mozambique, as well as in the Chinese autonomous territory of Macau.

Over 20,000 people said they spoke Portuguese at home in Ireland at the time of the last census.

Portuguese Language | Languages Connect


Turn around and head back into the Newman Building. Can you see the artwork reflecting the light into the building?

Hint: It is made out of blue, stained glass.