- Fudge: "You can speak English! And you've been letting me mime everything all day!"
- Oblansk: "Vell, it vos very funny."
- — Oblansk's sense of homour[src]
Oblansk was the Bulgarian Minister for Magic in around 1994. He attended the final match of the 1994 Quidditch World Cup. He wore gold-trimmed, black velvet robes and acted as if he did not understand English.
Fudge introduced the man to the Malfoy family next, attempting to pronounce his surname twice (first as "Oblansk" and then as "Obalonsk"), before giving up and simply calling him the Bulgarian Minister for Magic. Fudge excused his poor introduction by claiming that the Minister couldn't understand anything said in English. However, when the Bulgarian National Quidditch team lost to Ireland, Oblansk sullenly declared, "Vell, ve fought bravely." Fudge was angered to learn that Oblansk really did know English and had only feigned ignorance because he found it extremely amusing to watch his British counterpart try to communicate through gestures.
The Minister's name might be derived from common Slavic proposition "об" ("around" or "about") and its cognate adjective "объл" ['obəl] ("round"), from which nouns such as "облак" ['oblak] ("cloud") and "област" ['oblast] ("region", "area") also originate. Suffices similar to "-sk" are used for locational or occupational surnames in Slavic languages. However, in Bulgarian it would be "-ski", while "-sk" is only used as a suffix in city names in Russia and ex-Soviet countries such as Belarus and Ukraine.
Behind the scenes
- In Pottermore, the "From the story" entry referring to this individual has the URL referring to the "bulgarian-prime-minister". This seems to have been a mistake, since the entry itself is titled "Bulgarian Minister for Magic", and canon establishes the difference between the office of Minister for Magic and that of Prime Minister. The Prime Minister of Bulgaria at the time the story is set was Lyuben Berov.
Notes and references
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 8 (The Quidditch World Cup)