Harry Potter in Chinese, Japanese & Vietnamese Translation


Twelve Fail-Safe Ways to Charm Witches



Chinese (Mainland)
Mídào nǚwō de shí'èr-ge zhìshèng fǎbǎo
迷倒 mí-dào = 'to entice'.
女巫 nǚwō = 'witch'.
de = connecting particle
十二 shí'èr 'twelve'.
-ge = classifier
制胜 zhìshèng = 'get the upper hand of, subdue'
法宝 fǎbǎo = 'jewel of the law' = 'magic weapon/formula'.

Twelve Winning Magic Formulas for Enticing Witches

Chinese (Taiwan)
Mìhuò nǚwō búbài shí-èr juézhāo
迷惑 míhuò = 'to attract, seduce'.
女巫 nǚwō = 'witch'.
不敗 búbài = 'unfailing'.
十二 shí'èr 'twelve'.
絕招 juézhāo = 'consummate trick'.
Twelve Unfailing Consummate Tricks to Attract Witches
Kakujitsu ni majo o hikitsukeru jūni no hōsoku
確実に kakujitsu ni = 'definitely, with certainty'.
魔女を majo o = 'witch' (accusative)
惹きつける hikitsukeru = 'to allure, attract', qualifies the following (12 rules).
十二 shí'èr = '12'.
no = connecting particle
法則 hōsoku = 'rule, law'.
Twelve Rules for Definitely Alluring Witches.
Vietnamese (Chinese characters show etymology)
Mười Hai Cách Khơi-Lo-Thất-Bại Để Bỏ Bùa Các Nàng Phù Thủy mười hai = 'twelve'.
cách = 'way, manner, fashion'.
khơi lo = 'escape from worry'.
thất bại (失敗) = 'to fail'.
để = 'for, in order to'.
bỏ bùa = 'to bewitch, cast spell over'
các = plural
nàng phù thủy = 'she magic' = 'witch'

Twelve Free-of-worry-of-failure Ways to Put a Charm on Witches

Charm witches

In the Muggle world, there would be no doubt that this book was about winning on to, chatting up, hooking up with, or cracking on to women. But as this is a book from the magical world, we need to consider the double meaning of 'charm', one relating to diplomatic skills in winning hearts, the other relating to magic spells or amulets. This book could conceivably be filled with spells, amulets, love potions, or other magical means designed to ensure that you get that hot witch that you fancy. But as Ron says, it's not all wandwork, either.

In three of the translations, the dominant meaning is one of 'attract, entice, allure'. The Mainland translation uses 迷倒 mídào, the Taiwanese translation 迷惑 míhuò, the Japanese translation 惹きつける hikitsukeru. The Vietnamese translation, on the other hand, uses bỏ bùa 'to bewitch', which appeals to the magical side.

Fail-safe ways

'Fail-safe' is a rather snappy English expression meaning 'guaranteed not to fail'. Unfortunately, it's not one of those expressions guaranteed to have an equivalent in other languages, so translators are sent scurrying off to find ways of rendering it.

    The Mainland translator uses 制胜法宝 zhìshèng fǎbǎo, where 制胜 zhìshèng means 'gain the upper hand over' and 法宝 fǎbǎo is literally the 'jewel of the law', a Buddhist term that has now come to mean a 'magic weapon' or 'magic formula'.

    The Taiwanese translator uses 不敗 búbài, 'not fail', to express the meaning 'fail-safe', but reinforces this by referring to 'ways' as 絕招 juézhāo. jué means 'superlative, amazing'. zhāo refers to 'tricks' (for example, see A Compendium of Common Curses and their Counter-Actions).

    The Japanese translator chooses a more pedestrian translation for 'fail-safe' with 確実に kakujitsu ni 'definitely, with certainty'. The word 法則 hōsoku 'rules' is somewhat more creative. It is modelled on the idea, found in real-world books and websites, that there are 'rules' or 'laws' (like the laws of physics) that will guarantee a result if rigidly adhered to.

    The Vietnamese translator cobbles together a compound expression Khơi-Lo-Thất-Bại, where khơi lo means 'free from concern' and thất-bại means 'failure'. The total meaning is 'free of concern about failure'.

Category: Spells and Charms (Popular)

arrow up