Harry Potter in Chinese, Japanese & Vietnamese Translation
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The Titles of Magical Books in Harry Potter

 

Advanced Rune Translation

 

Chinese (Mainland) 高级魔文翻译
Gāojí mówén fānyì
高级 gāojí = 'high-level'.
魔文 mówén= 'magic letters'.
翻译 fānyì = 'translation'.
High-level translation of magic letters
Chinese (Taiwan) 古代神秘文字翻譯進階
Gǔdài shénmì wénzì jìnjiē
古代 gǔdài = 'ancient'.
神秘 shénmì= 'magical, mysterious'.
文字 wénzì = 'letters'.
翻譯 fānyì = 'translation'.
進階 jìnjiē = 'advanced level'.
Advanced level translation of ancient magical letters
Japanese 上級ルーン文字翻訳法
Jōkyū Rūn-moji hon'yaku-hō
上級 jōkyū = 'advanced level'.
ルーン文字 Rūn-moji = 'Rune letters'.
翻訳 hon'yaku = 'translation'.
-hō = 'method'.
Advanced translation methodology of Rune letters
Vietnamese Dịch Thuật Chữ Rune Cao Cấp dịch thuật (譯述) = 'translation'.
chữ Rune = 'Rune letters'.
cao cấp (高級) = 'high-level'.
High-level Rune letter translation

Advanced:

Chinese and Vietnamese use 高级 gāojí or cao cấp meaning 'high-level, high-class, high-grade'. In Japanese, the normal term for an advanced level student is 上級 jōkyū. This would not be suitable in Chinese because it refers to a higher organisational level. (On the other hand, 高級 kōkyū in Japanese means 'high-level, high-grade, luxury'). The Taiwanese translation uses the word 進階 jìnjiē, which normally refers to a rise in rank.

Runes:

The two Chinese versions go for an explanatory approach whereby Runes are described as a kind of 'magical script'. The Japanese and Vietnamese versions use the English word Rune, with the word 文字 moji or chữ, both meaning 'letter', attached by way of clarification.

Translation:

The two Chinese versions simply use the word for translation, which is 翻譯 / 翻译 fānyì. In reality, such books are more likely to be known in Chinese as 翻譯教程 / 翻译教程 fānyì jiàochéng 'course in translation'. The Vietnamese translation also uses a term meaning simply 'translation': dịch thuật. (The Chinese cognate term of dịch thuật, 譯述 / 译述 yìshù, refers to a very free style of narration or translation).

In Japanese, the word 翻訳 hon'yaku by itself would sit awkwardly as a book title. It is preferable to use terms such as 翻訳法 hon'yaku-hō 'translation method' or 翻訳論 hon'yaku-ron 'translation theory'.

Category: Language

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