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

 

Magical Draughts and Potions

 

Chinese (Mainland) 魔法药剂与药水
Mófǎ yàojì yǔ yàoshuǐ
魔法 mófǎ = 'magic'.
药剂 yàojì = 'medicament, drug'.
= 'and'.
药水 yàoshuǐ = 'medicine water' = '(liquid) medicine'.
Magical Medicaments and Medicines
Chinese (Taiwan) 魔法藥劑與藥水
Mófǎ yàojì yǔ yàoshuǐ
魔法 mófǎ = 'magic'.
藥劑 yàojì = 'medicament, drug'.
= 'and'.
藥水 yàoshuǐ = 'medicine water' = '(liquid) medicine'.
Magical Medicaments and Medicines
Japanese 魔法薬調合法
Mahō-yaku chōgō-hō
魔法 mahō = 'magic'.
-yaku = 'medicine, drug'.
調合 chōgō = 'compounding, preparation'.
-hō = 'method'.
Methods of Preparation of Magical Drugs
Vietnamese Đề cương phép lạ và độc dược đề cương (提綱) = 'summary, thesis, draft'.
phép lạ = 'magical'.
= 'and'.
độc dược (毒藥) = 'poison medicine'.
Magical Theses and Poison Medicines

'Draughts and Potions':

In English, draughts and potions are liquid preparations. 'Potions' has an old-fashioned, unscientific sound.

The Chinese term 藥劑 (药剂) yàojì refers to tinctures, serums, inoculations, and other medications made up according to a prescription. 藥水 (药水) yàoshuǐ refers to liquid medicines. The overall meaning follows the English original.

The Japanese translator departs from the English to create an authentic-sounding book title. The title makes explicit what is only implied in the English original, namely that this is a textbook for 'preparing medicines'.

The Vietnamese translator has mistaken the word 'draught' for 'draft (of a document), summary', which she translates as đề cương ('summary, thesis, draft'). Converted back into English, the Vietnamese name thus means 'Magical Theses and Poison Medicines' (see mistranslations). The word độc dược refers to medicines that contain poisonous ingredients but doesn't imply the medicines themselves are poisonous.

Category: Potions

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