The Titles of Magical Books in Harry Potter
Holidays With Hags
Yǔ mǔ-yèchā yìqǐ dùjià
母夜叉 mǔ-yèchā = 'female yaksha' = 'ugly and fierce woman, shrew'.
一起 yìqǐ = 'together'
度假 dùjià = 'spend holidays'
|Spending Holidays with an Ugly Shrew|
Yǔ wūpó gòngdù jiàqī
巫婆 wūpó = 'witch'.
共度 gòngdù = 'spend together'.
假期 jiàqī = 'vacation, holidays'.
|Spending Holidays with a Witch|
Oni-baba to no otsu na kyūka
oni-baba to = 'ogre-granny' + 'with' = 'with
a witch/ogress'. Both oni and
baba are derogatory terms.
の no = connecting particle
オツな otsu na = 'strange, odd; witty, smart, chic'.
休暇 kyūka 'holiday'.
|Chic Holidays with a Witch|
|Vietnamese||Nghỉ lễ với phù thủy||nghỉ lễ
= 'holiday for a festival'.
với = 'with'.
phù thủy = 'sorceror'.
|Holiday with a Sorceror|
The books in the Gilderoy Lockhart Series (except for Magical Me) follow a simple but humorous pattern in English. All describe spending time with a particular kind of unsavoury creature, expressed in the form 'X with Y'. In each case there is alliteration between X and Y (Break with a Banshee, Gadding with Ghouls, Holidays with Hags, etc.).
The interesting points in any translation are:
How this assortment of unpleasant creatures is translated.
How the parallel meanings are expressed.
How the effect of the alliteration is reproduced. This is the most difficult task because alliteration is, of course, dependent on the particular sound of words in a language.
A hag is an ugly old woman, the type often identified with a witch.
- The Mainland Chinese version uses the word yaksha, a kind of Buddhist demon, which is popularly applied to fierce and ugly women.
- The Taiwanese version uses a word that is the most common translation of the English word 'witch'.
- The Japanese uses a word meaning 'ogre-granny', an abusive term often applied by children to disliked old women.
- The Vietnamese settles for the general word for 'sorceror'.
The Japanese alliterates 鬼婆 oni-baba with オツな otsu na. Otsu is usually written 乙 otsu, indicating the second in a series (the first is 甲 kō). The meaning has developed in the direction of 'different, strange, odd', and even further as 'witty, smart, chic, tasty'.
|Break With A Banshee||Gadding With Ghouls||Travels With Trolls|
|Voyages With Vampires||Wandering With Werewolves||Year With The Yeti|