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

 

Magical Theory

 

Chinese (Mainland) 魔法理论
Mófǎ lǐlùn
魔法 mófǎ = 'magic'.
理论 lǐlùn = 'theory'.
Theory of Magic
Chinese (Taiwan) 魔法理論
Mófǎ lǐlùn
魔法 mófǎ = 'magic'.
理論 lǐlùn = 'theory'.
Theory of Magic
Japanese 魔法論
Mahō-ron
魔法 mahō = 'magic'.
-ron = 'theory'.
Theory of Magic
Vietnamese Lý thuyết Pháp thuật lý thuyết (理說) = 'theory'.
pháp thuật (法術) = 'magic'.
Theory of Magic

Theory:

The Chinese and Vietnamese translators use the full word for 'theory', which is 理論 (理论) lǐlùn in Chinese and lý thuyết in Vietnamese. The Vietnamese word lý thuyết is made up of two Chinese roots meaning 'principle' + 'hypothesis'. This word is not found in modern Chinese, although it originated in Chinese, having been used, for example, at the time of Matteo Ricci in the early 17th century.

It's also possible to create a compound word with the character 'theory, discourse'. For instance, Das Kapital by Karl Marx is known in East Asia as 'The Theory of Capital': 資本論 or 资本论 Zī-běn-lùn in Chinese, 資本論 Shihon-ron in Japanese, and Tư bản luận in Vietnamese. The Japanese translator uses this method to create the word 魔法論 mahō-ron.

Category: Theory of Magic

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