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

 

Nature's Nobility: A Wizarding Genealogy

 

Chinese (Mainland) 生而高贵:巫师家谱
Shēng-ér-gāoguì: wūshi jiāpǔ

shēng = 'be born'.
ér = 'and' (classical usage found only expressions).
高贵 gāoguì = 'noble'.
巫师 wūshī = 'wizard'.
家谱 jiāpǔ = 'family tree, genealogy'.

Born noble: wizard genealogy
Chinese (Taiwan) 自然界的榮光:一部魔法家族史
Zìrán-jiè de róngguāng: yí-bù mófǎ jiāzú-shǐ
自然 zìrán = 'nature'.
jiè = 'world, circles'.
de = connecting particle
榮光 róngguāng = 'honour, glory'.
一部 yí-bù = 'one + counter/classifier for books, movies, etc.
魔法 mófǎ = 'magic'.
家族 jiāzú = 'clan, family'.
shǐ = 'history'.
Honour of the natural world: a history of magical families/family
Japanese 生粋の貴族 ー 魔法界家系図
Kissui no kizoku - mahō-kai kakei-zu
生粋 kissui = 'true-bred, born and bred, genuine'.
no = connecting particle
貴族 kizoku = 'nobility'.
魔法 mahō = 'magic'.
-kai = 'circles, world'.
家系 kakei = 'family line, pedigree'.
-zu = 'chart'.
True-bred nobility -- genealogical chart of the magical world
Vietnamese Sự Cao Quí Của Tự Nhiên: Bản Phả Hệ Phù Thủy sự = classifier for actions or events, etc.
cao quí (高貴) = 'noble'.
của = connecting particle (possession)
tự nhiên (自然) = 'nature, natural'.
bản () = classifier/measure word ('a copy').
phả hệ (譜系) = 'genealogy'.
phù thủy = 'magician, sorceror'.
Nobleness of nature: A magician's genealogy

The English title would refer to a book of family trees and histories for the most distinguished families in wizarddom. 'Nature's nobility' suggests that these families are 'noble by nature', i.e., they are noble simply by virtue of belonging to noble families. This is the kind of book that would appeal to the Lestranges, Blacks, Malfoys, and other families believing in purity of the blood.

The Mainland Chinese version 'Born noble: wizard genealogy', captures perfectly the nuance and meaning of the English title. The Japanese title ('True-bred nobility -- genealogical chart of the magical world') also captures the nuance of the English, with the word 生粋 kissui ('pure-bred') conveying accurately and aptly the meaning of 'nature's nobility'.

The Taiwanese version goes slightly astray. First, as given here, the title could refer to the genealogy of a single wizarding family. Secondly, the Taiwanese version misinterprets 'nature' as meaning 'Mother Nature', giving the meaning 'Honour (or glory) in the natural world'.

The Vietnamese version is a fairly straightforward rendition of the English. It is similar to the Taiwanese in suggesting the nobility of the natural world.

Category: Who's Who / Biography

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