Harry Potter in Chinese, Japanese & Vietnamese Translation


The Titles of Magical Books in Harry Potter


New Theory of Numerology


Chinese (Mainland) 数字占卜学新原理
Shùzǐ zhānbǔ-xué xīn-yuánlǐ

数字 shùzǐ = 'number'.
占卜 zhānbǔ = 'divination'.
xué = 'study, -ology'.
xīn = 'new'.
原理 yuánlǐ = 'principle'

New principles of number-divination study
Chinese (Taiwan) 命理學新論
Mìnglǐ-xué xīnlùn
命理 mìnglǐ = 'principle of fate'.
xué = 'study, -ology'.
xīn = 'new'.
lùn = 'theory'.
New theory of the study of the principles of fate
Japanese 新数霊術理論
Shin sūrei-jutsu riron
shin = 'new'.
数霊 sūrei = '(literally) number spirit' = use of numbers to predict person's personality/future.
jutsu = 'art, technique'.
理論 riron = 'theory'.
New theory of the technique of fortune-telling by numbers
Vietnamese Tân Lý Thuyết Số Học

tân () = 'new'.
lý thuyết (理說) = 'theory'.
số học (數學) = 'arithmetic'.

New theory of arithmetic

The main stumbling block in this title is the translation of 'Numerology'. Numerology is the study of the occult influence of numbers on human affairs. Numerology is based on the premise that numbers can reveal the future or hidden information. A common example is when each letter in a person's name is given a number, the numbers are added up and the resulting numbers are also added up until a single number is left -- the special or lucky number.

In Numerology and Grammatica, the Mainland translator used 数字学 shùzì-xué, or the study of numbers -- quite literally, 'numerology'. Here it is obviously felt that this does not do justice to what 'numerology' really means. The translator comes up with 数字占卜学 shùzǐ zhānbǔ xué, or the 'study of divination by numbers'.

The Taiwanese translator stays with the earlier translation, 命理學 mìnglǐ-xué, 'study of the principles of fate'.

The Japanese translator uses 数霊術 sūrei-jutsu, a fortune-telling technique based on numbers such as birthdays, the number of strokes in characters, etc. In Numerology and Grammatica, numerology was translated as 数密学 sūmitsu-gaku, the study of the secrets of numbers.

The Vietnamese translator used thuật số (術數 if represented in Chinese characters), the study of numbers or divination, in the title of Numerology and Grammatica. In this book she switches to số học (數學), meaning 'arithmetic'. The earlier translation seems more accurate.

Category: Theory of Magic

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