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

 

Unfogging the Future

 

Chinese (Mainland) 预言未来
Yùyán wèilái

拨开迷雾看未来
Bō-kāi mìwù kàn wèilái

预言 yùyán = 'predict, foretell'.
未来 wèilái = 'future'.

拨开 bōkāi = 'to clear, dispel'.
迷雾 mìwù = 'fog'.
kàn = 'see'.
未来 wèilái = 'future'.
Predict the future

Dispel the fog and see the future
Chinese (Taiwan) 撥開未來的迷霧
Bōkāi wèilái de mìwù
撥開 bōkāi = 'to clear, dispel'.
未來 wèilái = 'future'.
de = connecting particle
迷霧 mìwù = 'fog'.
Dispel the fog of the future
Japanese 未来の霧を晴らす
Mirai no kiri o harasu
未来 mirai = 'future'.
no = connecting particle
kiri = 'fog'.
o = object particle
晴らす harasu = 'to clear, dispel'.
Dispel the fog of the future
Vietnamese Soi Rọi Tương Lai

Vén Màn Tương Lai
soi rọi = 'to illuminate, to light up'.
tương lai (將來) = 'future'.
vén màn = 'to lift the curtain on, to lift the secret veil on'.
tương lai (將來) = 'future'.

Illuminate the future

Lift the veil on the future

Unfog:

'Unfog' is a creative example of the flexibility of English, using the prefix 'un' in the meaning of remove or undo some condition. (A similar effect is achieved by the construction 'demist', with rather more mundane connotations).

The translations embody two approaches to translating this title.

    One is to use an expression meaning 'to clear the fog' (Mainland Chinese, Taiwanese, and Japanese translations).

    The other is less imaginative and involves substituting an expression meaning 'to foretell the future' or 'unveil the future' (Mainland and Vietnamese translations).

Both the Vietnamese and Mainland versions uses different translations at different places in the book, hence the multiple translations.

Future:

Note that all three languages have two words for the future. One is 將來 / 将来 jiànglái - 将来 shōrai - tương lai; the other is 未來 / 未来 wèilái - 未来 mirai - vị lai. Literally, the first means 'that which is to come'; the second means 'that which has not yet come'. The meaning of the two overlaps, but 將來 suggests 'the foreseeable future'; 未來 suggests the 'unforeseeable future'. Only the Vietnamese translator uses the first.

Category: Divination

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