Where There's A Wand, There's A Way

Simplified Chinese (Mandarin: China)
Zhǐ yào yǒu mózhàng, jiù yǒu bànfǎ
zhǐ = 'just'.
yào = 'need'.
yǒu = 'have'.
魔杖 mózhàng = 'magic wand'.
jiù = 'then'.
yǒu = 'have'.
办法 bànfǎ = 'way, method'.
You just need a magic wand and there's a way
Traditional Chinese (Mandarin: Taiwan)
Mózhàng zài shǒu, wàn shì wú yōu
魔杖 mózhàng = 'magic wand'.
zài = 'in'.
shǒu = 'hand'.
萬事 wàn shì = 'ten thousand things' = 'everything'.
無憂 wú yōu = 'no worry'.
Magic wand in hand, everything is fine
Tsue aru tokoro ni michi wa hirakeru
tsue = 'stick/wand'.
ある aru = 'to be, to have'.
ところに tokoro ni = 'place' plus particle indicating place = 'in a place'.
道は michi wa = 'road, way' plus topic particle = 'the road, way...'
開ける hirakeru = 'open up'.
Where there is a wand, a way will open
Vietnamese (Chinese characters show etymology)
Có Đũa Phép Là Có Giải Pháp = 'to have, to exist'.
đũa phép = 'magic wand'.
= 'to be; namely, that is to say'.
'to have, to exist'.
giải pháp (解法) = 'solution'.
To have a wand is to have a solution

Where there's a will there's a way

The English is modelled on the proverb 'Where there's a will there's a way'.

The conventional Chinese translation of 'Where there's a will there's a way' is 有志者,事竟成 yǒu zhì zhě shì jìng chéng , an expression that is Classical in inspiration and form. The meaning is 'If there is a will, the matter will succeed'. However, the Chinese translators do not model their version on this.

The Simplified Chinese (China) version is an idiomatic translation of the meaning. In fact it's almost a textbook example of the 只要...就 ..zhǐ yào ..... jiù construction meaning 'if only, provided that, as long as ..... then...' construction. However, it's rather pedestrian.

The Taiwanese version uses a traditional Chinese formula: four characters + four characters. This has the look and feel of a true Chinese proverb and is much closer to the spirit of Rowling's title.

The Japanese equivalent of 'Where there's a will there's a way' is 意志あるところに道は開ける Ishi aru tokoro ni michi wa hirakeru ('A way will open where there is a will'). This has a somewhat Classical feeling (note in particular the omission of ga after 意志 ishi) and is quite at home in Japanese. The translator has given this expression a slight twist, substituting tsue 'wand' for 意志 ishi 'will' to come up with a Japanese equivalent book title.

The Vietnamese is merely a straightforward translation of the English which retains the symmetry of the original, including the use of phép and pháp to give a parallel sensation.

Category: Spells and Charms (Popular)

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