Chapter 7: The Sorting Hat

Simplified Chinese (Mandarin: China)
fēn = 'divide'.
yuàn = 'house'.
mào = 'hat'.
The House-sorting Hat
Traditional Chinese (Mandarin: Taiwan)
分類 fēnlèi = 'divide into sorts or types, classify'.
mào = 'hat'.
The Classifying Hat
Kumi-wake bōshi
kumi = 'class'.
分け wake = 'division'.
帽子 bōshi = 'hat'
The Class-sorting Hat
마법 모자
Mabeob moja
마법 (魔法) mabeob = 'magic'.
모자 (帽子) moja = 'hat'.
The Magic Hat
Vietnamese (Chinese characters show etymology)
Chiếc nón phần loại chiếc = counter for hats, particularly conical styles
nón = 'hat'.
phần loại (分類) = 'divide into sorts or types, classify'.
The (pointed) Classifying Hat
Mongolian (previous)
Хуваарилагч малгай
Khuvaar'lagch malgai
хуваарилагч khuvaar'lagch = 'one who divides, distributes, allots' (хуваарилах khuvaar'lakh 'divide, distribute, allot' + -гч -gch, suffix indicating an agent).
малгай malgai = 'hat, cap, headgear (broad sense)'.
The Assigning Hat
Mongolian (new)
Хуваарилагч бүрх
Khuvaar'lagch bürkh
хуваарилагч khuvaar'lagch = 'one who divides, distributes, allots' (хуваарилах khuvaar'lakh 'divide, distribute, allot' + -гч -gch, suffix indicating an agent).
бүрх bürkh = 'hat (narrow sense)'.
The Assigning Brimmed-hat

This is the famous hat that assigns new Hogwarts students to their respective houses.

At this stage the deeper significance of the four houses, with segregated living arrangements and differences among their founding philosophies, has not yet become fully apparent. However, we get a clue from the Sorting Hat's Song, which it creates anew each year and sings to the students.

All translations bar the Korean render the concept of 'sorting'. In the Korean translation, the Sorting Hat is referred to only as the 'Magic Hat'. However, on the Internet, 마법의 분류모자 (魔法의 分類帽子) mabeob-ui bunlyu-moja 'magic classifying hat' can also be found.

How is 'sorting' translated?

To indicate sorting, translations use verbs meaning 'to divide', 'allocate' or 'distribute'.

The outcome of sorting in different translations

The English name of the hat refers only to 'sorting', without indicating what students are sorted into.

The translations can be divided into three types: Those that indicate specifically the result of sorting, those that indicate in a general way the result of the sorting, and those that, like English, don't indicate the result of sorting.

How is 'hat' translated?

In English, a 'hat' generally refers to a traditional style of hat with a brim. While usage varies, items such as 'caps' and 'beanies' tend to be regarded as separate categories from 'hat'. In the languages covered here, there is a greater tendency to include all types of headwear under a single term. That is, words for 'hat' are general terms for 'headgear' rather than specific terms for hats with brims.

Two of the translators use words for more specific types of hat.

'Sorting Hat' as a compound

Translations differ in the degree to which the elements are bound together into the name 'Sorting Hat'.

(On deverbal nouns in Japanese: Deverbal noun used in compound words can be found throughout titles in the Harry Potter series: The Burrow, The Whomping Willow, The Knight Bus, The Leaky Cauldron, The Boggart in the Wardrobe, Back to the Burrow, The Weighing of the Wands, The Death Eaters, The Sorting Hat's New Song, Draco's Detour, The Tale of the Three Brothers, The Wandmaker, The Final Hiding Place, The Missing Mirror, The Lost Diadem, and The Prince's Tale. There are also cases where a deverbal noun is used as an independent noun, that is, not part of a compound word.)

(Korean appears thanks to "Hiro".)

(Detailed notes on the chapter can be found at Harry Potter Lexicon)

Chapter 6
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