Harry Potter in Chinese, Japanese & Vietnamese Translation
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
Chapter Titles in Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese


Chapter 12: The Mirror of Erised


(For the romanisation of Chinese and Japanese, see Transliteration. To understand the writing systems of CJV, see Writing Systems. For word order notes, see Word Order)

Where a Vietnamese word has been borrowed from Chinese, the original Chinese characters are shown in parentheses.


Chinese (Mainland) 厄里斯魔镜
Èlǐsī mójìng
厄里斯 Èlǐsī = 'Erised'.
= 'magic'.
jìng = 'mirror'.
Erised magic mirror
Chinese (Taiwan) 意若思鏡
Yìruòsī jìng
意若思 Yìruòsī = 'Erised', characters mean 'wish seems like thought'.
jìng = 'mirror'.
Erised mirror / 'Wish seems like thought' mirror
Japanese みぞの鏡
Mizo no kagami
みぞ mizo = 'ditch'.
no = connecting particle
kagami = 'mirror'
Mirror of the ditch / Erised mirror
Vietnamese Tấm gương Ảo ảnh tấm = counter for mirrors, glass, etc.
gương = 'mirror'.
ảo ảnh (幻影) = 'illusion'.
The mirror of illusion

Neither the Taiwanese nor Mainland Chinese version tries to reproduce the trick name of the mirror ('Erised' is 'desire' spelt backwards - the full English name means 'I show not your face but your heart's desire'). They simply approximate the sound. The Taiwanese version is the more creative of the two: 意若思 yì ruò sī means roughly 'wish seems like thought' or 'meaning is like what you think', an indication of the nature of the mirror.

The Japanese translator is more even more creative: she reverses the syllables of 望み nozomi 'desire' to yield 溝の mizo no, 'of the ditch' (shown in hiragana as みぞの mizo no in order not to obscure the connection). Fortunately, reversing nozomi yields a real Japanese word, and even better, it vaguely suggests the idea of being trapped in a ditch! Note that it is the syllables, not the individual letters, that are inverted: NO-ZO-MI is reversed to MI-ZO-NO.

The Vietnamese calls the mirror the 'Mirror of Illusion' and explains the derivation of the English name in a footnote.

(For a more thorough treatment, see Word Play: The Mirror of Erised.)

(A summary of this chapter can be found at Harry Potter Facts. Detailed notes on the chapter can be found at Harry Potter Lexicon)

back Chapter 11
Back to Top