Chapter Titles in Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese
Chapter 4: At Flourish and Blotts
Where a Vietnamese word has been borrowed from Chinese, the original Chinese characters are shown in parentheses.
Zài Lì-hén Shūdiàn
丽痕 lì-hén = 'beautiful' + 'mark'.
书店 shūdiàn = 'bookshop'.
|In Beautiful Mark bookshop|
Zài "Huálì yǔ Wūhén Shūdiàn" lǐ
華麗 huálì = 'beautiful'.
與 yǔ = 'and' (formal).
污痕 wūhén = 'dirty mark'.
書店 shūdiàn = 'bookshop'.
裡 lǐ = 'inside'.
|Inside 'Beautiful & Blot' bookshop|
Furōrisshu Ando Burottsu shoten
Furōrisshu = 'Flourish'.
アンド ando = 'and' (English).
ブロッツ Burottsu = 'Blotts'.
書店 shoten = 'bookshop'.
|Flourish and Blotts bookshop|
|Vietnamese||Phú quí và cơ hàn||phú quí
(富貴) = 'wealth
và = 'and'.
cơ hàn (饑寒) = 'hunger and cold'.
|Wealth & honours and hunger & cold|
'Flourish and Blotts' looks as though it was established by two gentlemen called Mr Flourish and Mr Blotts, cleverly putting together two words with roughly opposite meanings: 'flourish' meaning a 'flowery embellishment in writing' and 'blot' meaning a 'spot' or 'stain' on the paper.
The translators try valiantly to capture the flavour of the English but with limited success.
The Mainland Chinese version makes the name into a short compound which does not, however, have a very clear meaning ('beautiful mark').
The Taiwanese version uses a more expanded translation ('beautiful and mark') which to some extent conveys the English meaning.
The Japanese simply transliterates the English sound (including the 'and'). However, neither 'flourish' nor 'blot' would be familiar to most Japanese speakers, even those with a reasonable command of English. Moreover, the word 'flourish' is transliterated as furōrisshu, closer to the pronunciation of the English word 'floor-ish' (i.e., resembling a floor) than to 'flourish'.
The Vietnamese translator drifts away from the original English to create a new opposition between 'wealth and honours' on the one hand and 'hunger and cold' on the other. Unfortunately it's doubtful this is appropriate for a bookshop. Indeed, from the chapter title, it's very difficult to tell that this is about a bookshop at all.