Harry Potter in Chinese, Japanese & Vietnamese Translation
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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Chapter Titles in Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese


Chapter 4: At Flourish and Blotts

 

(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) 在丽痕书店
Zài Lì-hén Shūdiàn
zài = 'in'.
丽痕 lì-hén = 'beautiful' + 'mark'.
书店 shūdiàn = 'bookshop'.
In Beautiful Mark bookshop
Chinese (Taiwan) 在『華麗與污痕書店』裡
Zài "Huálì yǔ Wūhén Shūdiàn" lǐ
zài = 'in'.
華麗 huálì = 'beautiful'.
= 'and' (formal).
污痕 wūhén = 'dirty mark'.
書店 shūdiàn = 'bookshop'.
= 'inside'.
Inside 'Beautiful & Blot' bookshop
Japanese フローリッシュ・アンド・ブロッツ書店
Furōrisshu Ando Burottsu shoten
フローリッシュ 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 and honours'.
= '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.

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

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