Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Chapter 9: Grim Defeat
Where a Vietnamese word has been borrowed from Chinese, the original Chinese character is shown in parentheses.
Bùxiáng de shībài
= 'ominous, inauspicious'.
的 de = connecting particle
失败 shībài = 'defeat, failure'.
= 'dog spirit'.
敗退 bàituì = 'retreat in defeat'.
Kyōfu no haiboku
kyōfu = 'terror, dread'.
の no = connecting particle
敗北 haiboku = 'defeat'.
|Vietnamese||Chiến bại ác liệt||chiến bại
(戰敗) = 'defeat,
ác liệt (惡烈) = 'violent, fierce, bitter'.
This chapter refers to Gryffindor's defeat when Cedric Diggory grabs the snitch while Harry is under the spell of the Dementors.
Defeat: The Mainland Chinese version uses 失败 shībài for 'defeat'. The Taiwanese uses 敗退 bàituì 'retreat in defeat'. The Japanese uses 敗北 haiboku. 敗北 (pronounced bàiběi) is also a formal word for 'defeat' in Chinese. (In Japanese, 失敗 shippai would not be appropriate for this title as it doesn't mean 'defeat', it means 'failure' or 'blunder' - See Chapter 2 above). The Vietnamese version uses chiến bại, a term for losses, damage, or defeat in battle.
Grim: This seemingly simple word inspires several different translations. The Mainland Chinese version takes 'grim' as meaning 'ominous' whereas the Japanese version uses an expression meaning 'terrible' or 'terrifying'. Vietnamese uses a term that means 'fierce', 'violent', or 'bitter', often used for fighting. All three are reasonable renditions.
The mystery is the Taiwanese version, which translates 'grim' as 'dog spirit'. 'Dog spirit'? The mystery is solved if you remember that Professor Trelawney saw 'the Grim' in Harry's tea leaves at Chapter 6, a 'giant, spectral dog that haunts churchyards'. The translator has connected 'grim' defeat with the appearance of an enormous shaggy black dog at the Quidditch match.