Chapter 1: The Riddle House
|Simplified Chinese (Mandarin: China)|
Lǐdé'ěr = 'Riddle'.
府 fǔ = 'mansion, residence'.
|The Riddle Mansion|
|Traditional Chinese (Mandarin: Taiwan)|
mí = 'riddle, enigma'.
屋 wū = 'house, room'.
|The Enigmatic House (enigma = Riddle)|
Ridoru no yakata
|リドル Ridoru = 'Riddle'.
の no = connecting particle
館 yakata = 'mansion, manor, palace'.
|The Riddle Mansion|
|리들 Lideul = 'Riddle'.
하우스 hauseu = 'House' (English).
|The Riddle House|
|Vietnamese (Chinese characters show etymology)|
|Ngôi nhà Riddle||ngôi = classifier/counter for houses.
nhà = 'house'.
Riddle = 'Riddle'.
|The Riddle House|
|Ридл Ridl = 'Riddle' (-ийн -iin Genitive form).
байшин baishin = 'building'.
|The Riddle Building (Riddle's building)|
The 'Riddle House' is the house of Tom Riddle (Voldemort)'s family. It is the run-down manor to which he has returned after killing his family half a century ago.
How is 'Riddle' translated?
'Riddle' is the surname of the family that owned the house. 'Riddle' also has the meaning of 'puzzle' or 'enigma'.
- All translations but one simply transliterate the name 'Riddle' or use the English spelling unchanged (Mandarin 里德尔 Lǐdé'ěr, Japanese リドル Ridoru, Korean 리들 Lideul, Vietnamese Riddle, Mongolian Ридл Ridl).
- The Chinese-language translator (Taiwan) plays on the name 'Riddle' by translating it as 謎 mí 'riddle, enigma, puzzle'. The meaning is thus not a house belonging to the Riddles, but an 'enigmatic house'.
How is 'House' translated?
In its basic meaning, a house is a dwelling. An expression like the 'Riddle House' could be applied to any house, large or small, magnificent or humble, that is occupied by a certain family. 4 Privet Drive could be referred to as 'the Dursley house'.
However, 'the Riddle house' has deeper connotations. First, it is the name that the decaying mansion on the hill near Little Hangleton is referred to by the villagers long after its occupants were murdered. Secondly, it used to be the most magnificent house in the area and was occupied by a very well off, rather patrician, but not very nice family.
Despite this, the name is not an official name in the manner of grand residences such as Grosvenor House in London. 'The Riddle House' (with the definite article 'the') is simply the house that the Riddles used to live in.
- The Mainland Chinese translation uses 府 fǔ, a term referring to the mansion of a family of status. In Beijing, old mansion complexes belonging to princes of the last imperial era are still known as 府 fǔ (e.g., Gongwang-fu). The translation suggests that the name 'Riddle House' has semi-formal status.
- The Japanese translation as 館 yakata 'mansion, manor, palace' also refers to a handsome dwelling belonging to a princely or well-off family. However, the name indicates only that this was a mansion belonging to the Riddles and does not indicate that this is formal name for the house.
- The Vietnamese translation uses nhà, a plain word for 'house'. It is combined with ngôi, a classifier/counter for houses. The title refers to a house belonging to the Riddles.
- The Mongolian translation uses байшин baishin 'building', referring to a solid building or structure, although not necessarily a dwelling. (This usage must be understood against the historical reality that most Mongols traditionally lived in yurts.) The title mostly indicates that this building belonged to the Riddles (using the possessive Ридлийн Ridliin).
- The Chinese translation from Taiwan uses 屋 wū, which is used in several Chinese words referring to dwellings (e.g. 房屋 fángwū 屋子 wūzi), with some tendency to regional variation. In the chapter title, 屋 wū is not an independent word but forms part of the compound word 謎屋 mí-wū meaning 'enigmatic house / room'. This use of 屋 has been influenced by Japanese, where 屋 -ya is commonly used to describe shops or establishments.
- The Korean translation is a direct transliteration of the English. It gives the mistaken impression that the house is officially known as 'Riddle House', the sort of name that might be used for an aristocratic house (or a commercial building in the city in areas influenced by British usage).
(Korean appears thanks to "Hiro".)
(Detailed notes on the chapter can be found at Harry Potter Lexicon)
|⇚ Book Title|