Chapter 6: The Noble and Most Ancient House of Black

Simplified Chinese (Mandarin: China)
Gāoguì de zuì gǔlǎo de Bùláikè jiāzú
高贵 gāoguì = 'noble'.
de = connecting particle
zuì = 'most'.
古老 gǔlǎo = 'noble'.
de = connecting particle
布莱克 Bùláikè = 'Black (phonetic)'.
家族 jiāzú = 'clan, family'.
The noble, the oldest Black family
Traditional Chinese (Mandarin: Taiwan)
Bùláikè lǎozhái
布萊克 Bùláikè = 'Black (phonetic)'.
lǎo = 'old'.
zhái = 'residence'.
The old Black residence
Kōki-naru yuisho-tadashiki Burakku-ke
高貴なる kōki-naru = 'noble, valuable' (なる naru is a classical form corresponding to ordinary na).
由緒 yuisho = 'pedigree, lineage'
正しき tadashiki = classical form of 正しい tadashii 'correct'.
ブラック家 Burakku-ke = 'Black (phonetic) family'.
The noble Black family of good lineage
고귀하고 유서 깊은 블랙 가문
Gogwihago yuseo gip-eun Beullaeg gamun
Vietnamese (Chinese characters show etymology)
Dòng họ cao quí và lâu đời nhất dòng họ = 'family, clan, line'.
cao quí (高貴) = 'noble'.
= 'and'.
lâu đời = 'ancient, antique, time-honoured'.
nhất = 'most'.
Noble and most ancient line
Mongolian (new)
Эртний сурвалжит язгууртан Блэкин гэр бүл
Ertni survaljit yazguurtan Blekin ger bül

The House of Black is not a physical house, but a family lineage. The title, which is taken from an old tapestry in Sirius Black's house, is pompous and proud. 'Noble' refers to the wizarding nobility. 'Most ancient' implies a long and venerable history.


The Taiwanese translator interprets the title as literally referring to a 'dwelling' or 'residence'. The meaning thus becomes 'old residence'. Note the word used for 'old': lǎo which in this case means 'of long standing', rather than jiù (simplified ) which means physically old.

The Mainland, Japanese Vietnamese translators correctly interpret the meaning of 'house' as 'clan, family, lineage'. See also Book 6 Chapter 10, The House of Gaunt.

Most ancient:

Note that 'most ancient' does not literally mean that the House of Black is the most ancient family; it means simply that the family is very old. This appears to have escaped the Chinese and Vietnamese translators, who literally render 'most ancient' as 'the most ancient, the oldest'. The Japanese translation 由緒正しき yuisho-tadashiki means 'of good lineage, of ancient stock' and is a good translation of the English term ancient. Moreover, the entire tone of the Japanese, using the classical forms 高貴なる kōki-naru and 由緒正しき yuisho-tadashiki, is highly appropriate to the snobbish tone of the English.


布萊克 / 布莱克 Bùláikè in the Chinese and ブラック Burakku in Japanese are purely phonetic, and do not carry the meaning 'black'. The Vietnamese translator omits 'Black'.

(Detailed notes on the chapter can be found at Harry Potter Lexicon)

Chapter 5
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