Harry Potter in Chinese, Japanese & Vietnamese Translation




Simplified Chinese (China) 戈布石
戈布 gēbù = 'gebu' (phonetic).
shí = 'stone'.
Gebu stone
Traditional Chinese (Taiwan) 多多石
多多 duōduō = 'many-many'.
shí = 'stone'.
Many-many stone
Japanese ゴブストーン
ゴブストーン Gobusutōn = 'gobstone' (English).
Vietnamese Gobstones
Gobstones (pronounced Góp-xờ-tôn)
(Where a Vietnamese word has been borrowed from Chinese, the original Chinese character is shown in parentheses.)

Gobstones is a wizarding game resembling marbles, but unlike marbles, gobstones have the unpleasant habit of squirting a nasty-smelling liquid into the other player's face when they lose a point. The name 'gobstones' may be derived from the British slang verb 'to gob', meaning 'to spit'. 'Gob' as a noun refers to phlegm that has been spat out.

The Japanese translation and the Vietnamese translation both use the English term. The Japanese uses the katakana script and leaves off the final 's', as ゴブストーン Gobusutōn. The original Vietnamese version gives the pronunciation as Góp-xờ-tôn in a footnote. However, this footnote does not appear in the consolidated single-volume edition.

The Chinese translator mixes a representation of English 'gob' (rendered as 戈布 gēbù) with the Chinese word for 'stone', shí.

The Taiwanese translator uses 多多石 duōduō-shí, meaning 'many-many stones'. A look at a Taiwanese English-Chinese dictionary reveals one meaning of 'gob' as 'a lump of (e.g., a gob of butter)' or 'a large amount of (e.g., she must have gobs of money)'. Perhaps this is the origin of the name 多多石 duōduō-shí, although that is not the intended nuance in the English original.

arrow up