Harry Potter in Chinese, Japanese & Vietnamese Translation




Simplified Chinese (China) 全景望远镜
Quánjǐng wàngyuǎnjìng
全景 quánjǐng = 'all view (panoramic view)'.
望远镜 wàngyuǎnjìng = 'telescope' (literally 'view-distance-mirror').
Panoramic telescope
Traditional Chinese (Taiwan)

Quánxiào wàngyuǎnjìng

全效 quánxiào = 'all effect (omni-effect)'.
望遠鏡 wàngyuǎnjìng = 'telescope' (literally 'view-distance-mirror').
Omni-effective telescope
Japanese 万眼鏡 オムニオキュラー
Mangankyō (Omuniokyurā)
万眼鏡 mangankyō = 'ten-thousand eye mirror'.
オムニオキュラー Omuniokyurā = 'Omniocular'.
Ten-thousand eye scope
Vietnamese Ống dòm huyền bí ống dòm= 'binoculars'.
huyền bi (玄秘) = 'mystical, occult, mysterious'.
Mystical binoculars
(Where a Vietnamese word has been borrowed from Chinese, the original Chinese character is shown in parentheses.)

Omnioculars are a special kind of viewing glasses designed for watching Quidditch in spectacular detail. Omnioculars are described in the chapter Bagman and Crouch as looking like 'brass binoculars' that are 'covered in all sorts of weird knobs and dials'.

The word 'Omnioculars' is modelled on 'binoculars'. Like 'binoculars' (usually known as 'a pair of binoculars'), 'Omnioculars' occurs in the plural.

  • 'Binoculars' = 'bi' (two) + 'ocular' (of the eyes).
  • 'Omnioculars' = 'omni' (every) + 'ocular' (of the eyes).

A monocular telescope can only be viewed through one eye. Binoculars consist of two telescopes joined together to be viewed with both eyes. 'Omnioculars', however, have nothing to do with the number of eyes possessed by the viewer. They get their name from their array of functions which allow Quidditch spectators to replay or slow down the action, or flash up a play-by-play breakdown. You can see everything to be seen in the match, from every different aspect.

Binoculars and Omnioculars

As in English, the names of the Omniculars in translation are modelled on the word 'binoculars' in each particular language. The table shows how 'binoculars' is translated at the end of Bagman and Crouch, followed by the translation of 'Omnioculars'.

Language Chinese (simplified) Chinese (traditional) Japanese Vietnamese
Binoculars 双筒望远镜
shuāngtǒng wàngyuǎnjìng
shuāngtǒng wàngyuǎnjìng
ống dòm
Literal Meaning Twin-tube view-distance-mirror (= telescope) Twin-tube view-distance-mirror (= telescope) Twin-eye mirror Peeping tubes
Omnioculars 全景望远镜
quánjǐng wàngyuǎnjìng
quánxiào wàngyuǎnjìng
(pronounced オムニオキュラーOmuniokyurā)
ống dòm huyền bi
Literal meaning All-scene view-distance-mirror (= telescope) All-effect view-distance-mirror (= telescope) Ten thousand-eye mirror Mystical peeping tubes

The Chinese word for 'binoculars' is based on that of the 'telescope', namely 望遠鏡 / 望远镜 wàngyuǎnjìng or 'view-distance-mirror' ( jìng 'mirror' is used for optical devices like 'microscope' and 'telescope' and is actually equivalent to '-scope'). Binoculars are 'twin-tube telescopes'. To render 'omni', the Chinese translators replace 雙筒 / 双筒 shuāngtǒng ('twin-tube') with words meaning 'all-view' or 'all-effect'. The result is a telescope that presents the entire panorama (全景 quánjǐng) or, alternatively, has all imaginable features and functions (全效 quánxiào).

The Japanese translator takes the 'twin-eye mirror/scope' and makes it into a 'ten-thousand eye mirror/scope'. The word 'ten thousand' is traditionally used in both Chinese and Japanese to indicate extremely large numbers. The name could be approximated in English as 'kilo-oculars' or 'mega-oculars'. (Actually, 'myria-oculars' would be more correct, but 'myria-' is very seldom used in English). Incidentally, the Japanese word for 'kaleidoscope' is 万華鏡 mangekyō or 'ten-thousand flower scope'.

The translator puts オムニオキュラー omuniokyurā in rubi above 万眼鏡, indicating that this is how it is supposed to be read. Thus, the characters represent the meaning 'myria-oculars' while the rubi indicate that it is supposed to be read omuniokyurā instead of (or in addition to) mangankyō.

The standard Vietnamese word for 'binoculars' is ống nhòm, meaning 'peeping tubes'. The Vietnamese translator, being from the South, uses the Southern variant of this name, ống dòm . (The two names are actually closely related since both nhòm and dòm mean 'to peep'.) In order to distinguish Omnioculars from ordinary 'peeping tubes', the translator adds the word huyền bi 'mysterious, mystical'.

Back to Top