Harry Potter in Chinese, Japanese & Vietnamese Translation
Texts of Songs and other Passages


Scattered throughout the Harry Potter books are a variety of songs, poems, prophecies, and other short passages. This section brings together a few of those passages to show you how they are rendered in the Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese translations. For some of them I have added a few notes -- detailed notes in the case of the Description of the Basilisk -- in other cases the passages are simply reproduced without comment. Ultimately, of course, I hope to make some comment on the translation of all of these passages but since running text is a more complex affair than book or chapter titles, I haven't been able to do as much as I'd like.

The Description of the Basilisk is a rather special case as it features analyses of the way that two features of Rowling's style have been translated. One is the relative clauses, which Rowling quite likes and uses in a number of ways. The other is 'for' clauses, another feature of her prose. While these sound stuffy and dry, I think they are far from it. They cut close to a very interesting aspect of language, how people use sentences to express their thoughts.