Harry Potter in Chinese, Japanese & Vietnamese Translation



The Titles of Magical Books in Harry Potter


Great Wizards of the Twentieth Century


Chinese (Mainland) 二十世纪的大巫师
Èr-shí shìjì de dà-wūshī
二十 èr-shí = 'twenty'.
世纪 shìjì = 'century'.
de = connecting particle
= 'major'.
巫师 wūshī = 'wizard'.
Great Wizards of the 20th Century
Chinese (Taiwan) 二十世紀的偉大巫師
Èr-shí shìjì de wěidà wūshī
二十 èr-shí = 'twenty'.
世紀 shìjì = 'century'.
de = connecting particle
偉大 wěidà = 'great'.
巫師 wūshī = 'wizard'.
Great Wizards of the 20th Century
Japanese 二十世紀の偉大な魔法使い
Nijisseiki no idai na mahō-zukai
二十世紀 nijisseiki = '20 century'.
no = connecting particle
偉大な idai na = 'great'.
魔法使い mahō-zukai = 'magician'.
Great Magicians of the 20th Century
Vietnamese Những phù thủy vĩ đại của thế kỷ hai mươi những = plural marker
sự kiện (事件) = 'fact, matter'.
phù thủy = 'sorceror'.
vĩ đại (偉大) = 'great'.
của = 'belonging to, of'.
thế kỷ (世紀) = 'century'.
hai mươi = 'twenty'.
Great Magicians of the 20th Century

Shared Vocabulary:

'Great' is the same word 偉大 (Chinese wěidà, Japanese idai, Vietnamese vĩ đại) in the three languages. 'Century' also uses the same word.


Manipulation of magic in some form or another is found the world over. Shamanism (communication with the spirits) is found in many different cultures. However, the connotations of words for 'wizard' diverge according to the culture. Under Christianity, wizards and (more particularly) witches came to have extremely bad connotations. In some other cultures the role of the magic-makers was regarded in a more positive light, as seen in words like 'medicine man'.

The word for 'wizard' in Chinese traces back to ancient Chinese shamanism, under which women (known as , among other names) danced to invoke the gods and acted as a medium for the words of the gods. (In Japan, female attendants at Shinto shrines are still known as 巫女 miko). Perhaps because of its primitive flavour, the word 巫师 wūshī does not have particularly favourable connotations in Chinese.

The Japanese word for 'wizard' simply means 'user of magic'. It seems to have been developed as a standard translation for the English word 'wizard'.

The Vietnamese word phù thủy is a purely Vietnamese term for a wizard or sorceror.

Category: Who's Who / Biography

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