Harry Potter in Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese & Mongolian Translation


Magical Draughts and Potions



Simplified Chinese (China)
Mófǎ yàojì yǔ yàoshuǐ
魔法 mófǎ = 'magic'.
药剂 yàojì = 'medicament, drug'.
= 'and'.
药水 yàoshuǐ = 'medicine water' = '(liquid) medicine'.
Magical Medicaments and Medicines
Traditional Chinese (Taiwan)
Mófǎ yàojì yǔ yàoshuǐ
魔法 mófǎ = 'magic'.
藥劑 yàojì = 'medicament, drug'.
= 'and'.
藥水 yàoshuǐ = 'medicine water' = '(liquid) medicine'.
Magical Medicaments and Medicines
Mahō-yaku chōgō-hō
魔法 mahō = 'magic'.
-yaku = 'medicine, drug'.
調合 chōgō = 'compounding, preparation'.
-hō = 'method'.
Methods of Preparation of Magical Drugs
Vietnamese (Chinese characters show etymology)
Đề cương phép lạ và độc dược đề cương (提綱) = 'summary, thesis, draft'.
phép lạ = 'magical'.
= 'and'.
độc dược (毒藥) = 'poison medicine'.
Magical Theses and Poison Medicines
Mongolian (previous)
Шидэт түүхий эд болон шидэт үрэл
Shidet tüükhii ed bolon shidet üdel
шидэт shidet = 'having magic'.
түүхий эд tüükhii ed = 'raw materials'.
болон bolon = 'and'.
үрэл ürel = 'pill'.
Magic Raw Material and Pills
Mongolian (new)
Шидэт ханд ба уусмал
Shidet hand ba uusmal
шидэт shidet = 'having magic'.
ханд khand = 'decoction, extract, infusion'.
ба ba = 'and'.
уусмал uusmal = 'solution'.
Magic Decoctions and Solutions

'Draughts and Potions':

In English, draughts and potions are liquid preparations. 'Potions' has an old-fashioned, unscientific sound. For some reason this simple book title seems prone to reinterpretation and misinterpretation:

    The two Chinese translations use the same terms, with the Mainland copying the Taiwanese. The term 藥劑 (药剂) yàojì refers to tinctures, serums, inoculations, and other medications made up according to a prescription. 藥水 (药水) yàoshuǐ refers to liquid medicines. The overall meaning follows the English original.

    The Japanese translator openly departs from the English by omitting mention of 'draughts' or 'potions'. Instead she encapsulates the purpose of the textbook as providing instruction in 'preparing medicines'.

    The Vietnamese translator mistakes the word 'draught' for 'draft (of a document), summary', which she translates as đề cương ('summary, thesis, draft'). Converted back into English, the Vietnamese name means 'Magical Theses and Poison Medicines' (see mistranslations). The word độc dược refers to medicines that contain poisonous ingredients but doesn't imply the medicines themselves are poisonous.

    The previous Mongolian translation also goes rather badly wrong, interpreting 'draughts' as 'raw material' (түүхий эд tüükhii ed) and 'potions' as 'pills' (үрэл ürel). The translation seems to have suffered from bad editing since 'potion' is later correctly translated as уусмал uusmal 'solution' in the title of Book One Chapter 8.

    The newer Mongolian translation rectifies this by translating 'draught' as ханд khand 'decoction, tincture, extract, infusion' and 'potion' as уусмал uusmal 'solution'.

    Category: Potions

    arrow up