Harry Potter in Chinese, Japanese & Vietnamese Translation


An Appraisal of Magical Education in Europe



Simplified Chinese (China)
Ōuzhōu mófǎ jiàoyù pínggū
欧洲 Ōuzhōu = 'Europe'.
魔法 mófǎ = 'magic'.
教育 jiàoyù = 'education'.
评估 pínggū = 'assessment'.
An Assessment of European Magical Education
Traditional Chinese (Taiwan)
Ōuzhōu mófǎ jiàoyù píngjiàn
歐洲 Ōuzhōu = 'Europe'.
魔法 mófǎ = 'magic'.
教育 jiàoyù = 'education'.
評鑑 píngjiàn = 'appraisal and examination'.
An Appraisal of European Magical Education
Yōroppa in okeru mahō kyōiku no ichi-kōsatsu
ヨーロッパ Yōroppa = 'Europe'.
における ni okeru = 'in'.
魔法 mahō = 'magic'.
教育 kyōiku = 'education'.
no = connecting particle
ichi = 'one'.
考察 kōsatsu = 'consideration, study, examination, enquiry'.
A Study of Magical Education in Europe
Vietnamese (Chinese characters show etymology)
Đánh Giá Về Nền Giáo Dục Pháp Thuật Ở Âu Châu

Đánh Giá Nền Giáo Dục Pháp Thuật ở Châu Âu
đánh giá (đánh 'hit, beat' + giá = 'price') = 'estimate, appraise'.
về = 'about, concerning'.
nền = classifier for political, economic, or cultural institutions, activities, or enterprises
giáo dục (教育) = 'education'.
pháp thuật (法術) = 'magic'.
= 'in'.
Âu Châu (歐洲) = 'Europe'.

Châu Âu (洲歐) = 'Europe'.
An Appraisal of (the Institutions of) Magical Education in Europe


'Education' is the same word in all three languages (教育 = jiàoyù, kyōiku, giáo dục).


The original word for Europe in the nineteenth century was 歐羅巴 (in Chinese Ōuluóbā, in Japanese Yōroppa). At the time, Chinese and Japanese shared a common habit of using Chinese characters to write foreign names, although some variation did exist in the actual characters used. (Notice, however, that the Japanese pronunciation differs from the normal reading of these characters, which would be Ōlaha. The pronunciation Yōroppa looks as though it is based on a mixture of English and other names for Europe.)

The name 歐洲 / 欧洲 ('European continent') was then derived by detaching the initial / and adding the character 'continent'. The name 歐洲 / 欧洲 Ōuzhōu in Chinese, 欧州 Ōshū in Japanese (notice that has now been replaced by ), and Âu Châu in Vietnamese is still the identifiably common form shared by all three languages.

However, the three have diverged in usage.

  • In Chinese, the full form 歐羅巴 / 欧罗巴 Ōuluóbā is very infrequently seen. The normal term for Europe is 歐洲 / 欧洲 Ōuzhōu.
  • In Japanese, 欧州 Ōshū is now mostly a formal written expression. The normal term for Europe in general spoken and also often in written Japanese is Yōroppa, now written in katakana as ヨーロッパ instead of the original 欧羅巴.
  • In Vietnamese, the old Chinese term 歐羅巴 (Âu La Ba) is long dead, having been replaced by 歐洲, or rather the quoc ngu form Âu Châu. In a further twist, Âu Châu can also be found 'nativised' as Châu Âu. This puts the original Chinese order of elements ('European continent') into Vietnamese order ('continent European'). The Vietnamese translator uses both Âu Châu and Châu Âu in translating the title of this book at different places.


The English word 'appraisal' embodies the concept of considering or examining in detail, with a view to making a judgement. Literally an appraisal should involve making an informed judgement of the value of something, whether monetary or otherwise. Accordingly, several of the translations include a strong element of 'judging value', 'appraising', or 'evaluating' in translating the title.

    The Mainland version uses the fairly literal 评估 pínggū, which was originally associated with property valuations, although the meaning has now become broader and more abstract and is commonly used in bureaucratic language.

    The Taiwanese version uses academic or bureaucratic language of a more formal cast, namely 評鑑 píngjiàn referring to 'appraisal and examination'. (This word does not appear to be as common in Mainland China as it is in Taiwan).

    The Vietnamese version uses the fairly concrete term đánh giá, which has a range of meanings from the specific ('fix the price') to the abstract ('to assess, appraise').

    Only the Japanese version steers away from translating the literal meaning of 'appraisal'. The Japanese translator uses 考察 kōsatsu, a formal or academic word referring to a consideration, examination, enquiry, or study.


Note that the Japanese uses the typical academic construction における ni okeru. Okeru is a verb meaning 'to be placed'. Literally, ヨーロッパにおける教育 Yōroppa ni okeru kyōiku means 'education that is in Europe'.

Category: Education

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