Harry Potter in Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese & Mongolian Translation


Holidays With Hags



Simplified Chinese (China)
Yǔ mǔ-yèchā yìqǐ dùjià
= 'with'.
母夜叉 mǔ-yèchā = 'female yaksha' = 'ugly and fierce woman, shrew'.
一起 yìqǐ = 'together'
度假 dùjià = 'have holidays'
Holidays with an Ugly Shrew
Traditional Chinese (Taiwan)
Yǔ wūpó gòngdù jiàqī
= 'with'.
巫婆 wūpó = 'witch'.
共度 gòngdù = 'spend together'.
假期 jiàqī = 'vacation, holidays'.
Spending Holidays with a Witch
Oni-baba to no otsu na kyūka
鬼婆と oni-baba to = 'ogre-granny' + 'with' = 'with a witch/ogress'.
no = connecting particle
オツな otsu na = 'strange, odd; witty, smart, chic'.
休暇 kyūka 'holiday, vacation'.
Chic Holidays with a Witch
Vietnamese (Chinese characters show etymology)
Nghỉ lễ với phù thủy nghỉ lễ = 'holiday for a festival'.
với = 'with'.
phù thủy = 'sorceror'.
Holiday with a Sorceror
Mongolian (previous)
Эмгэн шуламтай өнгөрүүлсэн амралт
Emgen shulam-tai öngörüülsen amralt
эмгэн шулам emgen shulam = 'granny demon' = 'witch' (Comitative form 'with')
өнгрүүлэх öngrüülekh = 'spend time' (Past tense).
амралт amralt = 'holiday, vacation, rest'.
Vacation Spent with a Granny Demon
Mongolian (new)
Эмгэн шуламтай өнгөрүүлсэн амралт
Emgen shulam-tai öngörüülsen amralt
эмгэн шулам emgen shulam = 'granny demon' = 'witch' (Comitative form 'with')
өнгрүүлэх öngrüülekh = 'spend (time)' (Past tense).
амралт amralt = 'holiday, vacation, rest'.
Vacation spent with a Granny Demon

The books in the Gilderoy Lockhart Series follow a simple but humorous pattern in English.

All describe spending time with a particular kind of unsavoury creature.

All are expressed in the form 'X with Y'.

In each case there is alliteration between X and Y (Break with a Banshee, Gadding with Ghouls, Holidays with Hags, etc.).

The interesting points in any translation are:

    How this assortment of unpleasant creatures is translated.

    How the parallel expressions are treated.

    How the effect of the alliteration is reproduced. This is the most difficult task because alliteration is, of course, dependent on the particular sound of words in a language.


A hag is an ugly old woman, the type often identified with a witch.

    The Mainland Chinese version uses the word 母夜叉 mǔ-yèchā or 'female yaksha', where yaksha is a kind of Buddhist demon and 'mother' is normally applied to the female of animals. This is a popular term for fierce and ugly women or 'shrews'.

    The Taiwanese version uses 巫婆 wūpó, literally 'wizard old-woman', which is the most common translation of the English word 'witch'.

    The Japanese uses 鬼婆 oni-baba to, literally 'ogre-granny',an abusive term often applied by children to disliked old women.

    The Mongolian versions both use эмгэн шулам emgen shulam 'granny demon', the term commonly used as a translation of 'witch'. (The previous Mongolian translation uses шимнус shinmus, an alternate form of шулам shulam, at Break with A Banshee.)

    The Vietnamese dispenses with such nuances to use phù thủy, the word for sorcerors in general.


'Holidays' have the same meaning as 'vacation'. The word has been chosen for its alliteration with 'hags'.

    The Mainland translation uses 度假 dùjià 'have or take holidays', the normal term for taking leave from work.

    The Taiwanese version uses the expanded form 共度假期 gòngdù jiàqī, where 共度 gòngdù means 'spend together' and 假期 jiàqī means 'vacation, holidays'.

    Japanese uses the noun 休暇 kyūka, also the usual term for vacation or leave. The verb here, which would normally be 過ごす sugosu 'spend', is omitted. (See below.)

    Vietnamese uses nghỉ lễ, meaning 'festival holiday', also without a verb.

    The Mongolian versions use амралт amralt, which refers to holidays, vacation, or days off work (including weekends). 'Spend (time)' is өнгрүүлэх öngrüülekh. Rather than saying 'spending holidays with hags', the Mongolian says 'holidays (which are) spent with hags'.


The Japanese alliterates 鬼婆 oni-baba with オツな otsu na. Otsu is usually written otsu, indicating the second in a series (the first is ). The meaning has developed in the direction of 'different, strange, odd', and even further as 'witty, smart, chic, having taste'.

Break With A Banshee Gadding With Ghouls Travels With Trolls
Voyages With Vampires Wandering With Werewolves Year With The Yeti

Category: Adventure

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