Harry Potter in Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese & Mongolian Translation


Important Modern Magical Discoveries



Simplified Chinese (China)
Xiàndài mófǎ de zhòngdà fāxiàn
现代 xiàndài = 'modern, contemporary'.
魔法 mófǎ = 'magic'.
de = connecting particle
重大 zhòngdà = 'important'.
发现 fāxiàn = 'discovery'.
Important Discoveries of Modern Magic
Traditional Chinese (Taiwan)
Xiàndài mófǎ de zhòngdà fāxiàn
現代 xiàndài = 'modern'.
魔法 mófǎ = 'magic'.
de = connecting particle
重大 zhòngdà = 'important'.
發現 fāxiàn = 'development'.
Important Discoveries of Modern Magic
Kindai mahō-kai no shuyō na hakken
近代 kindai = 'modern'.
魔法 mahō = 'magic'.
-kai = 'circles/world'.
no = connecting particle
主要な shuyō na = 'main'.
発見 hakken = 'discovery'.
Main Discoveries in Modern Magical Circles
Vietnamese (Chinese characters show etymology)
Những khám phá pháp thuật hiện đại quan trọng những = plural marker
khám phá (勘破) = 'discovery, revelation'.
pháp thuật (法術) = 'magic'.
hiện đại (現代) = 'modern, contemporary'.
quan trọng (關重) = 'important'.
Important Modern Discoveries in Magic
Mongolian (previous)
Орчин үейин Ид шидийн нээлтүүд
Orchin üiiin Id shidiin neeltüüd
орчин orchin = 'recent'.
үэ üj = 'time' (genitive form).
ид шид id shid = 'magic' (genitive form).
нээлт neelt = 'discovery'.
-үүд -üüd = 'plural'.
Magical Discoveries of Recent Times
Mongolian (new)
Ид шидийн сүүлийн үеийн нээлтүүд
Id shidiin süüliin üiiin neeltüüd
ид шид id shid = 'magic' (genitive form).
сүүл süül = 'end' (genitive form).
үэ üj = 'time' (genitive form).
нээлт neelt = 'discovery'.
-үүд -üüd = 'plural'.
Magical Recent Discoveries


For some reason both Mongolian translations omit the word 'important'.

The CJV translations use different words to represent 'important':

    Both Chinese translations use 重大 zhòngdà 'important', literally 'heavy-large'.

    The Vietnamese word used to translate 'important', quan trọng is a Chinese-style word (關重 guānzhòng) but is not found in Chinese. Literally 'related-heavy'.

    The Japanese word used to translate important, 主要 shuyō, means 'main, principal'.


'Modern' is treated rather differently among languages.

    Both Chinese and Vietnamese use the same word, 現代 / 现代 xiàndài meaning 'modern, contemporary'. In domestic history, this starts after the Communist takeover of China and Vietnam (or in Japan's case, after WWII).

    The Japanese translation uses 近代 kindai, which in domestic history is the period before the Second World War.

    The previous Mongolian translation uses орчин үе orchin üj 'modern times'.

    The new translation uses сүүлийн үе süüliin üj 'recent times'.


This is translated consistently in each translation.

    The Chinese and Japanese translations all use 魔法 mófǎ / mahō, a general term for 'magic'. The literal meaning is 'the way of demons'.

    Unlike the Chinese, which directly translates 'magical' as in English, the Japanese translation refers to 魔法界 mahō-kai 'magical circles, the world of magic'.

    The Vietnamese translation uses pháp thuật (法術), as elsewhere in the books, a term that originally in Chinese referred to human-style magic practised by Daoist (Taoist) masters.

    The Mongolian translators use ид шид id shid 'magic'.


A 'discovery' in the sense used here is 'a thing that has been discovered'.

    The Chinese translators use the verb / noun 發現 / 发现 fāxiàn, where / has a broad range of meanings including 'issue, distribute, depart'. The meaning here is 'become'. The second character / xiàn means 'to appear, manifest'.

    In place of / xiàn Japanese uses the character ken 'to see'. However, the meaning of the whole is very close to that of the Chinese word.

    The Vietnamese term for 'discovery' is khám phá, from Chinese 勘破, a term meaning 'exploration'. The word is explicitly pluralised.

    The Mongolian translations use нээлт neelt 'discovery', a term derived from нээх neekh 'to open'. It is pluralised with -үүд -üüd.

Category: Wizardry

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