Harry Potter in Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese & Mongolian Translation


New Theory of Numerology



Chinese (Mainland)
Shùzǐ zhānbǔ-xué xīn-yuánlǐ

数字 shùzǐ = 'number'.
占卜 zhānbǔ = 'divination'.
xué = 'study, -ology'.
xīn = 'new'.
原理 yuánlǐ = 'principle'

New Principles of Numeral-Divining Study
Chinese (Taiwan)
Mìnglǐ-xué xīnlùn
命理 mìnglǐ = 'principle of fate'.
xué = 'study, -ology'.
xīn = 'new'.
lùn = 'theory'.
New Theory of the Study of the Principles of Fate
Shin sūrei-jutsu riron
shin = 'new'.
数霊 sūrei = '(literally) number spirit' = use of numbers to predict person's personality/future.
jutsu = 'art, technique'.
理論 riron = 'theory'.
New Theory of the Technique of Fortune-telling by Numbers
Vietnamese (Chinese characters show etymology)
Tân Lý Thuyết Số Học

tân () = 'new'.
lý thuyết (理說) = 'theory'.
số học (數學) = 'arithmetic'.

New Theory of Arithmetic

The main stumbling block in this title is the translation of 'Numerology'. Numerology is the study of the occult influence of numbers on human affairs. Numerology is based on the premise that numbers can reveal the future or hidden information. A common example is when each letter in a person's name is given a number, the numbers are added up and the resulting numbers are also added up until a single number is left — the special or lucky number.


    In Numerology and Grammatica, the Mainland translator used 数字学 shùzì-xué, or the study of numbers — quite literally, 'numerology' — at one place, and 数字占卜 shùzì-zhànbǔ 'numeral divination' at another. Here the translator obviously felt that the second was more appropriate, using the term 数字占卜学 shùzǐ zhānbǔ xué, or the 'study of divination by numbers'.

    The Taiwanese translator stays with the earlier translation, 命理學 mìnglǐ-xué, 'study of the principles of fate'.

    The Japanese translator uses 数霊術 sūrei-jutsu, a fortune-telling technique based on numbers such as birthdays, the number of strokes in characters, etc. This is an advance on Numerology and Grammatica, where 'numerology' was translated as 数密学 sūmitsu-gaku, the study of the secrets of numbers.

    The Vietnamese translator used thuật số (術數 in Chinese characters), the 'study of numbers' i.e., 'divination', and later lượng số học (量數學) 'study of quantities' in the title of Numerology and Grammatica. In this book she uses số học (數學), meaning 'arithmetic'. The earliest translation is more accurate.

New Theory

    The Taiwanese translation into Chinese uses 新論 xīnlùn 'new theory', made up of xīn 'new' and lùn, a character with a wide range of meanings ('discussion, assessment, consideration, discourse') but here have the meaning of 'theory'.

    The Japanese translation uses 新...理論 shin ... riron 'new .... theory', where 理論 riron literally 'principle, reason, logic, truth' + 'discussion, assessment, consideration, discourse' is the standard word for 'theory' in both Chinese and Japanese.

    Vietnamese uses tân lý thuyết, consisting of tân 'new' and lý thuyết 'theory'. This is a Chinese-style compound rather than a native word, suitable for abstruse or scientific concepts. Tân is equivalent to the character 'new'. The Vietnamese word for 'theory' is lý thuyết 'theory', equivalent to 理說 in Chinese characters. The meaning is roughly 'principle, reason, logic, truth' + 'say, discuss, explanation, theory'. This term is no longer used in modern Chinese.

    The Mainland translation into Chinese uses 新原理 xīn-yuánlǐ 'new principles'. 原理 yuánlǐ means roughly 'source, origin, basic, primary' + 'principle, reason, logic, truth'.

Category: Divination

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