Harry Potter in Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese & Mongolian Translation


Notable Magical Names of Our Time



Simplified Chinese (China)
Dāngdài zhūmíng mófǎ-jiā mínglù
当代 dāngdài = 'contemporary'.
著名 zhūmíng = 'notable'.
魔法家 mófǎ-jiā = 'magician'.
名录 mínglù = 'list'.
List of Notable Contemporary Magicians
Traditional Chinese (Taiwan)
Jīnrì mófǎ míngliú
今日 jīnrì = 'present day'.
魔法 mófǎ = 'magic'.
名流 míngliú = 'prominent personages'.
Present-day Magical Prominent Personages
Gendai no chomei na mahō-zukai
現代 gendai = 'present'.
no = connecting particle
著名な chomei na = 'notable'.
魔法使い mahō-zukai = 'magician'.
Notable Magicians of the Present Era
Vietnamese (Chinese characters show etymology)
Những tên tuổi huyền bí đáng chú ý của thời đại chúng ta những = plural marker
tên tuổi = '(people of) reputation, fame'.
huyền bí (玄秘) = 'mystical, occult'.
đáng = 'deserve, merit'.
chú ý (注意) = 'note, attention'.
của = 'belonging to, of'.
thời đại (時代) = 'time, era'.
chúng ta = 'we, our'.
Noteworthy Mystical People of Fame of our Era
Mongolian (previous)
Манай үеийн суутнууд
Manai üiin suutnyyd
манай manai = 'our'.
үе üj = 'time, era' (genitive form).
суутан suutan = 'genius, outstanding person'.
-ууд -uud = plural
Geniuses of Our Time
Mongolian (new)
Манай цаг үеийн алдарт шидэт нэрс
Manai tsag üiin aldart shidet ners
манай manai = 'our'.
цаг үе tsag üj = 'time, era' (genitive form).
алдарт aldart = 'famous'.
алдар + т aldar + t = 'fame + having'.
шидэт shidet = 'having magic, magical'.
шид + эт shid + et = 'magic + having'.
нэрс ners = 'name' (plural) = 'list'.
Famous Magical Names of Our Time

Translated in different ways by different translators. The differences reflect interesting features of the English original, including the word 'names' and 'our time', which appear to have escaped the mechanical substitution of one-to-one translation equivalents in the modern era.


Four translations use different approaches to rendering 'notable'.

    The Vietnamese translation uses a fairly literal rendering as đáng chú ý 'deserve/merit note/attention', that is, worthy or note or attention. chú ý is Chinese 注意 'make note of, pay attention to'.

    The Simplified Chinese (China) and Japanese versions use the word 著名 (Ch: zhūmíng, J: chomei 'notable, prominent').

    The new Mongolian translation uses алдарт aldart 'famous', where алдар aldar means 'name, renown, fame' and -t means 'having'. The overall meaning is 'renowned, famous'.

Two translations avoid directly translating the word 'notable':

    The Taiwanese (Chinese) translation subsumes the concept of 'notable' in the word 名流 míngliú 'prominent personages'.

    The former Mongolian translation follows a similar strategy by using the word суутан suutan 'genius, outstanding person'.

Magical Names

'Magical names' refers to the names of magical people. The book is essentially a compendium of important or well-known magicians in recent times. There is a large amount of variation in translation:

Magical names

    The new Mongolian translation uses шидэт нэрс shidet ners, literally 'magic names'. However, нэрс ners 'name + plural -s can also mean 'list'.


    The Japanese translation uses only 魔法使い mahō-zukai meaning 'magician'. There is no mention of a 'list' or of 'names'.

List of magicians

    The Mainland Chinese translation uses two words, one meaning 'magician' (魔法家 mófǎ-jiā), the other meaning 'list' (名录 mínglù 'register of names').

Magical personages

    The Taiwanese version uses 魔法名流 mófǎ míngliú 'magic prominent personages'. 名流 míngliú is a compact term used for prominent people.

    The Vietnamese translation uses những tên tuổi huyền bí 'mystical/magical (persons) of reputation'. Những is a plural marker. There is no mention of a 'list'.

Outsanding persons

    The previous Mongolian translation uses суутнууд suutnuud meaning only 'geniuses, outstanding persons'. There is no mention of 'magical' or of a 'list'.

Our Time

Interestingly, 'our time' does not have a standard or uniform method of translation.

    The Simplified Chinese (China) translation uses 当代 dāngdài 'contemporary' (literally 'this era').

    The Japanese translation uses 現代 gendai 'modern', referring to the closest period to the present day.

    The Taiwanese (Chinese) translation uses 今日 jīnrì 'today, present day'.

    The Vietnamese translation literally translates it as của thời đại chúng ta 'of our time' (của 'of', thời đại (時代) 'time, era', chúng ta 'us, our').

    The Mongolian translations also translate this literally as манай үеийн manai üiin or манай цаг үеийн manai tsag üiin 'of our time/era', using the genitive of үе üi.
(For more on 'modern', see Magical History.)

Category: Who's Who / Biography

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