Bathrobe's Harry Potter in Chinese, Japanese & Vietnamese Translation
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The Titles of Magical Books in Harry Potter

 

Practical Defensive Magic and Its Use Against the Dark Arts

 

Chinese (Mainland) 实用防御魔法及其对黑魔法的克制
Shíyòng fángyù mófǎ jí qí duì hēi-mófǎ de kèzhì
实用 shíyòng = 'practical'.
防御 fángyù = 'defence'.
魔法 mófǎ = 'magic'.
= 'and'.
= 'its, their'.
dùi = 'towards, regarding'.
hēi = 'black'.
魔法 mófǎ = 'magic'.
de = connecting particle
克制 kèzhì = 'control'.
Practical defensive magic and its control of black magic
Chinese (Taiwan) 實用防禦魔法及其對抗黑魔法之使用
Shíyòng fángyù mófǎ jí qí dùikàng hēi-mófǎ zhī shǐyòng
實用 shíyòng = 'practical'.
防禦 fángyù = 'defence'.
魔法 mófǎ = 'magic'.
= 'and'.
= 'its, their'.
對抗 dùikàng = 'to resist, oppose, counter'.
hēi = 'black'.
魔法 mófǎ = 'magic'.
zhī = connecting particle (classical or formal)
使用 shǐyòng = 'use'.
Practical defensive magic and its use for opposing black magic
Japanese 実践的防衛術と闇の魔術に対するその使用法
Jissen-teki bōei-jutsu to yami no majutsu ni taisuru sono shiyō-hō
実践的 jissen-teki = 'practical' (as opposed to 'theoretical').
防衛 bōei = 'defence'.
-jutsu = 'technique, art'.
to = 'and'.
yami = 'darkness'.
no = connecting particle
魔術 majutsu = 'magic (the craft of magic)'.
に対する ni taisuru = 'towards, against' ( ni = general particle meaning 'at', 'to' etc., 対する taisuru = 'to be directed at').
その sono = 'its'.
使用 shiyō = 'use'.
-hō = 'method'.
Practical defence technique and its method of use against dark magic
Vietnamese Pháp Thuật Phòng Vệ Thiết Thực Và Ứng Dụng Phòng Chống Nghệ Thuật Hắc Ám

Pháp Thuật Phòng Thủ Thực Tiễn và Ứng Dụng Chống Lại Nghệ Thuật Hắc Ám
pháp thuật (法術) = 'magic'.
phòng vệ (防衛) = 'defence'.
thiết thực (切實) = 'effective, efficacious, realistic, real'.
= 'and'.
ứng dụng (應用) = 'application, use'.
phòng chống = 'to protect against'.
nghệ thuật (藝術) = 'arts'.
hắc ám (黑暗) = 'dark'.

phòng thủ (防守) = 'defend'.
thực tiễn (實踐) = 'practice'.
Chống Lại = 'resist'.
Effective defensive magic and its use to protect against the dark arts

Practical defensive magic

实用防御魔法/ 實用防禦魔法 shíyòng fángyù mófǎ ('practical defence magic') is used by both Chinese translators. The word 实用 / 實用 means 'actual use' or 'practical use'. This is a fairly straightforward literal translation.

The Vietnamese pháp thuật phòn vệ thiết thực is also a fairly literal translation. Thiết thực is a word with a broad range of usage meaning here 'effective' or 'practical'. The later translation in Book 7, pháp thuật phòng thủ thực tiễn, despite some differences in word choice, is similarly quite literal. Thực tiễn refers to 'practice' as opposed to theory.

Similarly, instead of 実用 jitsuyō, the Japanese equivalent to 實用 ('practical use'), the Japanese translator chooses 実践的 jissen-teki. 実践 jissen, which is cognate with Vietnamese thực tiễn, is somewhat more academic in tone and similarly refers to 'practice' as opposed to 'theory'. The suffix -teki is a peculiarly Japanese usage meaning '-al' or '-ical' that was first adopted in the 19th century and is quite different from Chinese de, which is simply a grammatical connecting particle

The Japanese version omits the word 'magic' altogether: 防衛術 bōei-jutsu means 'technique/art of defence'. The suffix -jutsu indicates practical techniques.

'Its use against': Nominalisation

Grammatically, 'its use against the dark arts' is derived from an underlying sentence structure, 'to use practical defensive magic against the dark arts'. The process of derivation is called 'nominalisation' because it converts the verb 'to use' into a noun, 'use'. In English nominalisation is very common; indeed, it is part and parcel of the way we write 'sophisticated' sentences. CJV languages also commonly use nominalisations, but historically the practice appears to have spread under the heavy influence of Western languages. Rendering English nominalisations in CJV languages is not necesssarily as easy as it looks.

In the English, the nominalisation goes like this:

'to use practical defensive magic against the dark arts' > 'the use of practical defensive magic against the dark arts' > 'its use against the dark arts'

The process is fairly simple; just change 'to use xx' into 'the use of xx'. The object of the verb 'to use', i.e., 'practical defensive magic', stays exactly where it is and is still the object in the nominalised construction.

Let's first look at the Taiwanese translation and how it handles this process.

使用實用防禦魔法對抗黑魔法
shǐyòng shíyòng fángyù mófǎ duìkàng hēi-mófǎ
'To use practical defensive magic to counter black magic'
> 實用防禦魔法的對抗黑魔法的使用
shíyòng fángyù mófǎ de duìkàng hēi-mófǎ de shǐyòng
'The counter-black-magic use of practical defensive magic'
> 其對抗黑魔法之使用
dùikàng hēi-mófǎ zhī shǐyòng
'Its counter-black-magic use'

The expression 'to use against', in English "verb + preposition", is expressed as the verb 對抗 dùikàng ('to resist, oppose, counter') in this translation.

The problems of nominalisation in Chinese become apparent at the second stage, which results in a clunky "x de x de x" construction. This is like using ".. of .. of .. " in English (which is in the reverse order, of course). However, the Chinese and English constructions can't be equated; Chinese de is also used for relative clauses ('the x that...'), and that is the function of the second de in the sentence. The meaning of the two de's can be interpreted as

'the use of practical defensive magic which counters black magic'.

But however the structure is viewed, the point is that Chinese is unable to convert sentences into nominalisations quite as effortlessly as English. They are by nature rather clunky.

In the final version, the first de disappears into 'of it, its, their', a Classical Chinese word more typical of written or literary language. The second de is converted into zhī , also a feature of a written style that is inherited from Classical Chinese. The nominalisation that emerges, 其對抗黑魔法之使用 qí dùikàng hēi-mófǎ zhī shǐyòng, is succinct and relatively elegant.

The Mainland Chinese version follows a different tack.

实用防御魔法克制黑魔法
shíyòng fángyù mófǎ kèzhì hēi-mófǎ
'Practical defensive magic controls black magic'
> 实用防御魔法的对黑魔法的克制
shíyòng fángyù mófǎ de duì hēi-mófǎ de kèzhì
'The against-black-magic control of practical defensive magic' / 'Control of practical defensive magic against black magic'
> 其对黑魔法的克制
duì hēi-mófǎ de kèzhì
'Its against-black-magic control'

'To use against' is translated as 克制 kèzhì 'to control'.

The first point to note is that the verb 'to use' does not appear, which simplifies the grammatical structure.

At the second stage, there are still two de's, but they connect only nouns ('the control of practical defensive magic against black magic'). There is no relative clause as in the Taiwanese translation. Still, the original grammatical relations must be made clear to make the sentence understandable. This is achieved by adding a duì before 黑魔法 hēi-mófǎ: 黑魔法的克制 duì hēi-mófǎ de kèzhì, that is, 'its control against black magic'. This is because 黑魔法的克制 hēi-mófǎ de kèzhì 'the control of black magic', without the duì, would be interpreted as 'control by black magic'.

The final version changes 实用防御魔法的 Shíyòng fángyù mófǎ de 'practical defensive magic's' to 'its, their', as in the Taiwanese version. The result looks very similar to the Taiwanese, but as we have seen, it is actually different grammatically.

The Japanese version runs as follows:

実践的防衛術を闇の魔術に対して使用する
jissen-teki bōei-jutsu o yami no majutsu ni taishite shiyō suru
'to use practical defensive skills against dark magic'.
> 実践的防衛術の闇の魔術に対する使用
jissen-teki bōei-jutsu no yami no majutsu ni taisuru shiyō
'the use of practical defensive skills against dark magic'.
> 闇の魔術に対するその使用
yami no majutsu ni taisuru sono shiyō
'its use against dark arts'

'To use against' is translated quite literally as に対して使用する ni taishite shiyō suru. This is somewhat less confrontational in meaning than the original English because に対して ni taishite means simply 'directed at' or 'with regard to'.

At the second stage the translator changes the verb 使用する shiyō suru into a noun by simply dropping the する suru. A more rigid approach to nominalisation would require no at all places, including after に対して ni taishite, to yield 実践的防衛術の闇の魔術に対して使用 jissen-teki bōei-jutsu no yami no majutsu ni taishite no shiyō 'use of practical defensive magic against dark magic'. Instead, the translator uses an attributive verb form, に対する ni taisuru ('which is directed at'), which is more natural and less unwieldy.

The Vietnamese translation runs as follows:

ứng dụng pháp thuật phòng vệ thiết thực phòng chống nghệ thuật hắc ám
'to apply practical defensive magic to protect against the dark arts'
> ứng dụng pháp thuật phòng vệ thiết thực phòng chống nghệ thuật hắc ám
'to apply practical defensive magic to protect against the dark arts'
> ứng dụng phòng chống nghệ thuật hắc ám
'apply to protect against the dark arts'

The Vietnamese translation ửng dụng phòng chống... makes explicit the concept of 'against' with the verb phòng chống 'to protect against/to ward off' in the expression phòng chống nghệ thuật hắc ám ('protect against the dark arts').

The Vietnamese translator makes minimal changes from the original sentence to the final form. The only difference is the omission of the object, pháp thuật phòng vệ thiết thực, from the book title. There is nothing explicit to indicate that this is a nominalisation.

Category: Dark Arts

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