Harry Potter in Chinese, Japanese & Vietnamese Translation


Prefects Who Gained Power



Simplified Chinese (China)
Jí-zhǎng zěnyàng huòdé quánlì
级长 jízhǎng = 'class captain'.
怎样 zěnyàng = 'how, in what way'.
获得 huòdé = 'gain, take'.
权力 quánlì = 'power, authority'.
How class captains gain(ed) power
Traditional Chinese (Taiwan)
Gōngchéng míngjiù de jízhǎng-men
功成名就 gōngchéng míngjiù = 'be successful and famous'.
de = connecting particle
級長 jízhǎng = 'class captain'.
-men = plural marker
Class captains who became successful and famous
Kenryoku o te ni shita kantokusei-tachi
権力 kenryoku = 'power, authority'
o = object particle.
手にする te ni suru = 'get in hand, get hold of' (Past tense in -ta).
監督生 kantoku-sei = 'supervisory student'.
たち -tachi = plural marker
Prefects who Gained Power
Vietnamese (Chinese characters show etymology)
Những Huynh trưởng đạt tới quyền lực những = plural marker
huynh trưởng (兄長) = 'elder, predecessor' (indicating respect to elder student).
đạt () = 'to attain, achieve'.
tới = 'to arrive at, attain, get'.
quyền lực (權力) = 'power, authority'.
Elder (students) who Attained Power
Mongolian (previous)
Эрх мэдэлд хүрсэн ахлах сурагчид
erkh medeld khürsen akhlakh syragchid
эрх мэдэл erkh medel = 'rights, power, authority' (Dative/locative form).
хүрэх khurekh = 'reach, attain' (Past tense).
ахлах akhlakh = 'senior'.
сурагч suragch = 'pupil, student' (Plural form).
Senior Students who Attained Power
Mongolian (new)
Эрх мэдэлд хүрсэн ахлагч нар
erkh medeld khürsen akhlagch nar
эрх мэдэл erkh medel = 'rights, power, authority' (Dative/locative form).
хүрэх khurekh = 'reach, attain' (Past tense).
ахлагч akhlagch = 'eldest, senior, foreman'.
нар nar = plural.
Seniors who Attained Power

This is the book, described by Ron as 'boring', that Percy was caught reading in a junk shop in Diagon Alley.


A prefect is a student from the final year in school who is given certain powers and responsibilities to supervise other students. The system is designed to cultivate leadership. Prefects are chosen for their maturity and ability to handle people and situations.

Prefects have a difficult task. Having been co-opted to the side of authority, they may be the object of latent or overt resentment. In Hogwarts, Percy Weasley's appointment as a prefect is greatly resented by his younger brothers. Percy lives up to their resentment by asserting his authority arrogantly and ingratiating himself to his superiors.

There is no direct equivalent of prefects in school systems of the east.

    The two Chinese-language translations use 級長 jízhǎng / 级长 jízhǎng referring to 'class captains'. The Taiwanese version clearly marks 'prefects' as plural.

    Japanese uses 監督生 kantoku-sei meaning 'supervisory student'.

    The Vietnamese uses Huynh trưởng, a term that indicates respect to an elder student (the original characters 兄長 mean 'elder brother + older'). Plurality is marked with những. Huynh trưởng unfortunately doesn't convey appear to carry a very clear meaning to Vietnamese speakers.


    权力 / 權力 (quán-lì, kenryoku, quyền lực) is used to translate 'power' in the Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese translations. The power implied by this term is power or authority in the political sense, the right to control or dominate other people. The fact that Percy is reading such a book is a hint at the nature of his ambitions.

    The Mongolian translation uses эрх мэдэл erkh medel meaning 'rights, power, authority' (Эрх erkh and мэдэл medel both mean 'authority, power'.)

    The Taiwanese translator softens the impact with 功成名就 gōngchéng míngjiù 'become success and famous'. This implies merely that Percy is ambitious for a successful career. In normal circumstances the translator could be congratulated for coming up with a more natural translation, but in this case the result is misleading.


    The Mainland Chinese version translates this as 怎样获得 zěnyàng huòdé 'how obtain'. Unlike the English, which appears to be an introduction to the lives of prefects who attained power, the Chinese version clearly positions the book as a guide to attaining power, spelling out Percy's thirst for power more clearly.

    The Japanese translation uses 手にした te ni shita 'get in hand, get hold of, attain'.

    The Vietnamese translation uses đạt tới meaning 'attain'. đạt is equivalent to the Chinese character 'attain'.

    The Mongolian uses the general verb хүрэх khurekh meaning 'reach, attain, arrive at, touch'.

    In the Traditional Chinese (Taiwan) translation, the sense of 'attain' is included in 功成名就 gōngchéng míngjiù ( chéng 'become, succeed' jiù 'accomplish').

Category: Who's Who / Biography

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