Harry Potter in Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese & Mongolian Translation


The Rise and Fall of the Dark Arts



Simplified Chinese (China)
Hēi-mófǎ de xīngshuāi
黑魔法 hēi-mófǎ = 'black magic'.
de = connecting particle
兴衰 xīngshuāi = 'rise and fall'.
The Rise and Fall of Black Magic
Traditional Chinese (Taiwan)
Hēi-mófǎ de xīngqǐ yǔ shuāiluò
黑魔法 hēi-mófǎ = 'black magic'.
de = connecting particle
興起 xīngqǐ= 'rise'.
= 'and'.
衰落 shuāiluò = 'fall'.
The Rise and Fall of Black Magic
Kuro-majutsu no eiko-seisui

Yami no majutsu no seisui
kuro = 'black'.
魔術 majutsu = 'magic crafts'.
no = connnecting particle
栄枯 eiko = 'flourish and decay'.
盛衰 seisui = 'rise and fall'.

yami = 'darkness, shadow'.
The Rise and Fall of the Black Magic Arts

The Rise and Fall of the Dark Magic Arts
Vietnamese (Chinese characters show etymology)
Thăng trầm của nghệ thuật Hắc ám

Sự Thăng Trầm Của Nghệ Thuật Hắc Ám
thăng trầm (昇沉) = 'rise and sink'.
của = 'belonging to, of'.
nghệ thuật (藝術) = 'arts'.
hắc ám (黑暗) = 'dark'.

sự = classifier for nouns denoting actions, states, events, etc.
The Rise and Fall of the Dark Arts
Mongolian (previous)
Хар хүчний сэргэн мандалт ба уналт
Khar khüchnii sergen mandalt ba unalt
хар хүч khar khüch = 'black force' (genitive form).
сэргэн мандалт sergen mandalt = 'Renaissance'.
ба ba = 'and'.
уналт unalt = 'fall'.
The Renaissance and Fall of the Dark Forces
Mongolian (new)
Хар шидийн ухааны сэргэлт ба уналт
Khar shidiin ukaanii sergelt ba unalt
хар чид khar shid = 'black magic' (genitive form).
ухаан ukhaan = 'subject, discipline, science' (genitive form).
сэргэлт sergelt = 'rise'.
ба ba = 'and'.
уналт unalt = 'fall'.
The Rise and Fall of Black Magic

This is the third book where Hermione read about Harry Potter before she met him.

Dark Arts:

'Dark Arts' in Harry Potter can be understood as being similar to 'black magic' or 'dark magic'.

    The Chinese translations (Mainland and Taiwan) both translate it as 'black magic': 黑魔法 hēi mófǎ ( hēi 'black' + 魔法 mófǎ 'magic').

    At Book 1, the Japanese translator uses the term for 'black magic', 黒魔術 kuro-majutsu, 'black magic arts/techniques'. At Book 7, however, she substitutes yami 'darkness' for kuro 'black', yielding 闇の魔術 yami no majutsu 'dark magic techniques'. (Note: in Chinese, 魔術 / 魔术 móshù would be inappropriate as it is now identified with 'magic tricks' or 'conjuror's tricks', like pulling rabbits out of hats, etc.)

    The Vietnamese translator uses nghệ thuật hắc ám for 'Dark Arts'. 'Dark' is hắc ám, a Sino-Vietnamese word (Chinese 黑暗) that the translator may have chosen because it matches the word used for 'arts', nghệ thuật, which is also Sino-Vietnamese. Nghệ thuật is a literal translation of 'arts' in English and refers to artistic works or creative skills. The translator's choice of a literal translation here is slightly curious.

    The two Mongolian translations use different terms. The previous translation uses хар хүч khar khüch, literally 'black force'. This term can also be used for 'Black Power', a completely different concept.

    The new translation uses хар шид khar shid 'black magic'. The 'dark arts' is translated as хар шидийн ухаан khar shidiin ukhaan, 'black magic science', where ухаан ukhaan is a term meaning 'science, branch of knowledge' that is used in expressions like анагаах ухаан angaakh ukhaan 'medicine', гүн ухаан gun ukhaan 'deep learning = philosophy', and тооны ухаан toonii ukhaan 'mathematics'.

Rise and Fall:

Each of the three CJV versions use a different expression for 'rise and fall', but all are based on Chinese roots. Mongolian is completely independent.

    The Chinese (Taiwan translation) uses 興起與衰落 xīngqǐ yǔ shuāiluò 'rise and fall'.

    In the Mainland translation, this is condensed into the more economical 兴衰 xīngshuāi (興衰).

    Japanese 栄枯盛衰 eiko-seisui 'rise and fall, prosperity and decline' is a poignant term for the rise and fall of fortunes in history. The Japanese translator is inconsistent, however, and switches from 栄枯盛衰 eiko-seisui to just 盛衰 seisui 'prosperity and decline' at Book 7.

    The Vietnamese thăng trầm is a little weaker as it can mean simply 'ups and downs'. The Vietnamese translator is slightly inconsistent in translating the title in different places. In the second mention she adds the classifier sự.

    The Mongolian translations use two alternative forms for 'rise and fall'. The previous translation uses сэргэн мандалт sergen mandalt for 'rise' while the new translation uses сэргэлт sergelt. Сэргэн мандалт sergen mandalt (сэргэх sergekh 'revive, restore' + мандалт mandalt 'rise', from мандах mandakh 'to rise') is the usual term for the Renaissance. Сэргэлт sergelt 'revival, restoration' has a similar meaning. Both translations use уналт unalt 'fall', from унах unakh 'to fall'.

Category: History

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