Harry Potter in Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese & Mongolian Translation


Encyclopaedia of Toadstools



Simplified Chinese (China)
Dújūn dàquán
毒菌 dújùn = 'poison fungi'.
大全 dàquán = 'large complete' = 'compendium'.
The Complete Poisonous Fungi
Traditional Chinese (Taiwan)
Dúxùn bǎikē quánshū
毒蕈 dúxùn = 'poisonous fungi'.
百科 bǎikē = '100 subjects' = 'encyclopaedia'.
全書 quánshū = 'complete book' = 'compendium'.
Complete Encyclopaedia of Poisonous Fungi
Doku kinoko hyakka
doku = 'poison'.
きのこ kinoko = 'mushrooms'.
百科 hyakka = '100 subjects' = 'encyclopaedia'.
Encyclopaedia of Poisonous Mushrooms
Vietnamese (Chinese characters show etymology)
Bách khoa toàn thư về các loại nấm độc bách khoa (百科) = '100 subjects' = 'encyclopaedia'.
toàn thư (全書) = 'complete book' = 'compendium'.
về = 'concerning'.
các loại (各類) = 'each kind'.
nấm = 'mushroom'.
độc () = 'poison'.
Complete Encyclopaedia concerning Various Kinds of Poisonous Mushroom
Mongolian (previous)
Хортой хар мөөгний нэвтэрхий толь бичиг
Khortoi khar möögnii nevterkhii tol' bichig
хортой khor-toi = 'having poison'. (хор khor = 'poison'.)
хар khar = 'black'.
мөөг möög = 'mushroom' (genitive case).
нэвтэрхий nevterkhii = 'perfect, complete'.
толь бичиг tol' bichig = 'dictionary, encyclopaedia'.
Complete Encyclopaedia of Poisonous Black Mushrooms
Mongolian (new)
Мөөгний нэвтэрхий толь
Möögnii nevterkhii tol'
мөөг möög = 'mushroom' (genitive case).
нэвтэрхий толь nevterkhii tol' = 'encyclopaedia'. .
Encyclopaedia of Mushrooms


A mushroom, or toadstool, is the fleshy, spore-bearing fruiting body of a fungus (Wikipedia). There is no objective botanical distinction between what are called mushrooms and toadstools in English, although from the human point of view, there is one vital difference: mushrooms are edible while toadstools are inedible or poisonous. In the magical world, it is a given that an encyclopaedia of fungi will be about poisonous toadstools rather than innocuous mushrooms.

In English-speaking locales, mushrooms tend to be white-coloured fungi while toadstools are colourful and dangerous. The very name 'toadstool' (stool for a toad) suggests something repulsive and unattractive. Globally, however, people eat a wide variety of edible fungi of various shapes and colours. China, in particular, is notable for the variety of fungi that are consumed, although Japanese cuisine also uses a variety of mushrooms (photo here).

    Chinese has no systematic distinction between mushrooms and toadstools. The general name for fungi is jùn. As a class, mushrooms and toadstools are called 蕈類 / 蕈类 xùn-lèi or 菇類 / 菇类 gū-lèi. The latter is derived from the general Chinese term for mushroom, 蘑菇 mógu, which was possibly borrowed from outside Chinese, cf Mongolian мөөг möög. Overall, xùn is a less common and familiar term in Chinese than jùn.

    The Mainland Chinese translation translates 'toadstool' as 毒菌 dú-jùn 'poisonous fungus'. The Taiwanese translator uses 毒蕈 dúxùn, 'poisonous mushroom'. (Compare One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi, where the Mainland translator follows the Taiwanese version with 蕈类 xùn-lèi.)

    The Japanese scientific term for the fungi is 菌類 kin-rui, based on the Chinese name for fungi. The general term for mushroom is きのこ kinoko, although individual mushrooms (such as the famous shiitake) can have a variety of names. The Japanese translator renders 'toadstool' as 毒きのこ doku kinoko 'poisonous mushroom'.

    The general Vietnamese for the fungi is giới nấm. Nấm is the Vietnamese name for the mushrooms, with no distinction between mushrooms and toadstools. The Vietnamese translator renders 'toadstool' as nấm độc 'poisonous mushroom'. The book title in Vietnamese actually refers to 'all kinds of poisonous mushrooms' (các loại nấm độc). While nấm is a native Vietnamese word, các loại and độc are both related to Chinese (各類 'all kinds' and 毒 'poison' respectively).

    The fungi are known in Mongolian as мөөгөнцөр möögöntsör, which is derived from the general Mongolian word for mushrooms and toadstools, мөөг möög. To translate 'toadstool', the previous Mongolian translation uses хортой хар мөөг khortoi khar möög 'poisonous black mushroom'. The addition of хар khar 'black' appears gratuitous since хар мөөг khar möög 'black mushroom' is actually a kind of edible mushroom. The new translation renders 'toadstool' simply as мөөг möög, without referring to poison.


CJV languages have a shared tradition of naming encyclopaedias and compendia, which is derived from Chinese.

    The Taiwanese, Japanese, and Vietnamese use 百科 'hundred subjects' (Chinese bǎikē, Japanese hyakka, Vietnamese bách khoa), which is a general term for encyclopaedias or encyclopaedic reference books.

    The Taiwanese and Vietnamese translations in addition use the term 全書 'complete book' (Chinese quánshū, Vietnamese toàn thư). Japanese also has this term, pronounced zensho, but it is not used in this translation.

    The Mainland Chinese version uses the more succinct form 大全 dàquán 'great complete', a term for large, complete compilations.

    The general Mongolian term for 'encyclopaedia' is нэвтэрхий толь nevterkhii tol', literally meaning 'complete mirror'. The reference to толь tol' 'mirror' possibly traces to the ancient Chinese custom of regarding references as a 'mirror' of the world. The older Mongolian translation uses нэвтэрхий толь бичиг nevterkhii tol' bichig, where нэвтэрхий nevterkhii means 'complete, thorough' and толь бичиг tol' bichig, literally 'mirror writing', is the usual term for a dictionary. However, the meaning is essentially the same as нэвтэрхий толь nevterkhii tol'.

Category: Magical Plants

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