Harry Potter in Chinese, Japanese & Vietnamese Translation


The Titles of Magical Books in Harry Potter


A Beginner's Guide to Transfiguration


Chinese (Mainland) 初学变形指南
Chūxué biànxíng zhǐnán
初学 chūxué = 'beginning study'.
变形 biànxíng = 'change shape' = 'metamorphosis'.
指南 zhǐnán = 'guide'.
Beginning Transfiguration Guide
Chinese (Taiwan) 初學者的變形指南
Chūxué-zhě de biànxíng zhǐnán
初學者 chūxué-zhě = 'beginning study person' = 'beginner'.
de = connecting particle
變形 biànxíng = 'change shape' = 'metamorphosis'.
指南 zhǐnán = 'guide'.
Beginner's Transfiguration Guide
Japanese 変身術入門
Henshin-jutsu nyūmon
変身 henshin = 'change body' = �'transfiguration'.
-jutsu = 'craft'.
入門 nyūmon = 'introduction'.
Introduction to the Art of Transfiguration
Vietnamese Hướng dẫn biến hình dành cho người nhập môn hướng dẫn (嚮引) = 'guide'.
biến hình (變形) = 'metamorphosis'.
dành cho = 'especially for'.
người = ' person'.
nhập môn (入門) = 'beginning'.
Guide to Transfiguration Specially for Beginners

Beginner's Guide:

'A Beginner's Guide' is a typical English title for an elementary introduction to a subject.

The Chinese, Taiwanese, and Vietnamese translators use a direct translation:

    The Chinese word for 'guide', 指南 zhǐnán, means 'point south'. The word derives from an ancient Chinese vehicle fitted out with a human figure that always pointed south, no matter which way the vehicle moved.

    The Vietnamese word for guide, hướng dẫn, is created from Chinese roots meaning 'guide' + 'lead' (嚮引) but is a purely Vietnamese word.

    The Japanese translator departs from the literal meaning to use an expression often found in introductory textbooks in Japan: 入門 nyūmon, meaning 'enter gate'. This word is also found in Chinese as 入門 or 入门 rùmén and in Vietnamese as nhập môn.


'Transfiguration' in Chinese is 變形 / 变形 biàn xíng. The characters mean 'change shape' or 'change form'. The Vietnamese word biến hình has the same meaning and origin as the Chinese word.

Japanese uses 変身 henshin, which means 'change body'. The term has been popularised by anime characters, who habitually shout 変身! Henshin! when they are about to transform into a more powerful shape. The suffix -jutsu ('art' or 'technique') helps clarify the meaning.

Intermediate Transfiguration Guide to Advanced Transfiguration

Category: Transfiguration and Invisibility

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