Harry Potter in Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese & Mongolian Translation


A Beginner's Guide to Transfiguration



Simplified Chinese (China)
Chūxué biànxíng zhǐnán
初学 chūxué = 'beginning study'.
变形 biànxíng = 'change shape' = 'metamorphosis'.
指南 zhǐnán = 'guide'.
Beginning Transfiguration Guide
Traditional Chinese (Taiwan)
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
Henshin-jutsu nyūmon
変身 henshin = 'change body' = 'transfiguration'.
-jutsu = 'craft'.
入門 nyūmon = 'introduction'.
Introduction to the Art of Transfiguration
Vietnamese (Chinese characters show etymology)
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
Mongolian (previous)
Эхлэн суралцагчид зориулсан хувиргалтын гарын авлага
Ekhlen suraltsagchid zor'uulsan khuvirgaltiin gariin avlag

Хувирахуй ухаанд эхлэн сурагцагчийн лавлах
Khuvarikhui ukhaand ekhlen suragcatchiin lavlakh
эхлэн ekhlen = 'beginning'.
суралцагч suraltsagch = 'students (in a group)' (Dative).
зориулах zor'uulakh = 'devote to, intend for' (Past tense form).
хувиргалт khuvirgalt = 'transformation'. (genitive form)
гарын авлага gariin avlag = 'handbook'.

хувирахуй khuvirakhui = 'transforming'.
ухаан ukhaan = 'science, -ology'.
суралцагч suraltsagch = 'students (in a group)' (Genitive).
лавлах lavlakh = 'reference, guide' (short for лавлах бичиг lavlakh bichig 'making-sure book' = 'reference book').
Handbook of Transformation Aimed at Beginning Students

Handbook for Beginning Students of Transforming Study
Mongolian (new)
Хувиргалын ухааны анхан шатны гарын авлага
Khuvirgaliin ukhaanii ankhan shatnii gariin avlag

Хувиргалын хичээлийн гарын авлага
Khuvirgaliin khicheeliin gariin avlag
хувиргал khuvirgal = 'transformation'. (genitive form)
ухаан ukhaan = 'science, -ology'. (genitive form)
анхан шат ankhan shat = 'beginning level'.
гарын авлага gariin avlag = 'handbook'.
Beginning Level Transformation-ology Handbook

Transformation Class Handbook

Beginner's Guide

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

Translators translate 'beginner's guide' as follows:

    The Mainland Chinese translation uses 初学...指南 chūxué...zhǐnán meaning 'beginner's study guide'. 初学 chūxué means 'beginning study' or 'beginning level'. 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. It is now used to refer to written materials that act as a guide.

    The Taiwanese translation uses 初學者的...指南 chūxué-zhě de...zhǐnán, where 初學者的 means 'of a beginner's study person' (i.e., 'of a beginner'). 指南 zhǐnán is as explained above.

    The Japanese translation uses the simple term 入門 nyūmon, literally meaning 'enter gate'. It is a common title for beginner's textbooks, having the sense of 'introduction'. The same term exists in both Chinese and Vietnamese.

    Vietnamese uses Hướng dẫn ... dành cho người nhập môn. Hướng dẫn is a term created from Chinese roots meaning 'guide' + 'lead' (嚮引) but is a purely Vietnamese word, not found in Chinese. dành cho means 'especially for'. The term for beginner is người nhập môn, where người means 'person' and nhập môn, literally 'enter the gate', means 'beginning', as mentioned above.

    The older Mongolian translation uses эхлэн суралцагчид зориулсан ... гарын авлага ekhlen suraltsagchid zor'uulsan ... gariin avlag, where эхлэн ekhlen means 'beginning', суралцагчид suraltsagchid means 'for student', зориулсан zor'uulsan means 'designed for', and гарын авлага gariin avlag means 'hand book'. (Because of word order, these need to be read from end to beginning to make sense in English.)

    At a second mention, this is changed to эхлэн сурагцагчийн лавлах ekhlen suragcatchiin lavlakh 'beginning student's guide'.

    The newer Mongolian translation uses анхан шатны гарын авлага ankhan shatnii gariin avlag, where анхан шат ankhan shat means 'beginning level' and гарын авлага gariin avlag means 'hand book'.

Where the Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese versions all feature word building on the Chinese model, which involves putting characters (morphemes) together without great grammatical elaboration, Mongolian involves a different type of word building and grammar. For example:

    Суралцагчид suraltsagchid is derived from the verb сурах surakh 'to study', adding the derivational affix лца -ltsa referring to actions performed together ('study together'), the suffix -гч -gch meaning 'person who', and the dative/locative case affix -ид -ид 'for'. Together they mean 'for people who study together'.

    Зориулсан zor'uulsan is the past tense of the verb зориулах zor'uulakh, which is the causative form of the verb зорих zorikh 'move in a direction'. As formed, this means something like 'caused to move in the direction of', but in actual usage means 'directed at, designed for'.

    Гарын авлага gariin avlag literally means 'hand guide / textbook'.

    Note also that nouns are tied together in sentences through the use of the genitive case, meaning 'of'.


'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 as the Chinese.

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.

The Mongolian translations use хувиргалт khuvirgalt 'transformation' and хувиргалын ухаан khuvirgaliin ukhaan, 'transformation science / "transform-ology"' respectively. Хувиргалт khuvirgalt and хувиргал khuvirgal are alternative noun forms derived from the verb хувиргах khuvirgakh 'to change, transform'.

Intermediate Transfiguration Guide to Advanced Transfiguration

Category: Transfiguration and Invisibility

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