Harry Potter in Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese & Mongolian Translation


Travels With Trolls



Simplified Chinese (China)
Yǔ jùguài tóngxíng
= 'with'.
巨怪 jùguài = 'giant monster, demon'.
同行 tóngxíng = 'travel together'.
Travelling With Giant Monsters
Traditional Chinese (Taiwan)
Yǔ shànguài gòngyóu
= 'with'.
山怪 shànguài = 'mountain monster, demon'.
共遊 gòngyóu = 'travel together'.
Travelling With Mountain Monsters
Torōru to no toroi tabi
トロール torōru to = 'troll' (English) + 'with' = 'with a troll'.
no = connecting particle
とろい toroi = 'slow, dull, dull-witted'.
tabi = 'journey'.
Slow Travels With Trolls
Vietnamese (Chinese characters show etymology)
Ngao du với quỷ khổng lồ

Du Hành Cùng Người Khổng Lồ
ngao du (邀遊) = 'travel, roaming (old-fashioned)'.
với = 'with'.
quỷ () = 'evil spirit, devil, fiend'.
khổng lồ = 'huge, colossal'.

du hành (遊行)= 'touring'.
cùng = 'along with'.
người = ‘person'.
khổng lồ = 'huge, colossal'.
Roaming with Colossal Fiends

Travelling with Colossal People
Mongolian (previous)
Ойн мангастай зорчихуй
Oin mangastai zorchikhui
ой oi = 'forest' (genitive form).
мангас mangas = 'monster' (Comitative form 'with').
зорчихуй zorchikhui = 'travelling'.
Travelling with Forest Monsters
Mongolian (new)
Савдагтай зорчсон нь
Savdagtai zorchson n'
савдаг savdag = 'local deity' (Comitative form 'with').
зорчих zorchikh = 'travel' (Past tense).
нь n' = particle here used to mean 'about'.
About having travelled with Local Deities

The books in the Gilderoy Lockhart Series follow a simple but humorous pattern in English.

All describe spending time with a particular kind of unsavoury creature.

All are expressed in the form 'X with Y'.

In each case there is alliteration between X and Y (Break with a Banshee, Gadding with Ghouls, Holidays with Hags, etc.).

The interesting points in any translation are:

    How this assortment of unpleasant creatures is translated.

    How the parallel expressions are treated.

    How the effect of the alliteration is reproduced. This is the most difficult task because alliteration is, of course, dependent on the particular sound of words in a language.


The troll is a dwarf or giant in Scandinavian folklore inhabiting caves or hills.

    The Chinese translation uses 巨怪 jùguài meaning 'giant demon'.

    The Taiwanese translator uses 山怪 shànguài meaning 'mountain demon'.

    The Vietnamese translator uses two renditions. Initially she uses quỷ khổng lồ meaning 'colossal demon'. Quỷ is from Chinese . Later she uses người khổng lồ 'colossal person'. This is commonly used in Vietnamese for the Hulk and also for 'giants' in François Place's Les derniers géants (The Last Giants).

    The previous Mongolian translation uses the term ойн мангас oi mangas 'forest mangas', where the mangas is a many-headed creature from Mongolian folklore.

    The Japanese translation uses トロール torōru, which has been borrowed from English or the Nordic languages.

    The new Mongolian translation uses савдаг savdag meaning 'local deity', referring to deities that own features of the landscape. Since such deities arguably lack the brutishness and malice of the Scandinavian troll, this does not appear to be a good translation. It will be interesting to see how the translator handles actual trolls when they appear later in the Harry Potter books.


    The Japanese translation uses the native term tabi, a noun meaning 'travel, trip', which has obviously been chosen to match トロール torōru. The alternative word that could have been used is a form created from Chinese roots, 旅行 ryokō 'travel, trip'.

    The Vietnamese translation uses ngao du, an old word meaning 'travel, roaming' (Chinese characters 邀遊) at one place, and du hành meaning 'tour, travel' (written 遊行 in Chinese characters) at another.

    The previous Mongolian translation uses зорчихуй zorchikhui, an archaic past tense form of the verb зорчих zorchikh 'to travel' that here functions as a noun.

Several translations use verbs to translate 'travel'.

    The Mainland translation uses 同行 tóngxíng 'travel together', echoing the common advertising copy 与时代同行 yǔ shídài tóngxíng 'moving with the times'.

    The Taiwanese uses 共遊 gòngyóu meaning 'travel together'.

    The new Mongolian translation uses the verb зорчсон, the past tense of зорчих zorchikh 'to travel'. It is followed by the particle нь n', which is used in titles of stories to indicate what the story is about. The title means something like 'Travelling with local deities' or 'What happened when I travelled with local deities'.


The Japanese uses a witty alliteration by adding the rather colloquial word とろい toroi, meaning 'dull, slow-witted' to describe what travels with trolls is like.

Break With A Banshee Gadding With Ghouls Holidays With Hags
Voyages With Vampires Wandering With Werewolves Year With The Yeti

Category: Adventure

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