Harry Potter in Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese & Mongolian Translation


Voyages With Vampires



Simplified Chinese (China)
Yǔ xīxuěguǐ tóng chuán lǚxíng
= 'with'.
吸血鬼 xīxuěguǐ = 'suck-blood-demon' = 'vampire'.
tóng = 'same'.
chuán = 'boat'.
旅行 lǚxíng = 'trip, travel'.
Travelling on the Same Boat with a Vampire
Traditional Chinese (Taiwan)
Yǔ xīxuěguǐ tóngxíng
= 'with'.
吸血鬼 xīxuěguǐ = 'suck-blood-demon' = 'vampire'.
同行 tóngxíng = 'travel together'.
Travelling Together with a Vampire
Banpaia to batchiri funatabi
バンパイアと banpaia to = 'vampire' (English) + 'with' = 'with a vampire'.
バッチリ batchiri = 'right on the mark'.
船旅 funatabi = 'boat journey' = 'voyage'.
Making a Boat Trip Right on the Mark with a Vampire
Vietnamese (Chinese characters show etymology)
Hành trình với Ma cà rồng hành trình (行程) = 'journey'.
với = 'with'.
ma cà rồng = 'blood-sucking demon, ghoul, vampire'.
Journey with a Ghoul/Vampire
Mongolian (previous)
Цус сорогчтой хийсэн аялал
Tsus sorogchtoi khiisen aylal
цус сорогч tsus sorogch = 'blood sucker' (Comitative form 'with').
хийх khiikh = 'do' (Past tense).
аялал aylal = 'trip, travel, journey'.
Journey done with Blood Suckers
Mongolian (new)
Цус сорогчтой хийсэн аялал
Tsus sorogchtoi khiisen aylal
цус сорогч tsus sorogch = 'blood sucker' (Comitative form 'with').
хийх khiikh = 'do' (Past tense).
аялал aylal = 'trip, travel, journey'.
Journey done with Blood Suckers

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.


Blood-sucking monsters seem to travel well across cultures.

    The word 'vampire' has a conventional translation as 'blood-sucking demon' 吸血鬼 xīxuěguǐ in Chinese, which is also found in Japanese (pronounced kyūketsuki).

    Here, however, the Japanese translator uses バンパイア banpaia, borrowed from English. Dracula and his ilk are, of course, as well known in Japan as anywhere else on earth.

    The Vietnamese translator uses the term ma cà rồng (sometimes also known as a ma cà lồ), a blood-sucking creature originally hailing from the mountainous northern regions. The ma cà rồng resembles a Western vampire, with long, tangled hair, long canine tooth, and blood oozing out of its mouth. It is believed to capture children and suck their blood until dead.

    The two Mongolian translations use the word цус сорогч tsus sorogch meaning 'blood sucker'. Цус tsus is 'blood'; сорогч sorogch is 'sucker', from сорох sorokh plus the ending -гч -gch meaning 'one who'.


'Voyages' in English refer to long journeys, most usually journeys by sea or, in our modern age, by space. The word has been chosen to alliterate with 'vampire'.

    The Mainland translation refers to a trip or journey (旅行 lǚxíng) on the same boat (同船 tóngchuán).

    The Japanese uses 船旅 funatabi meaning 'boat journey' or 'voyage'. The verb (which would usually be する suru 'do') is omitted. Grammatical note: In a normal sentence you would say バンパイアと船旅をする banpaia to funatabi o suru 'do a boat-trip with a vampire'.

    The Vietnamese translation uses hành trình (written 行程 in Chinese characters) meaning 'journey', not specifically with boats.

    The Mongolian translations use аялал aylal, the word for a trip or journey.

    Traditional Chinese (Taiwan) does not use a word meaning 'voyage' or 'journey' at all. Instead it uses 同行 tóngxíng meaning 'going together'. This echoes the advertising expression 與時代同行 yǔ shídài tóngxíng 'moving with the times'.


The title is treated grammatically as:

(1) A full sentence, with verb:

    The Mainland translator uses a stripped down sentence using a verb: 与吸血鬼同船旅行 yǔ xīxuěguǐ tóng chuán lǚxíng '(Someone) travels with a vampire on the same boat'.

    The Traditional Chinese (Taiwan) translator similarly uses a full sentence, although somewhat shorter: 與吸血鬼同行 yǔ xīxuěguǐ tóngxíng '(Someone) accompanies a vampire'.

    The Japanese also uses a full sentence, although the verb is omitted as understood: バンパイアとバッチリ船旅(をする) banpaia to batchiri funatabi (o suru) '(have a) boat trip right on the mark with a vampire'.

(2) Noun, as in English:

    The Vietnamese title uses the noun hành trình 'trip'. Like English, Vietnamese can attach a preposition (với = 'with') without needing a verb.

    Both Mongolian translators use the noun аялал aylal 'trip', modified by цус сорогчтой хийсэн tsus sorogchtoi khiisen 'done with a bloodsucker.


The Japanese translator reproduces the alliterative effect of the English with banpaia and batchiri 'spot on' (indeed, バンパイア banpaia was probably chosen over 吸血鬼 kyūketsuki for this reason).

Break With A Banshee Gadding With Ghouls Holidays With Hags
Travels With Trolls Wandering With Werewolves Year With The Yeti

See also Blood Brothers: My Life Among the Vampires.

Category: Adventure

arrow up