Harry Potter in Chinese, Japanese & Vietnamese Translation


Where There's A Wand, There's A Way



Chinese (Mainland)
Zhǐ yào yǒu mózhàng, jiù yǒu bànfǎ
zhǐ = 'just'.
yào = 'need'.
yǒu = 'have'.
魔杖 mózhàng = 'magic wand'.
jiù = 'then'.
yǒu = 'have'.
办法 bànfǎ = 'way, method'.
You just need a magic wand and there's a way
Chinese (Taiwan)
Mózhàng zài shǒu, wàn shì wú yōu
魔杖 mózhàng = 'magic wand'.
zài = 'in'.
shǒu = 'hand'.
萬事 wàn shì = 'ten thousand things' = 'everything'.
無憂 wú yōu = 'no worry'.
Magic wand in hand, everything is fine
Tsue aru tokoro ni michi wa hirakeru
tsue = 'stick/wand'.
ある aru = 'to be, to have'.
ところに tokoro ni = 'place' plus particle indicating place = 'in a place'.
道は michi wa = 'road, way' plus topic particle = 'the road, way...'
開ける hirakeru = 'open up'.
Where there is a wand, a way will open
Vietnamese (Chinese characters show etymology)
Có Đũa Phép Là Có Giải Pháp = 'to have, to exist'.
đũa phép = 'magic wand'.
= 'to be; namely, that is to say'.
'to have, to exist'.
giải pháp (解法) = 'solution'.
To have a wand is to have a solution

Where there's a will there's a way

The English is modelled on the proverb 'Where there's a will there's a way'.

The conventional Chinese translation of 'Where there's a will there's a way' is 有志者,事竟成 yǒu zhì zhě shì jìng chéng , an expression that is Classical in inspiration and form. The meaning is 'If there is a will, the matter will succeed'. However, the Chinese translators do not model their version on this.

The Chinese (Mainland) version is an idiomatic translation of the meaning. In fact it's almost a textbook example of the 只要...就 ..zhǐ yào ..... jiù construction meaning 'if only, provided that, as long as ..... then...' construction. However, it's rather pedestrian.

The Taiwanese version uses a traditional Chinese formula: four characters + four characters. This has the look and feel of a true Chinese proverb and is much closer to the spirit of Rowling's title.

The Japanese equivalent of 'Where there's a will there's a way' is 意志あるところに道は開ける Ishi aru tokoro ni michi wa hirakeru ('A way will open where there is a will'). This has a somewhat Classical feeling (note in particular the omission of ga after 意志 ishi) and is quite at home in Japanese. The translator has given this expression a slight twist, substituting tsue 'wand' for 意志 ishi 'will' to come up with a Japanese equivalent book title.

The Vietnamese is merely a straightforward translation of the English which retains the symmetry of the original, including the use of phép and pháp to give a parallel sensation.

Category: Spells and Charms (Popular)

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