Harry Potter in Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese & Mongolian Translation


Wandering With Werewolves



Simplified Chinese (China)
Yǔ lángrén yìqǐ liúlàng
= 'with'.
狼人 lángrén = 'wolf person'.
一起 yìqǐ = 'together'.
流浪 liúlàng = 'wander, drift'.
Wandering Together with a Wolf Man
Traditional Chinese (Taiwan)
Yǔ lángrén jiébàn làngjì tiānyá
= 'with'.
狼人 lángrén = 'wolf person'.
結伴 jiébàn = 'to go with'.
浪跡 làngjì = 'wander about'
天涯 tiānyá = 'the ends of the world'.
Wandering the Ends of the World with a Wolf Man
Ōkami-otoko to no ōi naru yama-aruki
狼男と ōkami-otoko to = 'wolf man' + 'with' = 'with a wolf man'.
no = connecting particle
大いなる ōi naru = 'big, large, great'.
山歩き yama-aruki = 'mountain walking'.
Great Mountain Hikes with a Wolf Man
Vietnamese (Chinese characters show etymology)
Lang thang với người sói lang thang = 'roaming'.
với = 'with'.
người sói = 'person + wolf' = 'wolf person'.
Roaming with a Wolf Man
Mongolian (previous)
Хүн чонотой хэрэн хэсэхуй
Khün chon-toi kheren khesui
хүн чоно khün chon = 'person wolf' (comitative case).
хэрэх kherekh = 'wander, roam'.
хэсэх khesekh = 'wander, roam' (archaic past tense).
Wandering with a Man Wolf
Mongolian (new)
Хүн-чонотой хэсүүчилсэн нь
Khün-chon-toi khesüüchilsen n'
хүн-чоно khün-chon = 'person wolf' (comitative case).
хэсүүчлэх khesüüchlekh = 'roam, wander, loaf' (past tense).
нь n' = particle here used to mean 'about'.
About Wandering with a Man-Wolf

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.


Like the vampire, the werewolf has travelled extensively to other cultures and is quite easily translated as a 'wolf man' or 'wolf person'.

    The Chinese translations use 狼人 lángrén 'wolf person'.

    Vietnamese uses người sói 'person + wolf' = 'wolf person'.

    Japanese uses 狼男 ōkami otoko 'wolf man'.

    The Mongolian translations use хүн чоно khün chon = 'person wolf'.

Wandering with

'Wandering' is generally translated with a word meaning 'to wander', but there are a couple of variations.

    The Mainland Chinese translation uses 流浪 liúlàng 'wander, drift'. Fortuitously, this is very similar to the sound of láng 'wolf'. 'With' is rendered as 一起 yìqǐ 'together'.

    The Taiwanese translation is more expansive. It uses 浪跡 làngjì 'wander about' (also meaning 'traces'), which also contains làng 'wander', with a similar sound to láng 'wolf'. 'With' is translated as the verb 結伴 jiébàn 'to go with, accompany'. Moreover, to make the wanderings seem wide-ranging, the word 天涯 tiānyá 'the ends of the world' is added.

    Vietnamese uses a straightforward rendition as Lang thang với 'wander with'.

    The previous Mongolian translation uses хэрэн хэсэх 'to roam', composed of the largely synomous verbs хэрэх kherekh and хэсэх khesekh 'to roam'. 'With' is translated using the comitative case.

    The new Mongolian translation uses хэсүүчлэх khesüüchlekh 'to roam', derived from the verb хэсэх khesekh 'to roam'. 'With' is translated using the comitative case.

    The Japanese translation varies the meaning somewhat by using 山歩き yama-aruki 'walking mountains'.


Three of the translations manage to reproduce something of the alliteration of English:

    Both Chinese translations are able to achieve an alliterative effect due to the fortuitous occurrence of the morpheme làng 'wander'.

    The Japanese translator achieves the same effect with 大いなる ōi naru 'big, large, great', echoing ōkami-otoko to 'wolf man'. However, in order to accommodate this, the translator ends up veering off from the original with 山歩き yama-aruki 'mountain walking'.

Grammatical pattern

The English uses the participle of the verb 'to wander'. This is treated grammatically as:

(1) A full sentence, with verb:

    The Mainland translator uses the sentence 与狼人一起流浪 yǔ lángrén yìqǐ liúlàng '(Someone) wanders together with a wolf man'.

    The Traditional Chinese (Taiwan) translator similarly uses a full sentence, although somewhat more expansive: 與狼人結伴浪跡天涯 yǔ lángrén jiébàn làngjì tiānyá '(Someone) accompanies a wolf man wandering the ends of the earth'.

    The Mongolian translators both use full sentences. One uses the archaic past-tense form -хуй -khui, which can now also be used nominally. The other uses the particle нь n', which is frequently used in titles.

    The Vietnamese similarly uses a full sentence structure (Lang thang với người sói '(someone) wanders with a wolf man').

(2) Noun:

    The Japanese translation uses the noun 山歩き yama-aruki 'mountain walk'. This is modified by 狼男と ōkami-otoko to 'with a wolf man' and 大いなる ōi naru 'great, large'. 狼男と ōkami-otoko to must be followed by the connecting particle no to modify a noun.
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Category: Adventure

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