The Titles of Magical Books in Harry Potter
Fēnlèi fēitiān sàozhou
飞天 fēitiān = 'to fly (in the sky)'.
扫帚 sàozhou = 'broom'.
|Classifying Flying Brooms|
Fēitiān sàozhou xínglù
= 'to fly (in the sky)'.
掃帚 sàozhou = 'broom'.
型錄 xínglù = 'catalogue'.
|Catalogue of Flying Brooms|
Kashikoi hōki no erabi-kata
kashikoi = 'smart, intelligent'.
箒 hōki = 'broom'.
の no = connecting particle
選び方 erabi-kata = 'method of choosing' (from 選ぶ erabu 'to choose' and 方 kata 'way, method').
|The Smart Way of Choosing a Broom|
|Vietnamese||Chọn Chổi Thần||chọn
= 'to choose'.
chổi = 'broom'.
thần (神) = 'wonderful, miraculous'.
|Choosing a Magic Broom|
In English, Which Broomstick is a typically succinct book title, short for 'Which broomstick should you buy?' or 'Which broomstick should you choose?'. It incorporates the additional Rowlingesque pun of 'Witch Broomstick' (a broomstick for witches).
The Mainland and Taiwanese versions use titles suggesting a catalogue of brooms. The Japanese and Vietnamese versions use expressions related to choosing a broom. None of the translations incorporate the hard-to-translate pun.
The word 型錄 xíng-lù in the Taiwanese version is an interesting example of an English word borrowed into Chinese via Japanese. This is one of those rare cases where an English word has been fairly successfully rendered in Chinese characters, not katakana. It involved rendering the English word 'catalogue' as 型録, where 型 means 'model, shape', and 録 means 'list' or 'record'. The pronunciation, which is katarogu, is based on a cunning mixture of native kun and Chinese-style on readings (kata is kun, roku is on). (For other examples of successful use of Chinese characters to write English words, see club and can). 型録 is still used in Japanese, although to a large extent it has been supplanted by katakana カタログ katarogu or the alternative word 目録 mokuroku.
型録 has in the meantime made its way into Chinese (mainly in Taiwan), where it is read xínglù -- a far cry from the original pronunciation 'catalogue'!
Handbook of Do-It-Yourself Broomcare