Harry Potter in Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese & Mongolian Translation


Year With The Yeti



Simplified Chinese (China)
Yǔ Xīzàng xuěrén zài yìqǐ de yìnián
= 'with'.
西藏 Xīzàng = 'Tibet'.
雪人 xuěrén = 'snow man'.
在一起 zài yìqǐ = 'together'.
de = connecting particle
一年 yìnián = 'one year'.
One Year with the Tibetan Snow Man
Traditional Chinese (Taiwan)
Yǔ xuě-rén xiāng-bàn de suì-yuè
= 'with'.
雪人 xuě-rén = 'snow man'.
相伴 xiāng-bàn = 'mutually accompany'.
de = connecting particle
歲月 suì-yuè = 'years and months' = 'years'.
Years in Mutual Company wtih a Snow Man
Yuki-otoko to yukkuri ichi-nen
雪男と Yuki-otoko to = 'snow man' + 'with' = 'with a snow man'.
ゆっくり yukkuri = 'slowly, leisurely'.
一年 ichi-nen = 'one year'.
One Year Spent in Leisurely Manner with the Snow Man
Vietnamese (Chinese characters show etymology)
Một năm với Người tuyết quạu quọ một = 'one'.
năm = 'year'.
với = 'with'.
người = 'person'.
tuyết () = 'snow'.
quạu quọ = 'peevish, ill-tempered'.
One year with the Ill-tempered Snow Man
Mongolian (previous)
Алмастай өнгөрүүлсэн жил
Almas-tai öngrüülsen jil
алмас almas = 'man-like creature, female demon' (Comitative 'with').
өнгөрүүлэх öngrüülekh = 'spend' (Past tense).
жил jil = 'year'.
The year Spent with the Female Demon
Mongolian (new)
Алмастай онгөрүүлсэн жил
Almas-tai öngrüülsen jil
алмас almas = 'man-like creature, female demon' (Comitative 'with').
өнгөрүүлэх öngrüülekh = 'spend' (Past tense).
жил jil = 'year'.
The Year Spent with the Female Demon

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 Yeti is also known as the 'Abominable Snow Man' in English. 'Snow Person' or 'Snow Man' is how he has been translated into the CJV versions.

    The Chinese translation calls the yeti 西藏雪人 Xīzàng xuěrén 'Tibetan snowperson (=snowman)'.

    The Taiwanese translator uses just 雪人 xuěrén 'snow person (=snow man)'.

    The Japanese, while written in Chinese characters, uses a word with native roots: 雪男 yuki-otoko 'snow man', marking the yeti as male ( otoko = 'man'). 雪男 yuki-otoko can refer to the Yeti, Bigfoot, or other mysterious anthropoid figures.

    Vietnamese uses người tuyết quạu quọ 'ill-tempered snow person', possibly a translation of English 'abominable snow man'.

The Mongolian translation uses алмас almas. This can have two separate meanings: either a 'wild man' of folklore, or a female ghost or demon. The intended meaning here appears to be 'wild man'.

A Year With...

The meaning of the English is 'a year (that I) spent with the yeti'. There are three ways of rendering this.

Have 'that I spent with' modify 'year':

    The Taiwanese version uses a verb, 相伴 xiāng-bàn 'mutually accompany', to render the concept of 'spend time with'. This requires the insertion of the connecting particle de in Chinese (相伴的歲月 xiāng-bàn de suì-yuè 'time spent accompanying').

    Both Mongolian translations use a relative clause modifying жил jil 'year', that is онгөрүүлсэн жил öngrüülsen jil 'year (I) spent'.

    The Chinese translation does not use a full verb, using 在一起 zài yìqǐ 'be together with'. Unlike English 'with', however, zài still retains a verbal force in Chinese. The construction is still a modifying construction: 在一起的一年 zài yìqǐ de yìnián.

Use a full sentence:

    Like the Voyages with Vampires, the Japanese must be understood as having an understood verb, i.e., it is an abbreviation of 雪男とゆっくり一年を過ごす Yuki-otoko to yukkuri ichi-nen o sugosu ('To spend a year with a snow man in a leisurely fashion'). ゆっくり yukkuri is an adverb and requires a verb, even if the verb is not explicit.

Use the same structure as the English, that is, 'preposition + noun':

    The Vietnamese is closest to the English (Một năm với Người tuyết quạu quọ 'One year with the peevish snow man') because the Vietnamese language allows với Người tuyết 'with a snow man' without using a verb.


Only the Japanese translator makes an attempt at reproducing the alliteration of the original with 男とゆっくり一年 yuki-otoko to yukkuri ichi-nen.

Break With A Banshee Gadding With Ghouls Holidays With Hags
Travels With Trolls Voyages With Vampires Wandering With Werewolves

Category: Adventure

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