Harry Potter in Chinese, Japanese & Vietnamese Translation
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
Chapter Titles in Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese


Chapter 1: The Boy Who Lived


(For the romanisation of Chinese and Japanese, see Transliteration. To understand the writing systems of CJV, see Writing Systems. For word order notes, see Word Order)

Where a Vietnamese word has been borrowed from Chinese, the original Chinese characters are shown in parentheses.


Chinese (Mainland) 大难不死的男孩
Dànàn bù sǐ de nánhái
大难不死 dànàn bù sǐ = 'great disaster not die'.
的 de = connecting particle
男孩 nánhái = 'male child' (boy).
The boy who did not die in a disaster
Chinese (Taiwan) 活下來的男孩
Huó-xiàlái de nánhái
huó = 'to live'.
下來 -xiàlái = 'to come down', attached to the verb to mean 'continue on down to the present'.
de = connecting particle
男孩 nánhái = 'male child' (boy).
The boy who lived on
Japanese 生き残った男の子
Ikinokotta otoko-no-ko
生き残った ikinokotta is the past tense of 生き残る ikinokoru = 生きる ikiru 'to live' + 残る nokoru 'to remain', together they mean 'to survive'.
男の子 otoko-no-ko = 'male child' (boy).
The boy who survived
Vietnamese Đứa bé vẫn sống đứa bé = 'boy' (đứa = classifier for children, etc., = 'small/young').
vẫn = 'still'.
sống = 'alive'.
The boy who is still alive/The boy is still alive

In 'The Boy Who Lived', the word 'lived' has a rather special meaning, different from, say, 'Trolls lived in the mountains' or 'Witches lived in the sixteenth century'. Here it means to survive an accident or disaster, as in the phrase 'to live to tell the tale'. All the translations reflect this meaning (although the Vietnamese is rather weak - it rather implies that Harry is not dead yet!).

The Mainland Chinese version uses 大难不死 dànàn bù sǐ 'great disaster not die', a set phrase that is used in cases of a lucky or miraculous escape from death. It originally formed the first part of the Chinese proverb 大难不死必有后福 dànàn bù sǐ bì yǒu hòufú: 'After surviving a great disaster, one is bound to have good fortune in later years.'

(A summary of this chapter can be found at Harry Potter Facts. Detailed notes on the chapter can be found at Harry Potter Lexicon)

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