Harry Potter in Chinese, Japanese & Vietnamese Translation

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

 

Chapter 13: Nicolas Flamel

 

(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) 尼可・勒梅
Níkě Lèméi
尼可 Níkě = 'Nick'
勒梅 Lèméi = 'Lemei'.
Nick Lemei
Chinese (Taiwan) 尋找尼樂・勒梅
Xúnzhǎo Nílè Lèméi
尋找 xúnzhǎo = 'to seek'.
尼樂 Nílè = 'Ni-le'.
勒梅 Lèméi = 'Lemei'.
Looking for Ni-le Lemei
Japanese ニコラス・フラメル
Nikorasu Furameru
ニコラス Nikorasu = 'Nicolas'.
フラメル Furameru = 'Flamel'.
Nicolas Flamel
Vietnamese Nicolas Flamel Nicolas Flamel (pronunciation: Ni-cô-lát La-men). Nicolas Flamel

Nicolas Flamel is a historical figure who is supposed to have found the secret of the Philosopher's Stone. Since Nicolas Flamel was French, the pronunciation should be 'Nicola Flamel', with the final 's' unpronounced. In Japanese, the correct pronunciation is thus ニコラ・フラメル Nikora Furameru.

However, neither the Japanese nor the Vietnamese translator appears to have been aware of this. Both indicate that the 's' should be pronounced. The Japanese translator gives ニコラス・フラメルNikorasu Furameru. The Vietnamese translator shows in a footnote that the final 's' should be pronounced -- as 't'!

The Mainland Chinese and Taiwanese translators come up with slightly different versions of the name, neither of which tries to be phonetically accurate. As in other places in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, it is clear that the Mainland translator was guided by the Taiwanese translation, which appeared earlier. The Mainland translator changes the Taiwanese translator's very impressionistic transliteration of 'Nicolas', 尼樂 Nílè, into something resembling the English name 'Nick', 尼可 Níkě.

But not even 尼可・勒梅 Níkě Lèméi comes very close to being an accurate transliteration of the French alchemist's name. Although there is no standard transliteration of Nicolas Flamel's name in Chinese, the following are some possible renderings gleaned from the Internet:

(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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