Harry Potter in Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese & Mongolian Translation

"Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone"
("Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone")





Simplified Chinese (China)
Hālì Bōtè yǔ mófǎ-shí
哈利・波特 Hālì Bōtè = phonetic transcription.
= 'and' (written Chinese).
魔法 mófǎ = 'magic' (the 'method' or 'way' or 'arts' of magic).
shí = 'stone'.
Harry Potter and the Magic Stone
Traditional Chinese (Taiwan)
哈利波特 神秘的魔法石
Hālì Pōtè -- shénmì de mófǎ-shí
哈利波特 Hālì Pōtè = a phonetic transcription.
神秘的 shénmì de = 'mysterious'.
魔法 mófǎ = 'magic'.
shí = 'stone'.
Harry Potter: The Mysterious Magic Stone
Harii Pottā to Kenja no Ishi
ハリー・ポッター Harii Pottā = phonetic transcription (in katakana, the script normally used for foreign words).
to = 'and'.
賢者の石 Kenja no Ishi = 'wise man's stone', the standard translation for 'philosopher's stone',
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
Vietnamese (Chinese characters show etymology)
Harry Potter và hòn đá phù thủy Harry Potter (pronounced Ha-ri Pốt-tơ).
= 'and'.
hòn đá = 'stone' (hòn means 'piece' and is a 'counter' or 'classifier'; đá means 'stone').
phù thủy = 'sorceror'. Hòn đá phù thủy means 'sorceror's stone'.
Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone
Mongolian (previous)
Харри Поттер ба шидэт чулуу
kharri potter ba shidet chuluu
Харри Поттер kharri potter = 'Harry Potter'.
ба ba = 'and'.
шид shid = 'supernatural power, magic, sorcery'.
шидэт shidet = 'having magic, magical, supernatural'.
чулуу chuluu = 'stone'.
Harry Potter and the Magic Stone
Mongolian (new)
Харри Поттер ба философийн чулуу
kharri potter ba filosofiin chuluu
Харри Поттер kharri potter = 'Harry Potter'.
ба ba = 'and'.
философийн filosofiin = 'of philosophy, philosophical'. (from философи filosofi = 'philosophy'.)
чулуу chuluu = 'stone'.
Harry Potter and the Philosophical Stone

The Philosopher's Stone was an obsession of Western alchemy. The stone was said to be an elixir for prolonging life and had the property of turning other substances into gold. The name has conventionally been translated into the CJV languages as follows:

    Chinese: 哲人之石 Zhé-rén-zhī-shí meaning 'philosopher's stone', or 点金石 Diǎn-jīn-shí, meaning 'touch-gold-stone'
    Japanese: 賢者の石 Kenja no Ishi meaning 'wise man's stone'.
    Vietnamese: Đá tạo vàng meaning 'gold-creating stone'.

The Japanese translation and new Mongolian translation follow the U.K. edition in translating the title.

The Mongolian edition has possibly been influenced by the Russian name for the philosopher's stone, Философский камень filosofskiy kamen', which is literally 'philosophical stone'. Wikipedia gives Харри Поттэр ба Гүн ухааны чулуу kharri potter ba gün ukhaanii chuluu 'Harry Potter and the philosopher's stone' for the book's name, where 'philosophy' is rendered as гүн ухаан gün ukhaan (literally 'deep learning or knowledge'). This also appears to have been used for the movie.

The Taiwanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, and previous Mongolian translators follow the American title by calling it a 'magic stone'. Since a straight translation of the English is somewhat bald, the Taiwanese translation jazzes it up a little by adding the word 'mysterious'.

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