Harry Potter in Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese & Mongolian Translation
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Chapter 1: The Worst Birthday

 

Chinese (Mainland)
最糟糕的生日
Zuì zāogāo de shēngrì
zuì = 'most'.
糟糕 zāogāo = 'terrible'.
de = connecting particle
生日 shēngrì = 'birthday'.
The Most Terrible Birthday
Chinese (Taiwan)
最慘的生日
Zuì cǎn de shēngrì
zuì = 'most'.
cǎn = 'miserable'.
de = connecting particle
生日 shēngrì = 'birthday'.
The Most Miserable Birthday
Japanese
最悪の誕生日
Sai-aku no tanjō-bi
最悪 sai-aku = 'worst'.
no = connecting particle
誕生日 tanjō-bi = 'birthday'.
The Worst Birthday
Vietnamese (Chinese characters show etymology)
Sinh nhật buồn nhứt sinh nhật (生日) = 'birthday'.
buồn = 'sad, lonely'.
nhứt = 'most' (dialect).
The Saddest/ Loneliest Birthday
Mongolian (previous)
Адгийн төрсөн өдөр
Adgiin törsön ödör
адаг adag = 'last, worst, of the lowest quality' (Genitive form).
төрсөн өдөр törsön ödör = 'birthday'.
(Literally төрсөн törsön 'was born (past tense)' + өдөр ödör 'day'.)
The Worst Birthday
Mongolian (new)
Хамгийн онцгүй төрсөн өдөр
Khamgiin öntsgüi törsön ödör
хамгийн khamgiin = 'most'.
онцгүй öntsgüi = 'not special'.
төрсөн өдөр törsön ödör = 'birthday'.
(Literally төрсөн törsön 'was born (past tense)' + өдөр ödör 'day'.)
The Most Unspecial Birthday

'The Worst'

The Chinese and Japanese translators use a popular everyday word that corresponds to English 'worst', as in 'Man, it was the worst!'. 糟糕 zāogāo, cǎn, and 最悪 sai-aku are all slightly slangy expressions used to describe distressing (although not necessarily 'tragic') situations.

The Mongolian translators opt for two different solutions. The older translation uses адгийн adgiin 'worst'. The more recent translation uses хамгийн онцгүй 'most unspecial', where онцгүй ontsgüi is a modern term formed as a negative of онц 'special, unusual, particular'.

(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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