Harry Potter in Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese & Mongolian Translation
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Chapter 4: At Flourish and Blotts

 

Chinese (Mainland)
在丽痕书店
Zài Lì-hén Shūdiàn
zài = 'in'.
丽痕 lì-hén = 'beautiful' + 'mark'.
书店 shūdiàn = 'bookshop, bookstore'.
In Beautiful Mark Bookshop
Chinese (Taiwan)
在『華麗與污痕書店』裡
Zài "Huálì yǔ Wūhén Shūdiàn" lǐ
zài = 'in'.
華麗 huálì = 'beautiful'.
= 'and' (formal).
污痕 wūhén = 'dirty mark'.
書店 shūdiàn = 'bookshop, bookstore'.
= 'inside'.
Inside 'Beautiful & Blot' Bookshop
Japanese
フローリッシュ・アンド・ブロッツ書店
Furōrisshu Ando Burottsu shoten
フローリッシュ Furōrisshu = 'Flourish'.
アンド ando = 'and' (English).
ブロッツ Burottsu = 'Blotts'.
書店 shoten = 'bookshop'.
Flourish and Blotts Bookshop
Vietnamese (Chinese characters show etymology)
Phú quí và cơ hàn phú quí (富貴) = 'wealth and honours'.
= 'and'.
cơ hàn (饑寒) = 'hunger and cold'.
Wealth & Honours and Hunger & Cold
Mongolian (previous)
Флориш ба Блотс дэлгүүрт
Florish ba Blots delgüürt
Флориш Florish = 'Flourish'.
ба ba = 'and'.
Блотс Blots = 'Blotts'.
дэлгүүрт delgüürt (дэлгүүр delgüür 'shop' + locative/dative case ending -t 'at, to') = 'at the shop'.
At Flourish and Blotts Shop
Mongolian (new)
"Флориш ба Блоттс" дэлгүүр
"Florish ba Blotts" delgüür
Флориш Florish = 'Flourish'
ба ba = 'and'
Блоттс Blotts = 'Blotts'
дэлгүүр delgüür = 'shop'
Flourish and Blotts Shop

'Flourish and Blotts'

'Flourish and Blotts' looks as though it was established by two gentlemen called Mr Flourish and Mr Blotts, cleverly putting together two words with roughly opposite meanings: 'flourish' meaning a 'flowery embellishment in writing' and 'blot' meaning a 'spot' or 'stain' on the paper.

Several translators try valiantly to capture the flavour of the English but with limited success.

    The Taiwanese version uses 華麗與污痕 Huálì yǔ Wūhén, meaning 'beautiful and mark', which to some extent conveys the English meaning.

    The Mainland Chinese version condenses this into a short compound, 丽痕 lì-hén which does not, however, have a very clear meaning ('beautiful mark').

    The Vietnamese translator drifts away from the original English to create a new opposition between 'wealth and honours' on the one hand and 'hunger and cold' on the other (Phú quí và cơ hàn). Unfortunately it's doubtful this is appropriate for a bookshop.

Others simply transliterate the English.

    The Japanese transliterates the English (including the 'and') as フローリッシュ・アンド・ブロッツ Furōrisshu Ando Burottsu. However, neither 'flourish' nor 'blot' would be familiar to most Japanese speakers, even those with a reasonable command of English. The conventional transliteration of 'flourish' is furōrisshu, closer to the pronunciation of the English word 'floor-ish' (i.e., resembling a floor) than to 'flourish'.

    The two Mongolian versions also transliterate the two words 'Flourish' and 'Blotts' directly from English. The newer translation, Флориш ба Блоттс Florish ba Blotts sticks particularly close to the English spelling of 'Blotts', even though the second т 't' is actually superfluous in Mongolian.

Bookshop

The Chinese and Japanese versions all add the word 'bookshop' or 'bookstore' to the name of the shop. The two Mongolian translations add just the word 'shop'. The Vietnamese translation does not add any word meaning 'shop'. Just looking at the chapter title, it is hard to tell that the chapter is about a shop at all.

At

The two Chinese translations and the newer Mongolian translation add words or endings ( zài in Chinese, -t in Mongolian) to indicate that the meaning is 'at the Flourish and Blotts shop'.

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

Chapter 3
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