Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Chapter 7: Mudbloods and Murmurs
Where a Vietnamese word has been borrowed from Chinese, the original Chinese character is shown in parentheses.
Níbā-zhǒng hé xìyǔ
和 hé = 'and'.
细语 xìyǔ = 'whisper'.
|Mud-types and whispers|
Má-zhǒng yǔ ěryǔ
與 yǔ= 'and' (formal).
耳語 ěryǔ = 'whispers in the ear'.
|Muggle-types and whispers in the ear|
Kegarata chi to kasuka-na koe
kegarata = 'tainted' (in form, the past tense of 穢れる kegareru 'to be tainted'; the function in modifying 血 chi 'blood' is the same as saying 穢れている kegarete iru 'is tainted'.)
血 chi = 'blood'.
と to = 'and'.
幽かな kasuka-na = 'faint'.
声 koe = 'voice'.
|Tainted blood and faint voices|
|Vietnamese||Máu bùn và những tiếng thì thầm||máu
bùn = 'mud'.
và = 'and'.
những = plural marker.
tiếng = 'voice, sound'.
thì thầm = 'speak in whispers'.
|Mud blood and voices speaking in whispers|
A rather difficult phrase to translate, not least because the English itself doesn't much sense until you read the chapter.
Mudbloods: A discriminatory expression to describe Muggle wizards, who are not 'pureblood'.
The Mainland translator chooses a colloquial or dialect expression, 泥巴 níbā, meaning 'mud' or 'mire', to convey a rough, dirty impression. This is combined with 种 zhǒng ('type' or 'race'), an expression used to pigeon-hole people.
The Taiwanese version takes the first part of 麻瓜 Máguā ('Muggle') and combines it with 種 zhǒng ('type, race'). There is no meaning of 'mud'.
Japanese 穢れた血 kegarata chi means 'dirty blood' or 'tainted blood'. 穢れた kegarata is stronger than the everyday 汚れた yogoreta ('dirty'), having almost religious undertones of 'impure' or 'contaminated'. In the chapter itself, Malfoy calls Hermione 穢れた血め 'kegarata chi me'. The addition of -me makes this into an abusive expression in Japanese.
The Vietnamese translator quite literally translates the expression into Vietnamese (máu 'blood' + bùn 'mud' = 'mudblood'.) In the text of the chapter, the English term 'Mudblood' is used until the meaning is explained to Harry.
Murmurs: The cold threatening voice that only Harry can hear. In the Chinese versions, 细语 xìyǔ ('thin/fine talk') means 'to speak softly', 'to whisper', 耳語 ěryǔ ('ear talk') means 'to whisper in one's ear'. The Japanese 幽かな声 kasuka-na koe means 'a faint voice'. The Vietnamese refers to tiếng thì thầm, voices speaking in mutters or whispers.