Harry Potter in Chinese, Japanese & Vietnamese Translation

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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Chapter Titles in Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese

 

Chapter 9: The Writing on the Wall

 

(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 character is shown in parentheses.

 

Chinese (Mainland) 墙上的字
Qiáng-shang de zì
墙上 qiáng-shang = 'on the wall'.
de = connecting particle
= 'letters'.
Letters on the wall
Chinese (Taiwan) 牆上的字跡
Qiáng-shang de zìjì
牆上 qiáng-shang = 'on the wall'.
de = connecting particle
字跡 zìjì = 'handwriting'.
Handwriting on the wall
Japanese 壁に書かれた文字
Kabe ni kakareta moji
壁に kabe ni = 'wall' + 'particle of location' = 'on the wall'.
書かれた kakareta = 'was written', from the verb 書く kaku 'to write' (kakareta modifies the following word)
文字 moji = 'letters'.
Letters written on the wall
Vietnamese Thông điệp trên tường thông điệp (通牒) = 'message, note'.
trên = 'on'.
tường () = 'wall'.
The message on the wall

All are fairly straightforward translations. 'Letters' in the Japanese and Chinese versions refer to characters or writing.

Of course, none of the translations conveys the Biblical undertones of the English (the writing on the wall that foretold the fall of Babylon) because Christianity traditionally hasn't played a large role in the mainstream culture of the Orient.

Note: The chapter title given here is based on the original instalments. When the single-volume Vietnamese edition appeared, this chapter title was omitted altogether and the content of 'The Writing on the Wall' incorporated into 'The Deathday Party'. As a result, the single-volume edition jumps directly from Chapter 8 to Chapter 10.

(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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