Harry Potter in Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese & Mongolian Translation
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Chapter 13: The Very Secret Diary

 

Chinese (Mainland)
绝密日记
Juémì rìjì
绝密 juémì = 'top-secret'.
日记 rìjì = 'diary'.
The Top-Secret Diary
Chinese (Taiwan)
絕密日記
Juémì rìjì
絕密 jué-mì = 'top-secret'.
日記 rìjì = 'diary'.
The Top-Secret Diary
Japanese
重大秘密の日記
Jūdai-himitsu no nikki
重大 jūdai = 'major/important'
秘密 himitsu = 'secret'.
no = connecting particle
日記 nikki = 'diary'
The Diary of Important Secrets
Vietnamese (Chinese characters show etymology)
Cuốn nhật ký cực kỳ bí mật cuốn () = counter for books.
nhật ký (日記) = 'diary'.
cực kỳ (極其) = 'extremely, utterly, very'.
bí mật (秘密) = 'secret'.
The Extremely Secret Diary
Mongolian (previous)
Нууц өдрийн тэмдэглэл
Nuuts ödriin temdeglel
нууц nuuts = 'secret'.
өдрийн тэмдэглэл ödriin temdeglel = 'journal, diary'.
The Secret Diary
Mongolian (new)
Маш нууц өдрийн тэмдэглэл
Mash nuuts ödriin temdeglel
маш mash = 'very'.
нууц nuuts = 'secret'.
өдрийн тэмдэглэл ödriin temdeglel = 'journal, diary'.
The Very Secret Diary

A relatively straightforward translation.

Very Secret

    To express the concept of 'very secret', the two Chinese versions use the snappy compound 絕密 / 绝密 juémì ('absolute-secret').

    Japanese and Vietnamese both use the word 'secret' (秘密 himitsu in Japanese, bí mật in Vietnamese), a term borrowed from Chinese. In the Japanese translation, this is qualified as 重大 jūdai, which means 'important', 'major', or 'grave'. Vietnamese uses cực kỳ meaning 'extremely, utterly'. Note: In the page headers in the initial instalments, the Vietnamese translation uses the title Cuốn nhật ký bí ẩn, where bí ẩn means 'secret, covered, veiled'. Etymologically, bí ẩn is 秘隱 in Chinese characters.

    The previous Mongolian translation used нууц nuuts 'secret', without qualification. The new Mongolian translation adds маш mash 'very, highly' to translate 'very'.

Diary

The four CJV translations use the same etymologically related word for 'diary': 日記 / 日记 rìjì in Chinese, 日記 nikki in Japanese, nhật ký in Vietnamese. This combines 'sun, day' and / meaning 'a mark, a sign' as a noun, and 'remember, note' as a verb. The meaning is 'daily notes' or 'daily record'.

Mongolian uses the combination өдрийн тэмдэглэл ödriin temdeglel 'daily record' for a journal or diary. Тэмдэглэл temdeglel 'record, note' is from the verb тэмдэглэх temdeglekh 'note down, stamp, mark, note', derived from the noun тэмдэг temdeg meaning 'sign, symbol, mark, badge'.

(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 12
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