Harry Potter in Chinese, Japanese & Vietnamese Translation


Chapter 18: Dobby's Reward


Simplified Chinese (China)
Duōbǐ de bàocháng
多比 Duōbǐ = 'Dobby'.
de = connecting particle
报偿 bàocháng= 'recompense, reward'.
Dobby's Recompense
Traditional Chinese (Taiwan)
Duōbǐ de jiǎngshǎng
多比 Duōbǐ = 'Dobby'.
de = connecting particle
獎賞 jiǎngshǎng = 'award, prize'.
Dobby's Prize
Dobii no go-hoobi
ドビー Dobii = 'Dobby'.
no = connecting particle
ごほうび go-hōbi = 'reward'
Dobby's Reward
Vietnamese (Chinese characters show etymology)
Phần thưởng cho Dobby phần thưởng (分賞) = 'reward, recompense'.
cho = 'for'.
Dobby (pronunciation: Đốp-bi).
Reward for Dobby
Mongolian (previous)
Доббигийн шагнал
Dobbigiin shagnal
Добби dobbi = 'Dobby' (Genitive form).
шагнал shagnal = 'reward, prize'.
Dobby's Prize
Mongolian (new)
Доббигийн хүртсэн шагнал
Dobbigiin ankhaaruulag
Добби dobbi = 'Dobby' (Genitive form).
хүртэх khürtekhg = 'to receive (from a superior)' (Past tense).
шагнал shagnal = 'reward, prize'.
The Prize that Dobby Received


Dobby's name is represented phonetically or alphabetically in all translations.

The characters for 'Dobby' in the Chinese versions mean 'many' + 'compare', but this is irrelevant because they are used solely for their sound value, not their meaning.

The Japanese translation ignores the double consonant in the spelling 'Dobby'. However, both Mongolian translations retain the double consonant. Mongolian readers would pronounce it this way, making a slight catch or pause in front of the 'b'. The Vietnamese translator similarly gives the pronunciation Đốp-bi, with a doubled consonant, in the pronunciation footnotes in the original translated instalments.


Dobby's reward was to be released from slavery to the Malfoys thanks to a stratagem on Harry's part. It was Harry's way of thanking him for all that he had done.

    The Chinese and Taiwanese versions use different words for 'reward'. 报偿 bàocháng (traditional characters 報償) in the Mainland translation refers to a reward or recompense (often monetary) for one's efforts. The Taiwanese translation, 獎賞 jiǎngshǎng (simplified 奖赏) refers to a prize or award (also often monetary) given to a winner or successful person.

    The term used in the Vietnamese translation, phần thưởng, similarly refers to an award for merit or achievement. It corresponds to the Chinese characters 分賞.

    The Japanese uses the term ごほうび go-hōbi, meaning a reward (also often monetary) given in praise. Interestingly, it uses hiragana in preference to Chinese characters (ご褒美), an illustration of the fluidity of Japanese writing. Hiragana is chosen partly because 褒美 hōbi is rather difficult to write and not commonly used, and partly because go-hōbi (which is made up of the honorific go- plus the word hōbi 'reward') is a common everyday expression that is used even to children. By writing it in hiragana, the translator conveys the everyday tone of 'a reward for being good boy'. Using characters would have conveyed a stiffer, more official tone. (For information on the Japanese writing system, see CJV Writing Systems).

    The Mongolian translations use the word шагнал shagnal, referring to a prize or award given for merit.

(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 17
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