Harry Potter in Chinese, Japanese & Vietnamese Translation


Chapter 5: The Dementor


Simplified Chinese (China)
shè = 'absorb, assimilate'.
hún = 'soul, spirit'.
guài = 'monster, demon'.
The soul-absorbing demon
Traditional Chinese (Taiwan)
cuī = 'urge, drive'.
kuáng = 'mad, crazy'.
= 'evil spirit, demon'.
The driving-crazy demon
Kyūkonki / Dimentā
kyū = 'suck'.
kon = 'spirit, soul'.
ki = 'ghost, spirit, ogre'.
ディメンター Dimentā = 'dementor'.
The soul-sucking ghost / Dementor
Vietnamese (Chinese characters show etymology)
Giám ngục Azkaban giám () = 'inspect, supervise'.
ngục () = 'prison, gaol'.
giám ngục is 'prison warder' or 'prison guard'.
Azkaban = 'Azkaban'.
The guard of Azkaban


    The Taiwanese version follows the English meaning most closely, coining the word 催狂魔 Cuī-kuáng-mó to indicate a monster that makes people go crazy (become 'demented').

    The Japanese and Mainland Chinese versions both coin words describing the dementors as creatures that absorb or suck out the soul, a good description of their deadly effect. The Japanese name 吸魂鬼 kyūkonki is modelled on the word for 'vampire', which is 吸血鬼 kyūketsuki 'blood-sucking demon'.

    Japanese makes use of furigana (see Chapter 3 above) to show the English pronunciation 'dementor'. This lets the reader know that this 'ogre that sucks out the soul' is known as a dimentā ('dementor') in the original English.

    The Vietnamese translator avoids the word 'dementor' altogether, referring to them as the warders or guards of Azkaban. This is a nice solution but runs the risk of problems later when they inevitably leave Azkaban to join Voldemort.

(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 4
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