Harry Potter in Chinese, Japanese & Vietnamese Translation


Chapter 7: The Boggart in the Wardrobe


Simplified Chinese (China)
Yīguì-lǐ de bógétè
衣柜 yīguì = 'clothes + cupboard' = 'wardrobe'.
= 'inside'.
de = connecting particle
博格特 bógétè = 'boggart'.
The boggart in the wardrobe
Traditional Chinese (Taiwan)
Yīguì-lǐ de huàn-xíng-guài
衣柜 yīguì = 'clothes + cupboard' = 'wardrobe'.
= 'inside'.
de = connecting particle
huàn = 'magical, changeable, illusory'.
xíng = 'shape, form'.
guài = 'monster, demon'.
The illusory-shape-demon in the wardrobe
Yō-dansu no mane-yōkai
= 'Western-style'.
箪笥 tansu = 'chest of drawers, cabinet'.
(Together, yō-dansu = 'wardrobe')
no = connecting particle
まね mane = 'imitation'
(まねる maneru = 'to imitate, copy').
妖怪 yōkai = 'ghost, spectre, monster'.
The imitating-ghost in the wardrobe
Vietnamese (Chinese characters show etymology)
Ông kẹ trong tủ áo ông kẹ = 'ogre'.
trong = 'in'.
tủ áo = 'wardrobe'. (tủ = 'cupboard', áo = 'clothing').
The ogre in the wardrobe

The Boggart in the Harry Potter books is a creature that tries to terrify people by taking the form of what they are most afraid of.

Boggarts existed in north English folklore as malicious household spirits of the nature of a poltergeist (see Encyclopedia Mythica, Mysterious Britain Gazeteer, Wikipedia). They are dark and hairy. In Susan Cooper's booksthey have the property of being shape-shifters. However, their habit of taking on the form of what you most fear appears to be Rowling's ingenious addition.

    The Mainland Chinese translation renders the pronunciation as 博格特 bógétè, which doesn't have much meaning ( means 'rich, abundant, gamble, win'; means 'squares, divisions, standards, fight, etc.'; means 'special').

    The Taiwanese version coins the term 幻形怪 huàn-xíng-guài 'illusory shape demon'. This is a variation on the existing word 變形怪 biàn-xíng-guài 'change shape demon' or 'shape shifter' (thanks to a visitor for pointing this out).

    The Japanese word まね妖怪 mane-yōkai ('imitating-ghost') is a coined expression referring to the Boggart's habit of 'imitating' what the observer is afraid of.

    The Vietnamese simply uses the word ông kẹ, 'ogre'.

(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 6
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