Harry Potter in Chinese, Japanese & Vietnamese Translation


Chapter 8: Flight of the Fat Lady


Simplified Chinese (China)
Pàng fūrén táozǒu
pàng = 'fat'.
夫人 fūrén = 'lady'.
逃走 táozǒu = 'flee, escape'.
The fat lady flees
Traditional Chinese (Taiwan)
Pàng nǚshì de táowáng
pàng = 'fat'.
女士 nǚshì = 'lady'.
de = connecting particle
逃亡 táowáng = 'flight, desertion (from home or into exile)'.
The flight of the fat lady
'Futotta fujin' no tōsō / 'Futotta redii' no tōsō
太った futotta = 'fat' (past tense of the verb 太る futoru 'to be fat, to get fat').
婦人 fujin = 'lady'.
レディー redii = 'lady' (from English).
no = connecting particle
逃走 tōsō = 'flight, escape'.
The flight of the fat lady
Vietnamese (Chinese characters show etymology)
Chuyến bay của Bà Béo chuyến bay = 'flight (through the air)' (chuyến = 'trip, voyage', bay = 'fly').
Bà Béo = 'Fat Lady' ( = 'lady', béo = 'fat').
The flight of the fat lady

Another straightforward translation -- or is it?


In English, a 'lady' is a woman of a certain social status and breeding. Each version uses a slightly different word to translate this culturally subtle term.

  • 夫人 Fūrén (Mainland version) is a word traditionally referring to a lady of high rank, usually married to a lord or high official. The word also exists in Japanese, pronounced fujin, with a similar meaning.

  • 女士 Nǚshì (Taiwanese version) is a title of respect for a woman. It is a conventional translation for the English terms 'Mrs' or 'Madam'. Japanese does not have this word (at least, not using these characters).

  • 婦人 Fujin (Japanese version) refers to an adult woman. It's pronounced fùrén in Chinese and refers to a married woman.

  • (Vietnamese version) means 'old woman' or 'grandmother'. It is, however, a respectful term that is also used in the same way as English 'Mrs'.

In addition, the Japanese uses furigana (see Chapter 3 above) to indicate that 婦人 should be pronounced レディー redii ('lady'). Japanese speakers are familiar with redii, which is now part of the Japanese vocabulary, although it still has a foreign feel to it.


逃走 táozǒu (Mainland) or tōsō (Japanese) refers to the act of fleeing or escaping. The Taiwanese version uses 逃亡 táowáng (tōbō in Japanese), which refers to running away, escape (into exile), desertion, etc. The Vietnamese version erroneously refers to the Fat Lady's action as a 'flight' -- as in a 'plane flight'!

(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 7
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