Harry Potter in Chinese, Japanese & Vietnamese Translation


Chapter 11: The Firebolt


Simplified Chinese (China)
Huǒ nǔjiàn
huǒ = 'fire'.
弩箭 nǔjiàn = 'crossbow arrow'.
Fire crossbow-arrow
Traditional Chinese (Taiwan)
Huǒ shǎndiàn
huǒ = 'fire'.
閃電 shǎndiàn = 'lightning'.
Fire lightning
Honō no ikazuchi / Faiaboruto
honō = 'flames, fire'.
no = connecting particle
ikazuchi = 'thunderbolt'.
ファイアボルト Faiaboruto = 'Firebolt' (English).
Flame thunderbolt / Firebolt
Vietnamese (Chinese characters show etymology)
Tia chớp tia chớp = 'lightning bolt'. Lightning bolt


The 'Firebolt' is Harry's new broomstick, which is translated semantically into all three languages.

    The Taiwanese and Japanese versions fairly literally translate the name as 'fire' + 'lightning bolt'. The words used for 'fire' and 'bolt' in Japanese are both fine-sounding poetic words, not common everyday words.

    The furigana above the words 炎の雷 honō no ikazuchi indicate that they should be read with the English pronunciation Faiaboruto 'firebolt'. This manages to provide the meaning of the name in Japanese while also giving the original English pronunciation. (See above, Chapter 3, for furigana).

    The Mainland Chinese version departs from the 'lightning bolt' simile to compare the broom to an arrow (or 'bolt') that has been shot from a crossbow.

    The Vietnamese ignores the 'fire' component and translates only the word 'bolt (of lightning)'.

An advertisement for the Firebolt appears at Chapter 4. The text of the advertisement can be found at The Firebolt in the Passages section.

(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 10
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