Harry Potter in Chinese, Japanese & Vietnamese Translation


Chapter 17: Cat, Rat and Dog


Simplified Chinese (China)
Māo, hàozi hé gǒu
māo = 'cat'.
耗子 hàozi = 'rat, mouse' (northern dialect).
= 'and'.
gǒu = 'dog'.
Cat, rat and dog
Traditional Chinese (Taiwan)
Māo, shǔ, gǒu
māo = 'cat'.
shǔ = 'rat/mouse'.
gǒu = 'dog'.
Cat, rat, dog
Neko, nezumi, inu
neko = 'cat'.
ネズミ nezumi = 'rat/mouse'.
inu = 'dog'.
Cat, rat, dog
Vietnamese (Chinese characters show etymology)
Mèo, chuột và chó mèo = 'cat'.
chuột = 'rat/mouse'.
= 'and'.
chó = 'dog'.
Cat, rat and dog

The standard spoken word for 'rat/mouse' in Chinese is 老鼠 lǎoshǔ ('old rat'). Neither of the Chinese translators use this word. The word for 'rat/mouse' used in the Mainland Chinese edition, 耗子 hàozi, is a colloquial north Chinese word. The Taiwanese translation uses the written expression for 'rat/mouse', which is shǔ. By omitting the word 'and', the Taiwanese translator comes up with a simple, succinct title in a classical style, whereas the Mainland version is modern and colloquial in feel.

The Japanese translator writes 'cat' and 'dog' in Chinese characters while writing 'rat/mouse' in katakana as ネズミ. This is in line with standard usage: the character for nezumi () is not included in the list of characters for normal use (the 'jōyō kanji') and is usually written in katakana as it is the name of a type of animal.

(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 16
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