Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Chapter 5: Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes
Where a Vietnamese word has been borrowed from Chinese, the original Chinese character is shown in parentheses.
Wéisīlái mófǎ bǎxì
魔法 mófǎ = 'magic'.
把戏 bǎxì = 'cheap trick, game'.
|Weasley's magic tricks|
Wèishì wūshī fǎbǎo
= 'Weasley' (short for 衛斯理 Wèisīlǐ
氏 shì = 'family, clan'.
巫師 wūshī = 'wizard'.
法寶 fǎbǎo = 'jewel of the law' = 'magic weapon/formula'.
|Weasley family's wizard magic weapons|
Wiizurii Wizādo Wiizu (WWW)
|ウィーズリー Wiizurii = 'Weasley'.
ウィザード Wizādo = 'Wizard'
ウィーズ Wiizu = 'Wheeze'.
|Wiizurii Wizaado Wiizu (WWW)|
|Vietnamese||Mánh phù thủy của nhà Weasley||mánh
= 'trick, ruse'.
phù thủy = 'sorceror, wizard'.
của = 'of'.
nhà = 'house'.
Weasley (pronunciation: Guýt-li)
|Wizard's tricks of the house of Weasley|
To translate the word 'wheeze', which means something like 'an old joke', the Mainland and Vietnamese translators use words referring to a trick or a prank.
The Taiwanese translator uses the Buddhist term 法寶 fǎbǎo, 'jewel of the law', which actually refers to the Buddhist sutras. By extension (thanks to certain magical powers attributed to Buddhism) it means a 'magic weapon or formula'.
The Japanese translator transliterates the three words 'Weasley Wizard Wheeze' into katakana, adding a 'W' above each word to indicate the alliterative effect. Japanese readers would be hard put to make sense of this. Apart from the fact that it involves the Weasleys and is an English expression, it doesn't say much. Understanding would come only with Ron's explanation half way through the chapter. While not the best method of translation, it does give a good illustration of the great tolerance of the Japanese for katakana vocabulary (i.e., words transliterated from English).