Harry Potter in Chinese, Japanese & Vietnamese Translation


Chapter 12: The Triwizard Tournament


Simplified Chinese (China)
Sānqiáng zhēngbà-sài
三强 sānqiáng = 'tri-team, tri-contestant' (sān = 'three', qiáng = 'strong'.)
争霸 zhēngbà = 'struggle for hegemony'.
sài = 'competition'.
The tri-contestant tournament
Traditional Chinese (Taiwan)
Sānwū dòufǎ dàsài
三巫 sānwū = 'three wizard'.
鬥法 dòufǎ = 'exercise magic powers against each other'
大賽 dàsài = 'big competition'
The three-wizard magic powers contest
三大魔法学校対校試合 トライウィザード・トーナメント
San dai mahō gakkō taikō shi-ai / Torai-wizādo tōnamento
san = 'three'.
dai = 'large, great'.
魔法 mahō = 'magic'.
学校 gakkō = 'school'.
対校 taikō = 'against school' = 'interschool'.
試合 shi-ai = 'match, tournament'.
トライウィザード torai-wizādo = 'Triwizard'
トーナメント tōnamento = 'tournament'
The three great magic schools interschool match (Triwizard tournament)
Vietnamese (Chinese characters show etymology)
Thi đấu tam pháp thuật thi đấu = 'competition'.
tam () = 'three'.
pháp thuật (法術) = 'magic'.
The three magic competition

The Chinese and Japanese versions are interesting in their choice of words to express the name of the tournament.

    (1) Like the English, the Mainland version models the name on sporting tournaments. For instance, international soccer tournaments use expressions like 四强比赛 sìqiáng bǐsài (4-nation competition).
    (2) The Taiwanese version turns to a traditional Chinese term to describe the contest. Yes, Chinese actually has a word that means 'exercise magic powers against each other', which the translator has put to good use here! The dòu in 鬥法 dòufǎ means 'to contest, contend'; is related to the of 法術 fǎshù ('magic').
    (3) The Japanese version takes as its model interscholastic or intercollegiate tournaments (対校試合 taikō shi-ai), not forgetting, of course, to add the original English pronunciation in furigana lettering.
    (4) Note that the Vietnamese uses the borrowed Chinese numeral for 'three', namely tam, rather than the native Vietnamese word ba. This is appropriate to formal expressions.

(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 11
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