Harry Potter in Chinese, Japanese & Vietnamese Translation


Chapter 20: The First Task


Simplified Chinese (China)
Dì-yī-ge xiàngmù
第一 dì-yī = 'no. 1, first'.
ge = counter/classifier
项目 xiàngmù = 'item, project, event'.
The first item
Traditional Chinese (Taiwan)
Dì-yī-xiàng rènwu
第一 dì-yī = 'no. 1, first'.
xiàng = counter/classifier
任務 rènwu = 'assignment, mission, task'.
The first assignment
Dai-ichi no kadai
第一 dai-ichi = 'no. 1, first'.
no = connecting particle
課題 kadai = 'subject, theme, task, exercise, problem'.
The first task
Vietnamese (Chinese characters show etymology)
Bài thi đầu tiên bài thi = 'examination paper'.
đầu tiên (頭先) = 'first'.
The first examination


    The Mainland translator uses the general word 项目 xiàngmù meaning 'item', 'project', or 'event'. (The classifier/counter used is ge, the most common, all-purpose classifier found in Chinese.)
    The Taiwanese translator uses the word 任務 rènwu, which is used not only of assignments given to secret agents but also quite mundane tasks given to staff to perform. (The classifier/counter used here is the rather more specialised xiàng, meaning 'item'. This is a classifier used specifically for things that are itemised.)
    The Japanese 課題 kadai is a fairly broad term used for tasks, exercises, subjects, problems, and themes.
    The Vietnamese treats the tournament as a kind of examination (bài thi, examination paper).

No. 1:

    Japanese uses 第一 dai-ichi for 'first' or 'no. 1', an expression from Chinese.

    Vietnamese đầu tiên is formed of Chinese roots (頭先 = 'head first'), but this is not found in Mandarin.

(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 19
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