Harry Potter in Chinese, Japanese & Vietnamese Translation


Chapter 24: Rita Skeeter's Scoop


Simplified Chinese (China)
Lìtǎ Sījītè de dújiā xīnwén
丽塔・斯基特 Lìtǎ Sījītè = 'Rita Skeeter'.
de = connecting particle
独家 dújiā = 'sole, exclusive'.
新闻 xīnwén = 'news'.
Rita Skeeter's exclusive
Traditional Chinese (Taiwan)
Lìtǎ Shǐjī de dújiā bàodǎo
麗塔・史譏 Lìtǎ Shǐjī = 'Rita Skeeter'.
de = connecting particle
獨家 dújiā = 'sole, exclusive'.
報導 bàodǎo = 'report'.
Rita Skeeter's exclusive report
Riita Sukiitā no toku-dane
リータ・スキーター Riita Sukiitā = 'Rita Skeeter'.
no = 'connecting particle'.
特ダネ toku-dane = 'special source' = 'exclusive news, scoop'.
Rita Skeeter's scoop
Vietnamese (Chinese characters show etymology)
Tin giựt gân của Rita Skeeter tin = 'news, information'.
giựt gân = 'exciting, sensational'.
(Together tin giựt gân mean 'scoop'.)
của = 'of'.
Rita Skeeter (pronunciaiton: Ri-ta Xki-tơ).
Rita Skeeter's scoop

Rita's name is interesting in English because (1) 'Rita' and 'Skeeter' rhyme for speakers who don't pronounce the 'r' in 'Skeeter' (many British, Australian, New Zealand, South African, and New England speakers) and (2) 'Skeeter' sounds like 'mosquito' -- an annoying blood-sucking insect.

None of the translators reproduces the rhyme.

    The Mainland Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese translators stick to transliterations that lose the rhyme (the -a in 'Rita' and the -er in 'Skeeter' are transliterated differently.)

    The Taiwanese translator makes an attempt at reproducing the unflattering undertones of 'Skeeter' ('mosquito') by writing 'Skeeter' with characters meaning 'history' and 'ridicule, mock, satirise', a nice description of Rita's journalism. But the pun on 'mosquito' itself is, of course, lost.

The way 'scoop' is rendered in the three languages is quite interesting. Despite having a press noted for its subservience, China and Vietnam both have words to express this most aggressive of journalistic tactics.

(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 23
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