Harry Potter in Chinese, Japanese & Vietnamese Translation


Chapter 30: The Pensieve


Simplified Chinese (China)
冥想 míngxiǎng = 'meditation'.
pén = 'bowl'.
The meditation bowl
Traditional Chinese (Taiwan)
chǔ = 'store'.
= 'thought'.
pén = 'bowl'.
The thought storage bowl
ペンシーブ penshību = pensieve The Pensieve
Vietnamese (Chinese characters show etymology)
Cái Tưởng ký cái = counter/classifier for things
tưởng () = 'think of, remember, recall'.
(?) = 'memory, record'?.
The 'memory'

The Pensieve is a bowl in which one can take memories from the mind and store them to be relived later. The name of this gadget is an ingenious coinage, based on 'pensive' (meditative thoughtfulness) and 'sieve' (an item for straining powders etc.). The name 'pensieve' suggests something that allows you to strain out your thoughts and ponder them in a meditative mood.

The connotations of meditative thoughtfulness are captured well by the Mainland translator.

The Taiwanese translator refers to the Pensieve's function of storing thoughts.

The Japanese simply transliterates the English name 'pensieve' into katakana (ペンシーブ). In the body of the chapter that Dumbledore explains that the 'Pensieve is an 憂いの篩 urei no furui - a 'sieve for worries/anxieties'.

I am not clear of the meaning of the Vietnamese. It appears to refer to an object for thinking of memories.

(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 29
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