Harry Potter in Chinese, Japanese & Vietnamese Translation


Chapter 33: The Death Eaters


Simplified Chinese (China)
shí = 'eat' (written Chinese).
= 'die, death'.
= 'follower, disciple'.
Death-eating followers
Traditional Chinese (Taiwan)
shí = 'eat' (written Chinese).
= 'die, death'.
rén = 'person'.
Death-eating people
Shi-kui-bito (desu-iitā)
死喰い人 shi-kui-bito = 'death-eating person'.
shi = 'death'.
喰い kui = 'eat', from the verb 喰う kuu 'to eat' (a rough everyday word mainly used by men).
hito = 'person'.
デス・イーター desu-iitā = 'death-eater'.
Death-eating people (Death-eaters)
Vietnamese (Chinese characters show etymology)
Tử thần Thực tử tử thần (死神) = 'god of death'.
thực () = 'eat'.
tử () = 'person'.
God of death eaters

The followers of Voldemort.

The Chinese and Taiwanese translators make up a new word for 'Death Eater'. The word shí 'to eat' is an old literary word that is only used in compound words, such as 食品 shípǐn ('food'). The normal everyday verb 'to eat' is chī.

The Japanese translator also makes up a new word, 死喰い人 shi-kui-bito. The furigana (or rubi) give the pronunciation as デス・イーター desu-iitā ('death eater'). At other places in the book, furigana indicate that the characters are to be pronounced しくいびと shi-kui-bito.

The meaning of the Vietnamese is not totally clear. The first word is 'death', or rather the 'god of death' (tử thần) as a personification of death. The second word is thực tử, which means 'eater'. In an interesting flourish, the compound starts and ends with the same syllable (tử).

(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 32
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