Harry Potter in Chinese, Japanese & Vietnamese Translation
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Chapter 33: Fight and Flight

 

Chinese (Mainland)
战斗与飞行
Zhàndòu yǔ fēixíng
战斗 zhàndòu = 'battle, combat, fight'.
= 'and' (written).
飞行 fēixíng = 'flight (through the air)'.
Fight and flight
Chinese (Taiwan)
戰鬥與落跑
Zhàndòu yǔ luòpǎo
戰鬥 zhàndòu = 'battle, combat, fight'.
= 'and' (written).
落跑 luòpǎo = 'flight (as in 'fleeing')'.
Fight and fleeing
Japanese
闘争と逃走
Tōsō to tōsō
闘争 tōsō = 'fight, combat'.
to = 'and'.
逃走 tōsō = 'escape, flight'.
Fight and fleeing
Vietnamese (Chinese characters show etymology)
Chiến đấu và đào tẩu chiến đấu (戰鬥) = 'to fight, to struggle'.
= 'and'.
đào tẩu (逃走) = 'to run away, flee'.
Fight and flee

'Fight or flight' is normally used in English with regard to the biological instinct of self-preservation -- in order to ensure its survival, should a creature stand up and fight or turn round and flee? Rowling has given this phrase a small twist as 'Fight and flight' .

The Chinese, Taiwanese, and Vietnamese versions use the word 戰鬥 (战斗 or chiến đấu) to translate 'fight'. The Japanese uses the similar 闘争 tōsō ('fight, combat').

More interesting is the translation of 'flight'. Normally this would be interpreted as the act of 'fleeing'. However, 'flight' can also mean 'the act of flying', which is what it does here since our friends rode the flying Thestrals to escape.

The Mainland translator quite rightfully translates this as the act of 'flying' (飞行 fēixíng). The Taiwanese translator equally rightly translates it as 落跑 luòpǎo ('run away' or 'escape'), as do the Japanese (逃走 tōsō 'to flee, escape') and Vietnamese translators (đào tẩu 'run away, flee').

The Japanese is unique in that it has reproduced the phonetic word-play aspect of English -- Fight and flight becomes tōsō and tōsō.

Compare this with Chapter in Book 3 Chapter 8, 'Flight of the Fat Lady'.

(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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