Harry Potter in Chinese, Japanese & Vietnamese Translation


Chapter 1: The Other Minister


Simplified Chinese (China)
Lìng yíwèi bùzhǎng
lìng = 'other'.
一位 = yíwèi 'one' + classifier. wèi is respectful and used for people
部长 bùzhǎng = 'minister (of a department/ministry)'.
Another minister
Traditional Chinese (Taiwan)
Lìng yíge bùzhǎng
lìng = 'other'.
一個 = yíge 'one' + classifier.
部長 bùzhǎng = 'minister (of a department/ministry)'.
Another minister
Mukō no daijin
むこう mukō = 'over there, the other side'.
no = connecting particle
大臣 daijin = 'minister (of a department/ministry)'.
The minister from over there
Vietnamese (Chinese characters show etymology)
Ông thủ tướng kia ông = 'Mr'.
thủ tướng (首相) = 'Prime Minister'.
kia = 'that, the other'.
That Mr Prime Minister

The title is gently mocking. In addition to his usual complement of ministers in charge of (for instance) finance, foreign affairs, energy, transportation, education, etc., the Prime Minister finds that he has one peculiar and troublesome minister that he hadn't bargained for and wished would go away -- the Minister of Magic. This is the 'other' minister, a minister that the PM would rather not name.

The Chinese and Taiwanese translations are quite literal, using expressions meaning 'another' (or 'different') minister.

The Japanese refers to the minister from 'over there' (向こう mukō), where 'over there' refers to the magical world.

In the Vietnamese version, the Minister of Magic is regarded by the Muggle Prime Minister not as 'That Minister', but as 'That Mr Prime Minister'. This is actually quite logical. Although the Ministry of Magic sounds like it is a Ministry reporting to the Muggle Prime Minister, in fact it is better thought of as a parallel government in charge of the magical world. Fudge and Scrimgeour act more like prime ministers liaising with their Muggle counterpart than ministers reporting to the British Prime Minister.

(A summary of this chapter can be found at Harry Potter Facts. Detailed notes on the chapter can be found at Harry Potter Lexicon)

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