Harry Potter in Chinese, Japanese & Vietnamese Translation
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Chapter 21: The Unknowable Room

 

Chinese (Mainland)
神秘的房间
Shénmì de fángjiān
神秘 shénmì = 'secret, mysterious'.
de = connecting particle
房间 fángjiān = 'room'.
The mysterious room
Chinese (Taiwan)
不可知的房間
Bù kě zhī de fángjiān
= 'not'.
= 'can'.
zhī = 'know' (Classical form, modern word is 知道 zhīdào) '.
de = connecting particle
房間 fángjiān = 'room'.
The unknowable room
Japanese
不可知の部屋
Fukachi no heya
不可知 fukachi = 'unknowable'.
no = connecting particle
部屋 heya = 'room'.
The unknowable room
Vietnamese (Chinese characters show etymology)
Phòng Bất Khả Tri Phòng () = 'room'.
Bất () = 'not'.
Khả () = 'can, to be able to'.
Tri () = 'to know'.
The unknowable room

The 'unknowable room' is the Room of Requirement, used as a place to keep things that no one else can find.

The Taiwanese, Japanese, and Vietnamese translators all use the expression 不可知 bù kě zhī (Japanese 不可知 fukachi, Vietnamese bất khả tri) 'cannot be known, unknowable'. In the case of Japanese and Vietnamese, this expression draws on Chinese word-building traditions.

The Mainland Chinese translator renders the title as 神秘的房间 shénmì de fángjiān, 'the mysterious room'. While an acceptable translation, the use of 神秘 shénmì is a little tired considering that it was also used to translate 'The Secret Riddle'.

(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 20
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