Harry Potter in Chinese, Japanese & Vietnamese Translation

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The Names of Gadgets and Objects in Harry Potter
Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese Translation

 

Ever-Bashing Boomerang

 

Chinese (Mainland) 连击飞回镖
Liánjī fēihuíbiāo
连击 liánjī = 'repeated attack'.
飞回镖 fēihuíbiāo = 'fly-return-spear/javelin' = 'boomerang'.
Repeated attack boomerang
Chinese (Taiwan)

一直緊追著人不放的迴力錶
Yìzhí jǐnzhuī-zhe rén búfàng de huílìbiāo

一直 yìzhí = 'all along, always'.
緊追著 jǐnzhuī-zhe = 緊追 jǐnzhuī 'to follow closely, chase' + -zhe particle of ongoing action = 'chasing'.
rén = 'person'.
不放 búfàng = 'not leave off'.
de = connecting particle (here means 'which')
迴力錶 huílìbiāo = 'return strength spear/javelin' = 'boomerang'.
Boomerang that always chases people and never leaves off
Japanese 殴り続けのブーメラン
Naguri-tsuzuke no būmeran
殴り続けの naguri-tsuzuke no = 'continually beating'
(殴り続ける naguri-tsuzukeru = 殴る naguru 'to strike, beat' + 続ける tsuzukeru 'to continue to do something', converted to the noun 殴り続け naguri-tsuzuke 'continual beating'. The connecting particle no connects this to the following noun).
ブーメラン būmeran = 'boomerang' (from English).
Continual-beating boomerang
Vietnamese Gậy Nện Đau hoài
gậy = 'stick, cane'.
nện = 'to beat, strike'.
đau = 'to hurt, be in pain'.
hoài = 'to act incessantly, to continue to'.
Incessantly painfully striking stick
(Where a Vietnamese word has been borrowed from Chinese, the original Chinese character is shown in parentheses.)

The Ever-Bashing Boomerang was banned from Hogwarts in Harry's 4th year at the request of Filch (in Book 4 Chapter 12 The Triwizard Tournament).

A boomerang is a curved piece of wood that, when thrown, describes a circle and returns to the thrower. It is an artifact of the Australian Aborigines. In the magical world of Harry Potter, the Ever-Bashing Boomerang is designed to chase and continually bash the object of its attentions. Ever-Bashing Boomerang features the alliteration beloved of Rowling.

Ever-Bashing

'Ever-Bashing' is nice and brief in English: 'ever' means 'always' (in this case) and 'bashing' is a rather colloquial verb meaning 'to hit forcefully with a blunt object'.

The Mainland Chinese translator comes up with the very compact 连击 liánjī meaning 'repeated attack' (or 'to repeatedly attack'). (In table tennis, however, 连击 liánjī means 'double hit'.)

The Taiwanese translator comes up with a wordier but quite humorous version of a boomerang that chases people and won't lay off.

The Japanese translator uses the compound verb 殴り続ける naguri-tsuzukeru 'to continue to beat', converted into a noun as 殴り続け naguri-tsuzuke.

The Vietnamese translator uses nện đau hoài, 'repeatedly painfully hit'. Hoài is a Southern expression that is quite suitable here for the idea of 'continual action'.

Boomerang

'Boomerang' entered English from an Australian Aboriginal language. Japanese has borrowed it directly and it is quite familiar in expressions like ブーメラン効果 būmeran kōka 'the boomerang effect' in economics.

The boomerang doesn't appear to be so well known among the Chinese and the name for it hasn't been standardised. Most commonly it is known in Chinese as the 回力鏢 (回力镖) huílìbiāo 'return strength dart', 回力棒 huílìbàng 'return strength stick', or 回旋錶 (回旋镖) huíxuānbiāo 'return spin dart'.

However, the Mainland translator doesn't use any of these accepted names, coming up with her own version, 飞回镖 fēihuíbiāo meaning 'fly return dart'. The Taiwanese translator uses 迴力鏢 huílìbiāo, which departs slightly from normal usage by substituting for . Both the meaning and pronunciation of the two characters are the same.

Boomerangs do not appear to be well known in Vietnam, either, and the Vietnamese translator does away with any pretence of boomerangs to use gậy meaning 'cane' or 'stick'.

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