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

 

Floo Powder

 

Chinese (Mainland) 飞路粉
Fēilù-fěn
飞路 fēilù = 'fly road' ('speed the way')
-fěn = 'powder'.
Speed-the-road powder
Chinese (Taiwan)

呼嚕粉
Hūlū-fěn

呼嚕 hūlū = 'hulu'.
fěn = 'powder'.
Hulu powder
Japanese 煙突飛行粉フルーパウダー
Entotsu hikō fun (furū paudā)
煙突 entotsu = 'chimney'.
飛行 hikō = 'flight'.
fun = 'powder'.
フルーパウダー furū paudā = 'fulu pauda'.
Chimney flight powder
(Floo powder)
Vietnamese bột Floo bột = 'powder'.
Floo = 'Floo'.
Floo powder
(Where a Vietnamese word has been borrowed from Chinese, the original Chinese character is shown in parentheses.)

Floo Powder is a magical powder used to access the Floo Network, a human transportation network connecting fireplaces throughout the wizarding world. Floo powder just needs to be thrown into the flames followed by the speaking of the destination name, and the person throwing the powder will be transported to the fireplace of his choice.

'Floo' in English sounds like 'flue', which refers to chimneys and other ventilation apparatus of the fireplace. It also sounds like 'flew'.

The word 'Floo Powder' is handled somewhat differently in each translation.

  • The Mainland Chinese translation comes up with the word 飞路 fēilù, which not only expresses the meaning in a meaningful way, it is also pronounced in a similar fashion to 'floo'.
  • The Taiwanese Chinese translation uses the word 呼嚕 hūlū, which normally represents a wheezing sound. (It is also the word for 'snoring' in Chinese, read hūlu.)
  • The Japanese translation expresses the meaning quite accurately as 煙突飛行粉 entotsu hikō fun, 'chimney flight powder'. In order to show the English pronunciation, the translator uses rubi or furigana above the Japanese expression. The pronunciation given is フルーパウダー furū paudā.
  • The Vietnamese translation abandons all attempts to explain or translate the meaning of 'Floo Powder', preferring to call it simply bột Floo. While this misses some of the nuances of the English, the function of Floo Powder becomes readily apparent during the story. Bột Floo also sounds somewhat mysterious, which fits in with the author's intention.
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