Bathrobe's 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

 

Put-Outer

 

Chinese (Mainland) 熄灯器
Xídēng-qì
= 'to put out, extinguish (a light)'.
dēng = 'lamp'.
= 'instrument, implement'.
Lamp-extinguishing implement
Chinese (Taiwan) 熄燈器
Xídēng-qì
= 'to put out, extinguish (a light)'.
dēng = 'lamp'.
= 'instrument, implement'.
Lamp-extinguishing implement
Japanese 灯消しライター
Hi-keshi raitā
hi = 'light, lamp'. (Hi is also written 'sun' and 'fire'. They are obviously all related, although written with different Chinese characters).
消し keshi = 'extinguishing', from 消す kesu 'to put out, extinguish'.
ライター raitā = 'lighter'.
Lamp-extinguishing lighter
Vietnamese cái tắt-lửa
cái Bật-Tắt Lửa
cái = counter/classifier for inanimate things
tắt = 'to put out, extinguish'.
lửa = 'fire'.

cái = counter/classifier for inanimate things
bật = 'to strike (fire), to burst out'.
tắt = 'to put out, extinguish'.
lửa = 'fire'.
Fire put-outer

Put-out lighter
(Where a Vietnamese word has been borrowed from Chinese, the original Chinese character is shown in parentheses.)

This appears in the very first chapter of Book One ('The Boy Who Lived'), where Dumbledore uses it to put out and restore the lights in Privet Drive, and later on again in the third chapter of Book Five ('The Advance Guard'), where Moody, who has borrowed it from Dumbledore, uses it to put out the streetlights in Grimmauld Place.

At Book Seven, the Put-outer is renamed the Deluminator. This is in keeping with Rowling's steady move away from the children's-fiction tone of the first Harry Potter book. It will be interesting to see how translators deal with the change in name.

Being found in Book One, the Taiwanese and Mainland names for the Put-Outer are, as is often the case, exactly the same. The meaning of the Chinese ('Lamp-extinguishing implement') is quite straightforward.

The Japanese translator is more playful. Since Dumbledore clicks the Put-Outer like a lighter, she calls it a ライター raitā ('lighter'), but instead of lighting things up, this 'lighter' puts them out (灯を消す hi o kesu).

The Vietnamese varies. At the first mention in Book One Chapter One it is not translated. At the second mention in the same chapter it is translated as cái tắt-lửa ('fire put-outer'). At the third mention in Book 5 Chapter 3, it is called cái Bật-Tắt Lửa, which is a mixture of cái bật lửa, ('lighter'), and cái tắt-lửa, ('fire put-outer').

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