Harry Potter in Chinese, Japanese & Vietnamese Translation


Disastrous Mistakes Made by People’s Literature Publishing House in the Translation of Harry Potter


cjvlang proudly presents Me Help's Litany of Disastrous Errors in the translation of the Harry Potter series by People's Literature Publishing House. This list of mistakes has already been published in Chinese at Chinese-language bulletin boards, where it has not only caused a stir among Harry Potter fans in China, but has also reached the eyes of People's Literature Publishing House itself. In fact, some of the books have been retranslated since this page appeared. This is the first time this list has appeared in English, courtesy of Me Help himself.

To find out what the mistakes are, and how disastrous they are, click on the links below! You will be astounded at the number of errors, many of them elementary or careless errors that mislead Chinese readers about plot and characterisation. You will never trust a translation again!

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone 哈利·波特与魔法石
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 哈利·波特与密室
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban 哈利·波特与阿兹卡班的囚徒

What are the criteria for deciding if a mistake is serious -- or as Me Help terms it, "disastrous"? The following are Me Help's criteria:

The criteria for a mistranslation as "disastrous" are:

1) Affecting the image or characterisation of figures, or
2) Damaging to the plot, or
3) Lengthy omissions, or
4) Losing a hint or the reader’s involvement, or
5) Leading readers to suspect a non-existent hint, or
6) Misleading readers in a considerable way, or
7) Leading to damaging misunderstandings of other cultures, or
8) Ridiculous translations, or
9) Multiple errors in one sentence.

' 严重错译' 入选标准:

1) 影响人物形象与性格的;
2) 影响情节的;
3) 较长的漏译;
4) 丢失原著伏笔或悬念的;
5) 导致读者猜测不存在的伏笔或悬念的;
6) 误导或困惑读者的;
7) 使读者对异族文化发生错误理解的;
8) 特别离奇可笑的;
9) 一个句子之内多处错译、漏译的。

Me Help can be contacted directly at this email address.

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