Harry Potter in Chinese, Japanese & Vietnamese Translation

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Publication History of Harry Potter in China, Japan, Taiwan, and Vietnam

The tables below give brief details of the publication dates of Harry Potter in Japan, Taiwan, China, and Vietnam. Most dates are accurate, but the Vietnamese dates are rather indeterminate.

Japan: Japan was first to enjoy Harry in translation (from Say-zan-sha) thanks to the dedication of Yuko Matsuoka. Because of pains spent getting the translation right, however, subsequent Japanese translations have been much slower to appear than those in the other countries. The Japanese version of Book 4 only appeared in October 2002 and Book 5 finally appeared on 1 September 2004. Book 6 appeared on 17 May 2006.

Taiwan: The Taiwanese translator was also quick off the mark with the first book, but being the work of a sole translator, later Taiwanese translations were somewhat slow to appear. For the fifth and sixth books, the publisher (Crown Publishing) engaged a team of translators, with the result that the fifth book appeared only one week after the Mainland translation and the sixth book was earlier than the Mainland.

China: The Mainland publisher, People's Literature Publishing House, had three translators work separately on the first three books, which appeared simultaneously in September 2000. As a result, the Mainland publisher overtook the Taiwanese and Japanese publishers in one bound. Books 4 and 5 also appeared before the Japanese or Taiwanese editions.

In 2009, the Mainland publisher released a new translation of Book 3 (The Prisoner of Azkaban) by Ma Aixin and Ma Ainong, presumably because the earlier translation was considered to fall short of the other books in the series. All references in this site are to the earlier translation.

Vietnam: The Vietnamese translator was Ly Lan. The Vietnamese publisher, Youth Publishing, adopted a unique method of releasing the books -- in regular instalments. This meant that the translations appeared quickly, although at the expense of quality and consistency. The Vietnamese translation originally appeared with unique cover designs that differed from instalment to instalment. Upon reprinting, this was changed to a reworked version of the American cover (with some mistakes, however, the most notable being that Ron replaced Hermione on the back of the hippogriff on Book 3!) For the titles of Vietnamese instalments, click here. Unfortunately, I don't have the release dates of the Vietnamese instalments.

Besides the instalments, a one-volume Vietnamese edition of Book 1 was released in December 2000, with most footnotes and all illustrations omitted. Single-volume editions have also been issued for the following four books in the series, also omitting footnotes and illustrations.

For the sixth book, the Vietnamese publisher abandoned the practice of issuing separate instalments. Only a single-volume edition was published.

To find out where to buy Harry Potter books in Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese, click here.

 

HARRY POTTER AND THE PHILOSOPHER'S STONE

Country/Jurisdiction Publisher Translator Date  
United Kingdom Bloomfield - 1997  
Japan Say-zan-sha Yuko Matsuoka 1999 (Dec)  
Taiwan Crown Publishing Peng Qianwen 2000 (June)  
People's Republic of China People's Literature Publishing House Su Nong* 2000 (Sept) Published simultaneously with Books 2 and 3
Vietnam Tre (Youth) Publishing Ly Lan   Published in 7 instalments. Single volume containing all chapters also appeared in Dec 2000.

* "Su Nong" is actually two people: Cao Suling (曹苏玲) and Ma Ainong (马爱农). Cao Suling withdrew from translating the book part of the way through, leaving Ma Ainong to complete the job. See this thread.

HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS

Country/Jurisdiction Publisher Translator Date  
United Kingdom Bloomfield - 1998  
Japan Say-zan-sha Yuko Matsuoka 2000 (Sep)  
Taiwan Crown Publishing Peng Qianwen 2000 (Dec)  
People's Republic of China People's Literature Publishing House Ma Aixin 2000 (Sep) Published simultaneously with Books 1 and 3
Vietnam Tre (Youth) Publishing Ly Lan - Published in 8 instalments.

 

HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN

Country/Jurisdiction Publisher Translator Date  
United Kingdom Bloomfield - 1999  
Japan Say-zan-sha Yuko Matsuoka 2001 (July)  
Taiwan Crown Publishing Peng Qianwen 2001 (June)  
People's Republic of China (old) People's Literature Publishing House Zheng Xumi 2000 (Sept) Published simultaneously with Books 1 and 2
People's Republic of China (new) People's Literature Publishing House Ma Ainong, Ma Aixin 2009 (Jul) New translation, published to replace the earlier translation
Vietnam Tre (Youth) Publishing Ly Lan   Published in slightly over 9 instalments

Note: All references at this site are to the old translation by Zheng Xumi.

 

HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE

Country/Jurisdiction Publisher Translator Date  
United Kingdom Bloomfield - 2000  
Japan Say-zan-sha Yuko Matsuoka 2002 (Oct)  
Taiwan Crown Publishing Peng Qianwen 2001 (Dec)  
People's Republic of China People's Literature Publishing House Ma Aixin 2001 (June)  
Vietnam Tre (Youth) Publishing Ly Lan 2003 Published in 15 instalments

 

HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX

Country/Jurisdiction Publisher Translator Date  
United Kingdom Bloomfield - 2003 (June)  
Japan Say-zan-sha Yuko Matsuoka 2004 (Sept) 1 Sept
Taiwan Crown Publishing Team of translators 2003 (Sept) 29 Sept
People's Republic of China People's Literature Publishing House Ma Ainong, Ma Aixin, and Ji Wen 2003 (Sept) 21 Sept
Vietnam Tre (Youth) Publishing Ly Lan 21 July - 15 December 2003 Published in 22 weekly instalments

 

HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE

Country/Jurisdiction Publisher Translator Date  
United Kingdom Bloomfield - 2005 (July)  
Japan Say-zan-sha Yuko Matsuoka 17 May 2006
Taiwan Crown Publishing Team of translators 2005 (Oct) 1 Oct
People's Republic of China People's Literature Publishing House Ma Ainong & Ma Aixin 2005 (Oct) 15 Oct
Vietnam Tre (Youth) Publishing Ly Lan & Huong Lan 2005 (Sept) 24 Sept. Published in a single volume only

HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS

Country/Jurisdiction Publisher Translator Date  
United Kingdom Bloomfield - 2007 (July)  
Japan Say-zan-sha Yuko Matsuoka  
Taiwan Crown Publishing Team of translators 2007 (Oct) 19 Oct
People's Republic of China People's Literature Publishing House   2007 (Oct) 28 Oct
Vietnam Tre (Youth) Publishing   2007 Published in a single volume only
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