Bathrobe's Harry Potter in Chinese, Japanese & Vietnamese Translation
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The Translation of 'Owl' in Harry Potter

 

Eagle Owl

 

(For the romanisation of Chinese and Japanese, see Transliteration. To understand the writing systems of CJV, see Writing Systems.)

 

The Northern or Eurasian Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo) is found in China and Japan, but not Taiwan or Vietnam.

EAGLE OWL
 
English
China
Taiwan
Japan
Vietnam
OFFICIAL NAME Northern Eagle Owl
雕鸮
diāo-xiāo
'eagle owl'
NOT FOUND IN TAIWAN
ワシミミズク
washi mimizuku
'eagle owl'
NOT FOUND IN VIETNAM
The Eagle Owl as translated in the Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese versions of Harry Potter
Bk 1 Ch 9:
'The Midnight Duel'
eagle owl 猫头鹰
māotóuyīng
'owl'
鵰鴞
diāo-xiāo
'eagle owl' (official name for Eagle Owl)
ワシミミズク
washi mimizuku
'eagle owl' (official name for Eagle Owl)
con ó
'eagle'
Bk 4 Ch 13:
'Mad-Eye Moody''
eagle owl 猫头鹰
māotóuyīng
'owl'
鵰鴞
diāo-xiāo
'eagle owl' (official name for Eagle Owl)
ワシミミズク
washi mimizuku
'eagle owl' (official name for Eagle Owl)
con cú diều hâu
'kite/hawk owl' (not an official species name)
Bk 4 Ch 28:
'The Madness of Mr Crouch'
eagle owl 小雕猫头鹰
xiǎo-diāo māotóuyīng
'small eagle owl' (direct translation of the words 'eagle + owl', not an official name)
鵰鴞
diāo-xiāo
'eagle owl' (official name for Eagle Owl)
ワシミミズク
washi mimizuku
'eagle owl' (official name for Eagle Owl)
con cú lớn
'large owl'
Bk 4 Ch 29:
'The Dream'
eagle owl 猫头鹰
māotóuyīng
'owl'
鵰鴞
diāo-xiāo
'eagle owl' (official name for Eagle Owl)
ワシミミズク
washi mimizuku
'eagle owl' (official name for Eagle Owl)
con cú đại bàng
'eagle owl' (not an official name)

The first time an Eagle Owl appears is when one delivers Malfoy's mail at Book 1 'The Midnight Duel'.

At this point the Taiwanese and Japanese versions use the official scientific name for Eagle Owl. The Mainland Chinese edition just uses the ordinary word for 'owl', not bothering to specify which type. The biggest surprise is the Vietnamese version, which says that Malfoy's mail was carried by an eagle! Since the word used in this case calls forth an image of a vicious and rapacious bird, perhaps this is an appropriate bird to carry Malfoy's mail.

The Eagle Owl reappears at Book 4. In 'Mad-Eye Moody', Malfoy again receives a delivery of mail from his Eagle Owl. In 'The Madness of Mr Crouch', Harry notices an Eagle Owl flying through the smoke coiling from Hagrid's chimney. In 'The Dream', it is an Eagle Owl that carries Harry on its back.

The Taiwanese translator is completely consistent in Book 4, using the official name for the Eagle Owl (鵰鴞 diāo-xiāo) each time.

The Mainland version keeps using the ordinary word for 'owl', except for the owl flying through Hagrid's chimney smoke, which is mysteriously translated quite literally as 'a small eagle owl'. This is not the official name of the owl, merely a direct translation of the English name.

The Japanese translator uses the official name of the Eagle Owl (ワシミミズク washi mimizuku) on all occasions.

At Ch 3 the Vietnamese translator uses con cú diều hâu meaning 'kite owl'. Officially diều hâu means 'kite', but given that the official Vietnamese bird names are not very well established, it's possible to regard the name as meaning 'hawk owl'. Later on the translator uses con cú đại bàng, which literally means 'eagle owl'. This is again not an official name but a literal translation. The main problem for the Vietnamese translator is that the Eagle Owl doesn't occur in Vietnam, and there is thus no official name.

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