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

 

Snowy Owl

 

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

 

The Snowy Owl (Nyctea scandiaca) is found in cold climates, which includes far northern China and Japan. There are no Snowy Owls in Taiwan or Vietnam.

 

SNOWY OWL
 
English
China
Taiwan
Japan
Vietnam
OFFICIAL NAME Snowy Owl
雪鴞
xuě-xiāo
'snow owl'
NOT FOUND IN TAIWAN
シロフクロウ
shiro-fukurō
'white owl'
NOT FOUND IN VIETNAM
The Snowy Owl as translated in the Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese versions of Harry Potter
Bk 1 Ch 5: 'Diagon Alley'
(Eeylops)
Snowy 雪枭
xuě-xiāo
'snow owl' (official name for Snowy Owl)
雪鴞
xuě-xiāo
'snow owl' (official name for Snowy Owl)
白ふくろう
shiro-fukurō
'white owl' (official name for Snowy Owl)
Snowy
(pronunciation: Xờ-nô-y)
Bk 1 Ch 5:
'Diagon Alley'
beautiful snowy owl 一只漂亮的雪枭
yī-zhī piàoliang de xuě-xiāo
'a pretty snow owl' ('snow owl' = official name for Snowy Owl)
一隻美麗的雪鴞
yī-zhī měilì de xuě-xiāo
'a beautiful snow owl' ('snow owl' = official name for Snowy Owl)
雪のように白い美しいふくろう
yuki no yō ni shiroi utsukushii fukurō
'a beautiful owl as white as snow'
một con cú trắng như tuyết vô cùng xinh đệp
'an extremely pretty owl as white as snow'
Bk 4 Ch 14:
'The Unforgivable Curses'
snowy owl 雪白的猫头鹰
xuěbái de māotóuyīng
'snowy-white owl' (descriptive name, not a species name)
雪鴞
xuě-xiāo
'snow owl' (official name for Snowy Owl)
雪のように白いふくろう
yuki no yō ni shiroi fukurō
'an owl as white as snow'
con cú trắng như tuyết
'an owl as white as snow'
Bk 4 Ch 15:
'Beauxbatons and Durmstrang'
snowy owl 雪白的猫头鹰
xuěbái de māotóuyīng
'snowy-white owl' (descriptive name, not a species name)
雪鴞
xuě-xiāo
'snow owl' (official name for Snowy Owl)
白フクロウ
shiro-fukurō
con cú trắng như tuyết
'an owl as white as snow'

1) In the Eeylops signboard, both the Chinese/Taiwanese and Japanese versions use the official scientific name for the Snowy Owl. The Vietnamese version simply uses the English word 'Snowy'.

2) In Book 1 'Diagon Alley' there is a reference to the newly-purchased Hedwig as a 'beautiful snowy owl'. The two Chinese versions use the official name for the Snowy Owl. The Japanese and Vietnamese versions refer to an owl 'as white as snow'.

3) In Book 4 there are two references to Hedwig as a 'snowy owl'.

- The Taiwanese translator uses the official name for the Snowy Owl at both places.

- The Mainland translator switches over to the descriptive 'snow-white owl' at Ch 14. This leads to an interesting mistake at Ch 15 when explaining why Sirius Black doesn't want Hedwig to deliver messages. Hermione's original words in English are:

'Hedwig'll attract too much attention... She stands out. A snowy owl that keeps returning to where he's hiding... I mean, they're not native birds, are they?'

The Mainland Chinese translation runs:

'Hedwig would attract people's attention... She stands out too much. A snowy-white owl that returned repeatedly to the place where he's hiding... What I mean is, owls aren't ordinary local birds, are they?'

Having missed the fact that a 'snowy owl' is a species of owl, the Chinese translator goes on to have Herminone say that 'owls' in general are not ordinary local birds!

- The Japanese translator uses an expression meaning 'an owl as white as snow' at Ch 14 and the official name of the Snowy Owl at Ch 15. (Note that the translator's use of hiragana and katakana is not consistent in different mentions).

- The Vietnamese version uses expressions meaning 'an owl as white as snow' at both places in Book 4.

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