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

 

Tawny Owl

 

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

 

The Tawny Owl or Eurasian Tawny Owl (Strix aluco) is a very common owl in the UK. It is found in China and Vietnam, but not in Japan.

TAWNY OWL
 
English
China
Taiwan
Japan
Vietnam
OFFICIAL NAME Tawny Owl
灰林鸮
huī-lín-xiāo
'grey forest owl'
灰林鴞
huī-lín-xiāo
'grey forest owl'
NOT FOUND IN JAPAN
モリフクロウ
mori-fukurō

'forest owl'
hù nivicon
'Nivicola wood-owl'
The Tawny Owl as translated in the Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese versions of Harry Potter
Bk 1 Ch 5: 'Diagon Alley'
(Eeylops)
Tawny 灰林枭
huī-lín-xiāo
'grey forest owl' (official name for Tawny Owl)
灰林鴞
huī-lín-xiāo
'grey forest owl' (official name for Tawny Owl)
ふくろう
mori-fukurō
'forest owl' (official name for Tawny Owl)
Tawny
(pronunciation: Tau-ni)
Bk 3 Ch 1: 'Owl Post' a tawny one 黄褐色的...猫头鹰
huáng-hè-sè de māotóuyīng
'yellow-brown coloured... owl'
褐鴞
hè-xiāo
'brown owl'
森ふくろう
mori-fukurō
'forest owl' (official name for Tawny Owl)
con cú màu nâu hung hung
'reddish-brown coloured owl'
Bk 4 Ch 13:
'Mad-Eye Moody'
a large tawny owl 黄褐色的...猫头鹰
huáng-hè-sè de māotóuyīng
'yellow-brown coloured... owl'
灰林鴞
huī-lín-xiāo
'grey forest owl' (official name for Tawny Owl)
メンフクロウ
men-fukurō
'masked owl' (official name for Barn Owls)
con cú bự hung
'large reddish-brown owl'
Bk 4 Ch 15:
'Beauxbatons and Durmstrang'
a tawny 黄褐色猫头鹰
huáng-hè-sè māotóuyīng
'yellow-brown coloured owl'
褐鴞
hè-xiāo
'brown owl' (not an official name - merely a brown-coloured owl)
モリフクロウ
mori-fukurō
'forest owl' (official name for Tawny Owl)
con cú hung
'reddish-brown owl'
Bk 4 Ch 28:
'The Madness of Mr Crouch'
a tawny 灰林猫头鹰
huī-lín māotóuyīng
'grey forest owl' (possibly a variation on the official name of the Tawny Owl, 灰林枭 huī-lín-xiāo).
灰林鴞
huī-lín-xiāo
'grey forest owl' (official name for Tawny Owl)
--
(not translated)
con cú vàng nâu
'golden brown owl'
Bk 4 Ch 29:
'The Dream'
a tawny owl 黄褐色猫头鹰
huáng-hè-sè māotóuyīng
'yellow-brown coloured owl'
灰林鴞
huī-lín-xiāo
'grey forest owl' (official name for Tawny Owl)
モリフクロウ
mori-fukurō
'forest owl' (official name for Tawny Owl)
con cú vàng nâu
'golden brown owl'

In the Eeylops signboard, the Chinese, Taiwanese, and Japanese versions all use the scientific name for the Tawny Owl. Vietnamese simply uses the English word 'Tawny'.

In Books 3 and 4:

The Mainland version drops the official name. Instead, it uses an expression meaning 'yellowish-brown coloured owl', which is not the name of an owl species, merely a description of the owl's colour. (Strangely, at Chapter 28 Book 4, for some reason a variation on the official name suddenly makes an appearance.)

The Taiwanese version alternates between an expression meaning 'brown owl' (elsewhere used in Harry Potter as a translation of 'Brown Owl') and the official name of the Tawny Owl.

The Japanese translator uses the official term for Tawny Owl in Book 3 and Book 4. The only exception is Chapter 13 of Book 4, where the translator mistakenly uses メンフクロウ men-fukurō (the official name of the Barn Owls).

Note how the Japanese translator uses the Chinese character mori 'forest' and the hiragana form ふくろう at Books 1 and 3. At book 4, she switches to switching to katakana (モリフクロウ), which is standard scientific usage.

The Vietnamese translator simply uses a variety of expressions meaning 'a reddish-brown coloured owl'. The official Vietnamese term for the Tawny Owl, hù nivicon, refers to the sub-species Nivicola, a highly specialist term. Even , the official scientific name of the wood-owls, is not found in ordinary Vietnamese dictionaries, so it is not surprising that the Vietnamese translator doesn't use it.

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