Bathrobe's Harry Potter in Chinese, Japanese & Vietnamese Translation
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The Description of the Firebolt (Book 3)

 

This description of the Firebolt seen in Diagon Alley draws on the language of advertising to arouse the desire to possess. The result is almost parody. The advertisement is found in Book 3 Chapter 4, The Leaky Cauldron.

English

THE FIREBOLT

This state-of-the-art racing broom sports a streamlined, super-fine handle of ash, treated with a diamond-hard polish and hand-numbered with its own registration number. Each individually selected birch twig in the broomtail has been honed to aerodynamic perfection, giving the Firebolt unsurpassable balance and pinpoint precision. The Firebolt has an acceleration of 0-150 miles an hour in ten seconds and incorporates an unbreakable braking charm. Price on request.

Chinese (Mainland)

火弩箭

此类飞天扫帚代表目前最高工艺水平,其帚把系用白蜡树木材精制而成,呈流线型,精美无比,经硬如钻石之擦光剂加以处理,并有手工镂刻之注册号码。本产品尾部的每一扫帚细枝皆经过筛选,务使其流线型臻于完美,故本产品在平衡与精确度方面无与伦比。火弩箭十秒之内加速可达每小时150英里,且其制动装置魅力无穷。价格面议。

Huǒ Nǔjiàn

Cǐlèi fēitiān sàozhou dàibiǎo mùqián zuì gāo gōngyì shuǐpíng, qí sàobǎ xì yòng báilà-shù mùcái jīngzhì er chéng, chéng liúxiàn-xíng, jīngměi wúbǐ, jīng yìng rú zuànshí zhī cāguāng-jì jiāyǐ chǔlǐ, bìng yǒu shǒugōng lòukè zhī zhùcè hàomǎ. Běn chǎnpǐn wěibù de měi yī sàozhou xìzhī jiē jīngguò shuàixuǎn, wùshǐ qí liúxiàn-xíng zhēn yú wánměi, gù běn chǎnpǐn zài pínghéng yǔ jīngquè-dù fāngmiàn wú yǔ lúnbǐ. Huǒ Nǔjiàn shí-miǎo zhī nèi jiāsù kě dá měi xiǎoshí yī-bǎi wǔ-shí yīnglǐ, qiě qí zhìdòng zhuāngzhì mèilì wúqióng. Jiàgé miàntán.

Chinese (Taiwan)

火閃電

這根以目前最高技術製造出的比賽用飛天掃帚,特別採用最上等的流綫型梣木帚柄,再加上一層硬如鑽石的亮光漆,與每根特有的手繪出廠序號數字。帚尾每一根精心挑選的樺樹枝,都用磨刀石修得恰到好處,完全符合空氣力學的完美標準,並給予火閃電無與倫比的平衡感與萬物一先的精準度。火閃電具有可以在十秒内從零跳到一百五十哩的瞬間加速,另外再附上一個無法破解的煞車符咒。價錢請内洽。

Huǒ Shǎndiàn

Zhè-gēn yǐ mùqián zuì gāo jìshù zhìzào-chū de bǐsài-yòng fēitiān sàozhou, tèbié cǎiyòng zuì shàngděng de liúxiàn-xíng chén-mù sàobǐng, zài jiā-shàng yī-céng yìng rú zuànshí de liàngguāng-qī, yǔ měi-gēn tè yǒu de shǒu-huì chūchǎng xùhào shùzi. Zhàowěi měi yī-gēn jīngxīn tiáoxuǎn de huà-shù zhī, dōu yòng módāo-shí xiū de qià dào hǎochù, wánquán fùhé kōngqì lìxué de wánměi biǎozhǔn, bìng jǐyǔ Huǒ Shǎndiàn wú yǔ lúnbǐ de pínghéng-gǎn yǔ wànwù yīxiān de jīngzhǔn-dù. Huǒ Shǎndiàn jùyǒu kěyǐ zài shí-miǎo nèi cóng líng tiáo dào yī-bǎi wǔ-shí lǐ de shùnjiān jiāsù, lìngwài zài fù-shàng yīge wúfǎ pòjiě de shā chē fúzhòu. Jiàqián qǐng nèiqià.

Japanese

炎の雷・ファイアボルト

この最先端技術、レース用箒は、ダイヤモンド級硬度に研磨仕上げによる、すっきりと流れるような形状の高級トネリコ材の柄に、固有の登録番号が手作業で刻印されています。尾の部分はシラカンバの小枝を1本1本厳選し、砥ぎあげて空気力学的に完璧な形状に仕上げています。このためファイアボルトは、他の追随を許さぬバランスと、針の先ほども狂わぬ精密さを備えています。わずか10秒で時速240kmまで加速できる上、止めるときはブレーキ力が大ブレークします。

お値段はお問い合わせください。

Honō no ikazuchi / Faiaboruto

Kono saisentan-gijutsu, rēsu-yō hōki wa, daiyamondo-kyū kōdo ni kenma shi-age ni yoru, sukkiri to nagareru yō na keijō no kōkyū toneriko-zai no e ni, koyū no tōroku bangō ga te-sagyō de koku-in sarete imasu. O no bubun wa shira-kanba no ko-eda o ippon ippon gensen shi, togi-agete kūki-rikigaku-teki ni kanpeki na keijō ni shi-agete imasu. Kono tame Faiaboruto wa, ta no tsuizui o yurusanu baransu to, hari no saki hodo mo kuruwanu seimitsu-sa o sonaete imasu. Wazuka jū-byō de jisoku 240 km made kasoku dekiru ue, tomeru toki wa burēki ga dai burēku shimasu.

O-nedan wa o-toi-awase kudasai.

Vietnamese

TIA CHỚP

Cây chổi đua đậm-đà-tính-nghệ-thuật này hãnh diện về cái cán thon thả siêu đẹp bằng gỗ tần bì, được đánh bóng bằng nước xi sáng như kim cương và được cẩn bằng tay số đăng ký của riêng từng cây chổi. Mỗi một cây chổi được chọn lựa riêng từ từng nhánh cây bạch dương để làm đưôi chổi và được chuốt giũa để đạt tới sự hoàn hảo khí động học, khiến cho Tia Chớp có được sự thăng bằng không gì qua mặt được, và sự định vị chính xác nhứt. Tia Chớp có thể tăng tốc từ 0 - 150 dặm một giờ trong mười giây và có cài đặt một là bùa thắng không đứt. Giá cả thương lượng khi đặt mua.

 

The following is a phrase-by-phrase comparison to see how the slick advertising effects found in the original are tackled.

state-of-the-art 代表目前最高工艺水平 目前最高技術 最先端技術 đậm-đà-tính-nghệ-thuật
This is a recently trendy term meaning that the very latest technology (i.e., at the current level of technology, not old technology) is employed. Both Chinese versions err on the side of literal translation by using 目前 'at this time'. Stating that the technology is advanced 'at this point in time' suggests that it will be overtaken soon.
sports -- 採用 -- hãnh diện
The broom 'sports' a superfine handle of ash, another way of saying that it 'has' a superfine handle of ash. Only the Vietnamese translator tries to fully reproduce the effect of the English.
streamlined 呈流线型 流綫型 すっきりと流れるような形状 thon thả
'Streamlined' usually applies to cars and planes. The term is found in all three CJV languages. The Japanese version does not use the normal word for 'streamlined', which is the same as Chinese (流線型). Instead, it uses a longer, explanatory version using the onomatopoeic word すっきり (smooth). The Vietnamese translator uses thon thả 'slender' rather than có dáng thuôn 'streamlined'.
superfine 精制而成 最上等的 高級 siêu đẹp
It's not really clear what 'superfine' means, apart from the fact that it sounds good. Different translators adopt different interpretations, from 'finely made' to 'high quality' to 'really beautiful'.
handle 帚把 帚柄 cái cán
There is not much that can be done with the word 'broom handle'!
ash 白蜡树 梣木 トネリコ材 gỗ tần bì
Plant and animal names are always a problem. The Mainland Chinese translator uses a word referring to the "Chinese ash", not the "ash".
diamond-hard 硬如钻石 硬如鑽石 ダイヤモンド級硬度 sáng như kim cương
The two Chinese translators use a rather literary (four-character) expression meaning 'hard as a diamond'. The Vietnamese means 'bright as a diamond'.
treated to a ... polish 经...擦光剂加以处理 加上一層...亮光漆 に研磨仕上げ được đánh bóng bằng nước xi
The Japanese translator wisely confines herself to saying that the broom handle is 'polished to diamond hardness'.
hand-numbered 手工镂刻 手繪 手作業で刻印されています được cẩn bằng tay
The translators all strive to convey the fact, conveyed by expressions like 'hand-numbered', 'its own', and 'individually selected', that this is not a mass-produced item. The Mainland translator uses 手工镂刻, 'hand engraved', to express the attention to workmanship. Japanese uses 手作業 'hand processing'. The Vietnamese translator also uses 'cẩn bằng tay' meaning 'hand engraved'.
its own registration number 注册号码 出廠序號數字 固有の登録番号 số đăng ký của riêng từng cây chổi
The Taiwanese translator refers to an ex-factory serial number.
individually selected 皆经过筛选 精心挑選 厳選し được chọn lựa riêng từ từng
All refer to the process of strict selection.
birch twig 细枝 樺樹枝 シラカンバの小枝 nhánh cây bạch dương
The Mainland translator omits the 'birch'. No great loss, perhaps, except for the rather comical nature of the parody. シラカンバ in Japanese is a colloquial or dialect pronunciation of 白樺.
broomtail 尾部 帚尾 尾の部分 đưôi chổi
Again, there is not much that can be done with 'broomtail'. The humour of this advertisement lies in the use of language reflecting the utmost in quality for humble items like birch twigs in broomtails.
honed 务使 用磨刀石修得恰到好處 砥ぎあげて được chuốt giũa để đạt tới
'Hone' literally refers to the use of a grindstone to sharpen. The English is standard advertising language for processing to an ideal, super-sharp state. Several translations try hard to render this ossified metaphor -- the Taiwanese translation, in particular, suggests that each birch twig has been polished with a grindstone. The Mainland translator rightfully ignores it.
aerodynamic perfection 流线型臻于完美 完全符合空氣力學的完美標準 空気力学的に完璧な形状 sự hoàn hảo khí động học
'Aerodynamic' is a technological word applied to cars and aeroplanes. All translators come up with an equivalent expression, except the Mainland translator who uses 'streamlined'. 'Perfection' indicates that the aerodynamics cannot be bettered; the use of the word here suggests a feeling of great satisfaction on the part of the owner. The Mainland Chinese translator makes use of a stock four-character expression, 臻于完美. The skilful use of such expressions in Chinese can make the difference between plodding and sparkling prose.
unsurpassable balance 平衡...方面无与伦比 無與倫比的平衡感 追随を許さぬバランス sự thăng bằng không gì qua mặt được
'Unsurpassable' again indicates that the Firebolt cannot be bettered. This time, both Chinese translators make use of a four-character expression, 無與倫比 / 无与伦比. Japanese uses a literary verb form, 許さぬ, to add flavour.
pinpoint precision 精确度方面无与伦比 萬物一先的精準度 針の先ほども狂わぬ精密 sự định vị chính xác nhứt
'Pinpoint precision' reflects a high degree of precision. For instance, 'pinpoint bombing' indicates that bombs can be dropped very accurately -- to within a pinpoint. The Japanese translation is a rather laboured attempt to render this quite standard English expression. The Vietnamese translation goes closer to the spirit of the English by referring to 'precise positioning'.
has an acceleration of 加速可达 具有...瞬間加速 加速できる có thể tăng tốc
Normally 'acceleration' is applied to cars. 'To have an acceleration of' is a fixed expression referring to the car's ability to accelerate from zero to x miles/km per hour within a certain period of time. The Mainland translator is precise and professional-sounding. Japanese and Vietnamese merely say that the broom 'can accelerate' from 0-150 mph.
unbreakable braking charm 制动装置魅力无穷 無法破解的煞車符咒 ブレーキ力が大ブレークします cài đặt một là bùa thắng không đứt
The English features a pun on 'unbreakable' and 'braking'. The Mainland translator totally misses the meaning, translating 'charm' (in this case meaning a kind of spell) as 'attractiveness'. The Taiwanese and Vietnamese translations are accurate. The Japanese is inaccurate ('the braking power breaks greatly') but this may be deliberate, in order to exploit the similarity of pronunciation of ブレーキ and ブレーク.

 

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