Bathrobe's Harry Potter in Chinese, Japanese & Vietnamese Translation
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"Odo the Hero" (Book 6)

 

This little bit of doggerel was hummed by Slughorn while drinking with Hagrid after Aragog's burial.

The translators all seem to assume that this is a serious piece of verse and try to improve it in various small ways, not realising that it is meant to be ridiculous.

The name Odo is not an uncommon one historically, although it is not clear whether Rowling's "Odo the Hero" is modelled on any of them. There is actually a page on the Internet that looks at Odo's through history -- related not to Harry Potter but to Odo in Star Trek! See also Odo the Great of Aquitaine.

English

And Odo the hero, they bore him back home
To the place that he'd known as a lad,
They laid him to rest with his hat inside out
And his wand snapped in two, which was sad.

Chinese (Mainland)

英雄奥多被抬回故乡,
抬到他儿时熟悉的地方,
帽子翻过来,入土安葬,
魔杖折两端,多么悲伤。
Yīngxióng Àoduō bèi tái huí gùxiāng,
Tái dào tā érshí shúxī de dìfang,
Màozi fān-guolai, rùtǔ ānzàng,
Mózhàng zhé liǎngduàn, duōme bēishāng.

Short and sweet, like the English, and rhyming to boot!

Chinese (Taiwan)

英雄歐多,他們帶他返回家鄉,
返回他從小生長的地方,
他們讓他在此長眠,伴隨著他那反過來的巫帽,
和斷成兩截的魔仗,這景象何等淒涼。
Yīngxióng Ōuduō, tāmen dài tā fǎnhuí jiāxiāng,
Fǎnhuí tā cóng xiǎo shēngzhǎng de dìfang,
Tāmen ràng tā zài cǐ chángmián, bànsuí-zhe tā nà fǎn-guolai de wūmào,
Hé duàn chéng liǎngjié de mózhàng, zhè jǐngxiàng héděng qīliáng.

This version takes itself more seriously, but the effect is, if anything, more ridiculous. The last line, in particular, changes the very plain English words 'which was sad' into '這景象何等淒涼' zhè jǐngxiàng héděng qīliáng, meaning 'how bleak was this scene!' The use of language is much more literary and high-falutin' than the English.

For all but the third line the verse rhymes. However, there is a rather jarring discrepancy in the length of lines.

Japanese

かくしてみんなは英雄の、オドを家へと運び込む
その家はオドがその昔、青年の日を過ごした場
オドの帽子は裏返し、オドの杖までまっぷたつ
悲しい汚名の英雄の、オドはその家に葬らる
Kakushite minna wa eiyū no, Odo o ie e to hakobi-komu
Sono ie wa Odo ga sono mukashi, seinen no hi o sugoshita ba
Odo no bōshi wa ura-gaeshi, Odo no tsue made mapputatsu
Kanashii omei no eiyū no, Odo wa sono ie ni hōmuraru

The Japanese version adds the words 悲しい汚名 kanashii omei 'sad disgrace' at the last line, making Odo into a 'hero in sad disgrace', presumably because his hat is inside out and his wand is broken in two.

Vietnamese

Và vị anh hùng Odo được đưa về nhà
Nơi chàng quen thuộc từ thời trai trẻ,
Họ đặt chàng yên nghỉ với cái nón lật ngược.
Và cây đũa phép bị bẻ gãy đôi, ấy mới buồn.

The Vietnamese is relatively close to the English.

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