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Author Topic: Translating Chinese Harry Potter bootlegs  (Read 295 times)

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Offline Deep Purple Crystal

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Translating Chinese Harry Potter bootlegs
« on: September 21, 2021, 10:27:33 AM »
So several months ago I received these wondrous magnum opuses from an eBay seller:
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(The title on the left translates to 'Harry Potter and the Filler of Big', or, technically, 'The Big Funnel' - yes, that's an illustrated Harry head crudely photoshopped onto live-action Daniel Radcliffe's body - while the title on the right translates to 'Harry Potter and the Waterproof Pearl', although entering it into Google Translate or Yandex merely yields the translation 'Harry Potter and Water Beads')
Resultantly, I rapidly set to work, armed with Google Translate and Yandex's, uh, inconsistent photo-to-text Chinese script translator, and began to peel back the reality of these fabled knockoffs. Below are the opening pages and first chapter of "Filler of Big":
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Plot summary on the inside flap of the front cover. Note the similarities to the plot of Chamber of Secrets (save for Dudley, translated from his literal Chinese name 'Dali', hilariously dating a 'belly dancer', which I suspect derives from the author's misinterpretation of the series' emphasis on Dudley's obesity) - the 'prophecy of Bat Bug' is effectively the warning of Dobby (an elf with bug eyes and bat ears, hence the translated name) and the 'wooden stools' may be a facsimile of the Chinese for that book's 'petrification' (otherwise students being 'frozen' into immobile state, almost akin to static, deceased wood).
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Yes, Richard Gere is Voldemort's reincarnation. 'Tis a plot point that Rowling could only dream of conceiving herself.
Note also that Ron (or 'Ryan' as per Yandex's version) is described as the friend of 'Lee' - both algorithms frequently mistranslate Harry's name as this, possibly due to a misreading of his Chinese name, which I suspect is 'ha-li' (I guess 'li'='Lee' to the software) phonetically.
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Speaks for itself.
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Note the further similarities to Chamber of Secrets - 'sad party' appears to be synonymous with the first chapter of the book proper, 'The Worst Birthday' (in addition to sounding like the name of a forgotten mid-2000s emo rock band). Also THE REINCARNATION FETUS (!!) is another mistranslation that basically speaks for itself.
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The first page, courtesy of Google Translate (the remainder is translated via Yandex, the algorithms of which are slightly more accurate). While not pictured here, the chapter headers appear to feature clipart swiped from a generic animal encyclopedia for some reason, presumably in a limp attempt to emulate the Mary Grandpre illustrations of the US editions.
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You read that right - Dudley's 'coquettish' bellydancing girlfriend is named ROWLING. The author of the series is Dudley's bellydancing high school flame, you say? My mind cannot process the enormity (or sheer unadulterated wonder) of this revelation.
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Allegedly Dudley has dated multiple bellydancers prior, attributed by the book to a 'psychological process of youth'. A truly masterful character study, ain't it?
Also note that Harry is now a 'teacher' (at sixteen?) at the Honiton Wizarding School, presumably in an attempt to cosmetically differentiate the plot from Chamber of Secrets, unless this is explained in some previous bootleg book I'm unaware of.
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Harry is apparently 'still a good girl'. Phew. Good to know.
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"Son, is your mission clear?"
"Remember, my lord, I'll show you to the restaurant, okay?"
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More copy-pasted elements from Chamber of Secrets on display here.
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Cliffhanger for the next chapter.
For those of you who found this more mundane than expected, I should probably mention that Waterproof Pearl features Harry aided by, of all characters, Gandalf and a motley band of the dwarves from the Hobbit'Muggles'. Yes, really.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2021, 10:40:36 AM by Deep Purple Crystal »

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Offline Carrehz

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Re: Translating Chinese Harry Potter bootlegs
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2021, 03:47:16 PM »
lmao omg, these are amazing XD I love how some parts are clearly just badly-translated Chamber of Secrets scenes, and then there's off-the-wall stuff like Dudley's girlfriend.

"The Curse of the Candle" is actually a pretty neat title. and rofl "Toilet? Funnel"

"Harry was wondering what the hell was going on" :lmao:

"No gifts, only a party that doesn't belong to you, sad" is actually quite poetic-sounding.
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Offline Taffeta

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Re: Translating Chinese Harry Potter bootlegs
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2021, 03:58:19 PM »
LOL at Richard Gere.

My understanding of Mandarin is limited but I think that a lot of names and non-Chinese terms are written with characters that come close to making the sounds. Does that sound right? So they're phonetic rather than carrying their usual word meaning. It does explain why you get some utter nonsense when trying to translate with a digital translation device, because I imagine HP has a lot of Non-Chinese words.

Probably they're not as funny in real Chinese as the translator suggests.  xD
« Last Edit: September 21, 2021, 03:59:54 PM by Taffeta »
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Offline tikibirds

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Re: Translating Chinese Harry Potter bootlegs
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2021, 04:53:24 PM »
This is why I don't use google to trannslate anything here - especially menus.
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