After having read 'Harry Potter and the Philospher's Stone' in English, I purchased and read two Chinese translations: one published in Beijing (with two editors and two proofreaders) and one published in Taipei/Hong Kong (with one translator listed).
First, a translator and an editor are not the same. It appears that someone's suggestions or translations were put into a different font (Kaiti) because there are two distinct fonts in the Beijing edition. Before the book was published, all of the characters were not put into one font. One wonders if these characters were added by one of the editors, the proofreaders, or by someone else. Perhaps there were just too many cooks in the kitchen.
Now for a couple of examples, let's look at chapter one. The Chinese translation in the Beijing edition of chapter one, "The Boy Who Lived" is something like "The Boy Who Did Not Die From a Great Disaster." The Taipei/Hong Kong edition can be translated as "The Boy Who Survived (Lived on)." This is quite an interesting contrast: a strong negative versus a strong positive first impression. Word choice, nuances, connotations are all so important in writing and translation.
The last line of chapter one refers back to the title. In the Beijing version, the last line: "To Harry Potter, the boy who lived" was translated as "Bless the boy who did not die from the great disaster." The translation published in Taipei and Hong Kong of "To Harry Potter, the boy who lived" was "Respect to Harry Potter - the boy who lived." Both translations used the last line of chapter one as the title of the chapter.
Do I have a preference? Do I see a big difference in the translations? Yes, I do. Language can bring us closer together, or keep us apart. We often are emotionally attached to our first language and the literature that we read. Yet, even though I was educated in the Traditional Chinese characters 40 years ago, and I do read in the Simplified characters, I prefer the richness of the Beijing translation.
Yes, there will be (and should be) idioms that are familiar to the readers. That makes the writing come alive. Direct translations often make no sense at all. Hence, the Beijing translation has footnotes to help the reader understand the story.
My last examples are from the title of chapter two: "The Vanishing Glass," which becomes
"Disappearance of the glass." This is a very direct translation, which is fine.
The Beijing translation of chapter two is something like "The quietly (secretly) disappearing glass." What is added is the adjective "quietly or secretly," etc.
And this is the main difference in these two translations. The Taipei/Hong Kong translation has kept very close to the original text. The Beijing translation has translated much more freely, trying to keep the feeling of the original. I have found that the Simplified version of this book has many four-character translations, which really brings the original to life.
Why not read one chapter in both translations and see what you notice. We can all give our own translation and share, then we can be richer for it.