Thanks to the time boost from the weekend, we finished Chapter 9 early! Hurrah for secretly working on translations at work!
We were having a nice carefree weekend so we decided to do yet another chapter!
Another note, we have been trying as best as we could to keep the same kind of punctuation as the author, but there have been a lot of problems. We won’t punch in an exclamation mark or question mark if the author didn’t originally, but the main change will be that he uses a shit-load of commas. It’s reminiscent of Faulkner really. Sometimes nearly 6 sentences are combined before a period and this kinda goes against everything we’ve been trained to do as writers. Thus we will be taking the translator liberty of cutting them down shorter as we have in this chapter, and since the past chapter maintained the BiXian’s punctuation, we will re-do the last chapter to punctuate it how we think would be better for an English reader’s enjoyment. That’s all, please enjoy!
Were you hoping but not expecting, and thought to check anyways?? Lucky number 7 for you!
Last time we baked it, this time we stir-fried it.
I was just thinking, this space is so huge. It’s not like we have nothing to say! So maybe we’ll make some random posts each time, maybe about the story, or translating it…anything. The chapter will always be on top for those who don’t care for this, so everyone wins, right? :3
Well, to it all off, might as well start from the beginning. We ran into problems immediately when we started translating!
妖孽兵王, is literally Evil-doer soldier king. We heard YaoNie and were like, well that’s ‘evil’, but based off hearing it alone isn’t enough to know how it’s used except that particular context. Chinese can be a bitch like that sometimes. So we punched it into various translators to see, and we kept getting “evil-doer”. Man, that does not sound good. Evil-doer Soldier King. Well what does evil shit? We were gonna go with ‘sinister’ but the connotation was really dark. In the end, we decided to go with equivalent connotation, an evil-doer is someone who is wicked, who does evil things. Done. Don’t hate the circular logic!
As for the author, I wish we could just punch in something simple. 笔仙在梦游 BiXian Zai MengYou is…full of uncertainties. Our knowledge of nuances in Chinese is too low to figure out how to properly do this. The first two characters are BiXian, you know, like the Xian in Xian Ni!? So it’s ‘brush’ and ‘god’ … So who is the god of writing? Not that simple. Xian can also mean immortal, which are gods but not exactly… So there is a Daoist origin for god of writing/literature, which we’re not sure stacks perfectly on the 神 ‘shen’ character, and then there may be one of Buddhist origin, since we keep seeing Bunshinsaba, which we’re guessing is possibly Hindi, and if it’s not, well, we don’t know anyways :B Then he might just be calling himself one of many gods of writing…who the hell knows??
MengYou 梦游 we know as sleep-walking. Some translators also say it can be figurative, but anything can be right? So it’s something like ‘Brush God is sleep walking’. We will probably just stick with BiXian for short unless we know for sure, cuz BXZMY is a really shitty acronym.
BTW if you’re squeamish, don’t google BiXian, for some reason there is quite the marriage between it and Asian horror films, further confounding our connotative search for WTF it means.
Here is our freshly baked morsel.
It took a bit longer than expected. Our editors looked it over and weren’t sure if some of the information might be confusing. Some classic elements such as dan-tian, or shi-fu, and sometimes the author would throw in stuff that has difficult equivalents so we just went ahead and foot-noted the hell out of it. Personally we don’t like footnotes that much, but in the interest of preserving flow in the long term, if we footnote now we can ensure everyone is on the same page :3
Hurrah! This feels like such an accomplishment for WordPress noobs like us! Where’s this function…..*scans over it and misses it like 5x*. I can’t find it. Oh there it is! Later…where was it again? But it’s all over! Here are our first 4 chapters: One Two Three Four !
For those wondering what these chapters are from, we are translating Wicked Soldier King 妖孽兵王 (Yao Nie Bing Wang), a novel by (BiXian Zai MengYou 笔仙在梦游).
A summary from 17k, paraphrased since it doesn’t sound as awesome in English when translated from Chinese:
Xu Yun is a man with a mysterious past as a special forces operative. Since then he just wanted to have a relaxed life in HeDong City, working for his gorgeous boss. Unexpectedly he is pulled into a massive power struggle within the criminal underworld, all because he stumbles upon an earth-shattering secret…
Summaries from 17k generally suck xD but the first few chapters are Wuxia enough and gangster enough…a pretty interesting combination! It’s basically about the criminal underworld in China, with some elements of Wuxia.
The novel has 5.6 mil characters to translate, so we’re in for a long ride!