whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaatt???? Hoju a girl????????? this beautiful novel is presented by a girl? hmmmmmmm........hoju....i fell in love with you......you are awesome....i love this novel very much...thanks hoju
whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaatt???? Hoju a girl????????? this beautiful novel is presented by a girl? hmmmmmmm........hoju....i fell in love with you......you are awesome....i love this novel very much...thanks hoju
This thread is so cool.
I wonder if it would be possible to interview people who translated from long ago but aren't as active anymore.
Because I'm somewhere in between,
My love and my agony.
Jaded has grace us with an interview.
1) Please introduce yourself. (name, age, photos).
2) You are currently translating a few Gu Long novels- what do you like about him and his work?I'm 21, turning 22 soon. I usually don't give out my real name or my photos on the web, it's just one of my weird quirks, sorry . Well, I guess not many of the other translators did either, so I feel less guilty haha.
3) How do you approach your translations?Gu Long was my first exposure to Wuxia literature (my very first Wuxia and GL book was Xiao Shi Yi Lang or The Eleventh Son). I really liked his writing style - he writes in a brief almost choppy kind of way, and often makes very unusual analogies, which makes his writing unique (and also easy to read when you are 12 years old!).
What I like most about Gu Long is the way he write about the characters in his novels. The characters he writes about are very realistic in their life story and many of the things they go through (not so much in their martial arts though), and I feel that you can empathize with and relate to these characters. Another thing is that, I often feel that Gu Long incorporates his own life story into the novels (e.g., the alcoholism and loneliness found in some of his heroes), and that again, gives it a realistic feeling for the personalitites of the characters. I think I just like the tragic hero archetype in his novels.
Also, I like how Gu Long often puts some very interesting (or weird) plot twists into his novels, e.g. the lesbian Water Matriach from Chu LiuXiang. It often makes his novels really fun to read.
4) Is there any favourite bit of wuxia literature that you want to share?When I translate, I keep in mind that many of the people reading the translations are those who cannot read Chinese well but are interested in learning the Wuxia stories. There are also those who can read Chinese and probably have read the novels, but just want to read them in English again (side note: I'm one of these people, and that's how I found SPCNet, because I was reading the Lu XiaoFeng translations by Moin).
With that in mind, I focus on two main things when I translate: accuracy and style. I want the translations to be as accurate as possible to the original text, and I try to use multiple ways to make sure I find the suitable words (e.g. Babelfish, NJStar, other Chinese dictionary software programs, etc.). I want to preserve the original Chinese meaning in the English translations as much as possible, while at the same time making sure that the English translation flows well. I try to make each sentence as accurate as possible, and I also edit each update before I upload them. Another important thing for me is style, by which I try and keep Gu Long's style as much as I can in the translations. It's known that Gu Long uses very choppy sentences, or often repeats things. I try to keep those in my translations rather than prologing the sentence or cutting things out, since I believe that the author's style is as important as the accuracy of the translations.
Of course, I try to focus on speed as well, since I don't want people to keep waiting for too long. Currently, I'm try to translate one chapter (or section if the chapter is long) per week.
5) What brings you to the world of wuxia?I'm actually sharing that right now through my translation of Meteor, Butterfly, Sword . I decided to translate this novel, because out of all the GL novels I have read, this was by far my favourite. Many of GL's novels are very exciting and adventutrous, and have some really cool/almost perfect heroes. This novel is not as adventurous, but more dramatic, and its hero is somewhat less radiant than the others. But this novel has very good chracter and plot development, and the story itself is very touching.
6) Who is your favourite character in wuxia literature? Why?Like I said above, I first started reading Xiao Shi Yi Lang when I was around 12. I think someone gave us the novel, and I was bored and started reading it. That got me hooked on Wuxia, and I started reading as many GL novels as I could. I have still to read many of the Jin Yong novels, since the first one I read by him was Flyxing Fox of the Snowy Mountaints, and it didn't grab my attention as much. But I was told by Jin Yong fans that it wasn't one of the best that Jin Yong wrote, so I'm still trying to start reading some of his other ones when I have the time.
When I moved to Canada, it was much easier to find Wuxia novels, since the library system has a ton of them. I think once I was randomly searching for Wuxia things online, when I bumped into Moin's Lu XiaoFeng translations. I started reading those and found them to be really well done. From his site, I found SPCNet and more Wuxia translations here. Up until then, I didn't actually realize that people translated Wuxia novels! So after being here for some time, and reading a lot of the translations, I decided to contribute as well.
7) Any other favourite pastime besides your dedications in helping us enjoying wuxia works?I have several. In terms of male Wuxia characters, it's a tie between XiMen ChuiXue and Hua ManLou (both from the Lu XiaoFeng series). XiMen Chuixue because he's just so cool in terms of apperance to the way he acts. He seems to be this deified hero in GL novels, and I'm just impressed that a person could be so passionate and dedicated to the thing he loves (the sword in his case). Hua ManLou because he's always so considerate and sympathetic with others, even though he himself has suffered in life. It really touches me how a person who has to deal with such hardships in life (he's blind) can still always be so positive and encouraging towards others.
In terms of female characters, I like Feng SiNiang (from XSYL) and Xiao Die (From Meteor, Butterfly, Sword) the best. The thing with GL is that, a lot of his female characters are either whiny and dependent and annoying and bitter, or they're weird psychopaths. Feng SiNiang however, seems to be this strong person who even though she went through a lot in her life, is still positive and lives her life to the fullest. I find that to be very encouraging. The same with Xiao Die, I was touched by how after being through such terrible things in her life, she still has so much love and so much kindness to give to others.
8) You used to be my assistant in the Han Solo clinic many years ago, but you deserted me for a while. What happened in the wandering years?I love music. I listen to a lot of music (mostly rock and Jrock, and some jazz and classical, and some R&B and hip hop). I also play guitar, and am thinking of taking bass lessons. I want to form my own band and perfomr live.
I also really like cooking. I really enjoy making desserts and learning to make all sorts of delicious foods. Cooking is both fun and relaxing for me.
I like to read, surf the Internet, hang out with friends, and just enjoy life.
9) I understand that you are working in the health-care related fields- can you share your work, education experiences?I'm sorry about leaving the clinic and SPCNet .
I left SPCNet and a lot of the Wuxia forums for a while when I started university. I just had so much school work to do, and had to spend time making new friends, getting sued to the university environment, etc. that I just didn't really have as much time to spned here anymore . That's also why the translations have been on such a long hiatus. I really wanted to continue, but just couldn't find the time. As well, around the time I left was the whole deletion of General Chat forums and things, and some of the initial friends I made here left, so it got somewhat "lonely" for me on SPCNet.
Then as time went on, I just got busier with school, and it wasn't until now that I graduated, that I have more time for translations and visiting the forums again. So in short, nothing overly exciting happened, just lots of school.
10) What do you think of the future of wuxia literature in particular translations? Any shoutouts?I'm actually in the field of psychology. I actually started university with the intention of going into medicine. But after first year and having volunteered in hospitals, I felt that being a doctor wasn't what I wanted to do (too many long hours, not enough patient care, and the whole thing just didn't suit me, I found). It was also during first year that I took a first year psychology course, and I was hooked. I did a research program for psychology in second year, and that further solidified my choice of going into psychology research. So for the rest of my undergraduate, I took a lot of psychology courses (mixed with some sciences, some humantieies, and some social sciences) and did a lot of research projects. Now, I'm taking two years off to work as a research coordinator for a lab (we study children with conduct problems). Then I'm hoping to go into psychology graduate school. My goal is to become a psychology professor.
Shoutouts -I'm not sure if there are still current Wuxia novelists out there, but I would still encourage people to keep writing. Although authors like Jin Yong and Gu Long really sort of set the standard of Wuxia literature, it'd still be worthwhile to keep being creative and invent new stories. Given that nowadays, people are showing more interest in the Wuxia aspect of the Chinese culture (through films like Courching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and people taking martial arts lessons), I think that wuxia translations should really be encouraged. It gives people insight into a pretty significant part of popular Chinese literature.
Many thanks to Jaded for the translations and the interview.I'm really grateful for anyone who reads and enjoys the translations. I'm really graful to those who were patient enough to wait throughout the hiatus and still keep reading. It's very encouraging for me to receive feedback from readers and I'm glad to be able to contribute.
Basically, anyone who's nice on SPCNet gets a shoutout, since that makes me enjoy my visits here and encourages the translations.
And best of luck in everything that you do.
Bliss is someone that i had been hoping to contact for a long time before he finally consents to this interview. We know bliss through his work in completing the translation of the most famous of all GL's story "Sentimental Swordmen, Ruthless Sword". He's also had translated other works here, and posts provocative questions in the wuxia forum.
Hello all, my name is Justin Lu. I was born in Vietnam (but am Cantonese/Chaozhounese by blood) in the year of the Dog (1982) and emigrated to the US when I was 2 years old. I grew up and have lived in NYC ever since. I am currently working in the financial industry in Midtown, NYC.1) Can you please introduce yourself - name, age, the RL you.
Like many overseas Chinese, I grew up watching a lot of TVB and especially TVB Wuxia serials. The earliest one that I can remember watching was some whacky TVB serial called "Jianmo - Dugu Qiubai" http://www.spcnet.tv/TVB-Series/Kim-...-Pai-p228.html in which TVB flexed its creative muscle and made up an origin story about Dugu Qiubai. From there, I casually followed TVB wuxia serials but never delved into the novels. It was not until XAJH 96 that I was completely hooked. I started to do more research about contemporary wuxia and this fellow named Jin Yong whose name I saw attached to almost all the wuxia serials I watched.2) What are the things that first brought you into the world of wuxia literature?
One day around 1999-2000 I stumbled upon the old Jin Yong forums while perusing the internet. I didn't post much and mostly lurked for a couple years. From there, I also discovered Gu Long and his works. One poster there especially caught my attention with his incredibly thought out and well written posts. He seemed to bring out points and motifs in Gu Long's works that I had never noticed before or even realized possible within the context of wuxia. At the time, I was also studying Philosophy in college, and I saw many parallels between Gu Long's works and 20th century post-modernism and existentialist thought. Through his characters, Gu Long was able to bring to life a lot of the ideas that these philosophers and thinkers could only theorize about. I would later learn that this was no coincidence -- Gu Long was heavily influenced by a lot of Western writers and most likely developed his tone and style after being influenced by their works.
And as we all know, the Yushy forums where Jin Yong, Gu Long (eventually merged into a single Wuxia) and Kristy Yeung =( boards slowly died out and eventually all went down. I followed suit with most of the others and migrated over to SPCnet where a new wuxia community had started and was buzzing with activity. Actually, I didn't realize SPCnet was so active or else I would've switched over much earlier. One day, I stumbled upon Athena's translation of MJFL and was inspired. Soon after, I saw that the DQJKWQJ translation had stopped for quite a while so I decided to throw myself into the fire and give it a shot.
It's probably no surprise but I'm definitely a Gu Long man. Not to say that I don't like Jin Yong, he is definitely the greatest contemporary wuxia author of our time and his stories are beautifully intricate and especially detailed. But while Jin Yong is like an old revered professor, Gu Long was a rockstar. During his time, he pretty much lived like one too.3) Favourite author?
To me, his real life experiences were superimposed directly onto the stories he wrote. When you read Jin Yong's novels, even if you read every single one of them, you would still have no idea who Jin Yong was as a person. But when you read Gu Long's novels, you read about his optimism, you read about his pessimism, his cynicism, his fears, his desires, his flaws ... you're reading about the author himself, embodied in the hundreds of colorful characters he created, all microcosms representing a bigger whole, that being the human experience.
When it comes down to it, I think my preference for Gu Long has to do with my affinity for deeply flawed and tragic figures. Because after all, we are human, and being flawed is what defines us as humans. If life was perfect and we always got everything we ever wanted, life would be pretty meaningless.
I always thought that one of the main problems with translating wuxia from Chinese to English was that not only must the translator have a good grasp of the Chinese language, it is almost imperative that the translator have a good grasp of English as well. Grammar and word flow is key, and the way that Chinese grammar is structured is very different from the way that English sentences are formed. A good wuxia translation should not only capture the original intent and feel of the Chinese text but must also present it in fluent and well-written English.4) Your translations of GL works here especially Ruthless Sword, Sentimental Swordsmen has been very well received. Can you share your translation methods?
I work straight from the text, word for word, sentence for sentence. I usually read a sentence in Chinese, translate what it is trying to convey in my head into English (I think in English by the way), then reconstruct the sentence from the idea I extracted. This gets written down in a first draft and I usually run through an entire chapter in the same manner. Then, I go back and re-edit the whole chapter fixing grammatical errors, restructuring sentences for better word flow, and looking for synonyms for certain words that might better capture the spirit and feel of what the author in Chinese is trying to portray.
It's definitely a very tedious process I know. But for Bian Cheng Lang Zi, one of my main goals was to completely capture the atmosphere and feel of the novel. I always thought Bian Cheng Lang Zi was one of Gu Long's most poetic novels and it had a very distinct mood. Gu Long was in his prime when he wrote this so I wanted to accurately portray his style while translating it into English.
But all in all, I absolutely love translating. If I could somehow make a living off of it, I'd quit my day job and do it full time.
There's nothing much there actually. I initially put it up on the existing domain I had because during the infamous outage on SPCnet, there was no where for me to post new translations. I also wanted an independent and authoritative source where I could store my translations apart from any forum or site. I was also using the BCLZ site as a test site to try out some new technologies at the time(it's completely AJAX driven). But after a while, it turned out to be more effort than it was worth. Now, the first place I publish my translations is on SPCnet's Translation Forum.5) Tell us more about your website ?
Work and life caught up with me. I was pretty busy for a while and most of my free time was focused on other pursuits and interests. But eventually, the wuxia-nerd in me resurfaced and I found my way back to SPCnet.6) There was a period of time where you disappeared from SPCNET- what happened?
Two scenes in Tianya, Mingyue, Dao come to mind.7) Any favourite scenes in wuxia literature that you liked to share with the readers?
The first one I had previously translated (http://www.spcnet.tv/forums/showthread.php?t=15017) is Fu Hongxue's duel with Du Lei. It so perfectly captures the existential purposelessness and utter loneliness and wretched depravity of the human experience.
The second one is the ending which I won't give away. But it's an extremely poignant and touching ending full of hope and celebrating the beauty of life and what it means to be human.
Two scenes representing two completely opposite ends of the spectrum of what it means to be human, both in the same novel. That is why I love Gu Long so much.
I had a lot of free time some weeks ago so I cranked out a couple more chapters of Bian Cheng Lang Zi. I fully intend to finish it, hopefully during some holiday or iteratively here and there whenever I can find the time. Also, I had always wanted to translate Tianya, Mingyue, Dao as well, so that will be my next project after I finish Bian Cheng Lang Zi.8) What's your plans with your translation?
I was 99.9% certain that this would come up.9) What do you really think of Ah Ching in the JY short story- worse than a 3rd generation QZ disciple?
I don't care what anyone says. I have a total crush on her, and that's why I'll always be of the opinion that Ah Ching >> Sweeper.
10) Quick comments (or quick single word responses )on this short topic:- a defining and integral part of our culture (that being overseas Chinese)a) wuxia
- Trailblazer. But honestly, sometimes I think we overanalyze stuff in his novels that he probably never thought of or calculated to any significant degree (for example, the predominant topic of discussion -- relative level of martial arts between characters).b) Jin Yong
- Sorry that it ultimately took his life in the end, but without which the world probably would've never known Li Xunhuan, Chu Liuxiang, Lu Xiaofeng and a list of many other great characters. I'm sure Gu Long wouldn't have wanted it that way either.c) GL's alcoholism
- Prototype for all the uber-cool, silent, aloof types you see in modern day movies, manga, anime, etc.d) Ah Fei
- Awesome community. I actually wonder why wuxia translations aren't bigger. Anime and manga translations are huge worldwide. I guess people don't like reading straight text as much.e) SPCNET
- COOL! I'll be honest, it's what hooked me in the beginning.f) CGI in wuxia adaptation
First and foremost, thanks to all the readers! Translations would be worthless if no one ever read them. Also, thanks to Mr. Han Solo for running a great Translation Forum and SC for SPCnet in general.11) Any shoutouts?
Lastly, a special shoutout to BeeDreamer. She used to post here frequently and had a hand in the ROCH translation as well. Sometime around late 2005 she disappeared after moving and I haven't been able to contact her since. If anyone has heard from her, please let me know!
Thanks for reading this long and lengthy essay of an interview!
I agree 100%.Ah Fei- Prototype for all the uber-cool, silent, aloof types you see in modern day movies, manga, anime, etc.
A popular video game or anime based on a wuxia novel is required to expose today's youth to the genre.- Awesome community. I actually wonder why wuxia translations aren't bigger. Anime and manga translations are huge worldwide. I guess people don't like reading straight text as much.
If Koei's Romance of the Three Kingdoms and Dynasty Warriors series can entice gamers to read San Guo Yan Yi, which litteraly consists ofbricks, then I am sure an RPG or fighting game can draw new fans to Gu Long's shorter yet just as interesting novels.
I'm sure a anime about Compassionate Swordsman Ruthless Sword would do very well.
RWX is the new translator of DGSD. He follows the footsteep of Moin, CC, and others. One of these day, the dream of a fully translated DGSD will be realised and ppl will realise how awesome DY really is.
1) Introduce yourself.
2) What are the things that brought you into wuxia?
Originally, IIRC, it was the (I think) 1997 TVB adaptation of ROCH; that was my first encounter with wuxia that got me into the genre overall. But I would put Lanny's partial translation of XAJH that really hooked me onto the genre, and that, in fact, led me to seek out other forums and other possible translations and which eventually led me to SPCNET.
3) Favourite wuxia scene?
Oh boy...favorite single scene? It would probably have to be from XAJH; the three big competitions at the top of Shaolin between RWX/Fang Zheng, RWX/Zuo Lengchan, and Yue Buqun/LHC; more to the point, the banter and RWX's cleverness. The sheer audacity of perhaps the number one (save for DFBB) 'big demon head' standing in front of the leaders of the biggest righteous sects and 'rating' them in terms of personality, character, and martial arts is too priceless.
A very, very close second follow up is the mutual deaths of Ouyang Feng and Hong Qigong; as JY wrote it, in a single, shared final laugh, decades of hatred and enmity were resolved. The loftiness of that sentiment is something which I do not think is matched or equalled anywhere else in all of Jinyong.
4) Tell us about your fascination with RWX in JY's State of Divinity. How would you compare yourself to him, and him to a real person?
RWX is just a bloody perfect character and totally to my taste. The first thing that made me fall in love with the character is his name; "Ren Woxing", literally, "I act as I please". And that's the dude's actual name, not a nickname! He is superbly intelligent and insightful, and although he can have a temper, it feels to me as though there is a deep charisma bubbling right beneath that irascible outer shell which made such strong, independent characters such as Xiang Wentian be so devoted towards him. As I said previously, the scene at Shaolin was one of my favorites, and it displayed RWX's intelligence and judgement; I was totally cracking up when the leaders of the righteous sects were threatening to detain his daughter, and he began to list the family members and favored disciples of each of them in turn. And he was an exceptionally keen judge of character as well, (for example) seeing Yue Buqun for a hypocrite far in advance, but also seeing that Ning Zhongze was a rare talent amongst Huashan, and describing their relationship as 'A beautiful flower stuck on a pile of cow shit.' Truer words were never spoken.
As a note though, I do not particularly care for RWX post-DFBB's death, as he adopted way too many of DFBB's rotten customs.
Is RWX similar to me? I think he is a magnified version of me in some ways, just more intelligent, more irascible, more ruthless, (way) more powerful, more '霸道'. In short, I like to think of him as what I am like, except hugely exaggerated. We are made from the same type of blueprint; only, he is a castle where I am (as of now) just a cottage.
5) How many novels have you read? Do you read any wuxia stories outside of JY and GL?
'fraid not; it's considerably tiring and slow for me to read in Chinese, which was one of my original excuses for not doing any translating. Aside from the translations on this forum, I actually have not read any wuxia novels at all, although I have watched several wuxia serials.
6) You are currently translating Demi-God Semi-Devil (Tian Long Ba Bu). How is it progressing? Tell us about your translation methods and goals?
It's going not bad, although it slowed down in the past month or so; it will speed back up for the next two weeks, but then slow down again for two months as I'm off to China for a vacation. I translate primarily with the use of such software as NJSTAR, which allows me to quickly determine the meaning of any of the (many) words I don't know just by hovering the cursor over the characters. This makes translating much more efficient and keeps me from having to do any of the fits, stops, and starts which entail dictionary-based translations. I hope to translate as much as I can; it's a damn big book, and that's all I can commit to. I would like to translate it all if I can, but that's obviously a multi-year project.
7) Tell us about the Merciless Blade?
A personal work-in-progress that's been (obviously) significantly delayed and waylaid. I'm learning a lot about writing, character development, and narrative structure as I progress, and the story has come to a halt for some months as I've struggled with some aspects that I don't like, as well as some other aspects I want to fit into the existing story. It is meant to be a somewhat 'dark' story; the main character is named Matheius Randas, and he wields a blade that can literally suck the life energy/soul out of others. He was one of the two best blademasters the world who had ever seen, the other being his extremely close friend Radavast. As he is bleakly aware, over the course of his life he has killed or caused the death of every single person whom he had ever cared about, and this haunts him as, decades later, he faces the repercussions of the devastation which he had caused.
8) Most memorable moments in the wuxia fiction/translation forum?
Sorry, I honestly can't think of anything in particular, although I've certainly enjoyed my time here.
9) What do you think of wuxia adaptations? and the future of wuxia literature?
As far as adaptations go, I think they'll keep on being made bigger and with more special effects (and cuter and cuter girls); the more popular adaptations will be remade ad-nauseam, and each time they will serve as a launching pad for the careers of previously unknown stars, as they have been in the past. As far as literature goes, I don't follow it enough to give any sort of comment at all, so I'll keep my lips zipped.
10) Quick comments on these short topics:-
a) Dugu Qiu Bai
Not sure why some people slag him. Wandering the world for decades, hoping for a challenge, never receiving one. What's not to like? He's mentioned with the utmost respect in three totally separate books (more than any other JY-created character, I think), and passes down martial arts of the highest level in two of them. I really don't get why some people think he's a fraud.
b) Feng Bu Ping
Highly underrated character, and a brilliant swordsman. The swift, cold gusts of his sword created a painful radius of 25 feet or so IIRC which even high level martial artists did not want to stand within. He even thought he could take the head of the Five Swords sects with this secret and brilliant sword art. It's a pity that he and it met Linghu Chong first; I would have been fascinated to see how strong he actually was compared to the other high level martial artists of the day.
Who is screwing who is nobody's business but their own. Same goes for lezzing out.
d) Duan Yu
Nice guy. Annoying as all hell. Girls claim to like him, but if anyone stalked them the way he stalked and obssessed over Wang Yuyan, they would freak the f*** out. The only purpose he serves AFAIC is to make the rest of us appreciate Xiao Feng all the more.
e) 3rd edition of JY
No strong opinions one way or another.
11) Any shoutouts?
Shoutouts to CC, Moinllieon, Laviathan, and Athena. Much love, and much respect. Also major kudos to all the translators who have produced works which all of us love so much. An especial shout out to foxs, who guilt-tripped me into translating when I was at first reluctant to.
Wow - Jaded - a future Psychology Professor and a Wuxia Translator. Thanx for the great interview.
I'm a malfunction robot and my master already abandon me. You sucks master
I finally managed to get Lanny Lin's interview.
He is the original translator of Jin Yong's Smiling Proud Wanderer / State of Divinity- which were completed by Pokit/hhuang. Lanny's works can still be found on his website (www.lannylin.com/wanderer) or on Wuxiapedia. In addition, he is one of the 4 greats of the old Jin Yong forum, and he has some great news to share.
1) Can you introduce yourself please?Before anything, some news to share: Isaac Lin, the newest member of the family came to this world at 3:30am on December 22, 2008.
2) What is your first introduction to wuxia literature?I was born and raised in China, and came to the US for schooling. Afterwards, I found a job and stayed in US. I am kind of an idealist and perfectionist. That is also the reason why I quit my job a few years back and went back to school for a PhD degree so I could pursue the things I truly enjoy: Artificial Intelligence and Robotics. So now I am just a poor grad student.
When I was still very young (probably around 11-year old), my dad would borrow these thick books from his friends and read them. He always locked them up to make sure my sister and I didn't have access to them. However, that made me very curious, so when both of my parents went on business trips, we stole the keys and got the books out. They were gone for three days, so I had to finish reading the story (The Deer and the Cauldron, all five volumes) in three days. I probably only slept like an hour or two each night, but I did finish reading the story. Frankly, I didn't really understand a lot of the things described in the story. That was my first introduction to Wuxia literature.
3) Your translation of JY's Xiao Ao Jiang Hu is beloved by many.
a) What makes you go into translating it?
b) What was your approach towards translating?Back in China, everyone I know is aware of Mr. Jin Yong. After I came to the US, I was really surprised that no one has ever heard of him or his books. Xiao Ao Jiang Hu has always been my favorite book, so I came up with the idea: I would translate the book into English, so my non-Chinese speaking friends get to enjoy this awesome story. They could also learn about the Chinese culture through the story. However, soon I realized how hard it was to translate a Wuxia novel by Jin Yong, especially with my limited knowledge of the English language. Translating the first five chapters took many years. Just for fun, I posted these chapters online and soon I started receiving emails from all kinds of people asking for the rest of the translation. Many of them even volunteered to by my editors. That was very encouraging. Also by then, my English skills have improved quite a bit. That was when I really went for it and translated many chapters.
c) What do you think should be its proper English translation title?As mentioned before, I am kind of a perfectionist. Therefore, it probably takes me much longer to translate. Translating XAJH is very hard because: 1. there are so many culture and history backgrounds embedded in the texts, and it is simply impossible to translate everything over. Eventually I came up with the idea of footnotes, which game me more space and freedom to really introduce the background stories, or cultural habits. 2. Jin Yong is a very knowledgeable writer and included lots of subjects (such as music, wines, etc.) in his stories. In order to truthfully translate these subjects, I had to do lots of research to make sure, firstly, I myself really understood the subjects, and secondly, I can described it in English. 3. There is a certain kind of language flow by the original writer (it's hard to describe but I am sure you all know what I am talking about), and trying to create that style/feeling in English is too difficult. 4. There are many poems too, and you simply can't translate poems. I can only try my best. It's amazing how much time it takes to translate just one sentence until I feel like it sounded right. But maybe at the editing time, I would feel it sounded awkward and would change it completely. I tried using online translating services to translate first and then I would edit based on that. But I quickly gave up on that idea. If you have tried similar things, you would know why. Also, many times, I would use a dictionary and find lots of synonyms of the word I am looking for and spend a good amount of time deciding which one would be the most truthful to the original but also sounded good in the translation.
d) What happened to the translation after 2005?I like "Smiling Proud Wanderer" better than "State of Divinity" for the following reasons:
1. It matches the original title better. There's the smile (笑), and there's the proud (傲). There is no river-lake (江湖); however, the martial world is a place for people to wander about.
2. It matches my view of the main character Linghu Chong better because Linghu Chong was a carefree type of person who doesn't want to be restricted by rules and regulations. He just wanted an easy and happy life. Even after the many mishaps, he could still smile. He is also a proud person, which is why he never hesitated to take on stronger foes such as Tian Boguang and Tian Boguang. Also because of his pride, he rejected Abbot Fang-Zheng's suggestion to become a member of the Shaolin School. Also because he was expelled from his own school, he had to wander about the martial world. Therefore, wanderer is perfect (浪子).
Some people argue that "State of Divinity" is better because it describes well how Linghu Chong's mental state ascended. I would disagree, because Linghu Chong didn't really change. He only found his true self through his adventures and eventually set himself free.
e) Have you read pokit, Hhuang's translation?As many of you are aware, Adeline Lin joined the family in February 2005. Being a new parent took away most of my time. Then in 2006, I went back to school and adjusting to a student's life was also quite demanding. Two years into grad school, now I feel much better and I finally learned how to research.
4) Favourite passage in a wuxia literature?I only skimmed through it very quickly.
5) Do you still remember about the old winglin/cinple wuxia forum? What's your favourite moment there?Too many! If I really have to pick one, maybe the part where Linghu Chong led a bunch of people to attack the Shaolin Temple.
6) LHC's DG9J has been described as the most BS skill ever described by JY. What are your thoughts about this? How do you feel about the Heavy Sword technique as displayed by YG vs. LHC's DG9J? Do you think that they are the same art?Of course! That's where I really started to meet many non-Chinese speaking Wuxia fans. That was also a great inspiration for me.
7) Is there any wuxia work that you would recommend that i read before i die? Why?I donít think they are the same. DG9J required no internal energy. Yang Guoís Heavy Sword techniques are all about internal energy, but not attacking peopleís flaws. I think in Linghu Chongís era and afterwards, DG9J can be invincible. But if Linghu Chong met the sweeper monk or even Jiu Mozhi, he stood no chance. When people can attack you 20 feet from you, you simply canít attach their weaknesses, period.
8) Are you still reading any wuxia literature? Which work in particular?There are simply too many to recommend. Besides, I haven't read all of them myself (especially the older ones, which had more celestial beings related magical powers).
If I have to pick one from Jin Yong's collections, you know which one I'll pick, because this book is more about humanity than adventures. It's more about politics (desire for fame and power) than martial arts. Besides, who wouldn't fall in love with Linghu Chong?
If I have to pick one from Gu Long's work, I would recommend Happy Heroes, because it is also a book not about martial arts, but friendship, the kind of friendship I desire.
9) Many of the translators here have science or engineering in their background. Do you think that there's a link between that and wuxia literature inspired fantasy?I am currently reading a "modern", work-in-progress, wuxia story called "Celebrate the Remaining Life" (庆余年). Not the regular kind of Wuxia literature, but wuxia mixed with time-travel ("穿越") -- a very popular style in Internet-based literatures these days in China, started by Huang Yi (黄易) with "Looking for Qin" (寻秦记). It is a good story also well told. It is good enough to make me want to translate it to English.
10) Thanks for the interview. Any shoutout?This is certainly an interesting observation. I don't know the answer so I can only speculate: maybe because we science or engineering majors don't have the genius to write good stories ourselves, but we are the hard-working type and have the discipline to sit down and translate word-by-word. We also really enjoy sharing the good stuff we come upon.
Btw, Lanny's blog http://lannyland.blogspot.com/2008/0...-personal.htmlI would first shout out for all my past voluntary editors for their great efforts and help! They were my greatest inspiration to keep going with the translation. Then I would also shout out for all those readers out there who are still "patiently" waiting for me to finish the translation. The wait will not be forever. That is a promise.
Thanks for doing the interview with me, Han. I wish all of you in the forum a wonderful New Year of 2009! And if you are into robots, welcome to read my blog!
Phew! Did it 2 minutes before the New Year bell. Almost felt like it was a conference paper deadline.
And his continuation of the SPW translation chapter 21
LinkedIn Lanny Lin profile http://www.linkedin.com/in/lannyland
# CERN # LHC # CMS #
Do you have a question about the Universe?
Wow, Lanny's still kicking around. Glad to hear he's doing well.
http://www.geocities.com/wackyjlee/Others/lee.swf <----Chen Zhen (Bruce Lee version) kicking arse
These are some great interviews Han. Keep up the great work.
WOW!!! Lanny - one of my favs!!! Great interview.
I would like to thank Abhay for agreeing for this interview and also obviously thank him for all his works from Xia Ke Xing onwards. ~ Han Solo
I am called Abhay...yep it's my original name. I am from India, born in Patna(capital of Ancient Magadha empire). Since wuxia and Buddhism go hand in hand...one interesting fact is that I am from the land of Buddha. My wife is from Varanasi where Buddha gave his first sermon and my sister-in-law from Gaya where he got enlightened.1) Can you introduce yourself please?
Currently I am working as a technical analyst with a software company in Northern India.
There were some TV channels which used to telcast the dubbed version (in Hindi) of some of the older tv series in late 90's. LOCH was pretty much engraved in my memory but I forgot them over the period of time. About a couple years back, I somehow came across wuxiaworld.com, then only I came to know that it is a genre in itself with books being the source of those TV series.2) What is your first introduction to wuxia literature?
I am fervent reader so I gobbled up everything translated in wuxiaworld and then came here.
Once I completed all the available translation then the obvious choice was to wait. In some translation thread I read a comment from Fastclock about how a "chinese-illiterate" can also try to translate using translation engines. (never got an opportunity earlier...so thanks Fastclock for showing me a way).3) You were translating Xia Ke Xing and now The Wanderer's Chronicles.
a) When did you decide to pick up on the translation?
Picking Xia ke Xing was simple as I am an ardent Jin Yong fan. Most of his work are already translated and it was one of the few remaining with awesomely translated first ten chapters. Well as I recollect the works of Ian Liew and Huang Yushi...I will again reiterate that I am not a genuine translator but am merely a better readable version of babelfish.
Every now and then a passage comes when it is difficult to figure out what is happening...this is when I start converting translation in to fan fiction. It might be pretty possible that if Jin Yong described a fight with five kicks, three slaps and some cool fighting moves then I might have made it five slaps and three kicks and some random jumping here and there. The most difficult part is translating fight scenes or some internal energy techniques kind of thing.
Nowadays I am kind of a pro...first I translate a chapter using systran which does about 50% of translation. There a site called MDBG..it translates and also provides a word to word dictionary so I can look at the idividual meaning of words and guess what is going on. At times I also look in to babelfish or google translate to get another version of one paragraph for better understanding and then the normal guess work.b) How did you approach your translations?
As someone said in one of the threads, despite the tame ending, Xia ke Xing had numerous ensemble of "wtf" moments. One of my favorite passage in Xia Ke Xing is in the halls of "Clan of eternal happiness" when all the secrets were unveiled.4) Favourite passage in a wuxia literature?
a) Ding Dang - mildly irritating!5) Quick comments on the following
b) Ah Xiu - too sweet!
c) Ding Bu San - eccentric but likeable despite that "not more than four rule"
d) Yu Jing - bitter old man with a back bone!
I have read all the available translations here or in other sites. I am a Jin Yong fan and loved all the works most notably and obviously LOCH,ROCH and SPW. A special mention to legendary siblings as it was the first wuxia novel I read and was just magnificent.6) Do you read any wuxia literature? Any work in particular?
Not exactly wuxia but Romance of three Kingdom had everything I look in a book.
In the ongoing works, I keep track of A step in the past and its truly amazing.
I have seen all the English subbed TV series available on net. All the new movies are exceptional in terms of cinematography and choreography but I often feel that they lack in terms of content as focus is more of CGI and fights.7) Do you watch wuxia adaptation or movies?
What do you think of the current trend by Hollywood to incorporate kungfu into their movies?
I recently saw a TV series- The warriors (of Yang clan). This was a piece of art and mesmerizing.
I love to read books and watch sports(Football, cricket, tennis...). Ardent Arsenal fan...8) Any Hobbies or outside interests?
Drastic changes...what else can I say..Hmmm..Life is never dull anymore!9) I know that you were recently married. (well ~ within the last year )
Congratulations again. How has it changed your life?
I will like to thank all the translators who have done a splendid job and made it possible for guys like me to experience these amazing books.10) Thanks for the interview. Any shoutout?
I also thank all the readers who always appreciated me and never criticized me (although Han tried a lot in the beggining to correct me but later realized that I am a lazy mule so no point in pushing).
Thanks Han for interwiew and regular comments/pointers. At least one thing I am sure is that even if no is around at least han will there to read my work.
Thanks, Abhay for revealing some of the tricks of the trade for translators who aren't fluent in Chinese! Loved reading your Xia Ke Xing translation!
I had been away for a while.
Who do you all wanted to be interviewed next?