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Thread: Interview with Translators *UPDATED-Abhay*

  1. #1
    Senior Member Han Solo's Avatar
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    Default Interview with Translators *UPDATED-Abhay*

    I'm starting a series of interviews with our dear translators who helped to enrich our reading experiences in this thread.

    The first one interviewed is HYS, the amazing guy who translates OTG (one of my favourite btw), and also did really detailed annotations of DGSD, and help to run that busy wuxiapedia.

    Han Solo
    Wuxiapedia

    Quote Originally Posted by bliss
    I think they're probably at the same level as or one level below Ah Qing, which is about the level of a 2nd or 3rd generation Quan Zhen disciple.
    Troll Control

  2. #2
    Senior Member Han Solo's Avatar
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    What is your first exposure to wuxia literature?

    HYS: The TVB adaptation, LOCH 1982, as a teenager. I enjoyed watching the series so much that I got talking with an older cousin, who told me about the novels on which the series was based. Of all the things this cousin said, she (yes, my first exposure to wuxia literature came from a female member of my family!) had to tell me about Zhou Botong riding the shark in the ocean, so you can imagine my disappointment when I realised that the adaptation did not have this scene.

    Then came the second disappointment: that the novels were written in Chinese. At that time, I didn't appreciate the Chinese lessons that I had in school, so I couldn't read beyond simple words and phrases. I eventually learnt Chinese as an adult in college, borne more out of necessity -- because of life and career goals -- than just an interest in wuxia literature.

    Is spcnet the first wuxia online sites that you been to?

    HYS: It is not the first site I visited, but it is the first in which I have had a greater presence in. However, it was only in Jan 2005 when I had a bit more time on my hands (I had gone back to school for some post-grad studies to meet local education licensing requirements) that I began participating as a member of spcnet.

    How have you been finding translating novels? You are very very thorough with your translations processes- i think you once describes about 3 edits before posting it up on the net- has it been a big strain on you?

    HYS: The well-known wuxia writers were effective in their writing probably because they had stories to tell deep down inside them. Similarly, I translate mostly because I want to share the stories that I have enjoyed. The "thoroughness" that you describe is more of an occupational hazard than anything else. I spent eight years in the publishing industry, initially as a feature writer, then as an editor. I had a monster of a senior editor in the early years, who was first and foremost (unfortunately :-P) an academic who taught English at a local college. She was generally a pain to work with, but many of the small and seemingly insignificant technicalities about writing and editing soon became ingrained in me.

    Secondly, the Jin Yong works that I tend to translate more of, come with such rich and multi-layered tapestries that it would be a sheer waste if the details that the author had worked into the story were simply summarised or left out altogether. That is why I place a premium on accuracy, even if such a focus delays the release of a particular chunk of translation. Finally, there is that sense of fairness that I personally subscribe to. I simply do not believe in short-changing my readers by giving them translations that fall short of the richness of the original works, even if the language used is almost flawless.

    Therefore, I think it is a bigger strain to translate without meeting up to my own standards of quality, than to actually work through three rounds of editing or more! :-)

    You work with young childrens, and have staged a play about SOD. What do you think of the future of wuxia in this world with the ever changing internet, youtube, PS3, etc?

    HYS: I think that the "past" of wuxia has to be considered when we talk about its future. What makes wuxia appealing to readers of all ages and across many nations are several simple yet universal themes that form the foundation of every story: (1) the triumph of goodness, kindness, generosity, diligence, patience and long-suffering over wickedness, cruelty, selfishness, laziness, impatience and greed, (2) family and familial relationships and bonds, as well as (3) the chivalrous upholding of the poor, the needy and the down-trodden. There is something inside almost every human being that seeks out the values and principles that are found in these themes, and this, I believe, has given wuxia its popularity more than the mind-boggling martial arts techniques and powerful pugilists in the stories. That is why I have always found "wuda" [武打] stories a shade paler than their "wuxia" [ζ­¦δΎ ] counterparts, because "wuda" lacks the emotional heart of "wuxia".

    Consequently, I think the future of wuxia lies in the same simple yet universal themes that I have brought up. The internet, YouTube, PS3, etc, are just conduits for information, entertainment and recreation. Wuxia will continue to appeal to all and sundry when people pick up and focus on the deep-seated human emotions, values and principles that are found in the stories. Martial arts techniques are still important, but they must support -- not detract from or replace -- the emotional heart of wuxia.

    People want to read about people, watch people on the media, and pretend to be other people in role-playing games. That, I believe, is where the future of wuxia lies.

    Whats your plan for the future? (Any publishing plan ala Becky?)

    HYS: I would like to get more work done in translating and annotating wuxia (the things that I want to work on boggles even my own mind!), but I do not have plans to publish anything at the moment. My past involvement in the publishing industry has given me an insight into the things that I might lose (yes, lose) in going for commercial publishing, so I am not considering this route at the moment.

    Thank you for having me in your series on wuxia translators. Your support for my work is greatly appreciated. ::::

    Yushi HUANG
    Wuxiapedia

    Quote Originally Posted by bliss
    I think they're probably at the same level as or one level below Ah Qing, which is about the level of a 2nd or 3rd generation Quan Zhen disciple.
    Troll Control

  3. #3
    Senior Member IcyFox's Avatar
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    LOL! Go interview Foxs or James. They'll have plenty of stories to tell you.

    Hey! You were a translator yourself, right? Why don't we interview you?

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    Senior Member Han Solo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IcyFox
    LOL! Go interview Foxs or James. They'll have plenty of stories to tell you.

    Hey! You were a translator yourself, right? Why don't we interview you?
    I plan to interview most of translators (including you, Icy) and editors that i can find, and even some long inactive translators; either as a weekly or a monthly exercise.

    Han Solo
    Wuxiapedia

    Quote Originally Posted by bliss
    I think they're probably at the same level as or one level below Ah Qing, which is about the level of a 2nd or 3rd generation Quan Zhen disciple.
    Troll Control

  5. #5
    Senior Member IcyFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Han Solo
    I plan to interview most of translators (including you, Icy) and editors that i can find, and even some long inactive translators; either as a weekly or a monthly exercise.
    Yeah, you haven't really answered me!

    Can I interview YOU?

  6. #6
    Registered User JamesG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IcyFox
    Yeah, you haven't really answered me!

    Can I interview YOU?
    I've noticed how excessively assertive you've become since you got drafted. Been remade in the military mode eh?

  7. #7
    Senior Member Bangs's Avatar
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    This is a great thread, I want to read more about about how our translators feel about wuxia and why they became translators, etc. If possible, also include an interview for ancient translators like noodles, it was his work that got me here. Oh and don't forget goddess Athena.

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    Registered User JamesG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bangs
    This is a great thread, I want to read more about about how our translators feel about wuxia and why they became translators, etc. If possible, also include an interview for ancient translators like noodles, it was his work that got me here. Oh and don't forget goddess Athena.
    If he tracks down BeeDreamer I'll be real happy.

  9. #9
    Senior Member LuNaR's Avatar
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    lol great interview, maybe u can ask more questions next time tho
    SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS 2010 and 2012 CHAMPS

  10. #10
    Senior Member Bangs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuNaR
    lol great interview, maybe u can ask more questions next time tho
    I agree, add more questions.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Han Solo's Avatar
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    Below is an interview with Moinlleion, one of the wuxia fiction moderator here, who had translated many great stories including the LXF series.


    Originally Posted by Han Solo
    Hi Moin,

    I'd started a new thread in which i conduct interviews with wuxia translators.
    http://www.spcnet.tv/forums/showthread.php?t=20356

    You have always been one of my favourite translator and it has been some time since the last sighting of the legendary Moin in the wuxia forum, if you can, please reply via pm or email me at [email protected].

    Hey. I suppose I haven't posted in the Wuxia forum in a long while. But I still go in there and read the comments. It's just that it seems the forum has outgrown me, if I ever wanted to say anything, someone else has already done so, but better. It's quite nice.


    Below are some questions for the interview:-

    1) Would you like to introduce yourself? Age, photos!, etc.
    Moinllieon here. Long time-poster/translator of SPCNet and JYDF before then. Age: Too old! Grad school is aging me fast! And no photos, sorry.


    2) Its many moons since your last visit here. What have you been up to?

    Studying and researching. It's hard enough to learn new things, but having to come up with new ideas and innovations is crazy. I should re-evaluate my life goals.


    3) What is your first exposure to wuxia literature, and which story is your favourite?

    My first exposure was when I was... I guess 4 or 5. It was the ATV wuxia drama The Legendary Fok. I think it was one of the first HK dramas to be broadcasted in the mainland, due to its nationalistic themes. Been hooked ever since.

    I suppose my favorite story is Xiao Ao Jiang Hu. But She Diao Ying Xiong Zhuan has always had a soft spot in my heart because it introduced me to Jin Yong. (Or should I say LoCH83 introduced me). All in all, those old TV shows that I saw as a kid all have a soft spot in my heart: Xia Ke Xing, Jue Dai Shuang Jiao, Jue Zhan Xuan Wu Men (the Foundation), and Chu Liu Xiang.

    I'm discounting Lu Ding Ji because it isn't really Wuxia is it?


    3) Your translations of LXF is one of my favourite piece of wuxia literature. Can you describe your thoughts on your translations- how did you do it? and the joy/suffering of it?

    Trying to squeeze in an extra question huh?

    I think the biggest thing that comes to my mind when I think about the translations is the amount of work that went into them. I did not anticipate reading up on Mongolian history to translate the Genghis Khan section correctly (and I'm sure I still made the mistake of switching Boroqul and another general), didn't anticipate having to read up on Chinese literature and poetry to pick apart famous poems, and most of all, I didn't anticipate spending hours agonizing over how to best translate one inconsequential phrase. I knew that I would spend time trying to figure out how to best translate an ambiguous phrase to allow the original meaning to come through (and indeed, this was the most fun part of the translations), what I didn't foresee was spending hours deciding between "Green Shirt Pavilion" and "Green Cloth Mansion", switching back and forth numerous times, and having to go back and change the older text to match the new change.


    4) The final portion of the LXF Book 3 has been delayed for a year- any plans to revise and update and end that translation?

    Yes and yes. No certain promises, but I finally have a summer off from working that frees to me concentrate on research. I plan/hope to blow off some steam in between that. And then the arduous task of actually revising and editing the old works will begin. Hopefully, the end product will actually look like it was written by a high school graduate.


    5) Regarding your other translation projects, LOCH is being tackled by a multi-translator team- what have you observed of their efforts?

    I am amazed by them every time I look. The progress and the quality of their work puts what I did to shame. My only wish is that they get more into the cultural aspects of the translations (poems, name of songs, etc.)

    On a side note, for those interested. In this post: http://www.spcnet.tv/forums/showpost...&postcount=602 the 3rd problem that Huang Rong gave to Ying Gu is a very famous problem in mathematics. In fact, it is based on a theory called "The Chinese Remainder Theorem". A very important theory in encryption even today.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_remainder_theorem

    I think the first problem involves the use of continued fractions, for which Indian mathematics if famed for. I don't know about that second problem.


    6) Any favourite bits of wuxia fiction that you wish to share?

    I have so many that it is impossible to share all of them. In all honesty, just read all of them and decide for yourself which is the best. My favorites are either very emotional moments (like Xiao Feng and Ah-Zhu on the bridge) or great fight/spectacles (like GJ leading the siege of Samarkand).


    7) Jin Yong 2nd vs 3rd edition- which do you like more?

    I prefer the 2nd because it's what I grew up with. There are things I like about the 3rd edition, like how it works out the contradictions that exited in the 2nd edition. But I'm still used to thinking about the fates of the characters as it happened in the 2nd edition. For example, I still automatically think that Wang Yuyan ended up with Duan Yu.


    8) Whats your plan for the future?
    Research, get my doctoral degree, get a nice job. That about sums it up. I do hope to get involved in translating again, but... that's always a luxury that I allow myself instead of something I have to do.


    9) Jeter or A-rod? Basketball or Baseball?

    You don't want to get me started on this too much, but it's A-Rod and baseball (but soccer/football over both).


    10) Thanks for the interview, Any shoutout?
    Thanks,
    Han Solo

    Thank you. Shout outs? Well, to you for organizing this. To those who have continued on with LoCH, you guys rock. To anybody who has read my translations and offered any kind of comment, be it praise or criticism, because hey, at least you took time out to read it. I hope to provide some more things for you guys to read soon but, once again, no guarantees.
    __________________
    Wuxiapedia

    Quote Originally Posted by bliss
    I think they're probably at the same level as or one level below Ah Qing, which is about the level of a 2nd or 3rd generation Quan Zhen disciple.
    Troll Control

  12. #12
    Registered User JamesG's Avatar
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    Thanks HS and Moin.


    Oooo, look what I found [besides the fact that Linh Vu is a pretty common name]
    User Profile for Linh Vu
    Candide

    UserID: ***
    Name: Linh Vu
    Registered: 1/31/07
    Total Posts: 9
    Location Melbourne, Australia
    Occupation System Administrator
    Homepage *********

    Could it be????
    Last edited by JamesG; 05-07-07 at 10:13 PM.

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    Senior Member duguxiaojing's Avatar
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    hmm thanks for interview han...ive always been curious to see what many members were like outside of the forum, especially some of the senior members.
    wow..04-08....4 years just like that..time flies..

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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesG View Post
    If he tracks down BeeDreamer I'll be real happy.
    I used to keep in pretty close contact with her but she's all but disappeared since the end of 2005. She was moving around a lot and I guess she must've settled down somewhere quiet and hasn't been on the internet since.
    明月心跳起來,又回頭,嫣然道,“你還要不要我帶上那面具?”
    傅紅雪冷道,“現在你臉上豈非已經戴上了個面具?”

  15. #15
    Senior Member Han Solo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bliss View Post
    I used to keep in pretty close contact with her but she's all but disappeared since the end of 2005. She was moving around a lot and I guess she must've settled down somewhere quiet and hasn't been on the internet since.
    Bliss!!!

    When can i interview you?

    Han Solo
    Wuxiapedia

    Quote Originally Posted by bliss
    I think they're probably at the same level as or one level below Ah Qing, which is about the level of a 2nd or 3rd generation Quan Zhen disciple.
    Troll Control

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    Quote Originally Posted by Han Solo View Post
    Bliss!!!

    When can i interview you?

    Han Solo
    I'm free anytime and more than willing to oblige. But I'd be a little embarassed to at the moment, my translation efforts and contributions have slowed to barely a crawl Perhaps after I get myself back on track and pump out a couple chapters.
    明月心跳起來,又回頭,嫣然道,“你還要不要我帶上那面具?”
    傅紅雪冷道,“現在你臉上豈非已經戴上了個面具?”

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    Quote Originally Posted by bliss View Post
    I'm free anytime and more than willing to oblige. But I'd be a little embarassed to at the moment, my translation efforts and contributions have slowed to barely a crawl Perhaps after I get myself back on track and pump out a couple chapters.
    Nah you have nothing more to prove, regardless of what you do in the future you're already in the translator all-stars group. Cheers.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Han Solo's Avatar
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    Default CC

    CC is the translator of DGSD's famed Shaolin fights - i.e. chapter 40-41 , and i was briefly CC's editor at that time.

    I managed to grab CC for a quick interview recently.

    Below are some questions for the interview:-

    1) Would you like to introduce yourself? Age, photos!, etc.

    I am a hot and voluptuous 15 year old raven haired beauty. You need to pay even more for my photos than Candide would charge for hers.

    2) Your translations of the DGSD Shaolin fights were great. Any plans to continue?

    I stopped due to the announcement of the 3rd edition. I will continue once I get hold of an online copy of the 3rd edition. I just dont have the urge to buy a hardcopy.

    3) What is your first exposure to wuxia literature, and which story is your favourite?

    TVB. Those old late 70s and early 80s serials. I thought it would be obvious which is my favourite.

    3) Can you describe your thoughts on your translations- how did you do it? and the joy/suffering of it?

    I did it to help improve my Chinese. I don't use written Chinese much and would get rusty if I did not practice. When I read DGSD originally, I did not read it _that_ carefully. When you have to translate something while attempting to keep true to the original wording and intent, it makes you read a lot more carefully. It ended up with me appreciating and understanding the story a lot more.

    4) Any favourite bits of wuxia fiction that you wish to share?

    Favourite wuxia fiction? A personal favourite would be Murong Fu's first encounter with the 24 Variation God and Ghost Exchange of the Sky Crippling Sword Art.

    5) Jin Yong 2nd vs 3rd edition- which do you like more?

    The 4th edition when he finally give me the damn rights to the stories and I can finally set up GJ vs YG or have someone clobber LHC over the head with a longer weapon when he does his DG9J bullcrap.

    6) DY has stronger martial arts than XF!! No?

    Yes. DY's arts are stronger and has more potential. However, its the person not the art which matters more.

    7) Sword God - You and PJ created that overnight sensation- how did that the two of you teamed up with that idea? Did you enjoy it?

    Overnight? You know how hard we had to shout in everyones' ears?

    8) What do you think about the role of such super-duper-uber-ownage-BBQ-Pawning heroes like Sweeper Monk?

    To be fair to JY, he did drop the hint that Sweeper was not totally invincible (when he had to feint to reduce XF's double palms and still got hit by one). I find it a lot more easier to accept Sweeper Monk than say, LHC's blinding of the 15 assasins.

    9) Thanks for the interview, Any shoutout?

    I've shouted enough on the forum. Thanks.
    Wuxiapedia

    Quote Originally Posted by bliss
    I think they're probably at the same level as or one level below Ah Qing, which is about the level of a 2nd or 3rd generation Quan Zhen disciple.
    Troll Control

  19. #19
    Senior Member ChronoReverse's Avatar
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    Haha, a grudge against LHC I see. Just to add fuel to the fire, LHC beat out several spear wielders at the same time in one part of the story... at this point he still didn't have internal energy.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Han Solo's Avatar
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    Default IcyFox

    This time, i interivewed IcyFox who was part of the LOCH/ROCH translation team. Unfortunately, he is a noob who thinks that Einstein is better than Bohr - when Bohr was part of the Manhanttan Project, and Einstein was not even invited.

    Anyway,.....


    1) Would you like to introduce yourself? Age, photos!, etc. Why the name of Icy Fox.

    Aspiring theoritical physicist. Age 20.

    [IcY] was actually the prefix used by my (now-inactive) gaming clan when we played the Battlefield series. [FOX] was inspired by Erwin Rommel's Desert Fox. So my callsign was originally [IcY] :: FOX but now it's just simplified to IcyFox.

    2) It's well known that you are currently being dregged in the pits of servituted aka National Service in Singapore - How is it going and what's your plan for the future?

    The going gets tough; the tough gets going; and the weak slacks off behind.
    I'm handling sensitive information now, so no further comment.

    3) What is your first exposure to wuxia literature, and which story is your favourite?

    My first exposure is probably the White-Haired Demoness starring the late Leslie Cheung.

    My fav. is RPG #2. Kidding! It's actually RoCH.

    3) Your role in the translations of ROCH has been exceptional. Can you describe your thoughts on your translations- how did you do it? and the joy/suffering of it?

    Exceptional? I originally translated RoCH for my own selfish reason - to read the story in English!

    Anyway, my 'policy' on translating probably defers from other translators. Some concentrated on the volume. Some focused on the accuracy and precision. Some look carefully at the consistency.

    When I first started I put great consideration into speed. So far my record of 1 chapter in 6 days hasn't been broken.

    Overall, I pay great intention to the Intention. Not really Jin Yong's intention but rather the story's intention, like the Sword Intention.

    Of course, to make up for the loss of accuracy, I used the Queen's English as much as I could.

    Suffering - When the bureaucracy sets in.
    Joy - When we can read the whole CH Trilogy in English. So not yet.

    4) Any favourite bits of wuxia fiction that you wish to share?

    Yue Nu Jian - Anonymous Translator :

    :
    The Wu swordman's sword reached out toward toward her belt. "Why..." Before he could finished, the maiden's bamboo stick flickered and stabbed into his wrist. The swordman only felt a sudden pain on his wirst and dropped his sword. The bamboo stick raised upward, followed by another stab into the swordman's right eye. The swordman screamed as he covered his blinded eye.

    The maiden's movement might be simple, but for some reason, the Wu swordman could not block or even avoid her bamboo stick. The other seven swordmen was much surprised. One of them pulled back his sword and thrusted it toward the maiden's right eye. As the sword sped forward, everyone could hear a loud whoosh, signaling the strength behind the thrust.

    The maiden didn't even move her feet. Her bamboo stick moved again. This time she stabbed at the swordman's shoulder. The stab was so fast that although it started after the thrust, it arrived well before the thrust could reach her. The swordman cried out in pain as all the strength went out of his thrust. Then the maiden's wrist flicked and the bamboo stick went into his right eye. The swordman screamed like a butchered pig as his two fists waved aimlessly.
    HSDS Chapter 10 - Translated By Faerie Queenie :

    :
    Zhang CuiShan knelt down on the floor and said, “Master, your worthless disciple has dared to take a wife without first gaining your permission.” Zhang SanFeng stroked his beard and laughingly replied, “You were stranded on the Ice-Fire Island for ten years, unable to return home. Are you suppose to wait ten years and reported to me before you could take a wife? What a silly, silly assertion! Quickly get up, there is no need to admit to any wrong. Zhang SanFeng does not have such a old-fashioned disciple.” Zhang CuiShan continued to kneel, refusing to get up, “But my wife is not of an orthodox background. She … she is the daughter of Heavenly Eagle sect’s sect-leader.”

    Zhang SanFeng continues to stroke his beard and said with a laugh, “And what matter is that? As long as your wife’s character is honest and her heart is good, then that is all that matters. Even if she is not a good person, having arrived here at our mountain, can we not slowly change and guide her towards good? So what if she is from the Heavenly Eagle sect? CuiShan, you have to understand that in life one should always take caution to never have a heart that is too restricted in breadth. You must never look down on others just because you reside in the position of the so-called orthodox sects. The two words of “good” and “evil” were originally hard to differentiate. A member of the orthodox sect when harbouring thoughts of impurity and immorality will be considered as a wicked villain, and similarly if a member from the evil sect harbours a heart that is completely directed towards goodness, then that person is a gentleman.”
    5) Guo Jing vs Yang Guo?

    Martial Arts? Yang Guo, with that black sword.
    Character? Neither. I'd say Z3F, ZWJ or XF makes a better choice.
    Personality? No comments.
    Love life? GJ's is sweet while YG's is true. Tough choice.

    6) Einstein vs Bohr?

    OMG! You should've seen my expression when I saw that!

    The first thing that came to my mind was the biggest debate in 20th century science associated with their names, resulting in the development of the quantum theory - 3/4 of today's physics. Any positive analysis of the question from this POV would take us from Planck to probably Feynman, and that's like 1000x tougher than translating!

    Personally, I admire and respect Bohr a lot. Admiration for coming up with the Copenhagen Interpretation and respect for his attitude to problem-solving physics. But Einstein would always be my No. 1 hero. Total admiration for Relativity. Enough said. Profound respect for his contributions to peace, and for believing in the impossible.

    7) Thanks for the interview, Any shoutout?

    When are you gonna make this thread Sticky?
    Last edited by Han Solo; 06-08-07 at 07:15 PM.
    Wuxiapedia

    Quote Originally Posted by bliss
    I think they're probably at the same level as or one level below Ah Qing, which is about the level of a 2nd or 3rd generation Quan Zhen disciple.
    Troll Control

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