FIREFLY CHINESE TRANSLATIONS

Interested in speaking with journalist?

POSTED BY: JIZHE
UPDATED: Wednesday, August 29, 2007 06:50
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Friday, July 6, 2007 12:18 AM

JIZHE


Hi gang,

I'm a journalist working for the Chinese edition of a major American magazine, and I'm currently writing about how people, still to this day, discuss the Chinese on the show Firefly and the film Serenity. I think this would be of great interest to our Chinese readers who are also greatly influence by the foreign languages that they pick up from shows -- like "Friends" and "Sex and the City," to name a couple.

I'd love to know whether any of the Chinese from the show and the film has entered your common vernacular. For example, I’ve heard of some people in a small town who don’t greet their friends, “Hey, girlfriend!” any more, but instead say, “Hey, Meimei!” Have any of you adjusted your speech as such? Or has the Chinese on the show encouraged or inspired any of you to start taking Chinese classes, for example? Basically, I’d like to know how does the foreign language element on the show affect you – is it something interesting to speak of in your free time, or is it something that has opened your world in a larger sense?

Thank you so much for your time and consideration to this post. I appreciate it very much.

Megan S.



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Friday, July 6, 2007 1:24 AM

6IXSTRINGJACK


Very interesting post there Megan, if you don't mind me calling you Megan, and I find the prospect of speaking with someone from which we could learn things from each other about other peoples quite intriguing.

I wish I'd gotten to it sooner, but I'm pretty much on my way out the door at work now so I won't be able to say much now. I'll give your post some thought and get back to you about this later.

I just had time for one question and one statement before I go now though.

Question: Is it true that they allowed "Desperate Housewives" to be aired in China, but they changed the title to "Crazy Housewives"?

Statement: Please don't use "Sex in the City" as a barometer of American culture. I really loathe that show.

Have a good day Megan. I'm sure there are many other Browncoats who would be more than happy to oblige your request today.

EDITED TO ADD: If you are Chinese yourself and Chinese is your first language and you manage to speak and write English as well as you do, I'm very envious of your abilities.



"A government is a body of people, usually notably ungoverned." http://www.myspace.com/6ixstringjack

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Friday, July 6, 2007 3:06 AM

ARTCAT81


Actually, I greet my browncoat friends now with Ni Hao, I call one of them me Mei mei, amongst the browncoats I hang out with we say xie xie instead of thank you, and often end up saying xie xie at restaurants we visit. I have caughtmyselff asking coworkers "Dongma?" after explaining something. So yes, the vernacular from Firefly has entered my everyday language. Shiny has also become a common word in my vocabulary.

Browncoats are the shiniest folks in the 'verse

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Friday, July 6, 2007 3:25 AM

RIVERISMYGODDESS


I certainly use some of the Chinese in everyday speech. Xie xie, and dong ma, and sometimes ni hao. I also use shiny, gorramn, and ruttin', all three from the show.

I have a printout in my car of the Chinese from the show, movie, and novel, that I try to read and learn when I have a chance to.

~jimi
No pleasure, no rapture, no exquisite sin greater, than central air.

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Friday, July 6, 2007 5:57 AM

DIANASPR


I also find my self using it Chinese every day.

I have taught my 6yr old nephew how to say thank you and hi. And any time I can I use it with him. People look at us weird because we will speak in Spanish, English and throw in some Chinese.

I have listned to different podcast to learn Cantonese but as of yet I have not gotten very far. I would love to be able to converse in simple words. Is a GOAL!!!

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007 11:51 PM

JIZHE


Hi gang,

Really appreciate the feedback. I am not Chinese but have studied and learned the language and now work for the magazine -- which is the Chinese edition of Newsweek, to be precise. Our website is newsweekchinese.com.

Anyway, I wondered if any of you would be willing to be quoted by actual name in my story? If so, could you please e-mail me at newsweekselect at gmail dot com? Basically, I'd like some quotes from the average fan about how they picked up some Chinese from the show and use it among other fan friends.

You guys are seriously awesome. Thanks again.

Megan S.

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Thursday, July 12, 2007 1:41 AM

FIREFLYGAL


bumping for worthwhile thread

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Friday, July 13, 2007 8:18 AM

FIREFLYGAL

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Friday, July 13, 2007 10:14 AM

STARRBABY


I call my husband "Bao Bei" on a regular basis.

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Friday, July 13, 2007 5:06 PM

SERENYTY


I frequently call my younger sister 'mei mei' as a little nickname. I call her this without even realizing it, so it's regular speech.

On a lesser scale, I use things like 'Ni Hao' or 'Ai ya', but not too much. Occasionally, I impress people by saying one of the long phrases.

It's just really interesting, and really fun.

And I'll try and email you, if you'd like.

~A message from Serenyty~

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Monday, July 16, 2007 2:26 AM

FIREFLYGAL

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007 5:01 AM

FIREFLYGAL

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007 5:09 AM

JIANHUA


It's interesting, I watched Firefly for a long time without having any idea that there was Chinese in it. I just thought they were speaking gobbledegook.

Since discovering they are attempting to speak "Chinese", it has become a fun game to try to figure out what it is they think they are saying. Sometimes you can make sense of it, but sometimes I suspect they are either mixing dialects or their language coach was teasing them.

In any case, I certainly hope nobody is picking up "Chinese" from Firefly! Even if more than half of the consonants were pronounced correctly -- they aren't -- the lack of tones is infuriating. It would be like learning English from a show that neglected to include any vowels.

Just so that your readers know that at least a few of us are aware just what a mockery Firefly's Chinese is. I would call it a noble effort, but it appears no effort went into that aspect of the show at all. Otherwise, it was a great show.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007 6:49 AM

IZZOW


While I haven't picked up using Chinese words in my everyday, I have thought about it. I think people would look at me funny, since I don't meet a lot of Browncoats or people that speak chinese. (Although I have been looking to meet some browncoats in the Ft Worth area.)

As far as speaking chinese in Firefly, I thought it was a great way to characterize the world of the future, with blending of cultures and the tolerance of different traditions.

If the chinese spoken in Firefly isn't very good, perhaps this would be a good opportunity to share. I know there are several browncoat groups that meet up. Maybe we could have Learn Chinese meeting and have members of the Chinese-American community as instructors. Just a thought.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007 6:41 PM

STARRBABY


Quote:

Originally posted by jianhua:
It's interesting, I watched Firefly for a long time without having any idea that there was Chinese in it. I just thought they were speaking gobbledegook.

Since discovering they are attempting to speak "Chinese", it has become a fun game to try to figure out what it is they think they are saying. Sometimes you can make sense of it, but sometimes I suspect they are either mixing dialects or their language coach was teasing them.

In any case, I certainly hope nobody is picking up "Chinese" from Firefly! Even if more than half of the consonants were pronounced correctly -- they aren't -- the lack of tones is infuriating. It would be like learning English from a show that neglected to include any vowels.

Just so that your readers know that at least a few of us are aware just what a mockery Firefly's Chinese is. I would call it a noble effort, but it appears no effort went into that aspect of the show at all. Otherwise, it was a great show.



I'm sure it's infuriating to hear the language butchered, but keep in mind those poor actors are so in the dark about the linguistics. I'm sure they only learn the phonetics and forget everything in 5 minutes.


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Wednesday, July 18, 2007 3:41 AM

FIREFLYGAL

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Thursday, July 19, 2007 8:37 AM

FIREFLYGAL

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Sunday, August 5, 2007 5:44 PM

JIZHE


Yes, Serynyty,

Please email me at newsweekselect@gmail.com.

Thanks!

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Tuesday, August 7, 2007 11:58 PM

JIZHE


Hi,

Last call if anyone wants to speak with me. I'm especially interested in speaking with Serenyty, but I think it would be great to speak with any of you. Thanks so much!

Megan


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Wednesday, August 29, 2007 6:50 AM

LADYSAGE


I haven't added much of the dialogue to my daily speech but I do sort-of speak in movie quotes with my close friends. As for Firefly/Serenity, I'd say that I use a bit of "ni hao" (hello) and "tsai gin" (good-bye) when I can, although I'm better at pronouncing it than spelling it!



-------------------
"You're lost in the woods; we all are, even the Captain. The difference is, he likes it that way."

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