FIREFLY CHINESE TRANSLATIONS

Chinese origin for 'shiny'??

POSTED BY: DARKJESTER
UPDATED: Friday, February 1, 2008 02:30
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Saturday, March 6, 2004 4:18 AM

DARKJESTER


Just a passing curiousity, but is there any chance that the word "shiny", as is so often used in Firefly, has a Chinese or Mandarin connection? Something close, perhaps like "shi nia" or "shya nee"? I'm confirming my total ignorance of all Chinese dialects here, but was just wondering...


MAL "You only gotta scare him."
JAYNE "Pain is scary..."

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Saturday, March 6, 2004 5:21 AM

TALLGRRL


Quote:

Originally posted by DarkJester:
Just a passing curiousity, but is there any chance that the word "shiny", as is so often used in Firefly, has a Chinese or Mandarin connection?
MAL "You only gotta scare him."
JAYNE "Pain is scary..."



The word "shiny" is the word "shiny".
Its origins as a word used for a positive description most likely has roots in the same way that "cool" was coined by Africans who came to America.
Think dusty, dirty frontier. Think pollution so thick that you can't see the stars.
Think grime.
When you're in such an environment, what would be pretty, fine and all around great?
Why, something shiny!
Think of the word "cool". African-Americans coined the term "cool" for great, fine, etc.
Long story short, coming from a tropic or very arid and hot clime, cool water becomes a valued commodity. It's something you offer guests in your home.
Something fine and great would be compared to "cool water". Or just "cool".

[If this happens to post twice, I apologize. There seems to be a problem with the Post button.]

"Take me, sir. Take me hard."

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Saturday, March 6, 2004 1:09 PM

BLINKER


Wow. I like that reasoning.

_________
Sliders: Gate Haven - http://slidersweb.net/blinker

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Thursday, March 25, 2004 3:23 PM

GRAVITYDRIVE


Quote:

Originally posted by DarkJester:
Just a passing curiousity, but is there any chance that the word "shiny", as is so often used in Firefly, has a Chinese or Mandarin connection? Something close, perhaps like "shi nia" or "shya nee"? I'm confirming my total ignorance of all Chinese dialects here, but was just wondering...


MAL "You only gotta scare him."
JAYNE "Pain is scary..."


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Thursday, March 25, 2004 3:27 PM

GRAVITYDRIVE


Quote:

Originally posted by Blinker:
Wow. I like that reasoning.

_________
Sliders: Gate Haven - http://slidersweb.net/blinker




I think there's a more space-oriented use of it too, as seen in the pilot opener. Wash reports that the alliance cruiser is "shiny" i.e. the engines are pointing in thelr direction which means they're going away from our heroes... so it's showing the "shiny end", hot jets blasting and all that could mean to a spacefaring race.

It would definitely slip into the vernacular over time.

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Thursday, March 25, 2004 3:47 PM

ANJIN


There is also a lamer reason the word shows up in Firefly. I was recently watching the Season 3 dvds of Angel. In one of the episode (no idea which one) Cordelia replies to something Angel said with "Shiny!"

That threw when I first heard it, because I always thought it was special to Firefly, but obviously the word's been around Joss' block before.

---
Raven's Prayer
http://webpages.charter.net/anjinm

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Friday, March 26, 2004 3:59 AM

CHRONICTHEHEDGEHOG


I'm over in England and I used shiny as an expression for something being cool a long time before firefly came out. It's not a hugely common phrase, but it certainly exists.

With Joss' love of England, maybe he picked it up in his time over here?

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Friday, March 26, 2004 12:31 PM

KARENKAY99


Quote:

Originally posted by chronicthehedgehog:
With Joss' love of England, maybe he picked it up in his time over here?



what is joss' connection with england? i remember a story he told on one of the commentaries about being there. i've noticed several british phrases in firefly. i was listening to the who's tommy and thought 'hey, mal says that'. i forget what it was though.

"They say the snow on the roof is too heavy. They say the ceiling will cave in. His brains are in terrible danger."

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Friday, March 26, 2004 1:33 PM

CHRONICTHEHEDGEHOG


He spent a lot of his school years over here if I remember correctly, and fell in love with the place. Can't say I blame him really....

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Tuesday, August 3, 2004 1:20 AM

LEXIBLOCK


Yeah he went to Winchester - a posh boys only school.

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Sunday, August 8, 2004 6:03 PM

TRUTHSEEKER


Quote:

Originally posted by chronicthehedgehog:
I'm over in England and I used shiny as an expression for something being cool a long time before firefly came out. It's not a hugely common phrase, but it certainly exists.

With Joss' love of England, maybe he picked it up in his time over here?



Good point. Maybe it's his adaptation of "Brilliant!" for anything good?

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007 5:32 PM

QUIXOTE13


The Chinese origin for "shiny" may be "piao liang," which means "pretty" or "beautiful." The "liang" part means "bright" or "luminous" or...(drum roll) SHINY.

Lots of crossover with languages that makes studying languages fun. "No can do," came from Chinese immigrants in the Old West saying, "Bu neng zuo"--it's a word for word translation.

And then there are English words like "skosh," meaning a little bit, which is derived from the Japanese, "sukoshi."

Shiny may be it's own cool word, or it could be related to Chinese. The love shiny things goes way back, and to all cultures, practically. Even ravens like shiny things. :)

Take care,

I.

Ivan Chan Studio: Invite Beauty: www.ivanchan.com

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Thursday, January 31, 2008 12:15 AM

ODDBALLE8


shiny is an expression (with basically the same meaning) in swedish too..

of course its not "shiny" its "strålande"... wich COULD be translated into both radient and shiny... but i prefer shiny ;)

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Friday, February 1, 2008 2:23 AM

ASARIAN


Quote:

Originally posted by twxpda:

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If I pull way back, will I see a spaceship or some such? :)


--
"Mei-mei, everything I have is right here." -- Simon Tam

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Friday, February 1, 2008 2:30 AM

ASARIAN


Quote:

Originally posted by OddballE8:

shiny is an expression (with basically the same meaning) in swedish too..

of course its not "shiny" its "strålande"... wich COULD be translated into both radient and shiny... but i prefer shiny ;)



Hmm, "strålande" looks remarkably like the Dutch "stralend", which also means 'radiant' and 'beautiful' in metaphorical sense ("een stralende dag" = a beautiful day). I don't think you can really say "Stralend!" though, in the meaning of Firefly "Shiny!"

P.S. The transliteration of "shiny" in Dutch would actually be "schijnig". From the same verb 'to shine' <-> 'schijnen'; as in "De zon schijnt = the sun shines", "Sunshine <-> zonneschijn", etc. "Schijnig", though its use is archaic, means "happy, joyful". In that sense it's really close to "Shiny!"


--
"Mei-mei, everything I have is right here." -- Simon Tam

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