RWX’s Dao of Translation – Five Tips

Hey, this has been a post some people have been asking me to make for a while now.  It’s been a long time since my last ‘translator thoughts’, but in honor of our billionth view, here you go!  This is for translators and aspiring translators.  In addition to the usual stuff of making sure your translation is ‘correct’ (this goes without saying as being extremely important, arguably the most important), the below can really help your translation ‘stand out’.  I might make a more complete ‘guide’ one of these days, but these five are big ones for me in assessing the quality of a translation!  This is meant for those looking for some ideas that might help take the translation to the next level! Continue reading “RWX’s Dao of Translation – Five Tips”

Chinese React to Global Times Article on Translation

There were a crapload of comments on the Chinese version of the latest Global Times newspaper article on the scene.  For the first time ever, not only did I translate a majority of the comments, I also translated the ‘webnames’/user handles of the commenters, hoping to give you a real feel of that world.  Enjoy the read!  (Yes, yes, I’m working on Desolate Era as well xD).  Handles are in bold, RWX comments are in brackets []. Continue reading “Chinese React to Global Times Article on Translation”

Qidian Charts

Lingson and I are happy to bring another set of Qidian charts for you to check out. Like I mentioned, there are many different types of data, so for the time being, each “Qidian Charts” update will bring something a bit unique and new. For this update, we have the top 50 all time most popular novels according to “recommendations.” These are basically recommendations from unpaid users (书友推荐). Continue reading “Qidian Charts”

What Dao Heck? A Very Basic Primer to the Dao

According to the Classic of the Dao, ‘The Dao that can be spoken is not the eternal Dao’, which makes an effort to describe it a bit pointless.  Buuuut, I’m going to do my best to shed at least a little bit of light on one particularly popular and fundamental part of Daoism that you might see crop up again and again in various Chinese Xianxia novels that you read (and also a good amount of Japanese stuff…and in fact the South Korean flag as well…)!  This stuff can be hard to translate and get all the flavor right, so maybe this will help a little bit!  Been writing this for a while, just finished it up at the airport.

A large part of Daoism can actually be summarized in four short lines, or one even shorter sequence: 0 => 1 => 2 => 4 => 8 => 64

Continue reading “What Dao Heck? A Very Basic Primer to the Dao”

Goblins and Ghosts and Gods, Oh My!

Yesterday, when the DE queue was cleared and y’all didn’t notice, I started to work on this post that I’ve been planning to make for some time now. In short, for our non-Chinese readers, there are some basic terms about monsters and that we’ve translated in various ways that I thought it would be helpful for you to get a deeper understanding into; I think this will help you appreciate/understand these stories more! There are six terms that we are going to look at; the first four come in a set, and the latter two as well. They are: 妖魔鬼怪 (Yao, Mo, Gui, Guai) – Monsters/Demons, Devils, Ghosts, Freaks, and 神仙 – Gods, Immortals. Continue reading “Goblins and Ghosts and Gods, Oh My!”

Desolate Era? Chinese Translation is Easy…

….to screw up and do badly. This is an article I’ve been wanting to do for a while now, but with deathblade’s recent ‘learning Chinese’ page up, I thought this was a good time! Now, I’ve previously talked here about lazy/bad translations, but that’s not what we’re talking about in this article (although laziness is deadly). What we’re talking about here is how easy it is to screw up a translation of an important phrase or term….in large part due to the beauty and impreciseness of Chinese.  This has resulted in many ‘bad translations’, even by me, and definitely around the web.

Scroll to the very bottom if you are only interested in ‘Desolate Era’. Continue reading “Desolate Era? Chinese Translation is Easy…”

Have you considered learning Chinese?

As some of you might know, I’m not Chinese. I’m 100% American born and raised. I started studying Mandarin around 2009, and am pretty much completely self-taught. I see questions on the forums every so often about learning Chinese. I’ve also had some personal messages sent my way. I decided to make a little FAQ based on my (ongoing) experience of learning the language. Please feel free to check out the article in the new “resources” section up above, or click here, and if you have further questions feel free to leave them in the comments!


The Twelve Sovereigns of Webnovels

Hey, I almost never post links to outside sites, but I think this one is worth your time! Dreams of Jianghu has done an excellent translation of a post on the top twelve Chinese webnovelists, giving short descriptions of them as well. While I knew many of them had become millionaires, particularly surprising to me was that Tang Jia San Shao made ~$8 million in royalties in 2014! Anyhow, give it a read!

Fun With Translation – Titles, part 2

It’s been a long time since I’ve done a ‘Fun With Translations’, and now seems as good a time as any to revisit a topic we’ve talked about before; titles.  Names and titles, as any translator will tell you, are amongst the hardest things to translate.  This is especially true in Chinese, because names are often selected and created from words that have multiple meanings, with the multiple meanings often all being relevant.  And yet, as translators, it’s almost impossible to find a word in English which will encompass all of the meanings, and so we have to pick and choose…and often agonize over doing it.  One of my all-time favorite examples is a simple term; 金刚 (Jin Gang).  Let’s analyze a real-life Shaolin martial arts (often mythologized in Wuxia) known as 大力金刚拳, Da Li Jin Gang Quan. Continue reading “Fun With Translation – Titles, part 2”