Greetings, Fellow Daoists. Do you know the names of various characters in ISSTH?
Madam Deathblade was feeling under the weather this morning, so I was stuck in the hotel room. After finishing some translating, I got around to something I’ve been meaning to do for a while. As you all know, Chinese names are made up of Chinese characters that often carry meaning, or at least a feeling. You can’t get that from the translated version without an explanation. In my past translations, I always explained the meanings of all the names in footnotes. I didn’t really do that in ISSTH, but going forward, I will update the glossary with that information. The glossary also has a pinyin guide on to how to pronounce the names of some of the main and recurring characters. If you are learning Chinese, it wouldn’t hurt to try to pronounce the characters’ names correctly!
Rather than force you go comb through the glossary to look for the updates, I’ll copy and paste them here. I’m leaving out the character bios in this post, and just listing the meaning of the Chinese characters and the pronunciation. If you want the character bios, check out the glossary itself.
Chen Fan – 陈凡 – chén fán – Chen is a common family name. Fan means “mortal” or “ordinary”
Chu Yuyan – 楚玉嫣 – chǔ yù yān – Chu is a family name. Yu means “jade” or “beauty,” and Yan means “captivating”
Li Daoyi – 李道一 – lǐ dào yī – Li is a common family name. Dao is the same character as in The Dao, and means “way” or “path.” Yi means “one”
Li Fugui (Fatty) – 李富贵 – lǐ fùguì – Li is a common family name. Fugui means “rich and influential”
Meng Hao – 孟浩 – mèng hào – Meng is a family name linked to some historical people. Hao means “great” or “many”
Song Jia – 宋佳 – sòng jiā – Song is a family name. Jia means “excellent”
Wang Lihai – 王历海 – wáng lì hǎi – Wang is a common family name. Li means “experience.” Hai means “ocean”
Wang Tengfei – 王腾飞 – wáng téng fēi – Wang is a common family name. Tengfei means “to soar.”
Wang Youcai – 王有才 – wáng yǒu cái – Wang is a common family name. Youcai means “to have talent or ability”
Xu Qing (Elder Sister Xu) – 许清 – xǔ qīng – Xu is a family name, although, it has a variety of other meanings as a common character including “to praise” and “to allow.” Qing means “pure” or “clear”
Please note, some of the characters have more definitions than the ones I listed.
P.S. For those who love to analyze everything, I secretly added a reference link in the glossary that contains some more clues about the mythological basis of the story. If that stuff interests you… well you’ll have to find that link on your own wahaha!