What do you think of these characters representing the year?
I’ve just read that in China, the character 微 (pronounced: wēi) has been chosen by some media in China as the character of the year 2012. This character means small, micro and insignificant.
In China, the equivalent of Twitter is called 微博（micro-blogging; pronounced ‘wēibó’), which is powerful in breaking firewalls and has allowed the voice of the general public in China to be heard. A few Chinese idioms also carry this character. It may refer to people feeling ‘insignificant’ and powerless. It also refers to the selflessness of many ‘tiny’ people of China with their spirit of sacrifice.
In essence, 微 (pronounced: wēi) represents each tiny particle in the Chinese society and the voices of the people.
Image from sina news: Tiny, small, insignificant, negligible
I got my inspiration for this blog post from this Chinese post by ZHAI Hua.
This post is about MO Yan‘s big hit, the novel Big Breasts & Wide Hips, translated by Howard Goldblatt from Chinese.
In this novel, the youngest and the most precious boy is named 上官金童 shàngguán jīn tóng (Surname: shàngguán. Given name: jīn tóng, literally means golden boy.) has 8 older sisters (including one twin sister.)
丰乳肥臀 (fēng rǔ féi tún) by MO Yan, in English translation.
shàngguán jīn tóng‘s twin sister has a sweet name called 上官玉女 shàngguán yù nǚ (literally means Jade Maiden).
However, his 7 older sisters all carried symbolic names. Their names, in English, according to the translator, are:
Weekly Writing Challenge: Easy As Pie
The writing challenge last week was about metaphors and similes. The metaphors for homesickness sprang to my mind. Homesickness – 乡愁 (pronunciation: xiāng chóu) - is a famous poem in the modern Chinese history, written in 1972 by the eminent poet YU Guangzhong 余光中.
Poet YU Guangzhong
This short poem employed 4 metaphors: stamp, ship-ticket, grave, strait. Continue reading
In my last post, I showed 7 examples of English film titles in Chinese. Some have added meanings; some are lost in translation.
My husband gave me an extra homework. ‘What about Up?’
Chinese film titles from English tend to be more explicit. A word ‘Up’ is a challenge. Chinese needs more than one syllable.
天外奇迹 (in Taiwan) －－ Miracles beyond the heaven.
飞屋环游记 (China) — Touring around on a flying house.
冲天救兵 (Hong Kong) — The rescue squad rushing to the sky.
I’m going to talk about 2 more films, Love Actually and Lost in Translation. Continue reading
Today I saw a trailer of The Lady, a film about Aung San Suu Kyi . However, the Chinese translation of the title is 以爱之名，翁山苏姬，which means ‘In the name of love, Aung San Suu Kyi’. The phrase ‘In the name of love’ added in Chinese was clearly not in the original.
It inspires me to look at a few western film and TV film titles that have been translated into Chinese. English film titles commonly have 2 or 3 versions in Chinese, to cater to different markets in Taiwan, Hong Kong and China.
Chinese film titles seem to be more explicit, or funnier than their English originals. Here are 6 more interesting ones:
1) Predator :
终极战士（Ultimate warrior) and 铁血战士（Iron blood warrior)
2) V for Vendetta:
V 字仇杀队（Letter V Vendetta team) and V 怪客 (Stranger V)
3) Dr. Who:
神秘博士 (A mysterious Doctor) – (In Chinese, this ‘doctor’ means someone with a PhD degree!) and 异世奇人 (A magical person in Other worlds)
Doctor Who -- a mysterious man with a PhD degree?
猜火车 (Guessing the trains) — I must say, this is my favourite one! Continue reading