11.9.05

飞火虫

Gorram it, it took a fricking Josh Whedon TV series to make Chinese sound cool. I have never listened so closely to the dialogue on a TV series to figure out if the characters were saying 混蛋 ('bastard') or 王八蛋 (another variation of 'bastard'), and feeling positively tickled with myself when I identified a 管你自己的事 ('mind your own business').

But trying to decipher the actors' crazy Chinese pronunciation --- they'd never spoken Chinese before they joined the show --- is just half the fun. Mispronunciations or not, cussing in Chinese never sounded so good as when it's at home with American-accented English. Our local TV network needs to import this show stat, so that all the kids who appreciate fiction that rises above meaningless melodrama will also be subliminally motivated to work harder at their Chinese. Just look at me: watching Firefly made me wonder how the title would be rendered in Chinese, and now I know, thanks to Terz, and will forever remember, that it as 飞火虫. I'm not sure if it's the official Chinese translation for the TV series title, but it sounds cute, don't it?

Also, everyone needs to go see Serenity (宁静) when it opens in Singapore --- and I'm hoping that ain't too long after it done open in the US on September 30. Shiny!

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14 Comments:

At 9/11/2005 2:53 am , Blogger lost said...

i'm not too sure on this, but isn't it 萤火虫?or are both ok?

 
At 9/11/2005 11:54 am , Blogger wahj said...

From the little snippets of Firefly that I've seen, it's certainly set a first for me: I have trouble understanding them 'cos their Chinese is worse than mine, which is saying something.= )

It's fun to watch them speak it though - in same way as the teensy little sense of achievement one gets from watching a movie and understanding the "foreign" bits without needing subtitles.

I suppose it says a lot about the state of my Chinese that I consider it almost a foreign language ... although my wife tells me I sleeptalk in Chinese, which is incredibly strange for a person who thinks and speaks in English.

 
At 9/11/2005 2:13 pm , Blogger Tym said...

This is very bizarre. Although I can view the Chinese characters in Blogger and on the Blogger comments page, I can't see them on my blog itself!

On the other hand, clearly they can be read since at least the two of you left comments. What is the matter?!

LcT --- I honestly don't know the answer to that question. Your version certainly sounds more refined, though :)

wahj --- I'm with you on the "teensy little sense of achievement", which is, alas, all that we Chinese-impaired types can aspire to. Well, that and admire Adri's superior prowess.

 
At 9/11/2005 2:37 pm , Blogger  said...

lct is right. should be 螢火虫.

 
At 9/11/2005 2:45 pm , Blogger  said...

oh - and to read the chinese characters on your blog, i need to change "character encoding".

 
At 9/11/2005 5:44 pm , Blogger wahj said...

I only read them on the comments page as well. Otherwise they turn out gibberish.

By toggling text encoding in Safari, I can read some of the chinese characters in the main page, but never all of them (even after trying all the 6 different encodings).

I suppose the correct response is gorramitall?

 
At 9/11/2005 10:02 pm , Blogger Mr Moron said...

OMG.... I am also eagerly anticipating the release of Serenity!... it sure is gonna be trippy... and besides it's probably the first movie Mr Joss has both written and directed at the same time. Hopefully the reception towards the movie is good and the television series gets relaunched. I'm already starting to feel loss thinking how I'm gonna survive without my hourly immersion into the Buffyverse once Angel s5 finishes its run on Starworld.

Btw, do try to watch Wonderfalls on Starworld if you have the time. It's a rather short-lived series, but it's wonderfully quirky and offbeat... Tim Minear (executive producer for Angel) is the co-creator of the series.

 
At 9/11/2005 10:04 pm , Blogger Mr Moron said...

Btw, Ch5 did broadcast Firefly earlier on this year. Unfortunately it was at some ungodly hour... like 2.30 am on a Sunday morning? Hell, those Ch5 programming execs are really annoying.

 
At 9/12/2005 12:26 am , Blogger Tym said...

wahj --- You are right.

Mr Moron --- I dimly recall hearing about MediaCorp airing Firefly, but I also remember thinking that I'd rather watch it on my own terms, rather than having the best Whedonesque moments interrupted by lame middle-of-the-night "Glower tricologists" ads. I'm so glad I waited, because now I can happily OD to my heart's delight.

As for how to survive a Whedon drought? That's what DVD box sets are for ... at least, until Wonder Woman comes out.

 
At 9/12/2005 1:08 am , Blogger lost said...

give the Unicode (UTF-8) encoding a try... works for me.

 
At 9/12/2005 8:59 pm , Blogger wahj said...

UTF-8 works! Must remember this for the next time someone goes bilingual

 
At 9/12/2005 10:17 pm , Blogger Tym said...

My Unicode encoding has always been UTF-8. Still can't see the Chinese characters properly, sigh...

 
At 9/13/2005 8:59 am , Anonymous Lana said...

I have to agree with mr moron. Wonderfalls is a must see. I bought the dvd release, since they didn't show the entire season on tv in the States. Damn Fox anyways.

 
At 9/16/2005 4:52 am , Blogger Anthony said...

Tym,

Great series! I missed the sneak preview of Serenity cos I was still setting up when it screened in SF, but you bet I'm gonna be catching it here!

 

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