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Author Topic: Translations of Chinese texts seen on Avatar  (Read 155350 times)
Qi Chin
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« Reply #350 on: Feb 17, 2010 02:03 am »

Classical Chinese consists of two parts - being able to read the characters, and being able to understand their meaning. A good portion of the stuff I learned in Chinese were old poems and stories, seeing as how those are the historic literature that's still prominent in Chinese culture. The other part I learned on my own while in Taiwan, because some text there is still written in one form of classical Chinese or the other.
I'm not too sure with the comparison to Ancient Greek, and if it really means what you want it to mean. Ancient Greek is a language like every other.

That all being said, the Chinese being used in the show is pretty contemporary. It's the sort of Chinese you'd hear in TV series all the time, or in historical movies. And if you actually looked at the thread, you'd see that in several places, the translations are murky, or were debated by several people.
« Last Edit: Feb 17, 2010 02:36 am by Qi Chin » Logged

You are entitled to your own opinions, but you aren't entitled to your own facts.

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« Reply #351 on: Feb 17, 2010 07:50 am »

*silly rant*
What was that for? Undecided
« Last Edit: Feb 17, 2010 07:59 am by NeeNee » Logged

KataraAangancienttemple
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« Reply #352 on: Feb 19, 2010 07:57 pm »

All the translations are mostly done by me and the others, we did not pay anyone to do it. So I am insulted that you think I took the translations from elsewhere and passed them off as my own. I spent hours painstakingly flipping through the Chinese and English dictionaries for every translation I did. 
Most of the texts are written in in traditional Chinese which I can read and understand except for the ones in The Cave of Two Lovers episode where the text is written in Classical Chinese which Qi Chin helped to translate.

Okay, so you used dictionaries, that makes me feel better.
So they are in traditional  that is also good.

There are such things as dictionaries. Some dictionaries even translate words from one language to a completely different one. I don't think it's any stretch of the imagination that Icy Ashford, who I can assure you speaks Chinese, sat down with a Chinese dictionary for several hours to painstakingly translate the texts used in the show for us, the fans, for nothing in return.

The translations she's given us have been pretty spot on, and there's really no reason to doubt that she is the one who did them. I know that Icy can speak Chinese because I've heard it. You say you're native Chinese, but I've never seen you nor heard you, so I'm skeptical. Besides, I speak English, but I don't know "Ye Olde English." I could probably still translate that into modern English if the words sound close enough, and then into a completely different language, if I knew one. And that's pretty much what Icy's done.

Do you think I am some kind of Idiot. I know what dictionaries can do.  I will now ask you some questions about Icy Ashford. How do you know her? Where have you two met?  Can I get an audio file of her speaking Chinese?  YOU (and or Icy) have all the right to be skeptical of me and where I am from and what I can do, after all, I am skeptical of Icy's abilities.  As to your never having seen nor heard me THIS IS THE INTERNET.  MOST OF US DO NOT KNOW WHAT THE OTHER PEOPLE HERE ON THE SITE LOOK OR SOUND LIKE.

Classical Chinese consists of two parts - being able to read the characters, and being able to understand their meaning. A good portion of the stuff I learned in Chinese were old poems and stories, seeing as how those are the historic literature that's still prominent in Chinese culture. The other part I learned on my own while in Taiwan, because some text there is still written in one form of classical Chinese or the other.
I'm not too sure with the comparison to Ancient Greek, and if it really means what you want it to mean. Ancient Greek is a language like every other.

You were in Taiwan?  Can I see sone pictures?

That all being said, the Chinese being used in the show is pretty contemporary. It's the sort of Chinese you'd hear in TV series all the time, or in historical movies. And if you actually looked at the thread, you'd see that in several places, the translations are murky, or were debated by several people.

AS FAR AS YOU KNOW.

P.S.  I am form Shanghai.  If you want to test me. Go right ahead. Give me some thing to translate and I will do it and get back to you shortly.
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Qi Chin
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I keep Katara's acrobatic dancing skills \(^_^)/


« Reply #353 on: Feb 19, 2010 08:13 pm »

Classical Chinese consists of two parts - being able to read the characters, and being able to understand their meaning. A good portion of the stuff I learned in Chinese were old poems and stories, seeing as how those are the historic literature that's still prominent in Chinese culture. The other part I learned on my own while in Taiwan, because some text there is still written in one form of classical Chinese or the other.
I'm not too sure with the comparison to Ancient Greek, and if it really means what you want it to mean. Ancient Greek is a language like every other.

You were in Taiwan?  Can I see sone pictures?

That all being said, the Chinese being used in the show is pretty contemporary. It's the sort of Chinese you'd hear in TV series all the time, or in historical movies. And if you actually looked at the thread, you'd see that in several places, the translations are murky, or were debated by several people.

AS FAR AS YOU KNOW.

P.S.  I am form Shanghai.  If you want to test me. Go right ahead. Give me some thing to translate and I will do it and get back to you shortly.

Are you some sort of private eye trying to indict us all for translating stuff? If you were actually from Shanghai, and if your Chinese was actually as good as you said it was, then go look at the various screenshots of the writing yourself. You will see, for yourself, that it's not complicated Chinese. Written in traditional, yes, but nothing only a scholar could decipher.

So why don't you take a crack at the texts from the show, if you're so eager to prove your skills?
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You are entitled to your own opinions, but you aren't entitled to your own facts.

"Anything that causes you to question the preconceptions you've come to love is a good thing." - Anna Helene Feulner

"There is no wealth like knowledge, no poverty like ignorance." - Ali Bin Abi Thalib[
Icy_Ashford
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« Reply #354 on: Feb 19, 2010 08:29 pm »

*Mod voice* Enough. Take arguments to the PMs.
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KataraAangancienttemple
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« Reply #355 on: Feb 19, 2010 09:27 pm »

Ach Qi Chin, Wenn Sie von Berlin sind.  Koennen Sie mir Versten?  Wissen Sie Deutsch?
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Icy_Ashford
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« Reply #356 on: Feb 19, 2010 09:33 pm »

This is an English forum, so, please type in English. Also, get back no topic. If you have nothing else to add, don't post.
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midnighteyes
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« Reply #357 on: Mar 22, 2010 09:55 am »

thanks for all of these translations. they help alot Smiley
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fChina
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« Reply #358 on: May 10, 2010 11:46 pm »

Hi every one here.
I come from Mainland China.My English is not so good,so I may not express myself well.Please forgive my poor English.
I think the first urgent thing is to say sorry to Icy_Ashford and all
guys here for my compatriot KataraAangancienttemple.
I'm so sorry for his/her impertinence and I beg your forgiveness.
At the first moment,I thought it was incrediable that you guys did the job so well as well.
But I found it was not so hard if you devote yourself to it and that you guys' contribution is not doubtful.
It is a pity that I got to know Avatar so late that I can not help you
in this job.But I'm glad to help you with translations or any other thing about Chinese.

p.s  'Qi Chin'='齐秦'?
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SMBH
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« Reply #359 on: May 29, 2010 12:54 am »

Here's something cool and interesting about the calligraphy in the show, stated in the Avatar artbook:

"When I would send Dr. Lee a request for a poster or a decree, he would quiz me about what unseen fictional character had done the calligraphy in the show. If it were a highly cultured royal attendant, he would use a refined, elegant style, but if it were a low-level clerk, he would use a more pedestrian handwriting style."
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Loopy
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« Reply #360 on: May 30, 2010 02:59 pm »

I <3 attention to detail.
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aa623
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« Reply #361 on: May 30, 2010 04:15 pm »

That goes to show you how much time and care went into making this show.  When I first read that I fell even more in love with the show.  Though I guess some people don't like that kind of detail.
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alphawolfnami
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« Reply #362 on: Jun 23, 2010 01:40 am »

Here's something cool and interesting about the calligraphy in the show, stated in the Avatar artbook:

"When I would send Dr. Lee a request for a poster or a decree, he would quiz me about what unseen fictional character had done the calligraphy in the show. If it were a highly cultured royal attendant, he would use a refined, elegant style, but if it were a low-level clerk, he would use a more pedestrian handwriting style."


Rediculous. I'm just blown away. Too bad I've found this out several months after the series finale.

Darn it!

I would sincerely like to thank all the translators. Seriously, you guys. You're all awesome. I tried translating some Korean manghwas, then got fed up with the slang and random SFX.

If I'm using the translation, simplified or traditional version of the text that you guys made, do I need to identify Icy or Qi as the translators or such? For example, if I copy and paste the Chinese words into some stuff? If I do, I will but I would just like to know if it's appreciated, necessary, or not.
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Icy_Ashford
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« Reply #363 on: Jun 23, 2010 01:46 am »

^ We obviously do not own copyrights to simplified or traditional Chinese writings. lol. Feel free to copy and paste the words.

Wait... You know Korean??? There were some Korean words in the pencil sketches in the Avatar art book as well as the Finale pencil sketch in the bonus disc of the Season 3 box set.
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alphawolfnami
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« Reply #364 on: Jun 23, 2010 01:53 am »

Woah seriously?! I'd love to get my hands on that piece of delish cake!

I've read that the creators lived in Korea for several years and I've been waiting for some Korean text. xD Bwahaha. Awesome-sauce.

I would honestly love to translate some stuff.
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« Reply #365 on: Jun 23, 2010 01:57 am »

^ I don't think they lived there for years. They spent time in the Korean animation studio for months at most.

Here's a link to the Finale pencil sketches. Not every picture has Korean words, only some. I'm not sure if the words just say mundane things like "red highlight here" or "slow mo here" but it'll still be nice to know what the say.
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alphawolfnami
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« Reply #366 on: Jun 23, 2010 02:04 am »

Yeah, that's probably what happened. :I I just remember reading that they lived in Korea for some time. Augh, sorry.

No prob. I'll get right to it.

I also collected some images of their work space and there seems to be funny Korean phrases/doodles. Is it alright if I posted them up here as well?
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Icy_Ashford
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« Reply #367 on: Jun 23, 2010 02:09 am »

Feel free to do so. =)
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CSYC1991
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« Reply #368 on: Jul 08, 2010 04:46 am »

I think it is very nice of you to translate all those Chinese words in the show, and you did a great job!!
You must've worked so hard on those dictionaries, and I admire your effort. I'm so glad there're others who have passion/interest in those Chinese texts since details are often easily ignored.

"Some people" might criticized you guys' hard work, well don't even mind "them", it's just ignorance to others' passion for the show. I think it's pure rude of "them" too. Also...it would be a shame if "them" *cough* happen to be Chinese.

Oh by the way, I am a Chinese (live in Hong Kong to be exact) just to let you know if you need any help in the future, I'll be happy to help out. =] Once again, your effort is very much appreciated~ Keep it up!!
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« Reply #369 on: Jul 15, 2010 03:44 pm »

These are awesome! Thank you so much!
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« Reply #370 on: Jul 22, 2010 01:15 pm »

I started learning Chinese last year. I hope one day I'll be fluent enough to understand all of the characters in the series.
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« Reply #371 on: Aug 08, 2010 05:48 am »

could someone please post the translation of water, earth, fire , air, i can't seem to find the same characters as the show
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« Reply #372 on: Aug 08, 2010 05:51 am »

could someone please post the translation of water, earth, fire , air, i can't seem to find the same characters as the show

Please read the first post carefully.

Note: I didn't translate most of the texts in Season 1 because someone over at DH already done so before I became a member on ASN.

You can find the characters for the elements in that link.
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ekolsucram
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« Reply #373 on: Nov 18, 2010 10:33 pm »

Hm,

Been seeing some people asking about Cantonese and such.

Just to clarify.

Most of the writings are in simplified Chinese (written), there are however words written in Traditional Chinese, for example, the word fly is written as 飞 in simplified Chinese, instead of 飛 as shown. Therefore it is safe to deduce that the origins should be related loosely to China who uses simplified Chinese extensively now, but do have more traditional folks who mixes in the old format. The main spoken tongue (official dialect) of China is Mandarin. Chinese in China call this PU TONG HUA ~ 普通话 (Normal/Ordinary Tongue/Language ~ loosely translated).

Taiwan basically uses ONLY traditional Chinese in most if not all of their media (written) and no doubt they use Mandarin, they prefer to call it GUO YU ~ 国语 (loosely translated as Country Tongue/Language)

Mandarin itself is also an ancient form of spoken language which was originally from a different part of China before it was enforced as the Imperial Language (I cant rem which dynasty).

So to put it simply, the most probable chance that the intended dialect will be Mandarin.

In the meantime, for those who are wondering, no matter what dialect, they are all written using either Simplified Chinese or Traditional Chinese.

For example,

在见~ Loosely translated as See you again or good bye, can be used in Cantonese (Zoi Gin) or Mandarin (Zai Jian)
看~Look or See, can be used in Cantonese (Hon) or Mandarin (Kan)

Of course if we are talking about ANCIENT (really really old) Chinese, these are not unlike cuneiforms or hieroglyphs, which uses shapes to roughly depict meanings, e.g. the original characters used to depict animals like cats dogs or cow, really looked like the animal itself (like stick characters), so does characters used for wind, earth, tree, water, etc.

could someone please post the translation of water, earth, fire , air, i can't seem to find the same characters as the show

The direct single translation for the 4 elements (in actual fact there are 5 basic elements in Chinese mythology) are:-

1. Air ~ 气 (qi)
2. Water ~ 水 (shui)
3. Earth ~ 土 (tu)
4. Fire ~ 火 (huo)

The traditional elements in Chinese philosophical beliefs are

1. FIRE ~ 火 (huo)
2. EARTH ~ 土 (tu)
3. METAL ~ 金 (jin, this actually translates to GOLD, the actual character for metal is 铁 tie, but who can argue with tradition Cheesy)
4. WATER ~ 水 (shui)
5. WOOD ~ 木 (mu)

There are plenty of inter related stuff, like which of the elements compliment each other or curb each other.

Basically there is no neutrality, as each element has its nemesis and likewise its benefactor. (I stand corrected on this if proven wrong Cheesy)

« Last Edit: Nov 18, 2010 11:14 pm by ekolsucram » Logged
yolanda
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« Reply #374 on: Dec 23, 2010 02:35 am »

was it ever explained why the texts were in chinese as opposed to english? was it just to uphold the theme of asian influences in the avatar world or what?
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