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Faery and Fantasy

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綠野仙蹤: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

navaburo

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I picked up an illustrated translation of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in Chinatown last week. This is my first attempt at extensive reading, and it's going well. Some highlights are:

1) Traditional Characters: I had been working with only Simplified materials before. I'm now falling in love with the Traditional aesthetic. There are numerous words that I had to look up which I would have recognized if they had been in Simplified, but, it is a small cost for learning the other script. I think I will prefer Traditional in the future for reading/typing, but stick to Simplified for handwriting, when necessary.

2) Extensive Reading works like an SRS: I have been using Anki for 4 months now, adding every character that I encounter in my textbooks. However, I think now that perhaps just reading extensively (that is, reading large volumes at an easy level) is better for learning/retention once you have internalized a few hundred core characters. Maybe doing some re-reading 朗讀 with a native-speaker's help could be beneficial...

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My only worry with reading this book is that I often get the impression that the translation is a bit off. I don't want to 坏學。Could someone tell me what they think of the following translation?

Original: "The Lion was a very good comrade for one so cowardly."

Chinese:《獅子是好的同伴,但牠實在太膽小了。》

Certainly the Chinese translation conveys that the Lion was a good comrade and that he was cowardly, but I'm not sure that the nuance of the English is correctly translated. In the English version the speaker is lamenting the loss of the Lion, saying he was a good comrade despite being cowardly, or at least that he was good considering his cowardice. However, at least to my novice eye, the Chinese is saying more like "The lion was a good companion, but he was indeed too cowardly."

Maybe this is just a case of "translator's license".

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Indeed, I now look more closely at the original (which I never 看過) and I lament the sloppiness of the translation. I might have to find another fantasy story for my extensive reading. Suggestions?

-Chris


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