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First Episode 69: 倚天屠龙记 (The Heaven Sword and Dragon Sabre)


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In a few month is alright too. There will always be some new chinese show that will require translation.

I am not sure what you're talking about. What we do on viikii is subbing directly from the video, there is in no chinese lines involved in a text editor in any part of the process.

Sometimes it is possible to find transcript of some episodes or some part of a drama of the net, but it is usually made by some fan and it's quite rare. (That's how I found this forum, you community made some for some first episodes). For my youth, I found a lot of this kind, but it was through google and it didn't exactly follow any logic.

For heaven dragon 2009, we were lucky and found a rip of the vietnamess subtitles. So we're able to use them for the timing (none of us speak vietnamess, so from that point of view it is of no use, but it is still a gain of time).

Brief there is now way to get the transcript from a chinese hardsubbed video unless you rewrite everything down while watching.

But of course if someone wanna translate the episodes into a text file, then share it on the net, we'll find users to past your translation on viikii. Viikii can be a pain to use, and of little interest for translators really fluent in chinese. The interest of viikii is that people of different level can fill in the empty segment left by less skilled users. For someone fluent, who can translate all by himself, it is a lot less trouble to use a text file and write down every translation. The same as what is done in fansub group.

We accept those kind of files of course and could really use them.

I hope it answers your question, i have the bad habit of starting a sentence and finishing it somewhere else. With that I repeat myself and am not always clear. Anyway I didn't really understand your question so I guess it is to be expected :)

We are kinda stuck on some martial art vocabulary and buddhism stuff (someone suggested to invent translation since anyway no foreigner we'll be able to tell the difference). So I don't know what episode you are watching, but if while watching you find some new terms, or some poetry and you tell yourself that a foreigner can't understand it without a headhache, then we want the translations :) We can easily spend as much time to translate this kind of stuff as to translate the rest of the episode.

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That actually answers my question quite well. I was unclear about what "segmenting" was and assumed that it had something to do with adding timestamps to original Chinese transcripts (like roddy did for 奋斗 based on the transcript somebody posted in that thread).

You're right, ripping through a text file is much faster if you're going to deal with large amounts of text, which is why I asked. I wasn't aware of the difference between viikii and regular sub groups either. Thanks for clearing it up.

I assume that you're familiar with the official translations of the sects, etc. from wikipedia and wuxiapedia. I've had a look at your standard translation list and it's quite short. If you have techniques/specialised names (not on wikipedia or wuxiapedia) that are tricky to translate, you can post them here, and we can have a go at them. There are enough Jinyong fans here who might offer good translations for the tricky terms. I am very stressed at the time and can't offer much work (watching itself doesn't take any effort for me, but translating is quite hard), but we would welcome a discussion of any tricky vocabulary from the show here in this thread, if you need help. It's one of the goals of these discussion threads.

I'm quite rubbish at translating poems, though.

EDIT: I'll add the wiki links to the first post. Sticking to these terms has the great advantage that your audience can use wikipedia to look up things while watching, if the plot gets too complex.

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Thank a lot, actually I am not the one subbing this drama. (To keep his sanity a subber must have a few project were he is only a viewer and provides no work, true story). I posted the link on the channel, hopefully if subbers have problems they will ask for translation here.

Though I am not really sure of that, since it is an extra effort, and it doesn't look really practical to receive a rapid answer. The easier would be for people familiar with this story to make a stop once in a while on our channel to see if we need help. (Yeah I am still kinda trying to recrut).

We doesn't target the same audience, here you post links for people who already have a fair understanding of chinese and the vocabulary is a help to understand.

We target people with no or little understandging of chinese, and the vocabulary list we make is to keep an unity in the translation between different subbers. We assume that every subber already know most of the vocabulary, that's why the list is small and there is only tricky terms (for my liking, we should add more terms, but since I don't have the will to do it).

Thanks for the links, it actually looks like it's quite useful, if I were subbing it, I would surelly use those ;)

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've finally finished this (the 2009 version). I'm not quite sure how I feel about it. It was disappointing in places, but the last few episodes managed to tie up many loose ends and improve the overall impression.

Still, it feels like 张纪中 is losing it. I don't know if he had his hands tied by a tiny budget (it would feel strange, seeing how he flew Ady An from Taiwan to play the lead role), or is simply running out of steam, but this show is considerably weaker than his first few adaptations (in particular 射雕 and 天龙八部). The special effects are overbearing and absolutely substandard, much of the scenery is re-used ad nauseam, and there are some really odd parts (like the few episodes in the terribly fake cave). Only the shots of Wudang were as impressive as we are used to seeing from him. Having seen the first 5 episodes of the 2003 version, I'm thinking that it might be better than this one, despite a different set of flaws. Unfortunately, it was next to impossible to download the last time I tried.

I found this similar to 神雕侠侣, some really cool parts, some terrible effects and a story which is ultimately not as strong as the best Jin Yong novels. As in all Jin Yong novels, there are some really interesting characters in here that make it worthwhile, and some of them were really portrayed well too. 张无忌 and 赵敏 are a very interesting lead couple, and Ady An did a really good job here. I've never thought I'd say that about a Taiwanese idol, but there you go. Her 赵敏 is both vicious and loving at the same time, both cunning and emotional, and she reminded me of 黄蓉 in that respect. 周芷若 is also a very interesting character, though the actress doesn't always manage to carry the role well. Towards the end, we get glimpses of 梅超风, and this fits her better than the innocent beauty in the beginning. Unfortunately, we never really find out (in this show) what drove her into evil -- unrequited love, the dogma of her teacher, or the twisted teachings of the nine yin manual. 宋青书's is one of the cruelest falls from grace I've seen, and unlike 周芷若, he doesn't get a ridiculous "get out of jail" card. Abbess 灭绝 has to be one of my favourite characters -- it's quite chilling how far dogma and fundamentalism will push somebody who essentially started off as an incorruptible fighter against evil. I really liked the portrayal here too, much better than the 2003 version. 杨逍 is also better here than in the 2003 version. On the other hand, 殷素素 and 纪晓芙 are better there. I didn't like the Wudang disciples for much of the show. I imagined them to be similar to the 7 disciples of Quanzhen, righteous and excellent fighters. In here, they are mostly useless whiners, though they do improve towards the end of the show.

There are aspects of the story I don't like either. The Yellow Dress Maiden is a shameless deus ex machina. I know that there is always a better fighter out there in Wuxia stories, and that they are often outside of the public eye (like the Sweeper Monk in 天龙八部), but the way she shows up out of thin air whenever things get complicated is a bit much. And I also know how important (and thus coveted) the ancient scripts of wisdom are in Wulin, and what a difference they can make to one's skills, but this story takes it to completely new levels. In 射雕, 梅超风 took decades of studying the Nine Yin manual before she became a high-level pugilist, and she still was no match for the very best fighters. 周芷若 learns it for a couple of months and she's already unbeatable? I know, there was a shortcut, and it was explained, but come on... An 张无忌 falls into a valley as a kid, reads a book for a couple of years, and is already better than all those fighters who have trained for 50+ years? Even for wuxia, it's a bit much. The main villains are simply uninspiring, both in their characters and schemes and the way they were portrayed.

Overall, I did go through the 40 episodes in 3 weeks despite being busy, so it has certainly kept me entertained, and it's a decent watch for wuxia fans. 2003 version is worth checking out too. But 射雕 and 天龙八部 and probably 笑傲江湖 (haven't seen much of that one) are better choices.

What do our resident Jin Yong experts think?

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And, renzhe, how do you like 張無忌?

Ever since I read the novel last time he has become one of my favourite heros. Can't really explain why given his very apparent weakness. Perhaps somehow he is more real with that weakness.

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He reminded me of 段誉. Both are good-hearted and don't like violence, and are chased by all the pretty girls in all of China (and in the case of 张无忌, all of Asia). He reminds me a bit of Yang Guo too, in the way he kindly treats those who are trying to destroy him.

I don't know why I like him. He seems too perfect and as such too boring, and such heroes tend to be annoying. He never does anything wrong in the entire story (I can't remember anything like it), and as such always has the moral high ground. But like you said, this is also his weakness, and he suffers for it throughout the novel. And there is something inspiring about such a character, who is willing to accept sacrifices time and time again because it's the right thing to do. He is too kind-hearted on many occasions, but the moral backbone that he displays throughout takes a really strong and righteous person.

I think that Jin Yong needed such a character to carry this story. Other books didn't need it, but this one did. He was a son of a very controversial couple, and step-son of one of the biggest villains around, and became the leader of the most infamous and hated sect around. Yet, he was more righteous than the self-infatuated Emei sect, more brave than the famous Wudang disciples, and more pure and forgiving than the corrupt Shaolin sect. He exposed all the ugliness in the Wulin world by simply being everything that a Jianghu hero should be, and was hated even more for it. It had to be a guy like this that unites all the sects against the Yuan. It also had to be a guy like this that makes 赵敏 fall so madly in love with him. I said that she reminded me of 黄蓉, but they are still quite different. 黄蓉 was a playful little girl when she met 郭靖. 赵敏 was basically a battle-tested and cunning military commander.

So yes, I didn't find him very interesting on his own, as you always knew that he would do The Right Thing , whereas most Jin Yong heroes are somehow flawed. But in the context of the novel, he is a very interesting character. He had to be exactly this way for the novel to work.

At least that's my impression. But I've only seen the series, there's probably a greater depth in the novel.

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How about 碧血剑 then?

Somebody else talked me out of that one:wink:.

One of the regular background ads you get on Tudou is for some game where you have to pick your favourite 金庸 female character to play. The ad shows you about 8 options with portrait, they range from the obvious picks (黃蓉) to the relatively obscure (梦姑) to the evil (李莫愁). It may be the least annoying internet ad ever.

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Well, since you were peeved by the fact that 周芷若 and 张无忌's apparent light-speed advancing in their fighting skills (not necessarily means that their understanding of the deeper philosophy could be compared to those who dedicated half a century to their respective sect.), I can tell you don't have much experience with Wu-Xia novel or even Jing-Yong's novel. For starters, in Jing Yong's original novel, even after she learned from the secret script embedded in the sword, the best she could accomplish in real fight was to beat 殷梨亭, whom, I assume you know could be categorized as a master, but far from being the top-notch level, even her victory against 殷梨亭 owed more to her cunning and the fact that 殷梨亭 was such a nice guy nice guy than anything else. She's no match for 张无忌, she injured 张无忌 because 张无忌 felt that he owed her because he left her at the altar on their wedding, when the real fight came between 张无忌 and the three old Shaolin Monks, 周芷若 couldn't even join the fights, basically, the fight was between 张无忌 and Shaolin Monks, every time 周芷若 tried to intervene, all the powerful 内力 of all four major combatants basically kicked her to the sideline. Yeah, I know, many directors chose to depict post-script 周芷若 as unbeatable, but in Jingyong's original novel, she's far far far far from unbeatable, her temporary victories against a few masters were because she got to learn a few movements/tricks that nobody had ever seen in a hundreds years, basically, element of surprise played the biggest role in her limited success, Jinyong said in his novel that if there were another fight between 殷梨亭 and her, 殷梨亭 would have won because her tricks could only trick a master like 殷梨亭 once, it's nothing something that she could rely on over the long run, in fact, if there were no 张无忌's intervention, she would have been, after a big fight, raped and killed by 玄冥二老。

As for the general tendency to grant the protagonist, antagonist and people who are close to the protagonist and the antagonist the special privilege of becoming more powerful fighters than those who have been immersed themselves in the texts and traditions of Kung-Fu for decades, you can't blame Jingyong, nor could you say he's the worst offender, if you read some of works of some of the less acclaimed Wu-xia writers, you'd know Jinyong is one of the few Wu-xia authors that actually give a damn about hard work. I mean, at least 张无忌 spent five years learning his script and one harrowing experience inside a rack (without that, he'd never be able to learn 九阳神功,his 5 years were only enough to cure his injury and afford him very solid foundation.), many novels I read gave the protagonist the ability to beat back attacks by several bad guys who collectively probably have 1000 years in working and practicing their craft, after the protagonist ate some magic animal part or some potent pills created by others (kinda like Sun WuKong got his indestructible body and all-piercing eyes from eating pills created by Tai Shang Lao Jun in Journey to the West.). It's something that no modern Wu-xia could avoid because modern Wu-xia is a genre intimately linked to romance novel. Basically, if the protagonist could barely protect himself, he'd be at the risk of being killed any moment and he certainly couldn't win the heart of, let alone protect, any hot and sexy woman he met in his quest for Wu-lin justice; on the other hand, if he had to spend 30 years practicing Kung-Fu to perfect his fighting skills, who would be interested in reading an story about a 60 years old revenging the death of his parents, what kind of 20 something, one of a kind hot girl would fall in love with a guy old enough to be her grandpa? And who would be interested in such a romance if somebody were brave enough to actually write it?

The bottom line is:

modern Wu-xia is primarily geared toward male audience (comparing to romance novels primarily targeting female audiences, one simple glance would tell you the difference: in Wu-Xia, the protagonist, always a male, always have several, gorgeous women, fell for him simultaneously; while in romance novels, the same thing happened only in reverse, with one seemly average-looking woman being the target of several super-hot, super-rich young studs;), it's all about creating a fantasy world for your target audiences, for Wu-xia novel, it's about satisfying the innate need of male readers who want to kick ass AND score as many chicks as possible, even if he had no interests in her whatsoever. (according to another Wu-xia novelist: 对于男人来说,多个女人爱上你总没有坏处。)

As for the 张无忌 character, I think you read a little bit too much into his story, but not enough into Jinyong himself, if you read all of JInyong's novels, namely:


you would notice the slow progressing of Jinyong's thoughts: basically, the late Jinyong wrote the novel, the less likely the protagonist, however personally powerful he might be, would be able to affect the overall Wu-lin, Jinyong has been getting more and more realistic and more and more pragmatic and more and more political (in politics, it's not about your personal ability, it's about how you play the game of political power.), at the end of Jinyong's career, he wrote 鹿鼎记 with a protagonist who had only the most basic moral standard, he cheats, he lies, he kills, he rapes, he kiss-ass without any sense of shame, and he's so corrupt that all the money he took was probably enough to fight a world war, not to mention he's such an coward that he probably would not have done anything good and making any sacrifices if it means his life would be in danger. Yet, his personal influence on history and on Wu-Lin is more powerful than probably all the other Wu-xia protagonists in Jinyong's novels combined.(he also had practically no fighting skills.). Yet, many people think 鹿鼎记 represents the pinnacle of Jinyong because it's more realistic, more pragmatic (it's almost a comedic political thriller.).

Edited by eatfastnoodle
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Well, obviously I'm not a Jin Yong expert, but I did read 射雕英雄传 and watch 天龙八部, 神雕侠侣 and this one. And the way 周芷若 was portrayed in this particular TV adaptation was a bit over the top. Like you said, the book makes it more believable, but I haven't read the book.

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  • 2 years later...

So I've just come back to this. Partly because I want to complete the Condor Heroes Trilogy and partly because it has been championed by Skylee. I've recently been through a couple of Qing Dynasty TV series and books, and that has made my thoughts turn more to the Ming Dynasty, about which I know almost nothing.

I think I'm going to watch the Ma Jingtao version recommended by eatfastnoodle, am three episodes in at the moment. Yes, the special effects are atrocious, but at least the show is not pretentious about it like Zhang Jizhong version is.

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