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renzhe

Project for 2011: 水浒传

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renzhe

I find that written language rarely rubs off on my spoken Chinese. It tends to be stuff I hear on TV or in movies.

It's a shame. It would be awesome to scream "汝等草贼,何敢犯吴边界,尚不知死!" at someone standing on my lawn, if only to see their reaction.

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skylee

If only they could understand. :D

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Pingfa
I had totally forgotten about this. I stopped reading months ago about 26 chapters in. Your write up makes me want to get back into it.

My feelings in regards to the story and characters run pretty much parallel with yours. I felt the ending tied things up nicely, unlike the ending to 三国 which I felt went way downhill after the death of the central character.

 

Also reminds me that I haven't seen any of the 水浒传 series or movies since I wanted to read through it in original Chinese first.

 

I'm confident you'll have an easier time with 三国. If memory serves correctly, while 三国 is less 白话 than 水浒传 there are far less rare characters and odd constructions - mind you, I was quite familiar with the background before reading; I could see character and place names throwing people off if they aren't familiar with the background.

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renzhe

So, looking for the TV adaptation to watch, I narrowed it down to Kuk Kwok-leung's "All Men Are Brothers" from 2011 and Zhang Jizhong's "Water Margin" from 1998.

I started with the more recent version because of high definition sources, subtitles, as well as a more modern feel, but I gave up 6 episodes in. The story is told out of order, partly through flashbacks, and some of it was nauseatingly cheesy in an idol drama kind of way. I liked some of the casting, but Shi Jin, Gongsun Sheng and some others were just too much.

So I went back to the older version. I liked Zhang Jizhong's wuxia adaptations in the past, and this series was the one that started it all. It looks a bit dated today, being almost 20 years old, but it is considerably better. More true to the book, and with less clowning around and childish overacting. Unfortunately, there are no versions with subtitles on youtube, but the language is more modern and easier to follow than in the 2011 version, where I was quite dependent on subtitles. And I know the story.

So if anyone is interested, that's the one I recommend.

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StChris

Firstly, kudos for finishing such a monster of a book. It must have felt like your Chinese-learning "Vietnam" at times, leaving you wondering whether to just cut your losses rather than plough even more time and effort into it. For those like me who 不敢, I have an alternative:

http://www.amazon.cn/%E6%96%B0%E8%AF%BE%E6%A0%87%E5%90%8D%E8%91%97%E5%B0%8F%E4%B9%A6%E5%9D%8A-%E6%B0%B4%E6%B5%92%E4%BC%A0-%E6%96%BD%E8%80%90%E5%BA%B5/dp/B008CWM8OE/ref=pd_bxgy_14_img_y

 

It's the 青年 version (for 11-14 year olds), so has been abridged and had the difficult parts simplified (I assume). There's even a little quiz at the end so you can practice your comprehension. 

 

Just a note though, I've just started reading a 韩寒 novel, and despite it being an adult book, it's still much easier than the teenagers version of 水浒传. I can't imagine what renzhe went through for those 4 years reading the real, adult version! 佩服佩服 

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StChris

As well as 水浒传 there are also around twenty other books in this series, including both other Chinese (三国演义, 三字经...) and foreign classics (The Little Prince).

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StChris

Browsing amazon.cn, I just came across this series http://www.amazon.cn/%E6%88%90%E9%95%BF%E6%96%87%E5%BA%93-%E4%BD%A0%E4%B8%80%E5%AE%9A%E8%A6%81%E8%AF%BB%E7%9A%84%E4%B8%AD%E5%9B%BD%E7%BB%8F%E5%85%B8-%E6%B0%B4%E6%B5%92%E4%BC%A0-%E6%96%BD%E8%80%90%E5%BA%B5-%E5%8E%9F%E8%91%97-%E5%BE%90%E5%A8%81-%E5%BC%A0%E5%BE%B7%E6%81%92-%E6%A0%BE%E8%8E%89%E8%88%92-%E6%94%B9%E5%86%99/dp/B00SAMT7ZE/ref=sr_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1432211059&sr=1-7&keywords=%E6%B0%B4%E6%B5%92%E4%BC%A0

 

It's 青年版 as well, but has got a higher review rating than the other series, as well as being cheaper (just 2.80RMB for the kindle version, so you can even order it from abroad!). The full version seems to be free on kindle, if you feel man/woman enough for it.

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StChris

Renzhe, I feel better now to hear that even you struggled with the 2011 version after having read the original ;-)  I felt like a failure giving up after one episode after having read the 青年 version. I'm now watching the latest version of 三国. While it's harder than your average modern drama, I can still follow along with the story without too many problems. 

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laurenth

 

 

 (just 2.80RMB for the kindle version, so you can even order it from abroad!).

 

I wish that were true. Unfortunately, this message features prominently on amazon.cn, when trying to purchase an ebook from abroad: "Kindle电子书仅面向Amazon.cn上CN客户出售。" I guess "CN客户" means people living in China. If you change your address to that of a friend living in the RPC, amazon.cn seems to detect that your IP address does not match and refuses to go on.

 

Not to mention that, in certain countries (mine anyway), as explained here, you cannot use your credit card to buy stuff from amazon.cn

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StChris

My kindle paperwhite just arrived today and I successfully bought a kindle book this afternoon (I'm currently in the UK). I used my UK bank card (Nationwide). I already have an Amazon UK account, so created a different one for the amazon.cn, using a different email address and my old Chinese address. No problems.

 

The only thing I'm concerned about if whether my bank is going to charge a big fat fee for buying stuff from a foreign website. I want to buy a batch of kindle books at one time so I can avoid paying the fee each time (assuming there is one), buy can't seem to work out how to just add kindle books to my basket.

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roddy

I'm also with the Nationwide. There's a weighting on the exchange rate so you pay a few % more, but there's no big fat fee. Given the costs of ebooks from Amazon, it's trivial. 

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StChris

Thanks, that's a relief. I know that I felt ever so slightly robbed every time I used my Nationwide card to withdraw money from an ATM in China due to the high fees. The book I bought was only 5RMB. I would have felt sick if they added a 5GBP charge on top of that.

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renzhe

I wish that were true. Unfortunately, this message features prominently on amazon.cn, when trying to purchase an ebook from abroad: "Kindle电子书仅面向Amazon.cn上CN客户出售。" I guess "CN客户" means people living in China. If you change your address to that of a friend living in the RPC, amazon.cn seems to detect that your IP address does not match and refuses to go on.

Not to mention that, in certain countries (mine anyway), as explained here, you cannot use your credit card to buy stuff from amazon.cn

We are using it without much trouble. You might have to enter a fake delivery address in China, that seems to work. At least a few days ago, it did. My girlfriend does have a Chinese credit card, though, maybe that is the trick?

It did start complaining recently, though, maybe because of the IP...

This is extremely annoying since most titles are only available on amazon.cn and there is no way to get them legally anywhere else. Amazon really goes out of the way to prevent people to legally read. The Kindle and everything related to it is a crime against literature.

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laurenth

 

 

You might have to enter a fake delivery address in China

 

Maybe that's what I really meant with "If you change your address to that of a friend living in the RPC:P

I don't own a Chinese credit card, but a Belgian one. (It seems UK banks are less picky and will let Brits buy stuff from amazon.cn?)

I was able to purchase one or two things in Chinese from amazon.com with a US address, but the selection of books is not very wide.

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