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English translation of Legends of the Condor Heroes (射雕英雄传)


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I've started reading the first novel in the Legends of the Condor Heroes series. Wuxia is definitely outside of my comfort zone, so I got a copy of the 2018 English translation to read in parallel.


So far it's been interesting to see how the translator (Anna Holmwood) has interpreted the source material for an English-speaking audience. The translation so far has been good, but some of the narrative elements have been changed enough to make me wonder if she worked from a different edition of the Chinese novel? I'm reading the 新修版 that was published in 2002. If anybody has an earlier edition sitting on their shelf, I'd be curious to know how these details from the first chapter (风雪惊变) compare. Minor spoilers follow.


When the characters 郭啸天 and 杨铁心 invite a mysterious Taoist monk in for drinks, but their dinner party goes disastrously awry when said Taoist empties his bag of human body parts onto the table:







杨铁心 and the monk (丘处机) fight each other with kung-fu, decide to be friends, and then everybody goes back inside for more drinks (the pile of minced human flesh on the table isn't mentioned again). 


Later, after 丘处机 slaughters a group of government soldiers:









In the first instance a gory detail (shattering the skull) is omitted, but in the second instance another gory detail (the sliced torso) is added.

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Found the 旧版 online here. Can confirm the English translation is based on it. The scenes you described are in 第一回 and 第二回, not in 第一章....


I have 金庸全集36册(香港明河旧版) in my shopping cart for years. Too expensive. :(


EDIT: Sorry. No, the English translation is not based on that online version (大陆朗声旧版) either. Gee, how many versions are there? 旧版、修订版、新修版 in simplified alone.

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I don't know about Holmwood, but Gigi Chang - who's credited as the translator for the latter 3 volumes - seems to be active on Twitter; she replied to a tweet of mine speculating about whether people during the Song would have actually placed a high value on Shang/Zhou era bronzes.


(also, these are legitimately very fun - any textual differences notwithstanding, they certainly convey the essence of the original book well; I had a similar reaction to Julia Lovell's excellent Journey to the West translation earlier this year)

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