Jump to content
Chinese-forums.com
Learn Chinese in China

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


大块头
 Share

Recommended Posts

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:

 

Quote

不料那道人并不理会,拿起匕首一阵乱剁,把人心人肝切成碎块,一声长啸,声震屋瓦,提起右手,挥掌劈落,腾的一声,桌上酒杯菜盆都震得跳了起来,那人头已给他手掌击得头骨碎裂,连桌子中间也裂开一条大缝。

 

1.thumb.jpg.3333239796bad3fb044bcf0210d7c48b.jpg

 

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:

 

Quote

郭杨二人开门出来,神色间惊魂未定。郭啸天道:“道长,那是些什么人?”丘处机道:“你在他们身上搜搜。”

 

郭啸天往那持刀人身上抄摸,掏出一件公文来……

 

2.thumb.jpg.bb4e1e2fbd555db44aa4bdbffd4e343f.jpg

 

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.

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.

  • Helpful 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

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)

  • Helpful 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and select your username and password later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...