“You’re stepping on my shadow, please back off,” she said.

Sun Yisheng / Nicky Harman

David Hull Reviews Jin Yong Translation


Beyond the technicalities of length, the language and fundamental nature of the martial arts novel is ornate and very particular, and Jin Yong’s style is the exemplar of the genre. This presents a fundamental difficulty in translation. The challenge is common to most translations, but the solution must be unique to each translated text: how to render the specific language and style of the original? Here the scope of the problem is daunting. English does not have a clear parallel tradition or genre to pull from linguistically or culturally. Holmwood refers to this obliquely in her introduction:


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