And we're off! This is the first week of Sunday Sentence, so if you missed the post explaining the activity, click here for more details.
Otherwise... To start we have three sentences for you to translate, taken from page 13 of Jin Yong's 金庸 《射雕英雄传》(first released in 1959), entitled A Hero Born (Legends of the Condor Heroes 1) in Anna Holmwood's translation.
Please input your translation in the comments box at the bottom of the page.
The sentences to translate are:
Remember, you can post your translation today or any day next week, so you have plenty of time to think about it and there's no need to rush.
This is what Anna had to say about the challenge of translating the passage and others like it:
This is taken from the first fight scene in the novel and it shows exactly the difficulties of translating martial arts action. Making these parts work is crucial to the experience of reading martial arts fiction in English, and so I was conscious of what expectations and references an English reader would have. For this reason I chose to use conventions of film, with speeding up and slow motion, all conveyed through sentence length and word choice. Something as simple as using the word "thud" at the end of the sentence could give the feeling of the object finally hitting against the victim's head. I found very quickly that being too literal with the mechanics of the sentences (translating literally) would kill the feeling of pace and excitement.
And for a little more context here's the whole fight scene:
"Set in ancient China, in a world where kung fu is magic, kingdoms vie for power and the battle to become the ultimate kung fu master unfolds, an unlikely hero is born… in the first book in the epic Legends of the Condor Heroes series by the critically acclaimed master of the genre, Jin Yong.
After his father—a devoted Song patriot—is murdered by the Jin empire, Guo Jing and his mother flee to the plains of Ghengis Khan and his people for refuge. For one day he must face his mortal enemy in battle in the Garden of the Drunken Immortals. Under the tutelage of Genghis Khan and The Seven Heroes of the South, Guo Jing hones his kung fu skills. Humble, loyal and perhaps not always wise, Guo Jing faces a destiny both great and terrible.
However, in a land divided—and a future largely unknown—Guo Jing must navigate love and war, honor and betrayal before he can face his own fate and become the hero he’s meant to be."
About the Author:
JIN YONG (pen name of Louis Cha) was a true phenomenon in the Chinese-speaking world. Born in Mainland China, he spent most of his life writing novels and editing newspapers in Hong Kong. His enormously popular martial arts novels, including the epic Legends of the Condor Heroes series, have become modern classics and remain a must-read for readers looking for danger and adventure.
Massive thanks again to Anna for picking this sentence; I look forward to everyone's translations!