Sunday Sentence

一周一句 Sunday Sentence #8

By Jack Hargreaves, July 19, 2020, 2:22p.m.

For the final week of Sunday Sentence round one, we have the opening sentence of the as-yet untranslated 《六人晚餐》 (Dinner for Six) by Lu Min 鲁敏 (2012). Thanks to Emily Jones for the suggestion!
Please input your translation in the comments box at the bottom of the page.

The sentence to translate is: …

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18 comments

  • Helen Wang:

    I did a sample translation of this book a few years ago, so I'll just copy and paste that sentence here. Dinner for Six has just been published in Serbian (tr. Bojan Tarabic) and I think some other l…

  • Phyllis Ang:

    所有的一切,不如就从厂区的空气说起。这空气,是酿造情感起源的酵母,也是腌制往事的色素与防腐剂。

    Everything began, why don’t we say, from the air in the industrial estate. This air was the leavening agent, the origin of fermenting emotions, and the…

  • stevenL:

    If you want a beginning, you could do worse than to trace all these things back to the air over the yards. It is an air that bubbles with fermenting emotion, a marinade that stains and preserves all …

一周一句 Sunday Sentence #7

By Jack Hargreaves, July 12, 2020, 7:26a.m.

This week's Sunday Sentence is something entirely different: Yeng Pway Ngon 英培安 inserts himself into the narrative on page 25 of 《骚动》(2002), translated by Jeremy Tiang as Unrest. Thank you to Jeremy for setting this week's challenge.

Please input your translation in the comments box at the bottom…

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12 comments

  • Me Jun:

    The novel’s female and male protagonists were lying on the bed as I turned on the computer screen. My fingers hovered some time over the keyboard, I was unable to decide if the scene of copulation sh…

  • SharonD:

    When I turned on the computer, the heroine and hero of the novel were in bed.

    My fingers hesitated for a while on the keyboard; I couldn't decide whether I or one of them should describe the lovemak…

  • Dylan Levi King:

    Let me take a poke at this...

    When I flicked on the computer, I found the female protagonist and male protagonist had become coiled together on the bed. I hesitated for a moment, my fingers hovering …

一周一句 Sunday Sentence #6

By Jack Hargreaves, July 4, 2020, 2:52p.m.

This week's Sunday Sentence can be found on the first page of 《北妹》 by Sheng Keyi 盛可以 (2004), translated by Shelly Bryant as Northern Girls (2012).

Please input your translation in the comments box at the bottom of the page.

The sentence to translate is:
一米五五的样子,短发、带卷、蛋脸偏圆,基本上是良家民女的模样,嫁个男人安分守己生儿…

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12 comments

  • Lucy Elwood:

    一米五五的样子,短发、带卷、蛋脸偏圆,基本上是良家民女的模样,嫁个男人安分守己生儿育女的胚子。遗憾的是,钱小红的胸部太大,即便不是钱小红的本意,也被毫无余地地划出良民圈子,与寡妇的门前一样多了事。

    With a height of 1.55 meters, short, curly hair and a slightly rounded face, she was a typical girl …

  • Dylan Levi King:

    This isn't necessarily how I would actually translate it, but taking some license here...

    Five foot and a bit, with curls framing her round face, Xiaohong could've passed for what you might call a go…

  • James:

    She wass 1m55 tall with a cute round face and short, slightly curly hair. She was basically an honest ordinary girl, content with a life path of marriage and children.

    Unfortunately, Qianxiaohong's …

一周一句 Sunday Sentence #5

By Jack Hargreaves, June 26, 2020, 12:12p.m.

Sunday Sentence #5 comes from an unreleased book, 《鹰头猫与音乐箱女孩》 by Dorothy Tse 謝曉虹, due out with Aquarius in July 2020 (next month!) and currently being translated by Natascha Bruce with the working title, Owlish & the Music-Box Ballerina.

Please input your translation in the comments box at the…

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18 comments

  • ENJ:

    So, in the thick humidity of that heavy, head-swelling winter afternoon, when Professor Q as usual looked out of his house through the narrow window’s stainless steel flower-patterned grille, he didn…

  • Lorna A:

    So, on that winter’s afternoon, in an atmosphere viscous and heavy enough to make your brain swell, when Professor Q looked out as usual from behind the decorative stainless steel grille on the narro…

  • Phyllis Ang:

    This was highly descriptive and lots of fun to work on!

    因此,在那空气黏稠、沉甸甸令人脑袋发胀的冬日下午,当教授Q习惯性地从家里那扇狭小的镶了不锈钢窗花的窗口看出去时,竟然没有看到海,没有看到从天而降,锋利如刀片的阳光把它任意割切成许多玻璃似的碎片,没有看到一直停泊在海湾里几条颜色明艳,充满了战意的船,以及它们那些不断深入海床里的机械吊臂…

一周一句 Sunday Sentence #4

By Jack Hargreaves, June 20, 2020, 2:19p.m.

Week 4 of Sunday Sentence! Halfway through!

A lesser-known writer this week, but one of my favourites, Yang Dian 杨典 and the two opening sentences of his short story, 《朱厌》, which I've tentatively translated for the purposes of this exercise as 'Ape of War'. The story is taken from his as-yet untran…

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17 comments

  • VG:

    On the last summer's day of the last dynasty's downfall, that sufferer, scholar, assassin, secret society radical and lifelong compadre, my bosom-clasped cater-cousin, my incomparable mirror, finally…

  • Breanna Chia:

    前朝灭亡的最后一个夏日,我那位集病夫、书生、杀手与某秘密社团激进分子于一身的兄弟,我窝藏多年的故知,我不可同日而语的镜子,终于在十字路口法场走到了魂断他乡的绝境。他的死是在我意料中的。

    On that final summer's day when the previous dynasty fell, my friend the sickly, the scholar, the killer, …

  • Helen Wang:

    Tricky, but here goes (with thanks to the two above):

    前朝灭亡的最后一个夏日,我那位集病夫、书生、杀手与某秘密社团激进分子于一身的兄弟,我窝藏多年的故知,我不可同日而语的镜子,终于在十字路口法场走到了魂断他乡的绝境。他的死是在我意料中的。

    On the last day of summer as the old dynasty perishe…

一周一句 Sunday Sentence #3

By Jack Hargreaves, June 14, 2020, 7:08a.m.

For week 3 of Sunday Sentence, we're turning to one of the best-known Chinese writers of the 20th Century, Zhang Ailing, and the opening line of her book, 《色戒》(1979), translated by Julia Lovell and released in 2007 as, of course, Lust, Caution. Thanks to Dylan Levi King for suggesting this "decept…

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30 comments

  • David Hull:

    I love Zhang Ailing's writing. It reminds me of Pai Hsien-yung in all the good ways.

    This piece is so good in setting the mood, and that's what makes it a challenge in English, too. I overtranslated…

  • Christina Ng:

    "Even in the day the lamplight bears down on the hands shuffling the mahjong tiles, bouncing off the dazzle of each and every diamond ring. The four corners of the white tablecloth clench the table l…

  • Daniel S:

    There's an earlier version of this story called 'The Spyring', written by Eileen Chang in English in the 1950s. Chang couldn't find a publisher for it.

    The opening of 'The Spyring' (1953?) is quite …

一周一句 Sunday Sentence #2

By Jack Hargreaves, June 6, 2020, 8:55a.m.

For this week of Sunday Sentence, we have something entirely different: a big announcement taken from page 118 of Yan Ge's 颜歌《我们家》(2013), released in 2018 as The Chilli Bean Paste Clan, translated by Nicky Harman.

Please input your translation in the comments box at the bottom of the page.

The s…

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42 comments

  • Amanda Flynn:

    Happy Sunday all! I loved the original and Nicky's translation of this book, fast paced and funny! Luckily I don't have the translation to hand, as would have been tempting to take a look!

    Things I …

  • Amanda Flynn:

    (Reviewed, slight punctuation error!)

    Translation:

    With both hands cradling the glass he tipped back his head, emptying the rice wine down his throat, from it trying to absorb every drop of courage, …

  • Christina Ng:

    I was stumped by "阳气", and loosely translated it as "libido" in the end as it felt most apt in this particular context with my basic understanding of that word and the dictionary meanings I found. I …

一周一句 Sunday Sentence #1

By Jack Hargreaves, May 30, 2020, 3:48p.m.

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 (L…

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44 comments

  • Jack Hargreaves:

    First up, do I get a prize??

    He was lightning fast, covering a dozen yards in a flash. Qu San drew his right hand to his chest then raised it aloft, sending careening forth through the moonlight a b…

  • Helen Wang:

    Nicky and I did a Jin Yong excerpt for a translation slam at Liverpool Literary Festival in Oct 2016, so I’ll copy and paste what I did then. Jin Yong’s so difficult to translate - rich in content an…

  • Anonymous:

    Went with Wades-Giles instead of Pinyin because it seems a bit more exotic though pretty sure this isn't common practice anymore! Also left 武官 untranslated. Personally I would rather explain it in a …

Sunday Sentence 一周一句

By Jack Hargreaves, May 28, 2020, 10:07a.m.

Eyes peeled and pens sharpened everyone!

Sentence #1 - Jin Yong

Sentence #2 - Yan Ge

Sentence #3 - Zhang Ailing

Sentence #4 - Yang Dian

Sentence #5 - Dorothy Tse

Sentence #6 - Sheng Keyi

Sentence #7 - Yeng Pway Ngon is now online

This Sunday 31st May begins a two-month activity of online translatio…

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