Tag: Star Wars


26

Dec 2015

Merry Christmas from Tampa

Just a quick note from my family vacation in Florida… Merry Christmas! (Christmas songs in Chinese here, for anyone still looking.)

I was super busy this month finishing up Mandarin Companion‘s new Level 2 Chinese graded reader adaptation of Great Expectations, but it’s now up in ebook format in two parts: Part 1 and Part 2. These two parts, put together, probably make up the absolute longest cohesive low-level Chinese reading experience you can find. We’re talking about a story almost 30,000 characters long. (For reference, our longest Level 1 story was only about 12,000 characters long.)

Combined with finalizing the standards for the new higher level graded readers, that amounted to a loooong editing process. I’ll talk about that another day.

For now, I am just enjoying Florida’s smog-free winter weather while I deal with 2 jet lagged little ones. (Of course I was still able to get away to see the new Star Wars movie.)

Lots planned for 2016!


04

Feb 2014

May the Horse Be With You

I wasn’t expecting Star Wars to get in on the CNY festivities, but here it is:

The pun is (in traditional characters originally):

> “星”年快樂

In simplified, that’s:

> “星”年快乐

新年快乐 means “Happy New Year.” The pun replaces (xin: “new”) with (xing: “star”). The two are both first tone, and do sound very similar in Chinese (in fact, many native speakers don’t carefully distinguish between the “-n” and “-ng” finals of many syllables), and Star Wars in Chinese is 星球大战 (literally, “Star War(s)”).

Thanks, Jared, for bringing this video to my attention!


14

Jun 2005

Backstroke of the West

Winterson.com, a recent addition to the CBL, has an awesome entry entitled “episode iii, the backstroke of the west” (the title will make sense when you read the entry). I had a really good time writing my “Closer Subtitle Surrealism” entry, and it gave me ideas for other similar subtitle-related posts. Jeremy has beaten me to one of them: hilarious English subtitles on Hollywood films. This phenomenon comes about when pirates do their own shoddy English subtitles to new releases. Here is just one example (and not the best):

Episode 3 English subtitles

Be sure to read Winterson.com’s original entry for more. He also has an older entry with funny subtitles for Fahrenheit 9/11.


28

May 2005

Star Wars Set

The full two-trilogy Star Wars DVD set is already available for purchase in Shanghai in two attractive versions: the simple 6-disc set (60rmb) and the deluxe 10-disc set featuring the “making of” segments (200rmb). Both look extremely professional and come in a special case, shrink-wrapped and all.

Episode III: Revenge of the Sith is actually a very clear copy, but it has unattractive “burned in time code across the top” for the entire movie. The other five movies in the set are perfect copies.

Here’s a picture of some silly lawbreaker posing with his illegal 6-disc Star Wars set:

Star Wars Trilogy

Whoever this shameless malefactor is, he’s got an awesome t-shirt. Screeching Weasel! Preach it to China!


More on Star Wars in China:

My earlier entry on it
Dave’s take on the dubbed version


22

May 2005

Episode 3 in China

Star Wars: Episode III

Last night I went to see Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (AKA 星球大战前转3) with some friends. We went to the 9:40pm showing at Hongqiao Century Universal Theatre (虹桥世纪电影城) and paid 60rmb (about US$7.50) per ticket.

For the day after the much-anticipated movie just opened and a Saturday night, the turnout wasn’t spectacular. The theater was only about half full. There were a handful of foreigners in attendance.

I have no way of judging whether or not the other viewers had been following the Star Wars movies at all, except for the woman behind me. She was making obnoxious comments the entire time. Whenever Yoda came out she kept remarking how cute he was. When Anakin was talking to Palpatine early in the movie and Palpatine mentions the Sith, the woman had an earth-shattering epiphany: “He’s the Sith!”

I enjoyed the movie. The way I saw it, the movie had to do three things:

  1. Wow us with special effects
  2. Connect the new trilogy with the old one
  3. Tell a good self-contained story

I’d say it did quite well on #1 and #2, but was definitely lacking in #3. For one thing, there were some lame lines. For me, what took the cake was how Darth Vader taking his first steps in his new costume looked like it came right out of an old Frankenstein movie, and then, just a little later, his cry of “NOOOOOOOO!” at what the emperor told him was so clich�� it was embarrassing. Still, overall the movie was quite entertaining.

I didn’t let the Chinese subtitles distract me too much. I wasn’t worried about them being wrong this time, I was just interested in seeing how certain lines or words were translated. I did happen to notice that “Sith” in Chinese is 西斯 (which I could have gotten just from the full name of the movie in Chinese), and “Jedi” is 绝地. They’re pretty much just systematic transliterations. The one for “Jedi” doesn’t bother me so much as the one for “Sith.” “Sith” somehow sounds evil in English… like “seethe” or “hiss” or “writhe” or “death.” “X��s��” doesn’t really sound like anything–except maybe the legendary Chinese beauty 西施–and it doesn’t sound evil.

If you’re interested on how the new Star Wars movie is received in China, don’t miss Joel Martinsen’s report on Danwei.org: First Reactions to “Sith.” If you’re interested in Star Wars in general or Lucas’s inspirations in particular, don’t miss this revealing in-depth analysis: How did George Lucas create Star Wars?