Ravaging Times

March 3, 2009

help me proof the translation

Filed under: Uncategorized — merc @ 9:47 am

Feel free to pick out errors in the English! Or suggest better wording! Some “mistakes” might be intentional, but I’m really a mediocre writer. Thanks! (don’t have to register to leave a comment here)


September 4, 2018

chapter 506 (magazine-syndication, not final)

Filed under: Ravages of Time — Tags: — merc @ 10:58 pm

[?]: Oh, even Cao Zhen is here.

[Cao Zhen]: Haha, one can’t shirk off family duty.
(“…family/clan order difficult [to] disobey”)

[?]: Even at this age?

[CZ]: No, it’s an exception this time.

chapter 506 Raise Above The Level
(if you understand Chinese, this analysis is where I’m getting inspiration to further tweak some phrasing; the analysis explains that this quote is from a passage in Mencius that tells a fable about a man pulling rice seedling to help it grow faster, but that only kills it faster, much like how Cao Cao promoted the “rare talent” so fast that it led to him dying so soon in his career; and Cao Cao is also “raising” the younger generation to be capable successors, who will hopefully not suffer the same fate)

[Cao Xiu]: You’re here.
[CZ]: Yes.

[CX]: Have all troops withdrawn to Xiangyang?

[CZ]: Yes. The battle of Red Cliff has left the land of Jing Province barren and in time for famine.
[CZ]: That’s an even more dangerous situation to continue fighting in. So why not withdraw?

[CX]: Famine hurts. Big guy, you have to help.

[CZ]: There you go again. Stop spoiling those brats!

[CX]: Haha, I haven’t seen them in a long time.

[CX]: Hoo.

[CZ]: So many memories here.

[CZ]: Especially that broken house.

[?]: Big brother!
[?]: Big brother is back!

[CX]: But this is the core of our clan.
(could refer to both this environment or the younger generation)

[CZ]: Wow! Brat, you’ve gained so much weight!

[?]: Brother Xiu and Zhen are back!

[?]: Take me with you, big brother, it’s so scary here!
[CX]: Oh yeah?

[?]: Yeah! Clan-dad won’t give us any food. I’m starving!
(“old dad” here is not necessarily their birth father, but might be referring to Cao Cao)
[?]: And that uncle Dun is so mean- his spanking hurts so much!
(“…hit bottocks very painful”)

[?]: Why are you two exempt from coming? You had to before!
[?]: Where are brother Pi, Zhang, and Zhi?

[?]: See! I told you brother Xiu won’t come empty-handed!

[CX]: Those brothers went on disaster relief missions, while I’m here to relieve the disaster here.

[?]: Brother Xiu is the best indeed! Gimme gimme!
[?]: Stop grabbing. Youngest eats first!

[?]: No eating. Hand them over!

[Xiahou Dun]: In times of famine our Lord wants you all to experience the suffering of the people. Who dares to sneak a bite!

[CZ]: Oh no, uncle Dun is here…

[XHD]: As men of the Cao and Xiahou clans, you must lead by example, and stand in solidarity with the people!
(“…[put] body before soldiers, with people same [to] bear”)

[XHD]: Anyone who takes one more bite will come with me to dig tree roots!

[CX]: Fine, fine. Follow brother Zhen to do the planting in the back.
[?]: Yeah, maybe there’ll be something to eat in the field.

[XHD]: Petty tricks. I bet the good stuff is with Cao Zhen.
(“nine tier strategy…”; good stuff here refers to good food)

[CX]: Go easy on me. Didn’t you used to sneak food to us that way?

[CX]: Times are different now. Same goes for the status of these brats.

[XHD]: That’s exactly why they must be taught!

[XHD]: Since the world belongs to our Lord now, it cannot be squandered by his sons and nephews.

[XHD]: If they don’t learn now, later they’ll…

[XHD]: Brat.

[XHD]: Xiahou Ba! One more escape attempt and I’ll make you regret it!

[Xiahou Ba]: P… please spare me, uncle Dun!

[Cao Cao]: Oh, we have food. Today we’ll have something good, chestnut rice.
[CC]: No picky eater. This is already quite good during a famine.

[?]: A child will eat what their father makes.
(I think similar to what Ma Teng said about his children making things better, this might be double-meaning regarding children having to accept the outcome of their father’s actions)

[CC]: Haha, Chong-er is the most well-behaved.
(-er suffix is for an affectionate reference to someone)

[CC]: Remember during the war back then…

[CZ]: Clan-dad, Chong-er is gone.
(Cao Zhen and Cao Xiu are “grandfather’s brother’s son’s grandson on the paternal side” to Cao Cao)

[CC]: Yes. He died of illness…

[CC]: Haha… sometimes being forgetful at my old age can be a good thing.

[?]: Clan-dad, uncle Dun is hitting me!
(“old dad…”)

[?]: It’s already better than with Cao Ang back in the day.

[CC]: Ang-er is still just a child in my memory.

[CC]: I don’t even remember how many years it took for me to let it go.

[?]: Please.

[CZ]: The world is all you care about. So what if you forgot it.

[CC]: Yes… the more power I gained, the exponentially greater the responsibility I felt.
(“…greater ten times”)

[CC]: I recall that His Majesty was the same age back then…

[CC]: I picked him up, fought to maintain his reputation.
(the implicit negative meaning of 捡/pick-up is like picking up a piece of useless trash)
[CC]: After so many deaths and sacrifices, still there are things that cannot be changed.

[CC]: It’s impossible to come to an agreement with someone who has their own political view.

[CC]: That rare talent looked so much like Ang-er…

[CC]: that it almost broke me upon first seeing him.

[?]: Leave it to Second Genius Xun Yu to pick such a frightening insider.

[?]: He would even collude with corrupt vassals like Sun Quan and Liu Bei for the sake of protecting Imperial Han.

[CZ]: I doubt there are many people who can withstand Xun Yu’s ruthlessness if he chooses to be so.

[CC]: He’s different now, and he has just put his life on the line with that move. As a key member of the Cao clan, what do you think?

[CZ]: Sometimes it’s better to take a step back.

[CZ]: The world is in chaos, but the north is in peace thanks to your management, clan-dad.

[CZ]: This move demonstrates your determination and capability to the masses.

[CZ]: Imperial Han is dead. How can the people not realize who can actually govern and save the world.

[CZ]: Not only should we let Xun Yu divvy up the world in the name of His Majesty, we should use this opportunity to fight back.

[CZ]: Notice that the beneficiaries are still waging war, so who’s to blame but the incompetence emperor?

[CZ]: The more chaotic Imperial Han is, the better we look.

[CZ]: Since most of the population are in the north, the chaos of Imperial Han will give us a better chance at ending internal strife during the establishment of Wei.
(slightly distorted)

[CX]: Wasted, wasted.
[CC]: What’s your take on this, Xiu-er?

[CX]: You once said that the world is like this old house that’s full of holes.
(indirect reference to chapter 85)

[CX]: All that glitter is not gold. Not when the pillar is unstable.
(it’s quoting from 卖柑者言, “Words of An Orange Seller”? a political fable by Liu Ji near the end of Yuan dynasty, early Ming dynasty; not sure if I can find an official translation, so I’m paraphrasing)

[CX]: To feel attached to a pillar like an old friend,

[CX]: yet forgetting that the whole structure is flawed.

[CX]: Clan-dad, Xun Yu will only be an obstacle to you.

[CX]: The foundation he established for Imperial Han will only cause great harm to the kingdom.

[?]: Yes. It’s time to demolish it.

[CC]: Because the new pillars have arrived.


[?]: W… what the, how could that broken house be filled with crows?
[?]: I told you that father won’t tear it down because it’s haunted!

[?]: Yes. Everything is but mere memory.

[CC]: It was only a time when we looked forward to a better world.

[CC]: A dream that Guo Jia and Xun Yu didn’t get to fulfill
[CC]: is now on the shoulders of you two.

[CC]: Don’t disappoint me if you’ve learned anything from me.

[CX]: Don’t worry, clan-dad. All is well at the home base. We Cao Xiu and Cao Zhen request to go into battle!

[CC]: With what strategy?

[CZ]: While the enemy marches on even when the Jing Province will suffer a famine, we should fall back even more.

[?]: We’ll lure the enemy to move further from its base and attack its weaker parts in isolation!
(not sure; this is quoting from Cao Cao’s 孫子略解/“Sunzi’s Art of War Commentaries”, but I can’t find the official translation)

[CC]: Not bad. So it seems everyone knows who the main enemy is.

[CC]: Peace cannot be achieved with him around.
(“this person not eliminated, world difficult pacify”)

[CC]: That’s why Jia Xu requested that you two go join him.

[CC]: Go, you mightiest pillars of the Cao clan.

[CC]: That fish is in the shallows.
(could directly mean Zhou Yu because of the wordplay on his name, or someone else)

magazine-only-teaser: “next chapter, Kong Ming’s move” (to be continued in New Youth issue #42)

August 21, 2018

chapter 505 (magazine syndication, not final)

Filed under: Ravages of Time — Tags: — merc @ 10:04 pm

[?]: Wake up! Quickly!
(“…quickly awake”)

[?]: The Sun army has made it to mere five li of us, so they’ve almost caught up!
(5 li distance is approximately 2079 meters during Han dynasty)

[?]: Fi… five li- doesn’t the Sun army need rest after capturing the pass?
(not sure if 关口 is a specific location name or not)
[?]: Move it! Head for the outer cities of Xiangyang!

[?]: We won’t make it at this speed. Abandon supplies!

[?]: Hurry!

chapter 505 Measures Change When Situations Differ
(citing from “Master Hanfei“)

[?]: General, stragglers of the seventh battalion are requesting to rejoin the troop.
[?]: Fine. We’ll sort it out once we’re inside the city!

[?]: Cheng Pu is three li away. The third and fifth battalion shall rotate guard duty at the south gate!
(~1247.4 meters)

[?]: Old Zhong, tell your men to stop running amok!

[?]: It’s already a mess here. How do you expect me to keep order like this!

[Zhong]: Impossible. I didn’t give any such order!

[Zhong]: Oh no!

[Ling Tong]: Bull’s eye.
{Ling Tong}


[?]: Damn it! The Sun army has sneaked in!

[LT]: Pass on my order, besiege the south gate until our army enters the city!

[?]: Little Guo, Li San, head up from here! The rest of you, prepare to set fire!

[LT]: Deputy, how long are we to hold on?
(the raw text is saying something like “are we” not “can we”, so I’m not sure what the tone of his statement is, rhetorical? Boastful?)

[?]: Do you want a break, General?

[LT]: No need.

[LT]: I want to feel this endless stream of power.
(I think he means the adrenaline rush from high morale)


[Zhu Zhi]: Even the east gate has been breached before the arrival of reinforcements. Ling Tong is quite amazing.

[?]: That’s twice as fast as expected. It makes our next steps easier.

[Cheng Pu]: See that? General Ling is unstoppable. Our troop size dwarfs his, so we have no excuse to slack off!

[CP]: We’ll ride this blazing morale and charge toward the next city!

[?]: No need for the speech, Chief Controller, we’re already itching to go!
[?]: What’re we waiting for. We gotta catch up to Chief Controller Zhou!

[ZZ]: Everyone has forgotten about fatigue!

[?]: Make every effort to fire up the morale when closing in on the enemy. Move with the right “morale”, for speed is vital in war.
(not sure about second part, and the balloon tail is ambiguous who it’s pointing at)

[CP]: Gong Jin… has reached the same level as Master Sun.
(he could be referring to either Sun Wu or Sun Bin, since the previous comment quoted from both men)

The God-like man has begun his counter-attack.
(one Chinese reader believes this is referring to Guan Yu, when my first thought was Zhou Yu)

{note: Liu Bei’s troops occupied Youkou after seizing the four Commanderies, and then renamed Youkou to Gongan}
(the syllable break is before “a”, so it’s “gong an”; it’s fine if you want to write it like Gong’An)

[?]: Look, it’s second master!
[?]: Second master has returned as well!

[?]: Second master, can you tell us what happened to our Lord?

[?]: Has he been imprisoned by Sun Quan? What was the Imperial Edict about?
[?]: Second master, a rumor on the streets say we’re now subjects to Sun Quan, is that true?

[?]: Second Master is exhausted from the long trip. Don’t block the way.

[?]: Look, so it’s true.

[?]: Haha, even Guan Yu is panicking.

[?]: Chief Controller Zhou is so amazing to turn the tide with a little trick.

{Sun Shu’s personal female attendant}
[?]: So the situation is mostly settled. We’ll be returning to the southeast soon.

[?]: Then let’s hurry back to tell the lady the good news.
[?]: No rush. We still have intel to gather.
(“impatient for what…”)

[?]: Don’t worry. Things are different now.

[Mi Zhu]: You’re here, Yun Chang.
(Yun Chang is Guan Yu’s courtesy name)

[Guan Yu]: Zi Zhong, who is that guy?
(Zi Zhong is Mi Zhu’s courtesy name)
{Mi Zhu}
[MZ]: An ambassador from the southeast.

[MZ]: The Sun clan has built a large residence at Jingkou for our Lord. They want to reunite the family by escorting Adou and Sun Shu back there.
(“a dou” is Liu Shan’s infant name)

[MZ]: And the other group is in the meeting room. I heard that Sun Quan has prepared a large amount of military supplies.

[MZ]: Looks like they want us to invade Chuan from the south as soon as possible,
[MZ]: so as to assist Zhou Yu’s men to take on Liu Zhang.

[GY]: They’ve gone too far!

[?]: Attendant Mi, they’re about to riot out there!
[MZ]: All right, I’m coming!

[GY]: Cover up the news. Tell them it’s all just gossip.
[MZ]: All right, I’ll handle it.

[GY]: He said big brother will meet with Sun Quan in the southeast to obtain the Nan Commandery…

[GY]: Now we have lost both.
(“now, Nan commandery gone, big brother also gone”)

[Ma Liang]: By my deduction as things look now, our replacement must’ve appeared…

[GY]: It should be Ma Chao of the Liang Province, right?

[?]: Our strategy has reached its end phase, and yet everything we planned seem to be within Zhou Yu’s control.

[?]: The Imperial Edict is in favor of Sun Quan, was it also Kong Ming’s wish?

[ML]: Have you no confidence in the adviser, second master?

[GY]: I have, but only after big brother escapes.

[GY]: Since right now there’s no hope for him after being ambushed.

[GY]: If Kong Ming doesn’t come up with a contingency plan after a few more days, I’ll deplete the resources of the Commandery and fight Sun Quan until we’re both dead.

[ML]: Apologies. Second master was just kidding. He doesn’t speak for our Lord.
[?]: That’s reassuring.

[GY]: The Imperial Edict has been announced. Why haven’t you returned to claim your reward?

[?]: How could I leave without announcing the Edict in full?

[ML]: This is the second Edict. Skip the fancy verbiage and just announce the message.
[?]: Yessir.

[?]: This Edict is from the Office of the Prime Minister. Gongan will receive it before Jingkou does.

Different generations bring about different situations.
(citing from “Master Hanfei“, the original translation is “There are as many situations as there are generations.”)

Measures change when situations differ!
(citing from “Master Hanfei“; wordplay on Liu Bei’s name, lost in translation)

[Ma Su]: Second master.

[GY]: So he’s here indeed!

[MS]: Yes. Teacher didn’t sleep at all last night.

[MS]: Are you here because of the Imperial Edict, second master?

[MS]: Apologies, but we had to keep secrets because the Sun clan has many spies.

[MS]: It’s about to begin.
[GY]: Yes.

[MS]: The supplies from the Sun clan is almost here, and everything else is ready…
(possible wordplay on Liu Bei’s name again, but lost in translation)

The God-like man is about to make his counter-attack.
(this one refers to Zhuge Liang for sure)

magazine-only-teaser: “next chapter: Meng De’s new troop” (to be continued in New Youth issue #40)

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