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)

December 28, 2016

chapter 473 (magazine syndication, not final)

Filed under: Ravages of Time — Tags: — merc @ 10:09 am

Gain it, then sell it. For millennia, what has the Central Plain been selling?
(“Central plain” is synonymous with “middle kingdom”; it may be confusing since I don’t use this term often enough. But recently I think it might be better if I switch them up once in a while to remind readers why the Chinese title is “fiery phoenix lights up the plains”)

In year 208, Cao Cao was routed at Red Cliff and retreated through Huarong.

[?]: There has been a dramatic shift. Zhou Yu’s army marched north, and Sun Quan has mobilized his forces too.
[?]: The four commanderies in the south have never been stable. They’ll surely try something once the court loses control over them.

[?]: The Long River has been lost. Absolute power is no more.

[?]: Guan Yu has crossed the river and occupied the rallying point first.

chapter 473 Slaves And Whores

[Zhuge Liang]: The battle to restore Imperial Han has just begun.

[Liu Bei]: Despite their alliance, the four commanderies each harbored ulterior motives.
[LB]: But remember, everyone, they still vastly outnumber us.

[ZGL]: Marching southward with such a small army is no less difficult than the battle of Red Cliff.

[ZGL]: The best approach is to preserve troops by using strategies and persuasion to gain grounds.
[?]: Survey says refugees have been swarming to the four commanderies prior to Cao Cao’s southern incursion.

[ZGL]: Most of these new civilians opposed Cao, and that’s what I’ve been waiting for.

[?]: Okay, allow me to report further.

[?]: Lingling’s population has grown past seven hundred thousand, and Changsha’s over nine hundred thousand.
[?]: Guiyang’s is over four hundred thousand, and Wuling’s over three hundred thousand.

[?]: Wow, that’s a lot more than half a year ago.

[ZGL]: The large number of refugees made it easier for our spies to infiltrate.
[ZGL]: Their work at various commanderies have begun to show success.

[ZGL]: The southern territories are strong enough to influence future power dynamics.

[ZGL]: Remember not to squander this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

[LB]: After ten years of plotting in Jing, this is the point the Crouching Dragon wanted to sell!
(it’s kind of awkward wordplay on “sell”)

[LB]: We’ll follow this strategy: Guan Yu as vanguard, Zhang Fei as a surprise, and I with reinforcement.
[LB]: But the last part is the hardest.

[ZGL]: Yes. Guiyang at the furthest south will have the longest time to prepare for us.

[ZGL]: The terrain there will make it difficult for an attack.

[ZGL]: And Sun Quan will be right behind if the battle drags on.

[Zhang Fei]: You’re right. A frontal assault would wear down our forces like Sun Quan wanted.

[?]: But the most important thing now is to guard against reinforcements from Guiyang.

[ZF]: I’ll use a surprise attack on River Qu. A success there will boost our morale.

[?]: And if not, third master may still be able to lure out the troops there and our Lord can take care of the rest.

[?]: The background of Guiyang’s Zhao Fan is still a mystery though. We have yet to figure out his true strength.
[?]: Perhaps we could stall him a little.

[ZGL]: Yes. Jian Yong has been in Guiyang for months, but still no clear news from him.

[?]: There must be many skilled people in that commandery.

[LB]: The fog of war is still thick. Perhaps stalling is the best strategy.

[Zhao Yun]: My Lord, I could try something.

[LB]: What do you think, Kong Ming?
(Kong Ming is Zhuge Liang’s courtesy name)

[ZGL]: Can you stall for three days?

[ZY]: Three days, more than enough.
(“three day, enough”; this doesn’t make sense here, but there will be a callback to this, so I’m leaving it like this instead of “certainly”)

[?]: If possible, hold Zhao Fan hostage.
[ZY]: Yessir.

[?]: My Lord, General Zhao may be bold,
[?]: but an assassin might lack the necessary experience…

[ZF]: Haha, not even I dare to be careless around Zi Long.
(“zi long” is the courtesy name of “zhao yun”)

[ZF]: Since we’re on the same side, tell them,
[ZF]: how did you make a living?

[ZY]: Selling.

[?]: Haha, right, must be selling buns!
(“…bun store”)

[LB]: Then we’ll put off the task of retrieving miss Sun.

[ZY]: I didn’t want to go anyway, my Lord.

[LB]: She was yours to begin with. If you don’t go, then forget it.

[ZY]: No. She’s a hostage. Send someone else.

[ZY]: Don’t worry, my Lord. There’s nothing between me and her.

[ZY]: Our goal is more important.
(“grand undertaking is important”)

[ZY]: No time for love affairs.
(the tone may be bitter, like “who cares about relationship”)

Except during that brief period living together,

she has already occupied much of my memory.
(there is a tiny wordplay here that’s lost in translation)

It’s funny that… she didn’t know me then. But now it’s my turn to not know her.
(not sure)

The only thing we have in common is that we’re both selling something.

I sell my life.
(wordplay lost in translation)

She sells her body.

We only stand to lose in this day and age, never to gain.

We sell, and sell out…

[ZY]: I… am an assassin.

[ZY]: I infiltrated the Zhao clan with an ulterior motive.

[ZY]: I’m not a Zhao.

[Zhao Fan]: Ha,
[ZF]: he sold you out, and you sold him out.

[ZF]: A perfect match.
(“match, match”)

[ZF]: Keeping each other moist with their gasping, and wet with their milt.

[ZF]: She… wields her body like a weapon…
[ZF]: and practices the art of the bedroom…
(not sure)

[ZF]: She, is also an assassin.

[ZF]: Hahaha, just like you.

[Eighth]: When the springs dry up, the fishes are better off living in separate waters than to huddle together on dry land.

[Eighth]: The woman is a whore.

[Eighth]: And you are a slave.

[Eighth]: You forgot about yourself in order to help someone else’s conquest.

[Eighth]: Oh slave, you’re slaving for your master.

[Eighth]: Forgetting that you’re human, that you have a family.

[Eighth]: All you could do is secretly search for your humanity beneath that tree.

[Eighth]: There’s no Greater Good in this world, only slaves who sell a performance.

[Eighth]: Sell this pretense. Before this “love” rots,

[Eighth]: why not face your real value,

[?]: Hand signal.
(“secret code”)
[?]: Get ready.

[Eighth]: and,
(“why not”)

[Eighth]: choose again?

[Eighth]: Once you discover yourself,

[Eighth]: let my threats become your relief.

[?]: Go.

[ZY]: I chose someone in the courtyard that day.

{sfx: pa}

[ZY]: She was the one I chose.
(“that [her whom I] already decided on”; not sure if I got the wording right)


[ZY]: She also didn’t say anything then.

[ZY]: But I’ve never forgotten.

[ZY]: The slivers of my true self inside this slave.

[ZY]: Yes, I am a slave.

[ZY]: The burdens I carry have made it impossible to return to the real me.

[ZY]: And I don’t expect anyone to understand.

[ZY]: I just remember how the slave lived as a man during that brief period.

[ZY]: That moment…

[Lady Fan]: Three days,

[F]: more than enough.

I was sold out again, but it feels different.

I’ll feel less weighty as a ghost.
(connotation on the burdens of living)
There will be no shortage of sorrowful souls to keep me company on the road to the underworld.

They’re praying that they could sell something as soon as possible.
For once it’s sold, they’ll become human again.

Sell out this country.
This thing is rotting away.
(“…almost become rotten”)

December 8, 2016

chapter 472 (magazine syndication, not final)

Filed under: Ravages of Time — merc @ 10:03 am

{the Qu river}

[?]: Several dust clouds in the woods ahead.
[?]: With trees in the way, it’s difficult to tell if they’re real troops.

[?]: Look. The first group has appeared.

[?]: They seem to be from Leiyang.

chapter 472 Judging An Assassin
(I don’t understand the first half of the title, so I’m interpreting based on context)

[?]: Formations!

[?]: The enemy has arrived. Prepare for battle!

[?]: Leiyang’s surrender made Yinshan more susceptible to rumors, hence their surrender as well…
(Leiyang and Yinshan are locations, not people)

[?]: I heard that Han Xuan has locked himself in at Changsha.

[?]: Did something happen to old master Huang…?

[?]: Look, they’re coming for us.

[?]: Sir, the River gangs are fighting among themselves.
[?]: The Mouth-of-River and Tail-of-River are at each other’s throats!

[?]: They’ve been setting fire everywhere, even our barracks have been affected!

[?]: Damn it. They had planned this.

[?]: What do we do? Split our defenders to suppress the riot?
[?]: That’ll make our job harder, given our small numbers.

[?]: Our main force followed Master Wei on a pursuit. Seems to me we fell for the enemy’s baiting tactic.
(“…lure tiger leave mountain’s ploy”)

[?]: General, down… down there…

[?]: Our ambushing troops are deserting!

[?]: The fighting hasn’t even started yet and they’re already running? Spineless!

[?]: They ruined master Wei’s formation setup.
[?]: We’re being attacked from two fronts, now what…

[?]: We’ve still got master Huang even if first master Wei isn’t around.

[?]: Shatter like jade than stay whole as a brick.
(quoting History of Qi of the Northern Dynasties)

[Zhao Tong]: Have you forgotten old master Huang’s spirit?

[?]: Who do you think you are, boy?


[ZT]: Your granddaddy!

[Zheng Zhong]: I’ve heard that Imperial Uncle Liu wants to save Han,
[ZZ]: so I, Zheng Zhong of the Qu River, want to submit to you!

[?]: It’s wise to be loyal to Imperial Han!

[Liu Feng]: Zheng Zhong is the main force of the Qu River. We’ve reduced the enemy force by three-tenth.
(adopted son Kou Feng)
[Liu Bei]: Excellent.

[?]: Remove armor and boots, then report to the right flank.
[?]: Anyone who can help us break through the enemy lines will be richly rewarded!

[LF]: Don’t worry, everyone! The battle will be over soon!

[?]: My Lord, here comes another group!

[LF]: A little guy. Could he be the one our spy in the river told us about?

[LF]: Please be careful, father.

[ZT]: Your loyalty and righteousness have won over the hearts of the people, Imperial Uncle.

[ZT]: As a small-time militia chief, I submit to you!

[?]: It’s wise to be loyal to Imperial Han! Welcome!

[ZT]: Hmph. Hypocritical slogan…

[?]: Imperial Uncle, that boy’s Zhao Fan’s confidant Zhao Tong-
[?]: beware of his trickery!

[?]: Be careful, my Lord!

[LB]: Hm.

[LB]: Who is your father?

[ZT]: What do you mean?

[LB]: Never mind… I might’ve been mistaken.

[ZT]: I’m not sure I deserve such a personal welcome, Imperial Uncle.

[LB]: No, I just felt you’re different.

[LB]: A kind of familiarity, perhaps, like we’ve already met before.

[LB]: Except that I can’t feel any sincerity from you.

[ZT]: Anyone thinking they’re a good judge of character is either a genuine man of greatness,

[ZT]: or a scoundrel who fishes in troubled waters.
(the imagery is too good to give up for a clearer translation)

[ZT]: Which one are you, I dare to ask?

[LB]: The other.

[LB]: A traitor to Han.

[LB]: Yet a traitor who is blessed by the Heavens.

[LB]: It takes certain amount of skill to survive in this day and age.

[LB]: Perhaps it’s not that I’ve been judging people correctly, but that the Heavens have chose for me.

[LB]: I can sense that you’re in danger… So I would like to pull you out of it.

[LB]: In front of you are people who’re dressed for war. They’re unkind.

{sfx: ta}

[ZT]: I can count too. A few dozen

[ZT]: is surely easier to take on than a few hundred.

[ZT]: Not to mention this is the perfect distance.

[LB]: For me as well, to get a good look at you.

[LF]: Father.

[LB]: Is it worthwhile to die like this?

[ZT]: Answering you…
[ZT]: surely isn’t.

[LB]: Then why do you dare?

[ZT]: ‘Cuz I feel like it.

[ZT]: Your granddaddy likes to win!

[LB]: Like? What a waste.

[LB]: Without a clear view of the world, so many righteous men stumble onto the wrong path…

[LB]: Favoring mediocrity just because the quality instrument is broken.
(quoting from Qu Yuan’s “Chu Ci” poetry collection, chapter 6 “Divination”, can’t find official translation at the moment; wordplay on Huang Zhong’s name, which sounds like “yellow bell”)

[ZT]: What?
(wordplay lost in translation, also depicting Zhao Tong as less well-read than Liu Bei)

[LB]: Old master Huang found his clarity in the end.

[LB]: And I’ve come this far because of him.
[LB]: I ask you,

[LB]: do you want to work with master Huang?

[LB]: If yes, then follow me.

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