Ravaging Times


kongming.net’s map, more maps by reader

13 Provinces/”zhou”/州: Liang (Ma clan from “Western Liang Province”), Bing, You, Ji, Qing (Qingzhou army, etc.), Sili (capital district), Yan, Yu, Xu (Xuzhou massacre, etc.), Yi, Jing (much contested between Liu and Sun clan), Yang, and Jiao.

郡 commandery
县 county
城 city or castle
关 pass
江 river
山 mountain/hill
林 woods
寨 camp

What’s with the “magazine syndication, not final” in the post titles?

I will delete temporary posts of the magazine release translation and turn them into pages when I get the book version of the chapters (sometimes there are significant changes), so I don’t want anyone linking or commenting to these posts; you can link and comment on the corresponding pages.

Where can I find the latest raws (from the magazine syndication)?

As of 2017, I’m often finding them first in a Baidu-hosted forum. It’s cluttered with ads and I worry about malware. You always run the risk of needing to register for an account or getting your computer infected with malware, or both. So, be careful when you search for it online.

There is another image album account maintained by a reader, but eventually the content shows up on the Baidu forum anyway.

Where can I buy the books then?

YesAsia.com sells the Hong Kong version (has some censorship regarding extremely bloody scenes)
You might find the Taiwan version on ebay.

When would I know that a new book has come out?

I’ll try to keep up with the news and post about that at this LJ community.

Why won’t you help RemnantWarriors edit the pictures to speed up the scanlation?

I can translate a comic without feeling guilty, but I really don’t want to do “scanlation”.

What is the release schedule of the graphic novel?

Technically the release schedule of the first version in the magazine syndication (新少年快报 in Hong Kong and Taiwan?) is around Friday of each week (but they skip a week once in a while?) every other week (December 2009: “New Youth” has lost enough sales to online scans that they’re cutting back. December, 2010: It is said that the bi-monthly schedule is only for Hong Kong’s office, not in Taiwan; but Taiwan’s release still sometimes skip a week because it’s impossible for Mr. Chen and his assistants to draw any faster).

Realistically you should expect a chapter only once a month, sometimes once in 2 months. You’ll be happier that way. XP


Chen Mou says: “I haven’t been lazy, actually. My work hours have always been just as long. Unfortunately only the readers who draw understand the slowness…”

On average 8 chapters make a volume (exception being the first few volumes). So according to the chapter release schedules… roughly one new volume every 4 months?

According to YesAsia’s Ravages release dates:
3 months and 24 days between volumes 47 & 48
3 months and 5 days between volumes 46 & 47
3 months and 14 days between volumes 45 & 46

What is your release schedule?

If nothing prevents me from accessing the Internet, generally one week behind the official syndication release. As of 2017, the fan-initiated rule of the one-week-delay (to encourage Hong Kong natives to buy the magazine) seems to have vanished. There may be renewed efforts later, but for now I only ask that image editors allow some time for readers to correct my errors before copy-pasting the translation.

Are you a translator by degree or profession?

Neither. I’m just an average reader of this series. However, I’ve been translating this series fairly consistently since 2005.

(As of 2017, I would really like to do this – or similar work – for a living. My hyper-critical nature is toxic in a team environment, so it has been difficult for me to envision a practical career path)

The wording keeps changing. Make up your mind!

Sorry. Mild OCD.

Why are there parentheses when the original did not have them?

Chinese can be very terse, and the language allows it more than English (which requires subject, etc.). To translate certain sentences to English and make it sound natural means implications need to be explicitly said. The “unexpected” parenthesis is my ad-hoc way of marking some addition so the sentence reads better; or sometimes you can understand the meaning without the parenthesized words, making it easier to fit so much text in a small word-bubble. ;)

There is a valid criticism of using parenthesis, that it takes the reader out of the reading experience. My defense is that I have seen this done in a professionally translated book (albeit not a comic book, but on similarly archaic Chinese). But I’m going to do my best not to do that anymore, and also edit the older chapters as time permits.

Why are some in-text links go to blank wiki pages?

I do intend to fill those pages eventually. For now I’m putting in these placeholders, in the same way some Wikipedia links can go to blank stubs.
Sadly I haven’t the time and energy to manage this anymore.

Lü Bu or Lu Bu or Luu Bu?

Standard pinyin says Lü Bu. It might be hard to type it (without a German layout keyboard, for example) or put it in a picture (if the font doesn’t have this letter). But unfortunately it is definitely not the same as “lu”. So if we perpetuate “lu bu”, new readers will be confused when characters with actual surname “lu” (such as “Lu Su”, in this case both surnames are of third tone; sound-wise differentiated only between the vowel) come into play. We can’t do a “lue” to simulate the German umlaut simplification either, because “lue” is a separate phoneme as well. This was one reason why my early translations settled for a “lv” instead of “lu” or “luu”, but later on I finally decided to copy-paste an u-umlaut whenever I have to type his name.

Other examples: Lü Bu Wei, Lü Meng

I noticed that some sound effect words are not consistently translated. Intentional?

Yes. English and Chinese onomatopoeia vocabulary are different, obviously. When English comics settle for “crack”, “flap”, “boom”, Chinese might not be able to get the same feeling across with direct translation, and vice versa. I take some liberties in choosing the words to present the sound, sometimes changing my mind when I learn better choices (such as changing “keh” sound to “cough”, which allows the double-duty of the word “cough” to shine through in both languages). Some common RoT onomatopoeia hanzi in pinyin, but excluding the tone:
嘭 – peng (sounds like “pwn”)
啪 – pa
嚓 – cha
沙 – sha
踏,嗒 – ta
隆 – long
錚 – zheng
噹 – dang (sounds like “dong” in “ding dong”)
咻 – xiu (sounds like “shoo”)
卡 – ka
咚 – dong (sounds like “dun” in German “dunkel”)
伏 – fu
鏘 – qiang (“qi” sound ~ “chi”)
vocal utterances (grunts, sighs, etc.):
嘎 – ga
呼 – hu
喝 – he
啊 – a
呀 – ya
哇 – wa
嗚哇 - wuwa (slur together into “wua”)
吐 – tu (spitting)
呸 – pei (spit in contempt, but not necessarily spitting out something)

Will you translate the light novels and the other related novel series?

No. (it’ll be like torture since I didn’t like what I read)

Have you looked at the Deluxe Edition? Will you update any differences?

Yes but with limits. Currently I plan to translate chapter 1-77 (the original versions were already translated by other people) using the Deluxe Edition version, supported by fan donations (Thank you for the support!).

Some buyers mentioned that the book binding is weaker due to having more pages, so these books are meant to be stored instead of read. AND, and this is a big AND, the text have been updated by Wang Yi Xing (the light novel author). Sure the guy has a mastery of the literary language, but I get defensive/protective about Ravages as intended by Mr. Chen (warts and all).

Thanks for reading.




  1. thanks a lot

    if it wasn’t for you and HMK, i wouldnt be have something to enjoy every week


    Comment by yang — July 21, 2009 @ 1:08 am

    • Thanks! Hope you stay even when you catch up to a slower release schedule! XD


      Comment by merc — July 21, 2009 @ 6:10 am

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