About My Translations

When you really want to continue reading the novel but doing it in Chinese is an uphill battle….

…..the only way to do it is to start translating it yourself!

A friend got me hooked on the Nirvana In Fire drama just at the start of the COVID-19 circuit breaker in Singapore. Like many NIF fans, watching the drama wasn’t enough. I wanted to have Lin Shu’s back story, to understand what was going on in that brilliant mind of his, to plumb the depths of emotions beneath that still, attempt-to-be-emotionless face of his.

After reading all the Lang Ya Bang / Nirvana In Fire Novel chapters so kindly translated and posted by LevvyLangyascribe (Star Shadows) and Summertime Waterlily, and being unable to wait for later chapters, I decided to hop on the translation bandwagon myself. I know these translations are nowhere near the quality of Lang Ya Scribe and Lily’s translations, but I just wanted to make them available for anyone who is willing to take the risk with me!

Though I am Chinese by descent, I have at best a very basic proficiency of the language. These translations are a mix of this basic understanding of the language coupled with the use of various app / online dictionaries and translators, so they may not always be on mark and may sometimes sound a little awkward because they were translated quite literally.

I have, however, attempted to put together the translations in a way that both flows well and does not lose the essence and style of what Hai Yan has written. Because of the sometimes long and convoluted sentence structures, however, I do think that it is inevitable that I may need to take some liberties in my translations. I have included in brackets my minor edits to smoothen the flow and make sense of the text where needed. I am also aware there are different versions. For your reference, the version I am using for translation can be found here in Luoxia.

As my focus will be to post as soon as each chapter is translated so we can all continue to enjoy an uninterrupted flow of chapters, I am unlikely to dwell on background details as much, but will include them when I can or feel it is relevant. However, I would welcome your comments or questions if you think some of the parts need review. In my haste to translate and read later chapters, I recognize there may be some inconsistencies, inaccuracy in translation and awkward rephrasing.

The translation work is often very daunting, because the Chinese language is expressed and arranged so very differently, and the same Chinese characters bear different meaning in different context, or worse. But it is an undertaking that is also at the same time gratifying, for Hai Yan’s extensive use of metaphor is sometimes so heartwrenchingly beautiful that it is difficult to find the right English words to do justice to them. In such instances, I will sometimes get quite literal with the translations, as far as readability permits.

In any case, I do hope you will enjoy reading these chapters as much as I did. 🙂

Create your website with WordPress.com
Get started
%d bloggers like this: