井底之蛙

8/15/2006

他媽的

Filed under: — Alan Baumler @ 8:33 am

I caught a couple of episodes of Firefly on TV a bit back. The thing that hooked me was that some of the characters were swearing in Chinese, of a sort. The series is about space smugglers in the far future, and every so often one of the crew will break into Chinese. The Chinese (Mandarin) is not very good, and not very important to the plot. Plus, looking at the on-line glossary of all the Chinese used in the show (I love geeks) it seems that a lot of is stuff that Americans might say that was then translated into Chinese. Or at least it does not sound very slang-y to me. Of course I don’t hang with Chinese space pirates all that much so maybe they really do say things like 太空所有的星球塞盡我的屁股 and 我的媽和她的瘋狂的外甥都

What I found interesting is that according to Wikipedia the explanation for this in the show’s backstory is that the Chinese and the Americans were the main early explorers of space, and thus Chinese is a pretty common language in the future. I’m not really sure the show pulls that off. Nobody seems to really speak Chinese, they just toss in a few words here and there. Still, it was interesting to see the Chinese as the people with a future. The obvious comparisons are Burgess’s nadsat, from Clockwork Orange, which has a lot of Russian in it, and Blade Runner, which I remember as having a bit of Japanese. Now making Science Fiction with Russian in it would seem weird, and even Japanese does not work as well.

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