Flashes of brilliance

Please note that the following examples are singular instances of inspiration for translating a certain way that either enhanced understanding/relevance/enjoyment to an English audience. I do follow the text rather closely most of the time.

Please excuse any typos you find! I was more focused on getting the essence of the source material on my first passthrough.

The following are examples shared or question responses in Discord.

Going for the essence of the words instead of following character by character.

Judicious use of English sayings can give an insta-shot of cultural relevance and humor.

Don’t be afraid to personify something to give it more character and write in active voice.

Cross referencing Chinese apparel and accoutrements to English equivalents. It’s tedious, but necessary!

And here’s something I’m rather proud of…

 

與室外相比,老太君平日宴息所用的側廳此時溫暖如春。

  陽光透過糊著高麗明紙的格扇窗照射進來,將屋內一應精緻的紅木雕花擺設鍍上一層柔光,座椅上一水兒的淡綠雲錦撒花椅搭,地上鋪著波斯來的錦繡花開柔軟地氈。地當中擺著炭盆,裡頭早早的燃了上好的銀絲碳,有兩名珠光寶氣的少婦正搬了交杌坐在炭盆旁取暖,另有五名嬌俏的少女圍在臨窗放置的紅木如意雕花羅漢床旁或站或坐。

  老太君穿了身茶金色雲錦對襟盤領褙子,頭上戴著同色錦繡鑲翡翠的抹額,斜插著一根金鑲翡翠花頭大簪,正盤膝坐在羅漢床上,背後斜倚著淺綠的彈墨大引枕,拉著個穿著淡藍褙子的清秀少女說話,表情甚是慈愛,與往昔並無不同。

Compared to the outer room, the old dowager’s quarters were as warm as spring. 

Sunlight streamed in through windows gridded with Goryeo paper, gracing the exquisite, carved sandalwood decorations inside with a soft layer of light. Pale-green brocade cushions scattered with flowers sat on chairs, and more flowers blossomed on soft, brocade carpets from Persia. Fine, glittering charcoal glowed in a brazier in the middle of the room. 

Two young married ladies attired in fine jewels were in the middle of shifting stools over to the brazier for warmth, and five other charming young girls were either standing or sitting next to the luohan bed that was placed by the window. The bed, made from fine grain sandalwood, was adorned with carvings of well wishes and good luck.

Sitting cross-legged on the luohan bed, the old dowager was wearing a dark gold jacket with a row of buttons down the front, topped with a high, round collar. A brocade headband of the same color, embedded with jade, wrapped itself around her head. A golden hairpin tipped with a jade flower had also been slid in diagonally into her hair. A pale-green cylindrical seat cushion adorned with inky-green flowers supported her back. 

As Qin-mama walked in, she was tugging on a young, delicate girl next to her who was wearing a light blue beizi [1]. The old dowager’s expression was quite benevolent and loving, no different from what it was normally. 

Nevertheless, Qin-mama was inwardly at solemn attention. The fourth miss was the most favored one alright! Her status in the old dowager’s heart still hadn’t decreased in the slightest even after such an event!

A cultivation/fight scene:

“寶刀,那一晚,曾經驚鴻一瞥的光輝,曾經白駒過隙的靈力,曾經洞穿星辰的氣勢,曾經讓人心悸的秘密……此時此刻,能覺醒嗎?”

生死時刻,江塵將所有雜念拋諸腦后

是生是死,便在這生死一瞬間

體內真氣如潮水般涌起,將《九笑滄海訣》的真氣流線,運用到了極致

九脈真氣,匯聚為一

沖向掌中寶刀

“滄海逆流刀第二式——斷浪”

這一刻,讓人震驚的一幕發生了那一直樸實無華的無名刀,陡然間,仿佛一個沉睡的遠古神魔蘇醒,掙脫天地枷鎖,踏碎世間河山

星辰晦色,日月昏暗

剎那間,無名刀四周的滄浪真氣,凝聚成一個隱隱約約的太古神魔形狀,撐天立地

這一刀的去勢,仿佛攜帶著太古神魔的圖騰之威,仿佛擁有摧毀天地的可怕力量

清脆之聲,連續響了兩下

短兵相接,無名刀的刀鋒之下,龍吟野的寬闊大劍上,金色符文如同燭火一般被熄滅,那頭猙獰的五爪金龍虛影,也如同被風倏然吹散

“Treasured blade, I barely caught a glimpse of the passing beauty that was your splendor that night. The spirit energy that flitted as a white pony’s shadow across a crevice, the aura that once pierced the stars, the secret that palpitated hearts… will you awaken at this moment?”

Jiang Chen had thrown all random thoughts to the back of his mind in this moment of life and death.

Whether he lived or died would be decided in this pivotal moment.

The true qi within his body surging up like the tidewaters, he circulated to the utmost the currents of the “Secret of the Nine Laughing Oceans”.

Coalescing nine meridians true qi as one.

Surge to the treasured blade in hand!

“Second form of Vast Ocean Current Splitter – Wave Breaker!”

In that moment, that simple and unadorned nameless saber suddenly awoke — an ancient deity reviving from its slumber. It clawed free of the shackles of heaven and earth, trampling the rivers and mountains of the world as it did so.

The dusky splendor of stars. A dim sun and moon.

The vast waves true qi around the nameless blade coalesced into the vague shape of a deity from time immemorial, holding up the skies and earth.

The aura of this stroke seemed to carry the representation of the ancient deity — as if it held the terrifying power to destroy the heavens and earth.

A crisp crack sounded out twice.

The blades had connected. Under the edge of the nameless saber, the golden runes on Long Yinye’s broadsword flickered out like a snuffed candle. The shadow of the grimacing, five-clawed dragon scattered in the wind.