Off topic: Chinese language use in Firefly/Serenity?
Thread poster: conejo

conejo  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:43
Member (2003)
Japanese to English
+ ...
Apr 12, 2010

Hello. Forgive me for posting in the Chinese-language forum in English... I am trying to direct this question to native Chinese-language speakers.

Have any of you seen the sci-fi show Firefly? (and the subsequent movie Serenity)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firefly_(TV_series)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0303461/

This show is set in a futuristic world in which basically Western and Chinese cultures have merged to some extent, and English and Chinese are the standard languages in use... a lot of people speak Chinese, and some Chinese words are used in everyday conversation by people who are culturally Western.

Anyway, I watched this show, and I was really curious about whether the Chinese the people use in the movie is even intelligible... Does it make sense? Did they do a good job with the Chinese in the movie? What do native Chinese speakers think about the show?

(Please post your answer in English... I don't understand Chinese. Thanks!)


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Erica Salvaneschi  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:43
English to Italian
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firefly is awesome Apr 14, 2010

Hi Patti,

I'm so glad I found another Firefly fan!

their Chinese is not so good I think XD there's plenty of times where I have no clue what they are saying - at all.
But that's the point! One of the most difficult things to reproduce are notoriously Chinese tones. Firefly is set in a future where people appear to be bilingual (English/Chinese); but as the language spreads, we know that it changes and it simplifies itself. The Chinese spoken in Firefly is not "pure" Mandarin, thats how wester people will speak it in like billion of years to come (cant really remember the year when its set!)

anyway, still better than the bad attempt at speaking Chinese taken by Olivia Dunham in Fringe, first series - she asked some bad guy where somebody's wife was, iirc

BUT apparently understading Chinese is cool enough, you actually don't need to speak the language - see Dr House and all the Ocean's 11 crew


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conejo  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:43
Member (2003)
Japanese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Understanding Chinese Apr 15, 2010

Erica Salvaneschi wrote:
BUT apparently understading Chinese is cool enough, you actually don't need to speak the language - see Dr House and all the Ocean's 11 crew


Yeah... there are a lot of things where people just randomly understand Chinese. And I am thinking... yeah... right. lol


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