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27 June 2003 @ 09:21
useful mandarin redux redux...  
So, in celebration of the first draft of Lex Talionis being sent off to be whipped into shape by betas, I have updated my glossary of "Useful Mandarin for Firefly authors" and if anybody out there actually, you know, speaks Mandarin, and can point out all of the lovely fuck-ups, I would greatly appreciate it, as much of this was culled from the web, as well as from Insight Pocket Travel Dictionary: Chinese (ISBN 1-58573-200-1)

ài rén   sweetheart

bâobèi   precious (item); ie: precious jewels (endearment)

bà bà   daddy (familiar)

bèn dàn   [you] idiot!

bì zuî   be quiet/shut up

cào   v/t screw, fuck

cào nî zûxiān shí bâ dai   fuck 18 generations of your ancestors

chûn   stupid

chûnrén   fool, jerk (familiar)

chùsheng xai-jiao de xiang huo   animal fucking bastard

dà gē   big brother (formal); also way of addressing non-relation, similar to "Sir"

dòngwù   animal

dāì ruò mù jī   dumb as a wooden chicken

dong ma?   understand?

duìbùqî   I'm sorry/excuse me

fèhuà   garbage (nonsense)

fùqin   father (formal)

gāxìng jìandào nî   pleased to meet you

gē ge   big brother (familiar)

gôu pì   bullshit

gôushî bùrú   lower than dogshit/lowest of the low

gûnkāi   fuck off

hâo ba   okay (reluctant)

hâo de   okay/will do!

hâo le ma   that's enough, okay?

hâo le   okay (contextual "Okay, that's enough. Stop right there." can be considered rude)

hâo   okay/sure

húndàn   asshole/bastard

heishôudâng liúmáng   gangster asshole/bastard(s)

jiao-zi   pan-fried dumplings

juéduì bù   (exclamation) no way!

lâotou   old geezer

lìngrén jingyì   stunning, amazing

liúmáng   bastard/asshole/criminal/gangster

mâshàng   on the double/quickly/right away/immediately

mà mà   mommy (familiar)

méi gu&257;nxi   it's nothing/it's okay

méiyôu mûqin de xiao gôu   motherless cur

mêilì   beautiful/pretty

mèimei   little sister

m&257;de   (exclamation) fuck

mu qin   mother (formal)

nî bù dông ma   don't you understand?

nî bù dông   you don't understand

nî hâo mêi   you're so beautiful

nî shòu shäng le   you're hurt

ni meí shì bà?   are you okay?

nuòfu   coward

pōfù   bitch

qù tāmāde   (exclamation) fuck him/fuck that!

qù tāmāde   (exclamation) motherfucker

qin ài de   dear, darling

qingwa cào de liúmáng   frog-humping sumbitch

shénme?   what?

shìde   yes/right

shuài   hansome/snazzy

sishengzi   bastard (not an insult)

tāmāde húndàn   fucking bastard

tìan xiâo de   God knows (heaven/sky only knows)

tiānna   (exclamation) Oh God

wô hâo   I'm fine

wúnéug de rén   trash (despicable person)

wo nén qin ni tiào wu ma...?   may I have the pleasure...(of this dance)?

wode tìan   oh sky! (colloquial: Oh God!)

xíao dì   little brother (familiar); used with a blood relation

xiâo dì dì   little brother (familiar); can be used with someone not related to you

xiâo mèi   baby sister; used with a blood relation

xiâo mèimei   baby sister; can be used with someone not related to you<

xiâo péngyou   little friend (familiar), kid, children

xiâoxin   [be] careful

xièxie nî   thank you

xièxie   thanks

xin gan   sweetheart, darling

xin nian kuai le   happy new year

yúchûn   stupid/ignorant

yaoguài   monster

zài-jiàn   goodbye

zôugôu   yes man (derogatory)

zhàngfu   husband

zhè bìng bù huài   it's not that bad

zhùzuî   be quiet/shut up

needless to say, I am still tracking down the hanyu pinyin for a lot of the Mandarin used on the show, and still annoyed at the fact that half the diacritical marks I need aren't supported in HTML *sigh*
mood: accomplishedaccomplished
resmin: airesmin on 27th June 2003 08:22 (UTC)
Hell of an issue with the tones... sorry.
Well since I actually happen to have my Chinese primer right beside me...

ba ba= also equals dad.
ben= stupid
chun= with - across means spring.
fu mu= formal parents
Ni bu dong= would be You don't understand (?).. but you're missing the ma at the end.
Ni hao mei= Mostly should be Ni haokan... You're good-looking.
Ni shi hen piao liang= You are very pretty.
Wo hen hao= I'm very good. ((hen is very))

peng you= friend
nu peng you= girl friend
nan peng you= boy friend
Wo de ming zi...= My name is...
hai shi= or
Ni shi nan xue sheng, wo shi nu xue sheng= You are a boy student, and I'm a girl student.
gui= expensive

Hope I was helpful. *g*
ljctaraljc on 27th June 2003 08:55 (UTC)
Re: Hell of an issue with the tones... sorry.
woo! can you include the diacritical marks? I know how important th tones are *lol* So I wanna make sure what I'm writing is what I mean to be writing...
resminresmin on 27th June 2003 08:57 (UTC)
Re: Hell of an issue with the tones... sorry.
How does one go about doing that?
ljctaraljc on 27th June 2003 09:10 (UTC)
Re: Hell of an issue with the tones... sorry.
Well, here's how to do it in HTML:

&circ; would add a circumflex (which, granted, is upside down, but the closest thing you can find that matches) so &ucirc; gives you û

&grave; would add an accent grave, so &ugrave; gives you ù

&acute; would add an accent acute, so &uacute; gives you ú

If you need a macron (that straight line on top a letter) you're hosed--that's not supported in HTML currently :(
Amezri: gollumamezri on 27th June 2003 09:38 (UTC)
Re: Hell of an issue with the tones... sorry.
Hm. I don't even think most English type-sets support the macron. I know Arial and Verdana don't have them.
ljctaraljc on 27th June 2003 09:58 (UTC)
Re: Hell of an issue with the tones... sorry.
It's frustrating as HELL. I mean, it's a cmoon diacritical mark in a whole slew of languages!
(Deleted comment)
ljctaraljc on 27th June 2003 11:45 (UTC)
Re: Hell of an issue with the tones... sorry.
crap! I knew I was gonna have to check that *sigh* Thanks for not letting me bugger up my title! I should be allowed to type Latin from memory...
ljctaraljc on 27th June 2003 11:47 (UTC)
Re: Hell of an issue with the tones... sorry.
Ah--I see the problem. It's mis-spelled on the website where I originally found the reference (Google search reveals 40 instances of "lex tallionis" but 5000+ "lex talionis" so I shoulda known better...)