Question Anyone have a more wuxia way of translating 俠客?

Discussion in 'Translator's Corner' started by emiliers, Feb 23, 2020.

  1. emiliers

    emiliers Member

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    Anyone have a more wuxia way of translating 俠客/俠士/遊俠? I know the most accurate translation is "knight-errant", but it looks extremely out of place in a wuxia translation. I also tried just using martial hero, but then the story actually differentiated 俠客 from 英雄, and so in an effort to prevent confusion, I'm trying to think of another translation. I considered "wandering vigilante", the literal meaning, but I'm not super fond of the connotations behind vigilante. Does anyone have any other ideas?
     
  2. DocB

    DocB [dok-bee] ENDING THEM RIGHTLY

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    from what you are describing it appears to be a warrior without a master so try:
    ronin
    sellsword
    stray figther
    ex-[previous position knight/guard]
     
  3. juniorjawz

    juniorjawz Well-Known Member

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    Ronin would sound cool if it wasn't for the fact it's Japanese and the story is Chinese. :blobReach:
    Also how fitting that there's a Wiki for it when I searched for 'wandering vigilante': https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Youxia

    Wandering Swordsman sounds fine, though not sure if it's the best.
     
  4. PotatoZero

    PotatoZero Well-known Potato

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    Loose cultivator, bwahahahaha
     
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  5. Astaroth

    Astaroth empty

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    遊俠 is the "Ranger" DND class in western fantasy novels, but idk about a wuxia novel
     
  6. LaDyViL

    LaDyViL New Member Staff Member

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    ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)The lewd kind?
     
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  7. lehur

    lehur ぼく愛エリス

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    Pugilist
     
  8. Nightow1

    Nightow1 Well-Known Member

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    The problem with terms like ronin and sell-sword is that they come with negative connotations that 遊俠 and 俠客 do not have. Technically 俠客 are something like the wandering adventurers in iskei novels so if I were forced to make a translation fit, I'd try "wandering heroes/wandering swordsman" if you want to fit by word meaning or "adventurers" if you want to translate by concept.

    But above all, remember to footnote at the bottom, people will understand why you made the choice if you added a footnote.

    Just please don't translate it seriously out of context by calling them a "Brave" or a "Braver". In English, a Brave is a low ranking warrior, due to American historical influences.

    Not too correct, the Ranger in D&D is basically an archer, 遊俠 when translated means "wandering swordsman" which is what a person does rather than what he uses as a weapon. A ranger can be a 遊俠, but inversely, so can a swordsman/fighter, so it's not a job description but a behavior description.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2020
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  9. Doomr

    Doomr Translator

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    A pugilist is a boxer/one that fights using fists. Youxia doesn’t necessarily do that.
     
  10. daggerincoat

    daggerincoat Well-Known Member

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    "wandering heroes" seem more fitting after all 俠 literal mean is use power to do good
    edited: it kind of hard to describe "客" because the best word in English for this is "guest". not belong to this place not own it. so I think "wandering" fit best
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2020
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  11. Amaruna Myu

    Amaruna Myu forgetful procrastinyator

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    wandering cultivator? roaming?
     
  12. Nightow1

    Nightow1 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah but he seems to have redirected all his calls to voicemail. Oh, you mean the translation...

    :whistle::p
     
  13. bromnath

    bromnath Well-Known Member

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    Vagabond or Lone Cultivator. Capture the intent vs technical correctness. Vagabond is more heroic than vagrant, and the feel of a free man roaming between areas. It's used frequently enough to imply more than just a hobo, and you don't really have at explicitly state that everyone is a cultivator/warrior.

    Loose/rogue cultivator are used pretty often but they invoke the idea of cast-offs, rejects, bandits, more than the feelings of freedom, romance, and wanderlust. I find Lone Cultivator to be better in that case.
     
  14. emiliers

    emiliers Member

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    Thanks for all the suggestions!

    And, yeah, "wandering hero" is probably the closest in terms of meaning to what I'm looking for, but as I mentioned in the OP, the author also uses 英雄 (generic "hero") to refer to folks from Jianghu who aren't necessarily 俠客, so I didn't want there to be any confusion between the two. Though keeping the heroism connotation of the word is important since one of the side characters is said to be a 俠客 who's well-respected in both Jianghu and the secular world because of his deeds.

    This is one of those times where I was really tempted to just use pinyin, but the author actually uses 俠客 and 俠士 interchangeably, so that was a no-go.

    At this point, I'm leaning towards either wandering swordsman or adventurer. Probably the latter since there's a 劍客 (which I translated as "swordsman") in the story who is adamantly not heroic so I wouldn't want there to be any confusion between 俠客 and 劍客.

    If anyone has any other ideas, please chime in! I'd love to hear more suggestions!
     
  15. nonononononono

    nonononononono NONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONO

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    chivalrous adventurer?
     
  16. lehur

    lehur ぼく愛エリス

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    seems you never read a book but online novel, in the old days they used to be called Pugilistic World aka Jianghu (WN) aka Rivers and Lakes (literal)
     
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  17. Nightow1

    Nightow1 Well-Known Member

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    Does everyone there fight with pugil sticks? :p
     
  18. xiaofuxiansheng

    xiaofuxiansheng Member

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    The battle righteousness +untrammeled+principled+Play fair
     
  19. JaketheDog

    JaketheDog Active Member

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    i will say it depends on the style you will like the translation to be, i think a simple term wanderer should suffice
     
  20. lehur

    lehur ぼく愛エリス

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    What an uncultured unliterate pig