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Firefly and Serenity Chinese

 

[Bartender knocks Jayne's drink from his hand]

JAYNE: What th--

BARTENDER: The hero of Canton won't be drinking that shiong mao niao [panda urine].

- "Jaynestown"

 

I spent four crazy days writing constantly, cursing in Chinese, sleeping very little and having dreams about playing bocci ball with Adam Baldwin.

- Jose Molina, on writing the Firefly episode "Ariel," "On 'Ariel,'" Firefly official site, 2002


 

WARNING!  Some translations are R-rated.

Mandarin Chinese pronunciations and English in "quotation marks" come from the shooting scripts, as posted online or published. Those not in the scripts, especially those in {curly brackets/braces}, are less certain. Some series/movie translations into Chinese were very loose.

Numerals for Mandarin Chinese Tones:
1 high, flat; 2 high, rising; 3 low, dipping [shifts to 2nd tone before another 3rd-tone syllable]; 4 high, falling; 5 neutral [used with many grammatical words and ends of compound words]

Bu4 (no/not/un-) becomes bu2 before another 4th-tone syllable. Yi1 (one, a) becomes yi4 before a 1st-, 2nd-, or 3rd-tone syllable and yi2 before a 4th-tone syllable. There are exceptions.

 


 

"Serenity, Part 1"


MAL: "Ta ma de." [Ta1ma1 de5.] ~ "Dammit."

MAL: "Bizui." [Bi4zui3.] ~ "Shut up."

KAYLEE: "Shi" [Shi4.] ~ "Affirmative"

WASH: "Aiya! Huaile." [Ai1ya1! Huai4le5.] ~ "Something's wrong." [exclamations for bad news]

MAL, again: "Bizui." [Bi4zui3.] ~ "Shut up."

WASH: "Zhu yi." [sic] [Zhen1 ta1ma1 yao4ming4. Zhu4yi4.] ~ "Watch your back." [This is pretty damned dangerous. Pay attention.]

INARA: "Qing jin." [Qing3jin4.] ~ "Come in."

MAL: "Ni ta ma de. Tianxia suoyoude ren. Dou gaisi." [Ni3 ta1ma1 de5. Tian1xia4 suo3you3 de5 ren2. Dou1 gai1si3.] ~ "Everyone under the heavens ought to die."

INARA: "xiao meimei" [sic] [mei4mei5; subtitles: "Mei-mei"] ~ "little sister"

 

WASH, cut line: "Shi." [Shi4.] ~ "Affirmative."



"Serenity, Part 2"

MAL: "Ta ma de! Nimen de bizui!" [sic] [Ni3men5 dou1 bi4zui3!] ~ "Everybody shut the hell up!"

WASH: "kwong-juh duh" [kuang2zhe3 de5] ~ "nuts" [crazy]

MAL: "xiao meimei" [xiao3mei4mei4; subtitles: wrongly just "mei-mei"] ~ "little sister" [second mei4 retains 4th tone here]

JAYNE: "Hun dan!" [Hun2dan4!] ~ "Damn!"

ZOE: "Ai ya. Women wanle." [Ai1ya1. Wo3men5 wan2le5.] ~ "We're in big trouble."

 

SIMON, deleted scene on DVD: "Duibuqi?" [sic] [Shen2me5] ~ "I'm sorry?"

This shen2 is she2 in Taiwan.



"The Train Job"

MAL: "Ching zie lie ee bay Ng-Ka-Pei?" [Qing3 zai4lai2 yi1 bei1 ng5gaa1pei4?] ~ "Can I have one more glass of Ng-Ka-Pei [a medicinal-herb wine], please?"

Mandarin pronunciation of drink: wu3jia1pi2; Cantonese Chinese Tones: 1 high, flat (or falling); 2 high, rising; 3 mid, flat; 4 low, falling; 5 low, rising; 6 low, flat

MAL: "Oh, juh jen sh guh kwai luh duh jean jan..." [O1, zhe4 zhen1 shi4 ge5 kuai4le4 de5 jin4zhan3 . . .] ~ "Oh, this is a happy development..."

KAYLEE: "Kuh-ooh duh lao bao jurn..." [Ke3wu4 de5 lao3 bao4jun1 . . .] ~ "Horrible old tyrant..."

KAYLEE: "jen duh sh tyen tsai" [zhen1 de5 shi4 tian1cai2] ~ "an absolute genius"

JAYNE: "dong ma" [dong3 ma5; subtitles: "Dong ma?"] ~ "understand"

JAYNE: "go tsao de" [gou3 cao4 de5; subtitles: completely omitted] ~ "dog humping" [dog-humped]



"Bushwhacked"

JAYNE: "Wuh de ma." [Wo3 de5 ma1.] ~ "Mother of god." [Literally: My ma!]

MAL: "Jen dao mei!" [Zhen1 dao3mei2!] ~ "Just our luck!"

WASH: "tyen shiao duh" [tian1 xiao3de2] ~ "name of all that's sacred" [heaven knows what]

WASH: "Tzao gao." [Zao1gao1.] ~ "Crap." [Damn!]

MAL: "Wuh de tyen, ah." [Wo3 de5 tian1, a5.] ~ "Dear god in heaven."

JAYNE: "Hwoon dahn." [Hun2dan4.] ~ "Jerk."

 

JAYNE, cut line: "Fong luh." [Feng1le5.] ~ "Loopy in the head."

KAYLEE, cut line: tyen tsai [tian1cai2] ~ "genius"



"Shindig"

WRIGHT THE SLAVER, x2: "Way!" [Wei4!; subtitles: A: wrongly "Wait!"; B: "Wei."] ~ "Hey!"

ATHERTON: "bao bay" [bao3bei4; subtitles: "baobei"] ~ "sweetheart"

BADGER: "wun gwo pee" [wen2guo5 pi4] ~ "smelled a fart"

BADGER: "pee-goo" [pi4gu5; subtitles: "pigu"] ~ "bottom" [butt]

INARA: "Lao pung yo, nee can chi lai hun yo jing shen." [Lao3peng2you5, ni3 kan4 qi5lai5 hen3 you3 jing1shen5.] ~ "You're looking wonderful, old friend."

ATHERTON, x3: "gos se" [gou3shi3; subtitles: "go-se"] ~ "crap" [dog crap]

This shi3 is si3 in Taiwan. Thanks to Firefly Chinese Translator Jenny Lynn for the si3 form and Taiwan origin.

INARA: "gos se" [gou3shi3; subtitles: "go-se"] ~ "crap" [dog crap]

KAYLEE: "Sheh-sheh" [Xie4xie5; subtitles: "Xie-xie"] ~ "Thank you"

KAYLEE: "Shuh muh?" [Shen2me5; subtitles: "Shu muh?"] ~ "What?"

This shen2 is she2 in Taiwan.

KAYLEE: "Tsai boo shr." [Cai2 bu4 shi4.] ~ "No way."

MAL: "yu bun duh" [yu2ben4 de5] ~ "stupid"

 

MAL, cut line: "Tee wuh duh pee-goo." [Ti1 wo3 de5 pi4gu5.] ~ "Kick me in the bottom."

MAL, cut line: "Wah!" [Wa1!] ~ "Wow!" [exclamation of surprise]



"Safe"

YOUNG SIMON: "Jien tah-duh guay!" [Jian4 ta1 de5 gui3!] ~ "Like hell!" [Literally: see his ghost]

GABRIEL TAM: "Nah mei guan-shee." [Na4 mei2 guan1xi5.] ~ "That has nothing to do with it."

GABRIEL TAM: "tyen-shiao duh" [tian1 xiao3de2] ~ "heaven knows what"

YOUNG SIMON: "da bianhua" [da4 bian4hua4] ~ "big change"

RIVER: "Liou coe shway duh biao-tze huh hoe-tze duh ur-tze." [sic] [Liu2 kou3shui3 de5 biao3zi5 he2 hou2zi5 de5 ben4 er2zi5.] ~ "Stupid son of a drooling whore and a monkey."

SIMON: "Niou fun." [Niu2fen4.] ~ "Cow poop."

KAYLEE: "swai" [shuai4; subtitles: "shuai"] ~ "cute" [handsome]

SIMON: "luh-suh" [la1ji1/Taiwan le4se4; subtitles: "luh-suh"] ~ "garbage"

SIMON: pyen juh duh jiou cha wen [pian1zhi2 de5 jiu1cha2yuan2] ~ stubborn martinet

Thanks to Firefly Chinese Translator Jenny Lynn for the pinyin and to her and Joss Whedon for the English meaning.

KAYLEE: "Luh-suh?" [La1ji1?/Taiwan Le4se4?; subtitles: "Luh-suh?"] ~ "Garbage?"

KAYLEE, again: "luh-suh" [la1ji1/Taiwan le4se4; subtitles: "luh-suh"] ~ "garbage"

MAL: "Fei hua." [Fei4hua4.; subtitles: "Fei hua."] ~ "Nonsense."

MAL: "Ma-Shong!" [Ma3shang4!; subtitles: "ma shong"] ~ "Now!"

WASH: "Lao-tyen, boo." [Lao3tian1, bu4.] ~ "Oh, god, no."

MAL: "jing-tzahng mei yong-duh" [jing1chang2 mei2yong4 de5] ~ "consistently useless"

SIMON: "Mei mei" [Mei4mei5; subtitles: "Mei-mei"] ~ "Little sister"

GABRIEL TAM: "[Whispering in Chinese.]" [Chu2fei1 wo3 si3 le5.] ~ Over my dead body. [literally: [not] unless I die]

Thanks to Firefly Chinese Translator Jenny Lynn for the pinyin and English meaning.

PATRON: "nyen ching-duh" [nian2qing1 de5] ~ "young one"

 

SIMON, cut line: "go se" [gou3shi3] ~ "crap"

SIMON, cut line: "boo-tai jung-tzahng-duh" [bu4tai4 zheng4chang2 de5] ~ "not entirely sane"

GABRIEL TAM, cut line: "tsway-niou" [chui1niu2] ~ "bullcrap" [to brag, boast]

 

"Our Mrs. Reynolds"

SIMON: "Dahng ran." [Dang1ran2.] ~ "Of course."

KAYLEE: "Nee boo go guh, nee hwun chiou." [Ni3 bu4 gou4ge2, ni3 hun2qiu2.] ~ "You don't deserve her, you fink."

Thanks to Firefly Chinese Translator Jenny Lynn for the gou4ge2 and -qiu2.

MAL: "Gwan nee tzi-jee duh shr." [Guan3 ni3 zi4ji3 de5 shi4.] ~ "Mind your own business."

WASH, borrowed Chinese: "bao" [bao1; subtitles: "bao," as English] ~ "bao" [in script as English] [stuffed bun]

MAL: "Da-shiang bao-tza shr duh lah doo-tze" [Da4xiang4 bao4zha4shi4 de5 la1 du4zi5] ~ "The explosive diarrhea of an elephant"

Thanks to Firefly Chinese Translator Jenny Lynn for the shi4 and its English meaning (and for confirmation of the other pinyin in this entry).

MAL: "hwun dan" [hun2dan4] ~ "bastard"

WASH: "Wuh duh ma huh tah duh fong kwong duh wai shung" [sic] [Wo3 de5 ma1 he2 ta1 de5 feng1kuang2 de5 wai4sheng5 dou1] ~ "Holy mother of god and all her wacky nephews"

INARA: "Run-tse duh fwotzoo..." [Ren2ci2 de5 Fo2zu3 . . .] ~ "Merciful buddha..."

ZOE: "jien huo" [jian4huo4] ~ "cheap floozy"

WASH: "Jing tsai." [jing1cai3] ~ "Brilliant." [splendid]

WASH: "Dung ee hwar..." [Deng3 yi1huir4 . . .] ~ "Hold on a second..."

WASH: "Aiya!" [Ai1ya1!; subtitles: wrongly "Hey, uh--"] ~ "Damn!"

 

BANDIT 1, cut line: "jung chi duh go-se dway" [zheng1qi4 de5 gou3shi3 dui1] ~ "steaming crap pile"

SIMON, deleted scene on DVD: "Tzuh muh luh?" [Zen3me5 le5?] ~ "What's going on?"

SIMON, deleted scene on DVD: "mei-mei" [mei4mei5] ~ little sister [in script without English]



"Jaynestown"

WASH: "Je shr shuh muh lan dong shi!?" [Zhe4 shi4 shen2me5 lan4 dong1xi5!?] ~ "What is this garbage!?"

This shen2 is she2 in Taiwan.

JAYNE: "Yeh-soo, ta ma duh..." [Ye1su1, ta1ma1 de5 . . .] ~ "Hay-soose [Spanish Jesús]-mother-of-jumped-up--"

BARTENDER: "shiong mao niao" [xiong2mao1 niao4] ~ "panda urine"

JAYNE, off-screen: guh jun duh hwoon dahn! [ge5 zhen1 de5 hun2dan4!] ~ a real bastard!

ZOE: "Hoo-tsuh." [Hu2che3.] ~ "Shut up." ["as in 'get out'"] [nonsense]

WASH: "Gao yang jong duh goo yang." [Gao1yang2 zhong1 de5 gu1yang2.] ~ "Motherless goats of all motherless goats." [Orphaned goats among young goats.]



"Out of Gas"

ZOE: "Fei-oo" [fei4wu4; subtitles: "fei-oo"] ~ "junk"

MAL: "Fei-oo?" [Fei4wu4?; subtitles: "Fei-oo?"] ~ "Junk?"

WASH: "Chur ni-duh." [Qu4 ni3 de5.] ~ "Screw you."

JAYNE: "guay" [gui3; subtitles: wrongly "What do" instead of What the guay do] ~ "hell" [ghost, demon]

VOICE OF SERENITY, x2: "Jeo-shung yong-jur goo-jang. Jien-cha yong-chi gong yin [sic]." [Cantonese (jyutping spelling): Gau3saang1 hai6tung2 gu3zoeng3. Gim2caa4 jeong5hei3 gung1jing3.] ~ "Life support failure. Check oxygen levels at once." [repeated with English version]

Mandarin pronunciation: Jiu4sheng1 xi4tong3 gu4zhang4. Jian3cha2 yang3qi4 gong1ying4. "Jeo-shung yong-jur" would be jiu4sheng1 yong4ju4 life-saving equipment such as life vests [yong4ju4/Cantonese jung6geoi6 appliance [yong4 to use; ju4 tool]].

Cantonese Chinese Tones: 1 high, flat (or falling); 2 high, rising; 3 mid, flat; 4 low, falling; 5 low, rising; 6 low, flat. Thanks to a Firefly fan for the hai6tung2/xi4tong3 and jung6geoi6/yong4ju4.


MAL: "suo-yo duh doh shr-dang" [suo3you3 de5 dou1 shi4dang4] ~ "all that's proper"

MAL: "Dong-ma?" [Dong3 ma5; subtitles: "Dong ma?"] ~ "Understand?"

VOICE OF SERENITY, again, x2: "Jeo-shung yong-jur goo-jang. Jien-cha yong-chi gong yin [sic]." [Cantonese (jyutping spelling): Gau3saang1 hai6tung2 gu3zoeng3. Gim2caa4 jeong5hei3 gung1jing3.] ~ "Life support failure. Check oxygen levels at once." [repeated with English version]

PIRATE CAPTAIN: "go se" [gou3shi3; subtitles: "go-se"] ~ "crap" [dog crap]

This shi3 is si3 in Taiwan. Thanks to Firefly Chinese Translator Jenny Lynn for the si3 form and Taiwan origin.

VOICE OF SERENITY, again, x4: "Jeo-shung yong-jur goo-jang. Jien-cha yong-chi gong yin [sic]." [Cantonese (jyutping spelling): Gau3saang1 hai6tung2 gu3zoeng3. Gim2caa4 jeong5hei3 gung1jing3.] ~ "Life support failure. Check oxygen levels at once." [repeated with English version]



"Ariel"

MAL: "Ching-wah TSAO duh liou mahng" [qing1wa1 cao4 de5 liu2mang2] ~ "frog-humping sonofab****" [frog-humped hoodlum]

AGENT MCGINISS: Nee hao? [Ni3hao3?; subtitles: "Ni hao?"] ~ Hello?

JAYNE: "Shee-niou" [Xi1niu2; subtitles: wrongly "Se-niou!"] ~ "Cow sucking"

SIMON: "mei mei" [mei4mei5; subtitles: "mei-mei"] ~ little sister [in script without English]

 

SIMON, cut line: "Tyen-sah duh UH-muo." [Tian1sha1 de5 e4mo2.] ~ "Goddamn monsters."

SIMON, cut line: "Lao TYEN yeh." [Lao3tian1ye2.] ~ "Jesus." [Oh God!]



"War Stories"

WASH: Tai-kong suo-yo duh shing-chiou sai-jin wuh duh pee-goo [Tai4kong1 suo3you3 de5 xing1qiu2 sai1jin4 wo3 de5 pi4gu5] ~ "All the planets in space flushed into my butt"

SIMON: "Mei-mei" [Mei4mei5; subtitles: "Mei-mei"] ~ Little sister [in script without English]

MAL: fahng-tzong fung-kwong duh jeh [fang4zong4 feng1kuang2 de5 jie2] ~ "a knot of self indulgent lunacy" [a knot that indulges insanity]

MAL: niou-se [niu2shi3; subtitles: "niou-se"] ~ "cow dung"

This shi3 is si3 in Taiwan. Thanks to Firefly Chinese Translator Jenny Lynn for the si3 form and Taiwan origin.

MAL: Tzao-gao! [Zao1gao1!; subtitles: "Tzao-gao."] ~ "Damn it!"

MAL: Tah mah duh hwoon dahn. [Ta1ma1 de5 hun2dan4.] ~ "Mother humping son of a b****."

NISKA, not Chinese: Day yim zato plahteck mahsah. [Dej jim za to plátek masa.] ~ "They have enough for a slice." [Give them a slice of meat for it.]

Thanks to native-Czech-speaking fan kernel32 for the Czech information.

BOOK: Huh choo-shung tza-jiao duh tzang-huo! [He1 chu4sheng5 za2jiao1 de5 zang1huo4!] ~ "Filthy fornicators of livestock!"

 

"Trash"

SAFFRON: "BUN tyen-shung duh ee-DWAY-RO." [Ben4 tian1sheng1 de5 yi1 dui1 rou4.] ~ Stupid inbred stack of meat.

Thanks to Firefly Chinese Translator Jenny Lynn for the wording of the English meaning.

SAFFRON: "HOE-tze duh PEE-goo!" [hou2zi5 de5 pi4gu5!] ~ monkey's butt!

MAL: "EE-chee shung-hoo-shee." [Yi1qi3 shen1hu1xi1.] ~ Let's take a deep breath.

INARA: "Suo-SHEE?" [Suo3xi4?] ~ "petty" [trivial]

INARA: "Nee mun DOH shr sagwa." [Ni3men5 dou1 shi4 sha3gua1.] ~ "Idiots. All of you."

Thanks to Firefly Chinese Translator Jenny Lynn for confirming the Taiwan origin of the form sagua.

SIMON: "BOO hway-HUN duh PUO-foo" [bu4 hui3hen4 de5 po1fu4] ~ "remorseless harridan"

MAL: "Shun-SHENG duh gao-WAHN." [Shen2sheng4 de5 gao1wan2.] ~ "Holy testicle Tuesday." [Holy testicle.]

MAL, not Chinese: "Yo-Saf-Bridge" [Yo-Saf-Bridge; subtitles: wrongly say it's Chinese] ~ Yolanda-Saffron-Bridget

SAFFRON: "Wahg [sic]-ba DAN duh biao-tze." [Wang2ba5dan4 de5 biao3zi5.] ~ Whores of S.O.B.s

KAYLEE: "Tah-shr SUO-yo DEE-yure duh biao-tze duh MAH!" [Ta1 shi4 suo3you3 di4yu4 de5 biao3zi5 de5 ma1!] ~ "whores in hell!" [She's the mother of all the whores in hell!]

Thanks to Firefly Chinese Translator Jenny Lynn for the ta1 shi4 and complete English meaning (and for confirmation of the other pinyin in this entry).

MAL, cut line: "Chiang-BAO HOE-tze duh" [qiang2bao4 hou2zi5 de5] ~ "monkey raping"

SIMON, cut line: "KWAI chur hun-rien duh di fahng." [Kuai4 qu4 hen3 yuan3 de5 di4fang1.] ~ "Go far away very fast."

ZOE, cut line: "FAHNG-sheen." [Fang4xin1.] ~ "Don't worry."

ZOE, cut line: "JAN-doh duh ee-KWAI-ro" [zhan4dou3 de5 yi1 kuai4 rou4] ~ "dangly piece of flesh"



"The Message"

KAYLEE, off-screen: "Nee GAO-soo NA niou, TA yo shwong mei-moo?" [Ni3 gao4su5 na4 niu2 ta1 you3 shuang1 mei3mu4?] ~ "Why don't you tell the cow about its beautiful eyes?"

JAYNE, off-screen, not Chinese: "the Damplung" [damp lung; subtitles: wrongly say it's Chinese] ~ damp lung [lung disease]

WOMACK: "Dong ma?" [Dong3 ma5; subtitles: "Dong ma?"] ~ "understand?"

MAL: "TYEN shiao-duh" [tian1 xiao3de2] ~ "name of all that's sacred" [heaven knows what]

KAYLEE: shiong-tsan sha-sho [xiong1can2 sha1shou3] ~ a**-kicking killer [ruthless killer]

Thanks to Firefly Chinese Translator Jenny Lynn for the less-literal English meaning (and for confirmation of the pinyin in this entry).

WASH: "Wuo duh MA" [Wo3 de5 ma1] ~ "Mother-of-Jesus" [Literally: My ma]

 

WOMACK, cut line: "go-se" [gou3shi3] ~ crap [dog crap; in script without English]

This shi3 is si3 in Taiwan. Thanks to Firefly Chinese Translator Jenny Lynn for the si3 form and Taiwan origin.



"Heart of Gold"

INARA: "gun HOE-tze bee DIO-se" [gen1 hou2zi5 bi3 diu1shi3] ~ "engage in a feces hurling contest with a monkey"

This shi3 is si3 in Taiwan. Thanks to Firefly Chinese Translator Jenny Lynn for the si3 form and Taiwan origin.

NANDI: "TZOO-foo nee, mei-mei." [Zhu4fu2 ni3, mei4mei5.] ~ "Blessing on you, dear sister."

NANDI: "Mei Mei" [Mei4mei5; subtitles: "mei-mei"] ~ Little Sister [in script without English]

PUPPET THEATER NARRATOR: way tzwo-juh man-tzai ur choo [wei4 zuo4zhe5 man3zai4 er2 qu4] ~ "Swollen of her, they left." [Literally: for the sake of making fully loaded and left]

Thanks to Patrick Zein for the translation suggestion. His Chinese stuff: here

JAYNE, off-screen: "dong MA?" [dong3 ma5; subtitles: "Dong ma?"] ~ "you understand?"

NANDI: "jen mei NAI-shing duh FWO-tzoo" [Zhen1 mei2 nai4xing4 de5 Fo2zu3] ~ "Extraordinarily impatient Buddha"

NANDI: "Wang bao [sic] DAHN--" [Wang2ba5dan4--] ~ "dirty bastard sons-of--" [S.O.B.s--]

WASH: "niao SE duh DOO-gway" [niao4 shi1 de5 du3gui3] ~ "p***-soaked pikers" [urine-soaked habitual gamblers]

 

MAL, cut line: "LAN-dan JIANG!" [Lan4dan4 jiang4!] ~ "Weak-a** sauce!"



"Objects in Space"

JAYNE: "FAY-FAY duh PEE-yen" [fei4fei4 de5 pi4yan3] ~ "a babboon's [sic] a**-crack" [baboon's anus]

INARA: "BEE-jway, neen hen BOO-TEE-TYEH duh NAN-shung!" [Bi4zui3, nin2 hen3 bu4ti3tie1 de5 nan2sheng1!] ~ "Shut up, you inconsiderate schoolboys!"

INARA: shiong-mung duh kwong-run [xiong1meng3 de5 kuang2ren2] ~ "violent lunatic" 



Serenity: Those Left Behind Comics

JAYNE: ee da tuo da bien [yi1 da4 tuo2 da4bian4] ~ a big lump of crap

OTT'S FEMALE CREW-MEMBER: Hwoon dahn! [Hun2dan4!] ~ Bastards!

JAYNE: yao noo [yao1nü3] ~ gorgon

BOOK: Joo ah, nee ming ming jee dao wuh shr bang nee tzwo shr, yo huh bee jao wuh ma fan nuh? [Zhu3 a5, ni3 ming2ming2 zhi1dao5 wo3 shi4 bang1 ni3 zuo4shi4, you4 he2 bi4 zhao3 wo3 ma2fan5 ne5?] ~ {Oh Lord, You are obviously aware that I assist You in doing Your work; oh why must there be such trouble for me?}

MAL: Kao! [Kao4!] ~ Goddammit!

WASH: Kan wuh-mun tzun muh suh bah! [Kan4 wo3men5 zen3me5 si3 ba5!] ~ {Let's watch how we die!}

MAL: shuh-muh gong tzwo do may yo [shen2me5 gong1zuo4 dou1 mei2you3] ~ without-any-work

MAL: kao [kao4] ~ goddamn

WASH: Gwai-gwai long duh dong! [Guai1guai1 long2 de5 dong1!] ~ {What the hell!} [exclamation of surprise]

WASH: boo yao ming duh soo doo [bu4yao4 ming4 de5 su4du4] ~ life-risking speed

MAL: wuh tzai chien shr ee-ding ruh dao shuh-muh run luh bah . . . [wo3 zai4 qian2shi4 yi1ding4 re3dao4 shen2me5 ren2 le5 ba5 . . .] ~ I surely annoyed someone or other in a past life, didn't I . . .

 

Serenity: Better Days Comics

WASH: boo yao ming duh soo doo [bu4yao4 ming4 de5 su4du4] ~ life-risking speed

JAYNE: Yo cho yo ying. [You4chou4you4ying4.] ~ Stubborn.

JAYNE [off-screen]: fay tyeh [fei4tie3] ~ scrap iron

JAYNE: Bizui! [Bi4zui3!] ~ Shut up!

WASH: xiao meimei [xiao3mei4mei4] ~ little sister

 

Serenity Movie

TEACHER: "BAI-tuo, AN-jing-eedyen!" [Bai4tuo1, an1jing4 yi1dian3!] ~ "We will enjoy your silence now!" [Please be quiet!]

MAL: "DONG-luh-MAH?" Ni cho lyen, yo may yo? [Dong3 le5 ma5? Ni3 chou2lian3, you3 mei2you3?] ~ "Are we clear here?" Do you have a worried face?

WASH: "Ai-yah. Tyen-ah..." [Ai1ya1. Tian1 a5 . . .] ~ "Merciless hell..." [Ah, oh God . . .]

ZOE: Da jee-ah tzwo sha! [Da4jia1 zuo4xia5!] ~ Everybody sit down!

MAL: "Nee TZAO ss-MA? Nee-YOW wuh-KAI CHANG?" [Ni3 zhao3si3 ma5? Ni3 yao4 wo3 kai1qiang1?] ~ "You wanna bullet? You wanna bullet right through your throat?" [Are you looking to die? You want me to shoot?]

[BEAUMONDE] MAN, partially cut: "PEOW-liang de shaojie, nee GOO wuo HUHnee SHANG-hao. Wuh HWAY wrongnee shungkai roo hua..." [Piao4liang5 de5 xiao3jie5, (ni3 gu4 wo3 he2 ni3 xiang1hao3. Wo3 hui4 rong2 ni3 sheng4kai1 ru2 hua1) . . .] ~ "Pretty lady, hire me for the night and I'll open you like a flower..." [Beautiful young lady, if you hire me to have an affair with you, I'll let you fully bloom like a flower] 

SHAMED GENTLEMAN: Wuo hun {diou lyen}. Wuo may yo chr Fruity Oaty Bar. [Wo3 hen3 {diu1lian3}. Wo3 mei2you3 chi1 Fruity Oaty Bar.] ~ I am very ashamed. I didn't eat a Fruity Oaty Bar.

Thanks to Craig Kurumada for the translation suggestion.

SIMON, Russian not Chinese: "Eta Kooram Nah Smech!" [Eto kuram na smekh!] ~ That's ridiculous! [used as safeword] 

JAYNE: "Go HWONG-TONG." [Gou4 huang1tang2.] ~ "Enough of this nonsense."

WASH, mostly inaudible: "Juhguh JEE HUA jun kuhPAH!" [Zhe4ge5 ji4hua4 zhen1 ke3pa4!] ~ "There's nothing about this plan that isn't horrific!" [This plan is truly horrible!]

RIVER: "RUNtse de SHANG-DEE, ching DAIwuhtzo" [Ren2ci2 de5 Shang4di4, qing3 dai4 wo3 zou3] ~ "Merciful God please take me away"

RIVER: "WUOshang mayer, maysheen, BYEN shr-to" [Wo3 xiang3 mei4 er3, mei4 xin1, bian4 shi2tou5] ~ "I will close my ears and my heart and I will be a stone"

 

TEACHER, cut line: "Shuh-MUH?" [Shen2me5?] ~ "I'm sorry?"

MAL, cut line: "BEE-tzway. Wrong wuomun FAH-TSAI." [Bi4zui3. Rong2 wo3men5 fa1cai2.] ~ "Shut up and make us wealthy."

INARA, deleted scene on DVD: "Byen dahTAHmenduhBAY joGOluh." [Bian1da3 ta1men5 de5 bei4 jiu4 gou4 le5.] ~ "A switch to those girls' backsides is just good enough." [Whipping their [female] backs is just good enough.]

[BEAUMONDE] WOMAN, cut line: "Wuo DWAY-nee BOO-woon, boo-JEN..." [Wo3 dui4 ni3 bu4 wen2 bu4 jian4 . . .] ~ "I neither see nor hear you..."

[BEAUMONDE] MAN, cut line: "PEOW-liang de shaojie, Booleetah, GOOwo..." [Piao4liang5 de5 xiao3jie5, bu4li3 ta1, gu4 wo3 . . .] ~ "Pretty lady, forget him and hire me..."

WASH, cut line: "Wo TAI-TAI boo PEOW-liang!" [Wo3 tai4tai5 bu4 piao4liang5!] ~ "My wife is not pretty!"

INARA, cut line: "RUNtse de FWOtzoo, ching baoYO wuomun..." [Ren2ci2 de5 Fo2zu3, qing3 bao3you4 wo3men5 . . .] ~ "Oh merciful Buddha protect us..." 

 

Serenity Novelization

MAL, thought: "Tzao-gao!" [Zao1gao1!] ~ Damn it! [from "War Stories" script]

MAL, thought: "go-se" [gou3shi3] ~ crap [from "Shindig" script]

MAL: "dong le ma?" [dong3 le5 ma5?] ~ Are we clear here? [from Serenity movie script]

JAYNE, thought: "chou ma niao" [chou4 ma3-niao4] ~ stinking horse-urine

PROFESSOR RAO: "Bai duo [sic], an jing yidian!" [Bai4tuo1, an1jing4 yi1dian3!] ~ We will enjoy your silence now! [from Serenity movie script]

RIVER: "Renzi [sic] de Shang Di, qing dai wa [sic] zhou [sic]" [Ren2ci2 de5 Shang4di4, qing3 dai4 wo3 zou3] ~ Merciful God please take me away [from Serenity movie script]

RIVER: "Wo shang mei er, mei xin, bian shi tou" [Wo3 xiang3 mei4 er3, mei4 xin1, bian4 shi2tou5] ~ I will close my ears and my heart and I will be a stone [from Serenity movie script]

MAL, thought, again: "Tzao-gao!" [Zao1gao1!] ~ Damn it! [from "War Stories" script]

JAYNE, thought: "go-se" [gou3shi3] ~ crap [from "Shindig" script]

 

Written Chinese

[IMAGE: Chinese characters and text; TEXT: Ping2jing4 Serenity, Ning2jing4 Serenity, Tong2meng2 Alliance, Qing1 Ri4 Blue Sun, Lan2 Ri4 Blue Sun]

 

Chinese Resources

Zhongwen.com Dictionary

Guide to Pronouncing Mandarin in Romanized Transcription

Chinese-Lessons: Mandarin Lessons (syllable sound files)

Conversational Chinese Online

Firefly-Serenity Chinese Pinyinary

Consequence Free translations

FireflyFans.net translations

The Signal - Chinese Page


 

 

 

Fei1chang2 gan3xie4 (thank you very much) to all the fans who translated and compiled Firefly's Chinese expressions on other sites, to Pip for helping me find the shooting scripts, and to Firefly Chinese Translator Jenny Lynn for generously filling in some gaps (that English might not be exact, and she hasn't verified the accuracy of this page as a whole).

- Ying (ying2huo3chong2). Firefly. In the Mandarin.

 

 

 

Section Editor: Ying   -   Email Ying   -   Ying's Bio   -   Last Edited on: March 13, 2008
                                                                                                    

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