A Guide to Chinese Star Wars
My first memories of Star Wars was not on the big screen. Instead, I read a Chinese comic book version of the movies when I was little. (If you’re interested, Nick Stember has translated the comics and shared them on his website. If you're a Star Wars fan learning Chinese you cannot miss this!). In this early forms of Chinese comic books, the authors had never watched the actual films, so the Chinese comic books had their own look and feel. Check out this very feminine and proud Princess Leia! They did get some details right, but maybe they thought Princess Leia was not “princess-y” enough?
Chinese Star Wars Phrases
First off, Star Wars, 星球大战 xīng qiú dà zhàn，or 星战 xīng zhàn for short.
The good news is, most names are phonetically translated! So if you hear something familiar but with a Chinese pronunciation, it’s likely that you can guess who they’re talking about. Some characters names are basically the same in Chinese and English!
- 尤达 yóu dá
- Han Solo
- 汉·索洛 hàn suǒ luó
- Darth Vader
- 达斯·维德 dá sī wéi dé
- Princess Leia
- 蕾亚公主 léi yà gōng zhǔ（公主gōng zhǔ means princess)
- 丘巴卡 qiū bā kǎ
- Jabba the Hutt
- 赫特人贾巴 hè tè rén jiǎ bā ( jiǎ bā is the name, hè tè is the name of the species, rén means person)
- Boba Fett
- 波巴·费特 bō bā fèi tè
In some Chinese translations, the names actually have meanings! It's the beauty of Chinese characters - one character can be one syllable with various meanings.
- Luke Skywalker
- 卢克·天行者 lú kè tiān xíng zhě（天 tiān, sky; 行 xíng, to walk; 者 zhě, person, -er)
- 绝地 jué dì, means impasse, dead end in Chinese. It usually comes with 武士 wǔ shì (warrior) as 绝地武士 jué dì wǔ shì and it sounds pretty cool!
- Millennium Falcon
- 千年隼号 qiān nián sǔn hào, 千 qiān - thousand, 年 nián - year, 隼 sǔn - falcon, 号 hào - XXX号，nick name, mark, sign, indicates names of ships, trains, airplanes and spaceships!
- The Force
- 原力 yuán lì - again, word by word, the original force, the source of all forces.
- Death Star
- 死星 sǐ xīng, a literal translation, word by word.
See? It's not too hard after all! For more info see www.starwarfans.cn. Its a Chinese Star War fan created a website with a complete "Wookiepeida" in Chinese and English!
May the Force be with You!
Yuàn yuán lì yú nǐ tóng zài！