Publication details [#487]

Mok, Olivia. 2002. Translating appellations in martial arts fiction. Perspectives 10 (4) : 273–281.
Publication type
Article in jnl/bk
Publication language
Source language
Person as a subject


This article discusses the difficulties in translating appellations in martial-arts fiction, a major contemporary Chinese genre devoured by Chinese from all walks of life. The examples cited are from the author’s translation, Fox Volant of the Snowy Mountain (1993), of Jin Yong’s #Xue shan fei hu". The Chinese original first appeared as a newspaper serial in 1959 in Hong Kong and was later published as one single volume (rev. ed. 1974, 1977). It is one of the few Chinese martial arts novels translated into English. The article describes the significance and types of appellations, such as personal names, titles, and sobriquets of the characters who live in the world of the “Martial Brotherhood”. Then the formulae for compounding the appellations of hero fighters is discussed; it is pointed out that the traditional, genre-specific practice of conferring appellations or sobriquets on warriors must be interpreted in the traditional Chinese cultural context as well as the socio-cultural backdrop of martial-arts fiction.
Source : Based on abstract in journal