serenity UI translation attempt

this is the second row of characters from the movie serenity at the 59:58 mark where river looks in to the student teaching screen UI and sees writing, then a planet. not sure what it was meant to mean, any ideas? these are second row ones (chinese/mandarin)


乍 first

举 move

久 long

乐 music

举 move

久 long

临 face/arrive/overlook/just before

乌 crow

举 move

  • guitarswinger 4y

  • Crappinni 4y

    I read Chinese and I don't find any meaning in this at all. And the column of characters on the left look like Katakana (one of the Japanese syllabary). Maybe it's meant to be in Japanese (or means nothing).
  • Adafruit Industries 4y

    Crappinni no, not the first column, the second. check out our note(s) and the text above, we are not translating the katakana.
  • Crappinni 4y

    Yep I know you translated those. I'm saying overall it might just be a bunch of characters considering there's no apparent meaning to the Chinese characters, and there's katakana thrown in for good measure.
    By the way, there are many characters which have multiple meanings. For example, 乐 can be read le4 as in 快乐 (happy) or yue4 as in 音乐 (music).
  • Adafruit Industries 4y

    Crappinni yes of course, but if you've watched serenity you likely saw they do use real characters that mean real things - and since (as you noted) characters can mean multiple things it's a fun puzzle to see if they mean anything combined. if you look at our other photos you'll see blade runner and the matrix 2 use real characters with real meanings, that is the fun part. have fun :)
  • Martäng 4y

    The katakana lines say "hitosoihaihiisu" and "imaminihimisotei", with no obvious meaning.
  • Adafruit Industries 4y

    Martäng yah, not all of the chinese we are finding in serenity means things, part of the fun.
  • Nezsez2 4y

    FTR, if you watch the special features on the Bluray/DVD of Serenity/Firefly you'll learn that the Chinese American woman they hired to consult them on the Chinese they used in the series and movie was consulting her friends in Hong Kong for hip lingo (Dong le ma?). That means they used Cantonese rather than Mandarin, although that doesn't affect meaning, just pronunciation. The characters in your student screen could have been Japanese rather than Chinese, but any verbs would have had hiragana appended; although Japanese Kanji are the Chinese Hanyu, they can mean different things, and are pronounced differently as they were retrofitted to an allready existing spoken system when they were adopted by the Japanese for writing, and they augmented the hanyu/kanji with the hiragana for conjugation etc.
    I will ask a friend of mine from Hong Kong, and a friend from Japan to look at your images and see what they say.
  • Crappinni 4y

    Well I also understand Cantonese (it's somewhat similar to Mandarin Chinese). Cantonese mainly uses Traditional Chinese (繁体) characters but include others that either don't exist in Mandarin Chinese or just aren't usually used. Still those lines don't seem to mean anything in Cantonese.
  • Nezsez2 4y

    Yeah, it seems jibberish to me thus far, but i'm only a beginner with Mandarin and Japanese.
    I emailed my friends; I'll post anything they relay. I may have to re-watch the Serenity/Firefly segments about the Chinese, she might have contacted friends in BeiJing too.
  • Cailean Babcock 4y

    I've lived in Japan for nine years and I can tell you that the katakana is most likely nonsense. The only likely correlation with something real would be the phonetic syllables of a Buddhist mantra, or the "onyomi" (original Chinese) pronunciation equivalents for the kanji being shown. Both ideas are a bit of a stretch; basically, there's no other clever meaning hidden in the screen. Most likely? It's random graphics typed in to make it look cool.

    I know one of the shot supervisors from the movie; I'll ask him and get back to you.
  • Nezsez2 4y

    My friend from Hong Kong says the chinese is just jibberish
  • Cailean Babcock 4y

    Yeah, my friend said that his co-worker, Blake, was in charge, and that there was only a fifty-fifty chance that there was any meaning behind the text. My girlfriend is a teacher of classical Japanese and says that it's nonsense from her point of view, too. I think we can put this down to graphic design expedience.
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Taken on July 4, 2011
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