Tuesday, July 06, 2004

It's gonna take me a while to finish Lu Xun's iconic Na Han (Call to Arms). I picked up a copy in the original Mandarin at Kinokuniya on that last day of discounts, attracted especially by the photographs and illlustrations scattered throughout the pages. These provide explanations of places and activities referred to in the stories, while footnotes are reserved for the more esoteric and literary allusions.

I've always wanted to read Lu Xun in Mandarin, even though it feels like running with a ball and chain sometimes. It's even worse when I'm trying to read Japanese. I'm far more comfortable in English, like the vast majority of my peers, but I'm also a bit of a stickler for reading and watching media in their original languages. I have come to a comfortable understanding with translations, but dubbing remains grostesque to me. In my opinion, the struggle to understand someone isn't so much an issue of language as it is of time. Or is it just semantics?

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