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"The Flower Banquet (Part 5)" (花都刺客 (其五)), lit. 'Flower Capital Assassin (Part 5)') is the fifth chapter of the manhua Assassin's Creed: Dynasty written by Xu Xianzhe.[1]

Behind the scenes

Translation errors

The English edition of Assassin's Creed: Dynasty published by Tokyopop is loaded with translation errors.

In regards to Chapter 5, the errors concerning faithfulness to tone and style of speech is even more apparent than previous chapters owing to the court setting. In particular, Chancellor Yang Guozhong originally speaks in formal, court language to his servant, but his speech is quite colloquial in the English publication. Although it may be challenging to translate the sophisticated idioms Guozhong employs into English, he borders on slang at various points in English, to the extent that the lines are more paraphrased than translated.

Below is one example:

「死的又不是達官貴人,何必大驚小怪?那幫市井之徒素來習性頑劣,喜好爭強鬥狠...結了仇家也是自然。」

Compare this official translation...

"Those aren't the bodies of high-ranking officials. There's no need to make a fuss. Those street thugs are rough and they always did love a good fight... It's only natural for them to have enemies."

...with this more faithful—though not necessarily ideal—original translation.

"The dead are not even prominent officials or nobles. Why the need for such great fright over some tiny thing amiss? That gang of street miscreants was by habitual nature invariably unruly, fond of wresting strength in vicious fights. To have bound themselves to some vengeful enemy was only natural."

The scene where Emperor Xuanzhong presents a slew of new rewards for An Lushan also contains some notable mistranslations.

「節度使安祿山,加封尚書左仆射,賜實封千戶,奴婢十房,莊、宅各一區!」

The official translation is presented immediately below, but the two major errors in this translation is that left () has been mistaken for right (), and Lushan has not been allotted ten factions of servants—whatever faction could have even meant—but ten rooms or houses of servants.

"Military gorvenor [sic] An Lushan, bestowed with the title of Right Deputy of State Affairs, with governance over a thousand households, ten factions of servants, a manor, and a mansion!"

Here is a more accurate translation:

"Jiedushi An Lushan is hereby granted with the additional office of Left Deputy to the Secretary of State Affairs and bestowed with the actual enfeoffment of one thousand households, ten rooms of servants, and one each of manors and residences!"

Apart from this, the previous chapters' mistranslation of 花魁 (Mandarin: huākuí), referring to the grand prize of the flower contest, as oiran is repeated in this chapter.

References

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