the Language of Firefly
|From:||Rodlox R <rodlox@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, September 7, 2005, 17:40|
the text is as follows (minus the italics)
THE LANGUAGE OF FIREFLY
Not being a professional linguist, I wont claim that this is the come-all
or be-all of language sites even where it concerns Firefly. All I intend to
do is to lay out several examples of how the languages of Firefly differ
from our own.
First, a bit of introduction, for those who do not know what Firefly is.
Firefly is a tv series (and an upcoming movie Serenity) which takes place
500 years in the future. Mankind is the only intelligent species, and Earth
is the only planet which gave birth to life but humans have expanded
throughout this galaxy, terraforming planets and large moons, making them
fit places to live). The predominant language in Firefly, in fact, the only
one we viewers hear, is a blend of English and Chinese.
One can pardon the language(s) not changing too too much otherwise, we
viewers wouldnt understand a word of what was being said. But this website
will examine some of the things that are different.
Any help, assistance, and-or contributions would be more than welcome.
Whereas modern Chinese says Ni dong ma to say You understand? You not
understand? as one person translated for me
in Firefly, they have dropped
the ni, having only dong ma?
English in the verse seems to have lost many of its context indicators. For
example, in the following scene from the episode Shindig
Kaylee and the rest of the crew are walking through town, and stop in front
of a dress shop. Kaylee says Ooh, look at the pretties! admiring the fancy
Note that Kaylee does not say Ooh, look at the pretty dresses, she simply
says to look at the pretties.
Another matter, and Im not sure what transpired to cause it, is the use of
the word shiny. Its varied uses include when a machine is working just
fine, its shiny; and when events in life turn out for the best, that too
is considered shiny.