Bruce Lee Translation Project

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Legend of Bruce Lee (2008 TV) Translation © 2008 John Ten, Episode[1/50] mm:ss 00:00 through 17:33 Email John
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When life is a hard game, Don't you blame, It's a chance to, Arise your arm, Let your spirit be brave, Always fight to hold your name, No matter how bad or rough, You never surrender.
All the warriors in this world, Join the passion of this master of soul, From the Chinese hills and shore, We still listen to Bruce Lee battle call.
All the warriors in this world, Join the passion of this master of soul, From the Chinese hills and shore, We still listen to Bruce Lee battle call.


Episode One
1st Typewriter typing: 1:59 – 2:17
On the night of July 20th, 1973 Bruce Lee (Chinese nick name is Lee Small Dragon used here), in Hong Kong (location "lee ja shan be hua huan") once again passed out, subsequently rushed to Queen Elizabeth hospital, ambulance crew was fighting to resuscitate him. On that same night, at 11:30pm Bruce Lee was officially pronounced dead, shortly after, the news spread, shaken Hong Kong and the entire world…
2nd Typewriter typing: 2:18 – 2:45
After Bruce Lee's death, there are much confusion among the cause of his death…. In consideration to Bruce Lee's great contribution to the world of Martial Arts and the international effect he had on cinema, Hong Kong has decided to have a public and official investigation into the matters and cause of his death. In 1973, from September 3rd to September 24th, the court (in long Chinese name) will commence investigation into the cause of death.
3rd Typewriter typing: 2:46 – 3:07
1973, September 24 at 10 o'clock in the morning, a court judge report to authority explained there are 7 possible causes for death in general and broken down the possibilities of each type.
1. Murder: there is no evidence or cause that he is murdered, can be eliminated.
2. Accidental kill: the deceased has no evidence encountering such, can be eliminated.
4th Typewriter typing: 3:08 – 3:24
3. Capital punishment: the deceased did not die by death penalty, no need to consider.
4. Suicide: the deceased has no motivation or circumstance, can be eliminated.
5. Natural cause: in examination, found no life threatening illness, therefore can be eliminated.
6. Unfortunate death: possible brain over reaction to the use of Aspirin.
5th Typewriter typing: 3:25 – 3:46
7. Unexplained death: there are conflicts over this reason between official investigation and researchers. Inconclusive.
Official investigation report the final analysis: Bruce Lee was over exhausted, causing brain edema (swelling), official cause of death: Death by Misfortune.
6th Typewriter typing: 3:47 – 4:13
Bruce Lee, original name – Lee Jun Fan, ancestral roots (untranslatable), born America San Francisco 1940, died Hong Kong 1973, age 32.
Bruce Lee in his very short life, has created miracles beyond one can count. Using Wing Chun kung-fu as his foundation, delved into Chinese philosophy, creatively founded Jeet Kun Do, and brought to reality a new system of Martial Arts.
He brought forth an international level of interest in Chinese kung-fu; solidified his status as the cultural icon of the 20th century.
7th Typewriter typing: 4:14 – 4:30
He not only written the word Kung-Fu into the English dictionary, in Hollywood, he single handily created a new genre, Kung Fu Movies.
Bruce Lee has one leg on top of the Martial Arts world and another on top of Hollywood; is considered by many, an international giant.
8th Typewriter typing: 4:31 – 4:34
We should understand Bruce Lee.
9th Typewriter typing: 4:35 – 4:36
We should know Bruce Lee.
4:45 – Little dragon. Little dragon. (Chinese family often call their kids by their nickname, in this case Bruce Lee was born in the year of the dragon. Many who are born in the year of the tiger are nick named "little tiger". Out of 12 animal signs, only dragons and tigers are usually called due to their symbolic power and status).
4:54 – Little dragon. Come down stairs, let's eat.
4:56 – I got it. Wait a second.
5:11 – Little Dragon Costume.
5:14 – How is it? Does it look good?
5:16 – Costume does look good.
5:19 – Go and give your mother, sister and brother (older) a look
5:22 – Ok.
5:26 – Come. Hurry. I want to give them a surprise.
5:32 – Wow, so pretty. Looks good. Looks good.
5:36 – Bruce, do you have faith that you can win? ("win" is the best translated word due to context clues but the actual words in Chinese means – "to take name order/ranking" in plural tense which can mean 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place". However the context clues does not allow for defeat of a 2nd place, only 1st is acceptable so the word "win" is used. It's also a humble Chinese way to say that you're the ultimate victor)
5:37 – No problem. I guarantee you I will win.
5:41 – Brother, come here.
5:44 – Take a look. How's my costume?
5:52 – My brother (younger) don't look too bad, huh?
5:56 – Today, I will represent our school
5:57 – to participate in National Hong Kong Cha Cha Dance competition.
5:58 – would you guys go to give me support?
6:03 – No need to worry. We have already discussed.
6:06 – But we're all afraid
6:08 – You get nervous and not win. Be embarrassing.
6:12 – Why you look down on others?
6:13 – Bruce, don't be angry.
6:15 – actually, we have already made a decision
6:18 – this afternoon, we stop everything we do
6:19 – to all go together to watch you compete
6:21 – to all go together.
6:23 – dad even drop all his appointments
6:24 – Really? That's so great!
6:26 – Eat an egg. Thanks mom.
6:31 – Sister (older), I have one small condition.
6:33 – What condition? Say it.
6:35 – Let me borrow and ride your bicycle, that okay?
6:39 – because all the British students,
6:40 – all driving cars now.
6:41 – even motorcycles are not that uncommon.
6:42 – At least let me ride a bicycle
6:45 – Right?
6:48 – You're not even sure if you can win,
6:49 – already negotiating conditions?
6:51 – don't bother your sister
6:54 – You
6:59 – as long as you do well in academics
7:01 – your dad will buy you one.
7:02 – Really? Really.
7:04 – Agreed? Agreed. Yes!
7:09 – Bruce, you are now a student
7:13 – student should emphasize learning
7:15 – don't be seeing things and desire it
7:18 – today you get nosy about this thing
7:19 – tomorrow you get nosy about another thing
7:23 – always comparing and rowdy
7:26 – the only thing you good at is failure in your academic learning
7:28 – I refuse to learn, that alright?
7:30 – Okay Okay Little dragon.
7:32 – As long as you obey, no messing around, no fighting
7:35 – sister (older) will let you borrow the bicycle. (The word yield is more accurate than borrow in direct translation; there is a group of words (3) for bicycle that actually means foot pedal vehicle but in this drama, they use another group of words (3) that means "self moving vehicle" but it means bicycle).
7:36 – Really?
7:37 – but I have one condition?
7:38 – what condition?
7:39 – You have to take good care of it. Yes. Take good care of it. (Chinese literal words for to take good care of, "to love and treasure")
7:41 – I absolutely will take care of it.
7:42 – Thank you so much. (Literal translation, "the small one in right accordance show his respectful manner"
8:10 – Watch out. Watch out. Let me pass. Let me pass. (Watch out is smooth translation choice; it means to be careful. Original word translation translates to "small heart", meaning in order for you to be careful, your heart has to very focus to work on small items. Let me pass is smooth translation too; literal translation "Yield the Road")
8:20 – Ah-Ling. (His best friend at school)
8:22 – Wow! This is so cool! (Literal "so handsome")
8:23 – Isn't this the same as Ling-Chi's exactly the same?
8:25 – That's right. I just want to piss her off.
8:28 – As if she is the only respectable race in the whole class. Let's go.
8:31 – Let me give you a ride you to school.
8:39 – Careful. Careful.
8:56 – I don't know Bruce Lee, his dad
8:57 – what does he do for a living?
8:58 – how can he deserve to be riding a high class bicycle?
9:01 – I heard from others, his dad is a stage actor-singer (Another translation: Chinese opera singer. Chinese opera house different than Westerner's; they usually tell a sad story with songs and makeup so heavy you can't tell who they are; highest prize actors are man who can be so feminine in movement and voice, they can fool men into thinking they're women. Although in this move and Bruce's dad old movie archives from San Francisco, his dad is most definitely normal and masculine kind, lol).
9:05 – Blaire.
9:06 – Tomorrow, go and drive your family's car over. (Literal: house contains the car or house car)
9:08 – I will accompany you to go sightseeing. (In Chinese, there are no past, present, or future tense; therefore "will" is inserted because the event is going to take place tomorrow. Sightseeing literal: "ride against the wind". Verbatim translation: Me Accompany You Ride Wind Go.)
9:10 – Okay. ( "okay" or "sure" depending on linguistic flow)
9:11 – This afternoon, I will take you to the gymnasium.
9:13 – Xioaman. Take this for me. (Xioaman is Bruce's girlfriend; actress real name is XioaXioa Bian.)
9:16 – What do you think?
9:17 – This afternoon, I take you to gymnasium to participate in a competition
9:20 – Sure. (same word as 9:10).
9:21 – This bicycle looks so good. Is it yours? (The 3-word bicycle here is stripped to only the 1-word "vehicle" part of "self moving vehicle", it is assumed the audience know it's the bicycle in front of them)
9:23 – Of course. <this is 100% perfect translation. LOL>
9:24 – Ah-Ling. Here, you can take my bicycle for a ride. (Literal: now, bicycle transfer of ownership for you to play)
9:26 – I am going to take Xioaman to practice Cha Cha dance. (insert dance to sound better in English)
9:29 – This afternoon, I will most definitely win. (Literal: win=Take The Finals)
9:32 – Great. Go Bruce! (Again same word as "okay" and "sure", but great sounds better here. Chinese is very limited in their diverse type of positive expression. Go Bruce is the only translation possible because in Chinese it means "add more oil" like add more oil on fire. This is a very common encouraging phrase used in Chinese toward someone who you wish to do better or excel at something.)
9:34 – Hey Bruce!
9:36 – So you think you can win the crown huh? (Literal: Just you alone also want to Take The Finals?)
9:37 – You know what ground you are standing on, Bruce? (Literal: What place is this, Bruce?)
9:40 – Sick Man of Asia have the audacity? (Literal: Asia Sick Man Also Dare Rob Capable?)
9:44 – What did you say?
9:47 – Looks like your English isn't so bad, eh? (Literal: Look Your English Speak Not Bad Huh?)
9:49 – Let me tell you something Blaire
9:50 – This is China. Get out of here and go back to your England. (Literal: Roll-on-the-ground Backward to Your England)
9:53 – Stop it. Stop it. What happened? No fighting here.
9:57 – Discipline. You guys must have discipline. (Besides discipline, "mannerism" is also included)
10:01 – They don't know any manner of decency at all. (Literal: They Know Not Discipline/manner). I translate this way because the tone of voice warrants this translation against racial degradation of a lower class. The word "know" is more accurate than have, though have seems smoother but I pick accuracy in this case.
10:03 – Bruce Lee (You'll notice Bruce in Chinese requires 3 characters, so Bruce Lee requires a 4th for his surname, separated by a comma or a dot; grammatically, a comma is more academic)
10:04 – Want to get a taste of my fist, huh?
10:05 – Okay. Let's go. Little dragon (someone yell out his nick name)
10:07 – Stop it right now. (Literal: Stop Hand. Stop Hand.)
10:10 – You have to be responsible for your action.
10:12 – I will not allow any commotion here. (Literal: Here Not Allow Spreading Wildness)
10:14 – He call me names and disgrace us Chinese. (Literal: He Yell Me)
10:18 – Okay.
10:23 – Dear student Blair
10:25 – A person of high class should not intentionally hurt another person
10:28 – You do know our school is against racial prejudice.
10:31 – For the things you said earlier (Literal: You Should For You Earlier Word)
10:32 – give Bruce Lee an apology.
10:36 – Alright. I am sorry. I am sorry. (again same word, "okay" "sure" "great" and "alright")
10:39 – Bruce.
10:41 – You are not Sick Man of Asia.
10:47 – Teacher Ingles, please tell me
10:49 – What exactly is Sick Man of Asia?
10:51 – Um… this…
10:53 – Okay Bruce Lee
10:56 – Shouldn't you be preparing for your competition?
11:04 – Coming up next is… (in English we say next up, in Chinese they use the complete opposite "down under"… Verbatim: Down Under Opening Battlefield-Stage)
11:05 – Blair and Jones team! (Literal: team = Piece together)
11:08 – Yay! Yay! ("okay" "sure" "great" "alright" and "Yay!")
11:09 to 11:44 – <Cha Cha Jazz music playing>
11:45 – Great! Great!
11:47 to 12:07 -- <Cha Cha Jazz music playing>
12:08 – Great! Great!
12:18 – Next up is…
12:20 – Bruce Lee and Ching Xioaman team!
12:23 – Let's give them a big round of an applause! (Literal: Please Everyone Give Heated Hand-clap Sound)
12:30 – Yes!
12:32 – <Cha Cha Music playing…>
13:10 – What an excellent dance! (Literal: Dance Very Not Bad – in Chinese, this is like super great, culturally, they're very reserve people in their positive expression.)
13:13 – This Bruce Lee and Ching Xioaman dance
13:14 – is so much better than Blair and Jones team
13:16 – for sure the win must be theirs
14:12 – Next up is…
14:13 – Steven and Annie team! (I have to literally guess by listening to Chinese what English names are, many times over)
14:15 – Let's give them a hand of applause! (no Chinese subtitle here, it said in the background).
14:17 – Little dragon
14:19 – Little dragon. You little rascal, you're so great!
14:21 – We have all come to an agreement.
14:22 – If you can really win this competition
14:23 – All the girls in the class will kiss you
14:26 – Will Jones also kiss me?
14:28 – I believe she will. (Literal: I See Just About)
14:29 – I mean the whole Asian girls in the class
14:30 – all thinks this way
14:31 – I don't mean that
14:33 – If only Jones kiss me
14:35 – I will be really happy
14:40 – Xioaman
14:41 – I don't mean that
14:43 – This has nothing to do with you
14:44 – Jones is good with Blair right?
14:47 – I bet she look down upon us
14:49 – I just want to teach her a lesson
14:51 – I want those English to see that I win for sure! (Literal: English=old devil folks; its nickname what Chinese call outsider Caucasian Americans or English)
14:56 – Be quiet. Be quiet. (Literal: Respectfully Soundless)
14:58 – Be quiet! Be quiet!
15:00 – Competition is still ongoing; you lack any sense of mannerism (or respect).
15:04 – Lady Ingles.
15:05 – To me, the competition has already ended.
15:08 – As long as I beat Blair and Jones team
15:12 – My competition is over.
15:15 – Bye.
15:22 – Who cares about her?
15:26 – Listen.
15:27 – Hong Kong Cha Cha Competition winner is…
15:30 – Bruce Lee and Ching Xioaman duo team!
15:34 – Please let the winner come up and receive your award! (in this particular case, Literal winner="the-one-who-conducted hand"; a national sports hero is called "country hand" or "nation hand"; a varsity player for school "school hand"; hand means the person who play or participate, representing).
15:38 – Dad, I never thought Little dragon (Bruce) can dance this good.
15:41 – Yes. He danced very well.
15:44 - <Dad calling Bruce's older brother name in Chinese; Bruce's older brother Peter Lee, is a fencing champion>
15:45 – tell your brother (younger)
15:47 – tonight to come home earlier
15:48 – let the whole family have a good celebration
15:50 – Little dragon this mischievous little rascal (Literal: mischievous=bad; although the word means "bad" exactly but it doesn't really mean bad or evil in this context; could also be translated to disobedient or ill-disciplined. Again, Chinese humble way to not over project the image of their kids to others)
15:52 – I discover that if he just put this mind to something
15:54 – boy, is he good. What do you think?
15:56 – however, you should go tell Little dragon
15:59 – the way I see it, today, Ah-Ling and friends will go crazy happy over this
16:02 – don't let them get too overly rowdy
16:08 – No problem. I will treat everyone out. Don't worry.
16:11 – Hi, I congratulate you.
16:13 – What good is it only to congratulate with words? Any physical response? (Literal: Only Bless Words Don't Have Any Raising-arm Action?)
16:15 – If you only take the dance routine between you and Xioaman
16:17 – and teach them to me and Blair
16:19 – then I can help you do your school work (homework is a different word)
16:22 – Hm… teaching you is okay.
16:23 – But to ask me to teach Blair that no good Englishmen (Devil Old = Englishmen in this context)
16:25 – Let him go to hell. (Literal: Let Him Face Devil Go)
16:31 – Lady Jones.
16:32 – If you only not mix in with Blair
16:34 – you'll still be very cute (Literal: cute = Able-to Love, or lovable)
16:35 – Bye.
16:38 – Let's go.
16:46 – Why do you want him to teach you?
16:49 – His creative dancing routine is very good.
16:50 – Let's go. Let me take you somewhere.
16:53 – Where do you want to take me?
16:54 – Just watch and see. (Literal: Watch-out Good Drama)
16:56 – What are you saying? (Literal: What Good Drama?)
16:58 – Just come with me in the car (Literal: Follow Me Up Car OK?)
16:59 – I am not in the mood (Literal: Me No Heart Emotion)
17:04 – Little dragon. I see the whole school is really going for you. (Literal: Me See Whole School All For You Good)
17:07 – What you have now
17:08 – is the trophy cup for the Cha Cha Dance Competition
(Crown Colony Cha Cha Championship of Hong Kong)
17:09 – I don't think you'll have any problem graduating from high school now
17:11 – The school is always showing favoritism to glorious honor like this
17:14 – Now, for the school other than
17:15 – the only thing you don't have yet is the Hong Kong Boxing championship titlen
17:17 – Just about every other championship title,
17:18 – You have almost all of them already.
17:20 – Then let me go take the Boxing Championship title too.
17:22 – That easy?
17:23 – Our school's coach Smith
17:25 – is the boxing coach
17:26 – throughout these years, he has trained many students
17:28 - but none can beat David Copperfield.
(in real life, Bruce Lee at age 18 in 1958 beat Gary Elms, reigning 3 time Boxing champion)
17:31 – If only you defeat him
17:32 – He has no choice but to pay you respect (Literal: pay you respect = Erecting a Cup to you)
17:33 – I will give serious consideration on this issue (Literal: This Thing Me Test-Worry Test-Worry; the word "serious" is born or conceived out of by repeating twice, previous phrase to amplify or emphasis a meaning)
Translation by John Ten

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