• Member Since 1st Mar, 2014
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Baal Bunny


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Bómù Guāng Shǎn, the Prince of Friendship, asks Mèng Huàn, the Prince of the Night, for help investigating a mirror universe. The ponies there call it Equestria instead of Cōng Mǎ Guó, and it might have a few other differences, too...

The original, short story version came in 10th in the Writeoff Association's Feb. 2016 contest, "Look, I Can Explain." The cover artwork is by huhulin from Vectorstock, and overflowing thanks go out to M1Garand8 for help with the Mandarin names and the hànyǔ pīnyīn to render them in Latin characters.

Chapters (7)
Comments ( 135 )

中马国
The name surprised me
alot :)

No problems, mang. It's a nice story and I'm happy to help. :heart:

hànyǔ pīnyīn

By Jove, thank you.

This is nice. The Chinese influence gives it a definite "this is another land" feel. Does it extend to culture or architecture or other things?

Enjoyed this in the Writeoff, voted it up toward the top of my finalists (though I might be biased because I ship it). It'll be interesting to see how it expands!

I was hoping to see this here. Getting to see it fleshed out is especially welcome. Loving it so far, especially the olfactory aspect. Few stories make use of senses beyond sight and sound.

Man, this last month I've been thinking about doing a pony story with a ridiculous Xanxia plotline, and now I see this. This is super good, but please add more immortal cultivation and the Dao of Friendship.

Thanks, folks!

6944898
6944991
6945029

I'm hoping that my years of translating Latin and ancient Greek in school will help me figure out what I want the names to say, and then I can bounce the characters off M1 till he tells me they actually make some amount of sense. For instance, I wanted to use 聪马国--"smart horse kingdom"--rather than 小马国 --"small horse kingdom"--for the name of this alternate Equestria because the name "Equestria" comes from the Latin. The stereotype is that Latin is the tongue of Western Knowledge, so I wanted the name here to emphasize that these are sapient horses. And that also lets me save the idea of "small horse" for 小马城, the name of Ponyville in this universe.

Pardon me. I'm kind of a language geek...

6945114

One thing I always like about these "mirror universe" stories is the balance between what's different on each side and what's the same. So Cōng Mǎ Guó will have a very Equestrian feel to it, but yeah, there'll be differences, too.

6945275
6945847

Here's hoping it doesn't disappoint!

6948233

All I know about Xianxia is what I just read right now on Wikipedia. So it's pretty doubtful that I'll touch on anything related to that genre here.

Mike

6948908
Am a language geek too
A proud polyglot :)
My major are Semetic languages (Hebrew and Arabic)
I'm currently taking Mandarin too :) hope we can collab

Interesting set-up! I'm looking forwards to seeing the differences, whenever those are discovered.

6948908

years of translating Latin and ancient Greek

I'm kind of a language geek...

6949030

Am a language geek too
A proud polyglot :)
My major are Semetic languages (Hebrew and Arabic)

You. As an Esperantist and a language geek, I freaking love you guys right now.

6949441
Hahaha Esperanto is best Constructed Language

If anybody speaks Arabic here
لو استطعت ان تفهم هذا المنشور وتحب ماي ليتل بوني، تابعني لكي يمكننا على مناقشة عن الكارتون

6955712
I might need you for a couple projects. Stand by for a PM.

Which language does is it? I think it's Chinese but I'm not sure

The canon translation of Equestria is Xiaoma Guo, if I remember right.

On that note, is there a reason you didn't use the established Chinese names for the various ponies? I prefer the fan ones to the official dub, but either way

Also "cheng" implies a city and it really isn't appropriate for Ponyville. Something like zhen or cun would fit better. Can't remember which one the official dub went with.

6959351 there's actually two "chinese" languages, Mandarin and Cantonese. to the untrained western ear however, they sound the same.

6959728
It's R63 Chinese Equestria, so they'd need new names anyway, right? Mandarin/Cantonese equivalents of Dusk Shine, Artemis, etc., though I never really liked the English fan names for R63 ponies to begin with.

6948908
This is excellent so far! I added it to the various TwiLuna groups - hope you don't mind. R63 or not, that's as close as we'll get group-wise.

Also this brings to mind Yinglong Fujun's blog posts on Equestrian mythology and place-naming conventions.

6955712 Lojban speakers would disagree, I don't speak lojban. A little Sindarin, a smattering of tlhIngan Hol, but neither Esperanto nor lojban.

That said I have friends who are very snobby about both

For my part, I'm curious about the decision to go with 均橫 (I'm guessing) as the translation of "Harmony" as opposed to the more literal translation of 和谐. The former carries more connotation of physical equilibrium or balance. The latter is a bit more classical sounding (containing the classical character for harmony, 和), and carries more connotation of spiritual and emotional equilibrium between people, and even shares the English connotation of musical and artistic balance.

As a fellow lover of language, and a fan, in particular, of 普通话, I look forward to more of this story.

6959852 There's more than just Mandarin and Cantonese, actually. Wu, Hakka, Yue, etc., are all pretty easy to find down in the South and West of China. Hell, even Mandarin bears some differences from the language spoken in and around Beijing, which is what Mandarin was based on. It's a rather similar situation to French, actually.

6959852 There are a whole lot more than two. Though 'language' and 'dialect' are both frequently poor translations of fangyan

6959938 I spent a year in Harbin, which has 'more standard' Mandarin than Beijing (whatever exactly that means).

Honestly I think that erhua sounds pretty damned silly at this point. Even though I started out learning it same as everyone else.

Can I translate this story and share it on my blog? I'll credit you and include a link back here.
Btw, these are translations that is widely accepted by Chinese bronies :
Starswirl : 星璇(Xing Xuan)
Princess Luna:露娜公主(Lu Na)
Twilight Sparkle:暮光闪闪(Muguang Shanshan)
Princess Celestia:赛蕾丝蒂娅公主(Sai Lei Si Di Ya)
Equestria:小马国(Xiao Ma Guo)
Spike:斯派克/(Si Pai Ke)
Crystal Empire:水晶帝国(Shuijing Diguo)
Sombra:黑晶(Hei Jing)
Princess Cadence:韵律公主(Yun Lv)
Tirek:提雷克(Ti Lei Ke)
Elements of Harmony:谐律精华(Xie Lv Jing Hua)
And mane6:
Apple Jack: 苹果杰克(Pingguo Jieke)
Pinkie Pie:萍琪派(Pingqi Pai)
Rainbow Dash:云宝黛茜(Yunbao Daixi)
Rarity:瑞瑞(Rui Rui)
Fluttershy:小蝶(Xiao Die)
(And sorry if i made any mistake. I'm not good at speaking English.)

6959923
Hehe to us Polyglots the most famous goes to Esperanto


6961510
I love all the language talk here

يأتيني بشديد الشعر في قلبي بسبب اكثر من الناس هنا يحبون دراسة اللغات و قواعدها

Hope to see this expanded. I read the short story and it definitely felt a little rushed.

In my opinion cross-dimension/universe shipping seems kind of impractical and I find the implied instant relationship thing somewhat implausible . If that happen frequently in mirror worlds in this AU, then I suppose it makes sense but otherwise it feels a tad tacky. I take it that the author is a TwixLuna shipper in a general sense?

Otherwise an interesting read and I hope there prove to be other interesting differences between the world. Not sure if it's the author's intent, but as an aside it could be interesting to see an Equestria that is more of an empire than the implied monarchy (parliamentary or otherwise) in canon and that could line up neatly with pre-modern china.

6959882

Chinese names tend to be pretty unisex

6959724

I wanted to use:

The sounds "xiǎo mǎ" for the alternate name of Ponyville, and since the original names of Ponyville and Equestria sound so different, I wanted a different sound for the alternate name of Equestria. I liked the idea behind "cōng mǎ"--"smart horse"--so I used that. I'm also using Yuè Mǎ Jīng (跃马京) for Canterlot...

I used chéng just because I liked the idea that Ponyville was the equivalent of a European "walled city"--I mean, we saw that Ponyville's got a hydroelectric dam in "Mysterious Mare-Do-Well," and now that Twilight's castle is there, it just seemed to fit. I wouldn't be surprised to find that I was wrong on this point, however. :twilightsmile:

That's the reason I'm not using the established Chinese names, too. I simply didn't know what they were till 6961510 posted them--and yes, if you'd like to do a translation, Chenlin, that'd be a lot of fun! My language training is in English, Latin, and ancient Greek, so for the names here, I'm just juggling sounds and concepts till I come up with things I like--I'm exactly the "untrained Western ear" 6959852 mentions. I then run my ideas past M1Garand8 to see if the things I've put together make any sort of sense: it took us six or seven tries to get a name for the male version of Fluttershy that even partially worked, for instance...

So I'll apologize to everyone who actually knows Pǔ Tōng Huà--thanks, 6959938, for the name, and Hé Xié probably would've been a better fit for the Elements of Harmony, now that you point it out. I'm almost entirely certain that I'll be making more questionable choices as the story continues--I'm aiming for 10 days per chapter, so "2 - Èr" should be ready for posting on Friday.

6959889
6962782

Thanks! I'd never actually thought about shipping Twilight and Luna till I came up with the idea for this story. That's how it tends to work for me: story first, ship second. :raritywink:

Mike

6964897 I generally thought the fan sub names (which I believe came from Taiwanese fans) were better than the official mainland dub.

A friend of mine who knows some Japanese recognized the characters for Fluttershy's fan name and thought it was adorable that they called her "Little Butterfly"

By contrast, Twilight's official dub name is "Ziyue." Which I believe means...Purple.

6962782 I could accept it more if they just said, "Hey! You are one SMOKIN' HOT mare and I wanna rut you senseless!" And the reply was, "Awww yeeaaaahhhh!"

Cuz... that's kinda how most human relationships happen these days anyway... :rainbowlaugh:

An actual relationship based on more than physical appearance and raging hormones takes a great deal of time to develop. A short story can lay the first seeds of a budding romance, but it can't present one fully developing in such a short space.

6966359
That would certainly make it very clear, but there's a problem with that; Luna and Twilight (and their counterparts) seem, at least by general stereotypes, to be the kind of pony that has difficult expressing that sort of thing. That is, they would only say something like that if they were really, really drunk off their hooves and maybe not even then. The thing that makes the most sense, to me at least, is for them for Twilight and Bomu to be having internal fits of squee'ing over there being a male (female) equivalent to their respective objects of admiration. To my point of view it's fairly easy to imagine the respective parties being interested in that manner in the pony in question if only... you know.

To be fair, it's far from a fully developed relationship and really presents as shared interest, mutual desire/lust? and probably some 'rolls in the hay'. I think it could be presented better and more development written out, but I'm hardly one to speak on actually writing that sort of thing. It might be a budding romance, but it seems predicated on physical attraction despite the implied shared interests? and mutually agreeable qualities.

6964897
Strictly speaking you'd be shipping Bómù/Luna and Twilight/Mèng Huàn.

Look for:

"3 - Sān" on or about March 6th--10 days per chapter's what it's looking like.

Oh, and here's the actual names from this chapter: Hóng Ruì Qì (虹锐气), Píng Guǒ Jiǔ (苹果酒), Lín Láng (琳琅), Fěn Hóng Bǐng (粉红饼), Wēi Fēng Fǔ (微风抚), Jīng Pò Yǔ (精魄语), Yǒng Yě Sēn Lín (永野森林), and Tián Píng Mǔ (甜苹亩). Again, I think that's all of them.

Mike

This has been a delight so far, I hope your writing proceeds with speed and aplomb.

Interesting, so Bomu is more willing to resort to lies and trickery than Twilight but he's still the Element of Magic equivalent and won't do anything permanently harmful. So what is his motive for this (for lack of a better term) prank?

6961510
你好! 很感谢你能列出大陆小马迷常用的中文翻译名称! 我已经有提供过此列表中的一些名称可是Baal Bunny最终还是选择了比较独特的翻译. 我相信是因为它们不只是名称有所变动, 它们的性别也是相反的, 所以我能谅解他不想使用那些常用的翻译. 还有我也在尽力提供他最良好的所需中文名称. 希望你能谅解.

对于故事的中文翻译, 我有点好奇. 你会以小马的英文名来取代它们的中文名称吗?

English:
Hi! Many thanks for putting up the list of names used by the Mainland Chinese Bronies! I have suggested some of the names from the list but Baal Bunny eventually ended up using more original and creative translations. I believe this is because not only the ponies' names are different, their genders are reversed too, so I'm okay that he wants something different.

Also, I'm doing my best to provide him with the necessary translations. I hope you're understanding of the departure.

Regarding the Chinese translation of the story, I'm curious. Will you be using the ponies' English names to replace the Chinese ones?

6978624 我在考虑两种方案。一个方案是在这部小说的基础上做一些改动,让那些名字更加贴近中国人的语言习惯。(很遗憾,直接使用小说中的中文名称不是一个选项,因为其中有一些名字实在是太罕见了,会让读者很困扰)
另一个方案就是如你刚才所说,用英文名称来代替中文名称,但这样又让文章的表现力下降了很多。我还在思考有没有更好的办法。
另外,你的中文真的非常不错,你学习了多久的中文了?还是说你本来就是中国人?
(说英文总是让我感到紧张,能偶尔说一说中文真是很舒服)

6978840

一个方案是在这部小说的基础上做一些改动,让那些名字更加贴近中国人的语言习惯。

哦哦, 这应该是个不错的点子. 主要的是那些改动的中文名能跟原本的小马名字(暮暮, 小蝶等...)之间有很大的差异就应该没事吧... 这方面你肯定比我还行. @@

另一个方案就是如你刚才所说,用英文名称来代替中文名称,但这样又让文章的表现力下降了很多。

这的确是个问题. 一大段的中文突然出现英文字会使读者感到诧异, 一个不好的反应.

(很遗憾,直接使用小说中的中文名称不是一个选项,因为其中有一些名字实在是太罕见了,会让读者很困扰)

是哪些名字啊? 我很好奇. (我猜测其中一个是琳琅, 因为以单词来讲, 我从来没见过. @@)

我和Baal Bunny都是运用一些我们想要的概念然后寻找最接近的词语来翻译. 另一个条件就是得听起来顺耳. 大多数都是他给我一堆他想使用的名称, 然后我会回应他那些名称符不符合他想要的概念并且顺不顺耳. Baal Bunny前些comment有提过小蝶的中文名称我们来回了七, 八次才找到一个我们都满意的名字.

可是我对大陆/台湾的中文习俗不是很熟, 所以是挺担心大陆/台湾那边的读者会感到诧异.

另外,你的中文真的非常不错,你学习了多久的中文了?还是说你本来就是中国人?

谢谢! 我是新加坡土生华人, 受过双语教育. 其实我的中文有点生锈了... 在家用的都是说话的常用词. 应该多读点中文... :fluttershyouch:

(说英文总是让我感到紧张,能偶尔说一说中文真是很舒服)

你的英文也说得非常不错, 是哪学的啊? 我们应该上私聊说比较妥当, 话题开始跟小说不太相关了...




English:

一个方案是在这部小说的基础上做一些改动,让那些名字更加贴近中国人的语言习惯。

Oh, that's a good idea. It should be okay if the changed names are different from the original canon names (Twilight, Fluttershy etc...), I guess? You're much better in this department than I do. @@

另一个方案就是如你刚才所说,用英文名称来代替中文名称,但这样又让文章的表现力下降了很多。

That is a problem. Having English words popping up in a sea of Chinese text will kick the readers out of the story. Which is not we'll like to see.

(很遗憾,直接使用小说中的中文名称不是一个选项,因为其中有一些名字实在是太罕见了,会让读者很困扰)

Which are the names? I'm very curious. (One of them, I'm guessing, is Lín Láng. Because I've never seen that term by itself, ever. @@)

Baal Bunny and I both translate by looking at the concept we want to see in the name and then finding its closest translation in Chinese. The other criteria was that it had to sound pleasing to the ear (as far as I could tell, anyway). Most of the time, we would give me a list of names he wants to use in the chapter and I would feedback whether the names fit the concept he wants and whether if it sounds okay. As Baal Bunny had said earlier, we went back and forth 7, 8 times just to get R63!Fluttershy's name down.

But I'm not very familiar with the common words in China/Taiwan, so I was actually quite worried that China/Taiwan readers might be annoyed with my translations.

另外,你的中文真的非常不错,你学习了多久的中文了?还是说你本来就是中国人?

Thanks! I'm a Singaporean Chinese, with bilingual education. Actually, my Chinese's a little rusty... Been only using common spoken words at home. I should read more Chinese text... :fluttershyouch:

(说英文总是让我感到紧张,能偶尔说一说中文真是很舒服)

Your English is pretty good too, where did you learn it? Maybe we should take this up to PMs, starting to get off track from the story...

I love what you've added to this chapter, especially Mèng Huàn taking his anger out on deserving targets of opportunity. I'm a sucker for stuff in the dreamscape. The bit about the language of names was also a nice touch. Looking forward to the next installment, especially since the story will be entering unexplored territory.

6979094

Which are the names? I'm very curious. (One of them, I'm guessing, is Lín Láng. Because I've never seen that term by itself, ever. @@)

大概是这些:倒钩(这其实是男性使用的名字,而且它总让我联想起鱼钩,我借鉴了一下台湾的翻译,用穗娘代替。),
晶体国(人们印象中的晶体是盐一样的东西。对于在Crystal Empire中出现的那种大块晶体,中文有专门的词汇:水晶。而且水晶听起来要好听一些),
有阴影(形容词性的短语从不用作名字),
均衡(之前讨论过了,和谐或者谐律更好),
天上(通常充当状语成分的短语也极少作为名字),
星漩涡(这仍然是个偏向男性化的名字,而且漩涡这个词出现在名字中会让人觉得很奇怪。我换成了星媗),
聪马国(事实上,聪这个字通常不用于形容某物是sapient的,它只意味着你的理解能力很强,别人说一句话你能立刻明白。我借用了可格列夫游记里的翻译“慧骃国”)
不过,琳琅这个名字其实很好。琳琅的意思是坚硬而珍贵的东西(钻石,玉,水晶之类的)mane6的名字可能都需要一些调整,但我觉得我还是先翻译完第一章再去想好了。

Which are the names? I'm very curious. (One of them, I'm guessing, is Lín Láng. Because I've never seen that term by itself, ever. @@)

Dao Gou(It's a boy's name. And it reminds me of those creepy fishhooks. So I used Sui Niang instead),
Jing Ti Guo,(Jing Ti makes people think of something like salt. Those giant crystals appeard in Crystal Empire are called Shui Jing. )
You Yin Ying(Adjective phrases are seldom used as names),
Jun Heng (Like 6959938 commented before, He Xie or Xie Lv is more appropriate.) ,
Tian Shang(Adverbial phrases are seldom used as names),
Xing Xuan Wo(It's a boy's name. And It's strange to include "Xuan Wo" in one's name. I used 星媗.),
Cong Ma Guo("聪" usually doesn't mean something is sapient, It just means that you are really good at understanding.I borrowed the translation in Gulliver's Travels, which is Hui Yin Guo.)

Lin Lang is a good name. It means something hard and....rarity. (Diamonds, jade, crystals, etc.) The rest of the names for the mane6 might need some adjustment, too. But I think I'll finish translating chapter 1 first.

6977303

My speculation is that it's to spend time with Luna. He probably considers hooking Twi up with MH as enough to justify the deception.

6980666

Suì Niáng for the female version of Spike?

I can see the 娘, I guess, since she's female, but I don't see how 穗 fits in. I could see 随 in the sense of an attendant...

I've already changed the Elements of Harmony from 均衡 to 和谐, and I love the Gulliver's Travels reference with the Houyhnhnm--if I wasn't determined to use 马 in all the names that have horse references in the original, I might change it here. Maybe 会马国 in the sense of an assembly of horses? Or would that be more 群马国?

As for 天上, that's just me being weird. See, in the orginal Latin, "celestia" is technically a neuter plural adjective rather than anything anyone would use as a name--in a substantive sense, it means "things in the sky." So I wanted the male version here to have a non-name name, too. But I can understand how it would sound peculiar.

This stuff is so much fun! :twilightsmile:

Mike

6980666
看起来不错, 比我的好多了. 我真的应该得多读点中文书籍, 以扩广我的词汇认识... o_o

其中有几个词汇:
晶体国
有阴影
均衡
Baal Bunny没跟我讨论过, 所以它们是来自原版的短篇.

希望你翻译愉快! :3

很感谢你的支持.

English:
The translations look great, much better than mine. I guess I should really read up more Chinese text so I can expand my vocabulary... o_o

A few of the names:
Jing Ti Guo
You Yin Ying
Jun Heng

Baal Bunny didn't go through those with me, so they came from the original short story.

Hope you have a happy translation of the story! :3

Many thanks for your support.

6981238
慧马国 could probably work too. Since 慧 means “wise".

慧骃国 is actually rather appropriate, since it literally meant "wise greyscale horse kingdom".

穗 according to the dictionary I'm looking at, one of the words it translates to is "spike".

Is it just me or does Bómù seem a little bit more reckless than Twilight? Maybe it has something to do with Sunset's alternate "not" pilling the same stunt on him, seem likely that didn't happen if this is first time the ponies of Cōng Mǎ Guó have had contact with mirror universes. I also find it funny that in Cōng Mǎ Guó things are named to honor ancient magic, but in Equestria they seem obsessed with horse puns! Makes me think Equestria is just a bit wackier.

I like these kind of Stories of seeing Equestria though a different cultural lens.

6981238
M1Garand8,如果baal bunny不明白我的英语,能请你帮忙将我的意思翻译一下吗,感激不尽。
穗指的是稻谷顶端的果实部分。在词典上Spike对应穗,所以台湾使用了“穗龙”作为Spike的译名,我借鉴了一下。
会一般指人们聚在一起讨论事情,或者说一个组织。所以“会马国”不适合作为名字。而“群马国”实在是太奇怪了,所以用慧马国要好一点
事实上,只要你的名字的偏旁部首里含有“马”这个部首,人们都会明白你是在表达和马有关的事物。例如, "驹 骢 骓 骐 骥 骏 骕 駃 驵",这些字都和"马"本身一样好用。我马上就要去上学了,下周六之前都没法用电脑,再见~:twilightsmile:
“穗” is the grain-bearing tip part of the stem of a cereal plant. (the "ear"?). Since 穗 is "spiky", Taiwan used the translation “穗龙” for Spike and I kind of borrowed their translation.
会 means an organization or a meeting——in which people wear suit and tie and discuss stuff . So 会马国 won't work. And 群马国 is.... just too weird to be a name........like 6981256 said, 慧马国 will be fine.
In fact, as long as the name includes the Chinese radical "马" ,people will understand the horse reference. For example , 驹 骢 骓 骐 骥 骏 骕 駃 驵, they all work just as fine as 马 itself. I'll be leaving for school in a few minutes and won't be back until next Saturday (or Sunday?). So see you~
Sorry If I made any mistake in English. I just don't know how to express myself in English. :fluttercry:

6981577

M1Garand8,如果baal bunny不明白我的英语,能请你帮忙将我的意思翻译一下吗,感激不尽。

没问题!

你的英文看起来没什么问题, 意思都很清楚.

English:
No problems!

Your English looks fine. The meanings are all very clear.

How how you pronounce Wànlǐ Chángchéng, and what does it mean?

6981841 What does that mean in English?
6944898 What does that mean in English?

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