I have a question concerning a translation in the movie "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon". It's about 2/3rds of the way through the movie. To set the scene, Zhang Ziyi is in a tavern sitting at a table, drinking tea, and a group of men come up to her, and then a fight starts. At one point she asks one of the men "你是哪儿的?". At least that's what I think she's saying. The subtitle translation is "Who are you?". Is that correct? Should the translation be "Where are you (from)?
bababardwanAugust 01, 2011, 02:04 AM
"where are you from?" would be a more literal translation, but I think it's pretty much the same question if you think about it. Very existential if you take the "who are you" very literally, but otherwise where you're from is an important part of who you are, particularly in the old days before modern transportation with current mobile populations. Where you were from said a lot about you, and this may have been getting to the heart of what she wanted to know.
[mind you, if they did take ni shi na de in an existential way, it may have stopped them to pause in their tracks and contemplate their naval and given her time to make her escape, hehe]