July 4, 2011 AT 2:29 pm

Translating the UI screens from Serenity

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As we learn Chinese (Mandarin) we’re looking at things a little differently and recalling characters we wished we knew at the time. This is the second row of characters from the movie Serenity at the 59:58 mark where river looks in to the student teaching screen UI and sees writing, then a planet. Not sure what it was meant to mean, any ideas?

乍 first
举 move
久 long
乐 music
举 move
久 long
临 face/arrive/overlook/just before
乌 crow
举 move

We set the Flickr photo to allow any Flickr user to add notes, please do!

You can see our previous posts about learning Chinese (Mandarin) below:
Adafruit is learning Chinese
Learning Chinese – “The Moon Represents My Heart”
Learning Chinese: Your tips and comments…
Learning Chinese, what we use on iPad & iPhone Pleco
@memrise is a fun way to learn Chinese (Mandarin) Characters

As always, share your suggestions for tips, learning guides, books and more in the comments! 谢谢。Xièxiè

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  1. Of the 4 larger columns of vertical characters, the first and third columns (with simple, angular characters) are Japanese katakana characters. They are often used to sound out foreign words, but not always. I’m no expert, but in this case I’d guess they’re just picked for visual appeal.

    The first column reads: i/ma/mi/ni/hi/mi/ri/te/i

    The third column reads: hi/to/so/i/ha/i/hi/i/su

    There’s only 46 katakana characters plus a few accented variants so they’re easy to check.

    Also the small column of characters right down the black/grey split in the centre also may be Japanese, but a mix of katakana and hiragana. It’s hard to tell because they don’t look to be complete.

  2. @bruce – thanks! yah, we only posted about the chinese section so far since (as you said) the others might just be there for visuals, the chinese ones may be specific since the show/movie does use actual characters that translate to something.

  3. Wow!!

  4. I can’t read Chinese, but I can read Japanese, and this doesn’t seem to be anything more than a design using Chinese and Japanese characters as decoration. It doesn’t seem to mean anything at all. hitosoihahiisu means nothing.

  5. This is 100 % gibberish, both the fake Chinese and the fake Japanese 🙂

    The Serenity movie has lots of random Japanese spread around on signs and such, but in the original series I don’t remember seeing any Japanese.

    It’s been a while since I watched Firefly, but I remember seeing both signs with proper Chinese and also lots of gibberish, including characters written by people who obviously can not write characters.

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