Legend of the Condor Heroes - Official vs. Fan translations


I’ve been reading the 2018 edition of A Hero Is Born, and it’s my first contact with wuxia literature. I found the text mostly enjoyable, but those translated names were so odd I decided to do a little research and discovered there are some high-quality fan translations online (here, that is). Since then, I’ve been reading both official and fan translations more or less simultaneously, mainly to spot the differences and clarify some passages that seemed a little confusing on the official one.

Now I have a question (and SPOILER ALERT for the next few lines). I don’t speak Chinese, so there’s no way for me to check on my own, but maybe someone here can help?

The reading was going well until Chapter 5, right after Guo Jing and the Freaks save Tolui and his sister. The fan translation (by Strunf) jumps right to Guo Jing training with the Freaks, but the official translation inserts a whole section of the Freaks talking to Li Ping, and then discussing whether they should remain on those steppes or return south with the boy.
Are these translations from different versions of the book? I know there were two major revisions, so maybe this was one of the changes? Anyone here knows if that’s the case? Or is there another explanation?

the fans translation use 2nd edition, while the official translation use 3rd edition, so they have some differents in content

Thank you! And why were the fan translations made from the 2nd edition?

at that time the 3rd edition was not available yet, so the first translator used 2nd edition , his translation then continued by other translators . Jin Yong released the 3rd edition around year 2002-2003 .

if i can suggest , you can write down all the differences between the two editions, because only you can do so (who read 2 different editon side by side).

before, someone nicknames Athena only wrote down the major revision between ed 2 to ed 3, but she only gave explanation about 10+ differences , not detail enough

Oh, I thought these translations were more recent.

That’s a good idea. I’ll try to list the major differences. It’s been mostly one or two sentences added here and there, and I must have missed many of the changes so far, but this scene with the Freaks and Li Ping really stood out.

This Athena wrote here on this forum? I searched the nickname here and on Google, but found nothing…

let me copy-paste for u.

After finishing the third revised version of LOCH by Jin Yong this week, I have discovered a series of small changes brought on by Jin Yong.

  1. Mei Chaofeng used to be a maid (after her parents died her uncle was unable to raise her, because her uncle was poor. So the uncle sold her to the rich Jiang family). Anyway at the age of 12 she was quite a beauty and the squire of the Jiang residence was quite impressed by her. Anyway one day while Mei Chaofeng was washing clothes the old Jiang man came up to her and wanted to touch her breast. She pushed him away because there was soap on her hands Jiang’s beard were soapy and she giggled when she saw that. Mrs. Jiang (a shrew) thought she was seducing her husband and hit, scold her etc. Even wanting to poke out her eyes. At that point Huang Yaoshi came by and taught that woman a lesson and bought Mei Chaofeng free.

Thus she became his third disciple.

  1. Huang Yaoshi’s head disciple was Qu Lingfeng who was about 30 years old and a widower. Sha Gu was already born. Being the head disciple he would often left in charge to teach his younger martial arts brothers and sisters literary and martial arts.

  2. As Mei Chaofeng grew up and became a fair young lady, Huang Yaoshi, Qu Lingfeng and Chen Xuanfeng became quite taken by her beauty. Qu Lingfeng surpressed his feelings because his wife died and he did not want to think about love anymore. Besides he knew that Huang Yaoshi was secretly in love with Mei Chaofeng, Huang was frustrated and sad for having such feelings. (There is certain poem written by Song statesman Ouyang Xiu that referred to his affection to Mei).

  3. When Chen Xuanfeng had an affair with Mei Chaofeng and was discovered by Qu Lingfeng, both fought and Chen was defeated. Qu Lingfeng was angry because he felt that Chen Xuanfeng and Mei Chaofeng betrayed their teacher. (Mei once vowed that she will always stay at the side of her teacher no matter what). When Huang Yaoshi found out the reason for the fight between Qu and Chen, he was furious with Qu and broke his legs and disowned him. Reason because now his feelings for Mei were more or less exposed and he felt humiliated and blamed Qu Lingfeng. He and little Sha Gu were sent away.

From then onwards Chen Xuanfeng and Mei Chaofeng were ignored by Huang Yaoshi, he did not teach them anything anymore.

At a certain point Huang Yaoshi left the Peach Blossom Isle and came back months later with his new wife. (Huang Rong’s mother) His new wife was even a few months younger than Mei.

Once at a certain Chinese festival, Huang Yaoshi drank a few more cups of wine and muttered:“Who dares to say that old East Heretic is in love with his female pupil! Lingfeng was spouting nonsense! Where is he now, I forgive him. Tell him to come back!”

When Chen Xuanfeng heard this, he and Mei Chaofeng decided to leave Peach Blossom Isle and decided to steal the second manual of Jiuyin Zhenjing.

Chen was very much afraid that Qu Lingfeng would come back.

  1. Zhou Botong decided to find a safe place to hide second volume of Jiuyin Zhenjing, met Huang Yaoshi and Mrs. Huang. Same trick as second version, however Zhou Botong noticed that Huang Yaoshi looked shifty and did not tear up the volume.

  2. This happened while the “Seven Freaks” was searching for Guo Jing and Li Ping, Ke Zhen’e was born blind.

  3. Chen Xuanfeng and Mei Chaofeng stole second manual and decided to study it, (the family Jiang were their first victims of their cruel methods of training-----> rich family that bought Mei). In order to strengthen themselves they also learnt skills like Iron Cloth, Golden Bell. (This is now directly said by them, second edition only hinted to this).

  4. When Chen and Mei left, Huang Yaoshi was feeling depressed and frustrated. When Lu Chengfeng and Wu Gangfeng advised their teacher not to be so depressed anymore they were not cautious in their choice of words, in his anger he broke their legs and disowned. Fong Maifeng felt it was unfair and spoke out and Huang was furious and broke one of his leg too and disowned him as well.

  5. Lu Chengfeng wanted to capture Chen and Mei and invited more than ten famous martial artists to attack Chen and Mei, amongst these people was the brother of Ke Zhen’E, Ke Pixie. Ke Pixie wrote a letter to his brother asking if he was interested in joining this expedition. However at that time the “Seven Freaks” just found a bit of lead on Guo Jing and Li Ping, and Ke Zhen’E was quite assured that his brother would be fine with so many experts. It was only 2 years before the first encounter with Chen and Mei that Ke Zhen’E learnt of his brother’s demise.

  6. Chen and Mei were able to escape Lu Chengfeng’s attack and killed several people (amongst Ke Pixie), but were seriously wounded too. And soon found out that the Seven Masters of Quanzhen were following them.

  7. Luoying Shenjian Zhang has become Taohua Luoying Zhang.

  8. Mentionings of Xiao Feng/Qiao Feng twice…regarding that part of 18 Dragon Subdueing Palms…Xiao Feng and Xuzhu improved this skill cutting out the redundant stances, making it fiercer, simpler and more powerful.

Second time Huang Rong were talking to the three elders of the beggars association and she mentioned that Qiao Feng fought hundreds of heroes in Virtue Assembling Manor, defeating heretic experts in front of the Shaolin Monastery.

  1. Jiuyin Baigu claws, heart snapping palms and hundred serpent whip (former poisonous silver dragon whip) were not invented by Huang Shang, these were one of the skills that his enemies used to kill I think his younger brother and sister. He examined their martial arts and noted them down in his manual. He of course came up with the orthodox more powerful variations to counter these cruel techniques. Chen and Mei sort of only learnt the skills of Huang Shang’s enemies.

Because those did not require powerful (Taoist) internal strength.

  1. Guo Jing learnt both orginal Jiuyin volumes (the copies were back in Huang’s possession after meeting up with Mei and Lu at Cloud Assembly Manor.

  2. Guo Jing and Huang Rong were protecting Qing Zhou here. (AS JIN YONG WROTE IN THE COMMENTS, GUO JING WILL CONTINUE TO PROTECT THE CITY XIANGYANG IN ROCH) The commander of this place surrendered immediately when Guo Jing and Huang Rong went to see Djenghis Khan.

  3. It was Huang Rong who gave Yang Guo a name, at a very early age he already became the pupil of Guo Jing and Huang Rong. Guo Jing and Huang Rong invited Mu Nianci to live on the Peach Blossom Isle. However Mu Nianci was saddened to see them so happy and herself was quite sad, and she told Guo Jing and Huang Rong that she would take Yang Guo to see them when he was older to study martial arts. So she declined their kind invitation.

  4. Huang Yaoshi’s grandfather was a government official during the Song Gaozong reign, this grandfather of his petitioned several times that Yue Fei was innocent. In the end he was demoted, but continued to fight for Yue Fei’s innocence calling up the people to stand together and defend Yue Fei. Finally was captured and beheaded for stirring up the public, his family was banned to Yunnan. It was there that Huang Yaoshi grew up.

He learnt both literary and martial arts, not sure who taught him martial arts but he studied literature under his father. As he grew up he felt that his family was wronged and often could argue with his father about so-called loving and protecting one’s emperor etc. Against his father’s wishes he did not participate in the provincial examinations, and in the end (how very ironic) his father disowned Huang Yaoshi. Starting from then he roamed the realm and wrote rebellious poems, texts on the walls of all government institutions. The government sent out people to track him down, but in vain.

He was called the Heretic Hero by the common people, later on it became East Heretic.

  1. Quanzhen palm technique 3 Flowers Assembling Palms become Treading Frost And Breaking Ice Palms.

  2. More general information on the teacher of Qiu Qianren, Shangguan Jiannan.

In conclusion, I like the changes brought on by Jin Yong in the third version. The parts about Huang Yaoshi and Mei Chaofeng were not so strange after all, it is quite natural even. You have to read yourself to experience it. Furthermore that change of Louying Shenjiang Zhang changing into Taohua Luoying Zhang has to do with the antithetical couplet of Peach Blossom Isle.

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Thanks, I have been trying to find out the changes in each edition to write an article, but sadly I don’t know Chinese. I am looking for the same kind of info for ROCH and HSDS as well.


of course that’s just a major revision.

there are so many minor ones , if i can guess, i think there are more than a hundred.

for example, in early chapter 1

Edition 2

" Xiao Zong succeeded Gao Zong, and Guang Zong succeeded him, all the while the Jin is still controlling half of China. Now Guang Zong has been succeeded by Emperor Qin Yuan, he has been on the throne for 5 years now, mostly going with what the Chancellor Han Tuozhou says"

in edition 3,
the “5 years” word has been removed , which make the start of loch story could be earlier than 1199.

i believe even you who just read it can miss something minor like this.

yeah, it’s probably impossible to find all changes, especially since I’m reading two different translations, and each translator might give their own version in English to each scene.

These translations took years to complete. There’s a brief introduction about the different editions here: https://wuxiasociety.com/jin-yong-novels/

Didn’t know Huang Yaoshi were quite a jerk and his action urge for giggles.

I’ve progressed on the book, and just now I noticed that the monk Lingzhi Shangren in the official translation was named Lama Supreme Wisdom Lobsang Choden Rinpoche. I’m not sure if he is in fact a lama, but what strikes me as strange is that this “Lobsang Choden Rinpoche” does not appear anywhere in the fan translation.

Does anyone know if it’s another change by Jin Yong in the revised edition, or if it was made by the translator (like when she changed Temujin’s daughter Huazheng into Khojin)?

Lingzhi Shangren is his official name from chinese word (the chinese version: 灵智上人) , the english official book usually change the name for western audience.

in 2nd edition , he is from tibet tantra school , the third edition , JY revised his origin to Qinghai (to respect tibetans, as all tibetans were a bad guy in JY’s novels). so i think the use of term “Lama” is incorrect if u use 3rd edition as reference.

what i curious to know is… the “Qinghai” is actually just a region or a school , in my native language translation, they use Qinghai (which means a region), but i check the mandarin source, it’s more like a school/sect

I’ll have to go check. I got my hands on both the 2nd and 3rd edition books in Chinese. It’ll take me a while to figure out where but having context would help a lot in understanding what Jin Yong was trying to convey.

Off the top of my head, shangren means a monk or more specifically sage. Lingzhi is most likely his monastic name. I would translate it as Lingzhi shangren or just go with Sage Lingzhi.