Script for "renaming" the characters in the official A Hero Born translation

Hi folks!

I recently stumbled upon the official A Hero Born translation. While the chosen translation style has its positives and negatives, a major annoyance for me was the inconsistent (and rather exotic feeling) choices around which names to leave in pinyin and which names to “translate” (eg, Skyfury Guo and Lotus Huang).

It then occurred to me… this thing is available as an epub, which is just HTML…so why not write a little script that can rewrite the names to whatever one wants!

To that end I hacked the following:

which will take the “A Hero Born.epub” and produce, amongst others, a new “A Hero Born - pinyin.epub” version that consistently uses only pinyin for the names.

Hope some other folks find it useful! It’s a work in progress as I’m adding names while reading the book. If anyone else feels link jumping in to help with this rectification of names, let me know!


Thank @awong, do you have any other CSV/spreadsheet file? I’m collecting reference data for my a translation project. As I don’t know Chinese at all, it is quite a handy resource.

I didn’t buy it because of that. For me, fans translation is good enough.


That’s a good idea. If there’s interest I’ll put the resources up on a WuxiaSociety repository.

Yes, would love to see spreadsheet of some kind, especially for idiom (in particular used on Wuxia series). Here is a sample of my spreadsheet, it quite empty in some area (the file I lost got a bit more information. Ignore the top (blue and black text) part, that just my Guide for people that want to help me with subtitle project.)

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The idioms meanings are wrong. And these are more often translated in similar English idioms where available to connect to the English-speaking readers.

As for the names, we could do a table with the translations. Let me figure out a way to present this on the website.

Yeah I know, I slack on this version (lost previous spreadsheet), need to slowly recreate it.

I think more about it once I came across more idiom during the Translation phrase of my project.

One of the most common one I remember is the “never-ending party” one, so it wasn’t difficult to rewrote. Generally there is variation or different version of it depending on the series or adaptation. As you can see there is two different style it written in 3rd and 4th row. But general I consider it hold one definition.

The idiom is 天下无不散之筵席, which can be translated as “All feasts must come to an end.” But most translations will use the English equivalent “All good things must come to an end.”

近墨者黑 is the second part of the idiom. The full idiom is 近朱者赤,近墨者黑, which literally means “He who touches to vermillion turns red, he who touches ink turns black.” It can be translated as “You’re known by the company you keep” or “You can tell a lot about a person by looking at the company they keep” depending on the context. Or in some cases, “He who lies down with dogs, rises up with fleas.”

I’m setting up a translation database on the site. We can pool the resources to help other translators.

Awesome, looking forward to it.

Never heard of the first part before “He who touches to vermilion turns red”, from all the series I watched (or maybe I didn’t notice it till now). But the ink one get use frequently.

Two more idiom that I just remember; (1) Luring tiger out of the cave and (2) Beauty tactic.
I wonder if you can figure out (2)

I think it is such a basic or commonly used idiom in Chinese that the first part is usually omitted. They should know the first part growing up. Unless it is a specific situation that calls for the positive part to be used. Though in those cases I can think of a few other idioms to use. Anyways, this is a great example of how translator notes will help readers understand more about the language and culture.

I think you meant “Luring the tiger out of its lair”. This means luring the enemy or strong foe from their base to take advantage of a less defended or undefended situation. See: Thirty-Six Stratagems - Wikipedia

“Beauty strategy” is the literal translation. The English equivalent is honey trap. It is not so much of an idiom. It is one of the 36 stratagems in Sun Tzu’s Art of War: Thirty-Six Stratagems - Wikipedia