What is Wuxiaworld?
We are a growing group of translators who bring popular Chinese fiction to the English speaking world. The website was founded on December 22, 2014 by RWX, translator of Coiling Dragon, Horizon, Bright Moon, Saber, and other novels.
What kind of Chinese Fiction do you translate?
Most of the novels are translations of Chinese web novels, and almost all of them contain lots of action. However, the genres are relatively diverse. Some are more familiar to western audiences, such as sci-fi and fantasy. Others are more uniquely Chinese such as wuxia and xianxia. Furthermore, many of the genres blend together or contain other elements such as horror, supernatural or mature content.
What is wuxia?
Wuxia is made from two characters; ‘Wu’ and ‘Xia’, which literally mean ‘martial hero’. Wuxia stories are basically martial arts stories, with an essentially ‘real’ world filled with people who do incredible things through martial arts and generating ‘qi’, which allows them to leap long distances across rooftops and skip across water, a la Crouching Tiger/Hidden Dragon. Asian fans here surely have heard of famous novels/adaptations like the Legend of the Condor Heroes, Return of the Condor Heroes, Swordsman/Smiling Proud Wanderer, Seven Swordsmen (by Tsui Hark), etc. ‘Horizon, Bright Moon, Sabre’, is another example of Wuxia. These are all ‘Wuxia’; novels that are grounded in real-life Chinese martial arts and internal energy cultivation (qigong) techniques that are kicked up to an exaggeratedly awesome level.
What is xianxia?
As for Xianxia, the characters forming it are ‘Xian’ and ‘Xia’, which literally means ‘immortal hero’. Xianxia is a newer genre and is essentially a ‘fantasy-fied’ version of Wuxia, with magic, demons, immortals, people who can fly, etc. The biggest contributor to the Xianxia genre is actually not martial arts; rather, it is ‘Taoism’, which is a major part of Chinese history. Taoism is both a philosophical way of life as well as an actual religion. Religious Taoism is often blurred together with Chinese folk mythologies, and is chock-full of stories about demons, ghosts, and people learning how to become immortals through meditation/understanding the ways of heaven, and flying in the air and casting powerful magic spells. The legendary Monkey King, Sun Wukong (whom Son Goku of DBZ is based off of) acquired his power through Taoist practices, and the concept of the Yin-Yang is also from Taoism. Xianxia blends lots of these folk stories and magical Taoist legends into their stories in a way which ‘true’ Wuxia stories almost never do.
Which book should I start first?
Visit the index page of each novel for an overview of the story, which might help you to make your decision.
Do the authors know that you are translating their novels?
To be clear, we have purchased the translation and English publication rights to all these novels from the original rights holders in China. The Chinese serial fiction novel world is a bit different from the Western one; authors have generally sold their rights to the platforms we buy licenses from, so they don’t really get involved in the business side of things and it is hard to say how many of them are actively aware of our licensed translations. However, Wuxiaworld has been a hot topic on the Chinese internet, and there have been many authors who we are in direct contact with, some of whom have even sent messages to Wuxiaworld readers, like this one from Martial God Asura author Kindhearted Bee.
I found a mistake or typo. Is it okay to make a comment about that?
Yes, please do. The translators appreciate help in cleaning up any typos. However, please check the list below for some common ‘mistakes’ that aren’t really mistakes.(p.s. if you think it would be better to have detailed explanations like you had for started/startled, then that’s cool)
You misspelled startled as ‘started.’
No, this is correct. Please consult your dictionary.
You misspelled ‘gasped’ as gaped.
No, this is correct. Please consult your dictionary.
You are missing a quotation mark at the end of the each paragraph of that three paragraph monologue!
No, this is correct. Please consult your grammar guide.
You have a four period ellipsis (….), it should be three periods (…)
No, this is correct. Please consult your style guide.
I’m bored and I want to read more IET/Xianxia works! What other IET works are available?
For some old school Wuxia works, SPCNET’s Wuxia Translation forums has quite a good amount as well! Also, try checking out reddit.com/r/NovelTranslations!
I see an ad that I don’t like for some reason. What should I do about it?
First of all, if you are seeing ads, that means you have your Adblock off, so thank you! If you see an ad that is causing problems, you can let me know in the comments, in the forum, or directly at rwxwuxiaworld(at)gmail.com. Please provide the URL if the ad if possible, so I can try to block it!
I am on mobile, and one particular ad is causing me major problems, in that it is giving me constant pop-ups and redirecting me constantly to the Android Store!
Mobile redirects is a major, industry-wide problem for smaller publishers like us. Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet, although we are constantly in a dialogue with our advertising networks and partners about this issue. One solution that has worked for many problem is clearing their browser cache for Android Chrome. Go to Chrome Menu, then settings, then (Advanced) Privacy, then ‘Clear browsing data’, then clear everything.
What’s all this about donations/sponsored chapters?
Check the ‘sponsored releases’ page here!
Would you be willing to consider working on [XXXX], maybe after you are done with [YYY]?
Translators pick their own novels as they please!
Hey, I just made these PDF/ePub/.mobi/etc. versions of Coiling Dragon [or some other novel]. Would you like them?
Hey, in order to help foster the community and keep the discussion centralized, I’d strongly prefer to not host ePubs or to have ePubs spread around. I’m totally fine with you creating them for personal use or sending them individually to people who ask for them, but I prefer you don’t post them up willy nilly. Thank you!
In Coiling Dragon, why did you transliterate so many names into Western names? I don’t like it. You should have kept the Chinese.
Actually, every single one of the names in Coiling Dragon are Western names which IET ‘transliterated’ into Chinese phonetically; what I do is to return them to their English equivalent is. In this novel, IET intended the figures to be essentially Western, manga-like figures. This is very different from other Chinese novels. For example, a certain character named O’Brian has as his Chinese name 奥布莱恩, Ao’bu’lai’en. There is NO Chinese name Ao’bu’lai’en; that is how the Chinese phonetically spell the Western name O’Brien. Conan O’Brien, in China, is known as 柯南 奥布莱恩, Ke’nan Ao’bu’lai’en. To translate 奥布莱恩 as Aobulaien instead of O’Brien is the hallmark of a lazy translator who doesn’t quite know what he’s doing.