Thursday, August 11, 2011

2009 Chinese Language Moby Dick


A second Chinese language edition arrived the other day. We used google translator to obtain the "Call me Ishmael" phrase above, and we are betting its not really close.

There are 42 chapters and 169 pages so we figure its abridged, dah..

The cover art, however, gets the golden TMDC WTF award, as the all time weirdest cover art.

That clearly is Venice, that clearly is a transparent Moby Dick flying thru the air, that clearly is  a motorized ferry boat at the dock on the other side of the canal, and there is someone, not Ahab, not Queegueg, holding a harpoon with his back to us.

Ah.. we dont get it... hence the award.

from coorespondence to the editor from V S one of our dearest chinese speaking friends:
Your current translation up there translates better as "phone me Ishmael." A better translation would be 称我(insert sinoticization of Ishmael here). I don't know what the official translation would be but 乙石馬 seems good to me and has the bonus of translating as "yi (a meaningless word) stone horse." That sounds pretty cool. Hope that helps. NOTE to VS: we sailed out of the STONEHORSE YACHT CLUB, Harwichport so its ok with us. Ed.


  1. That translates as "telephone me Ishmael." It'd be better to say "叫我以實瑪利“

  2. How about, "Ring me, Ishmael!"

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  3. Ishmael... phone... home.

    [word verification: "unred." In fact, Moby Dick was white.]