Explanations of the ways the characters address themselves and others

Hi guys~ I’m translating The Legend of the Ghost Concubine and Every Vicious Woman needs a loyal man and I try to explain all the different ways they refer to themselves and others in my footnotes. Because it’s not just “I” and “You”, there are sooo manyyy ways in Chinese. (Especially LGC because it’s in the historical context). Therefore, I’ve decided to compile this list, so I won’t have to keep inserting footnotes, and you can refer to this if you’re ever confused or curious. (& you can even learn some chinese hahaha).

In my translations, I’ll put the Chinese spelling or its abbreviations in brackets after the English e.g. “This Prince {Ben Wang}” or “This Prince {bw}”.

Addressing others (In general)  

  • 姐姐 (Jiejie; Jj) – Elder sister; both to address the person’s older sister or to address oneself as an older sister; can also address a female slightly older
  • 哥 or 哥哥 (Gege; gg) – Older brother; can also address males slightly older than them
  • 小子 (Xiao Zi; xz) – Young man, young lad

Self-addresses (in general)

  • 老子 (Lao Zi; Lz) – Self-address, by males, used in anger, contempt or arrogance. “I, your father” 
  • 爷 (Ye) – Self-address, by males, used in anger, contempt, arrogance, or from a higher position; “I, your grandfather” (different meaning when used to address others; look below)
  • 老娘 (Lao Niang; Ln) – self-address used by married or middle-aged woman or in a younger woman’s case would be an arrogant, domineering form of self-address. “I, your mother” 

Addressing others, honorifics, or titles/ designations  (In Historical Context)

  • ~王(~ Wang) – ‘~’ is the number for his order in age & ‘wang’ is Prince e.g. 七王(Qi Wang) – Seventh Prince
  • 王爷(Wang Ye; wy) – prince; “Your highness”
  • 爷 (Ye) – grandfather but could be used to address men of different generations; husbands, fathers, and grandfathers etc. Can also be used to address men of higher position; lords, masters, etc.
  • 国公 (Guo Gong; gg) – Duke
  • 母妃 (Mu Fei) – addressing one’s mother who’s an imperial concubine
  • 父皇 (Fu Huang; fh) – addressing one’s father who’s the emperor

Self-addresses (In historical context)

  • 朕(Zhen; z) – self-address by the emperor; “we” in imperial use. 
  • 本王(Ben Wang; bw) – self-address by a prince; “This prince” 
  • 奴家(Nu Jia; nj) – humble self-address by a young female; “Your servant” 

Addressing others, honorifics, titles (specific to LGC)

  • 龙~ (Long ~) – Dragon or Long from Tianlong dynasty. ~ being the number in order of age. So 龙十 (Long Shi) – tenth dragon or tenth long.

Will update as I translate. Hope this helps and enjoy reading, my fellow novel lovers~



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