Fanatical

Fangirling Chinese Novels

Farewell

180 Comments

Hi everyone, please see below the cut.

🙂

Firstly, to everyone who wrote words of support and encouragement and love after my last post, thank you, thank you, thank you. I genuinely appreciate every word and cried reading your messages. ❤

 

Let me think about how I should begin this. (LOL… doesn’t this sound a bit like one of MBFB’s afterwords?)

I’m sure that after last week’s post, most of you gathered what my decision was going to be. Yes, I have decided that it is time for me to bow out from the translation scene, and that is effective immediately. I will not even be finishing the translation for Unsung Friends, despite my great, great love for that novel. When I told Peanuts what my decision would be, she asked me, are you sure? I took another week, even after my post last week, to make sure that in my heart of hearts this is what I believe is right for me to do. Ultimately this decision is for me and about me; however, so many of you have shown care and support, and I really wanted to give you some insight into what led to this.

(The rest are my personal thoughts. If you only wanted to know the decision, please feel free to skip the remainder of this.)

 

This decision has been harder for me than anyone may realize. Prior to November, I never thought that I would be discontinuing translating now, much less stopping in the middle of a story. Coming this May, it would have been 7 years that I’ve been posting here on Fanatical, first beginning as a guest translator with posting my translation of Really, Really Miss You and ultimately becoming a permanent fixture with many other translations that followed. (Hehe, Peanuts didn’t know what she was getting into when she invited me.) I’ve placed much of myself and my heart into my translations, because I love the process of translating itself, I love many of the messages expressed within the novels, and I loved sharing and the discussion with readers that ensued after each post. I have many, many fond memories that are a direct result of translating and the readers here.

Translation itself is a genuine passion of mine. I enjoy the process of letting the original words roll through my mind and experiencing the feelings those words give, and then expressing the whole package—the words, the atmosphere, the feelings—in a completely different language. The joy I feel from figuring out the perfect phrasing after being stuck on one passage for days is something I cannot even express to you guys. (Geeky, huh? Yeah, I admit it.)

 

In November I found out that someone had copied every single one of my completed translations on this site and is selling them on Amazon. I experienced a myriad of negative emotions when I learned of this: anger, obviously, but also sadness, disappointment, betrayal, and anxiety. The incident affected me more deeply than I really wish to admit, and it made me reflect on why and how something like this could do so. And this led me to the awareness that perhaps I needed to ponder on whether I truly still belong on the translation scene.

These last couple of years I have actually been working on my stress and anxiety levels. I have actually manifested physical symptoms associated with anxiety. The translation process itself—sitting down with the novel, pondering upon word choices, analyzing characters and trying to find wording that is consistent with the traits the author bestowed upon them—is a form of relaxation to me; I love it. But I’ve realized that posting has actually become more of a stressor to me. I don’t want to admit it, because it makes me feel I’m hypersensitive, that I have a “glass heart” that shatters so easily, but in reality I do get affected by the negatives (for example, plagiarism, unauthorized copying, discouraging comments, etc.) associated with posting, and it exacerbates any anxiety in me. At times, it can affect me for days at a time. (Posting is not in itself the source of anxiety, but it can amplify what I am feeling.) Hence, for myself, I need to remove myself from the stressors and remove the stressors from me.

Also, inside myself I feel that that posting just is not the right thing for me to do anymore; I have poured much of myself into this blog, and it is time for me to withdraw. Too much of my identity has been built into the 2D world, and upon reflection, I realize I have neglected parts of my life in the 3D world. (RRMY readers will know what I mean by 2D and 3D world. 😉 ) I need to put myself back into real life, my family, and myself. I have told you guys before: when all else fades away, there are not many things more precious than your loved ones and health.

So ultimately, the decision is not directly related to the Amazon incident. That incident served as, perhaps, a straw that broke the camel’s back. Or, more accurately, the catalyst that made me realize that it is the end of a season. Seasons can last longer—and I’ve had a great season here—but all seasons eventually come to an end.

 

I’ve cried over this decision. I asked my husband why it was so hard to make this decision, because to other people, it just means shutting down an Internet ID, right? He told me, it’s because I value what I have here. Dear readers, please know that I value you, value your comments of encouragement, value the time we spent together. I will always carry with me the memories of us, the ardent bunch, having enthusiastic debates about the characters in Beautiful Bones. I will always remember introducing ancient-style songs here to you guys and marvelling together at how beautiful the lyrics are. I will always smile when I think about how we laughed together as we experienced the stories together. And how some of you told me how encouraged you were by The Healing Sunshine and Together Forever that you felt you could face the troubles that life was throwing at you and you could continue pressing onward. And how you told me you looked forward to reading my posts because they brought a slice of solace and comfort in an otherwise hectic life.

What a privilege I have had that, through this bit of translation work, I was able to impart a little bit of something in you. I think that will be the piece that I will remember the most, that through this little blog, I was given the honour of being a part of your life for a little while. Mo Bao Fei Bao once said, the link between a writer (and in my case, a translator) and a reader is actually very fragile; only one side needs to walk away, to either stop writing or stop reading, and that link is severed. However, I also believe that in the process of reading, some things will forever stay with you, the feelings you as readers experienced when you read the story and also the way you, the readers, made me feel with your comments of encouragement and gratitude.

I don’t think I’ll stop translating for myself in private, but I think it’s time to allow the internet ID “Hoju,” the translator, to gradually fade, and I will make myself fade out from this blog. (I will begin this by removing all Unsung Friends posts from here.) It’s time for me to let go of the old and look forward to new beginnings. I believe there are good things in store for me. Will you believe that with me?

 

I can’t say for sure whether this goodbye is permanent. ( Who knows, I may come back with a little comment about the drama adaptation of Beautiful Bones.) I had “retired” from translating once before I came out of retirement and started translating here on Fanatical. Perhaps one day I will be back. Or perhaps not.

Regardless, the last thing that Hoju wants to leave now with all of you is this: Thank you, everyone, for all your support and more than 6 years of memories. I will miss you. Know that you are loved and valued and important. I pray that as you go through your journey of life, may you have peace and joy and may health be with you. Press on! I believe there are good things in store for each of you, too. God bless!

 

Cheers,
–H

 

The journey of life is shadowy and hard to tread, but press on and be honed with each step down its path.
— Mo Bao Fei Bao, from The Road Home

Even if there were but one centimetre of sunshine, it would still have its own searing heat.
— Mo Bao Fei Bao

The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honourable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

180 thoughts on “Farewell

  1. It makes me very sad for you, when I read about how depressed all of those events made you… And although I’m disappointed about Unsung Friends (but it’s alright, I’ll translate with Google and keep on with my learning of Chinese language !), I understand your decision, after all, your happiness and peace of mind comes first ! (moreover, let’s be honest, you have every right to feel angry and sad about someone stealing your work ; it must have been very hard for you).
    Take good care of you, that’s what matters most !

  2. Thank you Hoju! I’ve been a silent reader for years, and have been busy recently and didn’t see this. I’ve been reading your translations throughout high school, and they really made me so happy! Seriously my favorite part of the day at times. I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve read here especially Really Really Miss You – which is my favorite. I’ll be back to continue re-reading your hard work!

    Hope you’re doing well!

  3. Thank you so much. I really appreciate your kindness for translated so many good books. I hope you and family always happy and healthy. May we see each other again in the future Hoju.

  4. Em seu blog tive a oportunidade de le tantas historias lindas, obrigada pelo seu trabalho árduo. Que você e sua família estejam saudáveis.

  5. Hoju – Sorry just saw this post, but I still want to express my appreciation and THANK YOU for translating MBFB’s novels and bringing your passion and love for her books and sharing it with the rest of non-Chinese readers.

    I’m sure like other readers discover that not all English book translations are the same. All of the English translated novels on your and Peanuts’ blog are definitely high quality where you commit your time and effort to express the authors’ vision and message. I can feel that you have tried to capture the essence and the heart of what the author wants to portray and for that I thank you once again for that. Your translations are magically perfect, grammar and everything else. I totally get all the feels, love, giddy, giggles, heartbroken, sadness while learning lots of new things. 🙂 After reading some bad or Google translations, I have to reread your work to “cleanse the palette” haha

    Thank you for sharing these great novels with us. I really appreciate all your hard work, time, commitment to your readers even with your busy lives. Thanks for letting us know about your decision and I totally respect it. The most important thing is to take care of your health and be happy. If you miss us, drop us a message and say hi. Take care of yourself and sending big hugs from the Maryland.

    Thank you for everything.

  6. Saddened by the news but I can also understand your decision. As a silent reader of over 7 years, I just want to say thank you, thank you and thank you. I’ve truly appreciated the time, the thought, the efforts and the love you’ve put into your translations. And the witty commentaries, too! This website was and remains the bridge that connects me to the works of Gu Man & Mo Bao Fei Bao. As a nurse, I have revisited and re-read these novels multiple times when I’m stressed and feeling burned out. So for the wonderful escapism, thank you. Please take care and enjoy life! 🙂

  7. Hi Hoju,

    Once again, I am also one of your silent readers. I’m sorry I never commented more. I have so many things to thank you for, once of which is introducing me to MBFB. Even tho I cannot read a bit of Chinese, I was able to enjoy her works through you. You may never see this comment since I’m posting this so late. Whenever I am feeling down or overwhelmed by work and life in general, I always come back to your site to reread your translations. MBFB’s works always have a calming effect on me. I hope that I will get to see you on the translation scene once more in the future and introducing us to another of MBFB’s works. Thank you so much for the hard work you’ve done. I’m sad to see you go but I’m glad that you’re putting yourself first. Whatever journey you embark on next, I pray for the best adventures to come to you. Thank you.

  8. Thank you for all the hard work you have done all these years! Whether you come back one day, or keep translating for yourself I hope you’ll be happy and healthy. Good luck in all your future endeavours!

  9. Thank you for all the hard work and enthusiasm you’ve managed to spread through all of your translations. You opened my eyes to some beautiful, light-hearted novels and this has and will continue to bring me a great deal of joy. Take care, good luck and add oil!

  10. Sorry to see you go and totally respect your decision. Thank you for taking the time all these years in translating novels I would have never had a chance to read. Will miss you Hoju 🖤. I wish you luck in everything you do. Especially thank you for translating Really Really Miss You, it was my fave~

  11. i came here to read shan shan come to eat, and later become a guman’s fan. i don’t come here a few years due to hectic life, and i came to read you are my glory, its upsetting to know what is happening to you. but you have the right to make this decision. and i believe this is the right decision.

    i hope you are healing from this painful experience.
    and i hope i can see you post anything on this blog (not a translation) once in a while.
    Thank you for your hardwork 🙂

  12. In your translations we can feel the love and effort that you put in each one. I hope this new path brings you the peace that you need. Thanks for all your work from argentina

  13. Can’t believe I missed this post. Randomly thought to myself hmmm wonder how hoju has been today as I watched beautiful bones. Miss you and hope you are well! If you ever decide to post again or have some sort of social media in the future to share what you are reading and recs, please let us all know! Can’t believe I’ve been reading your posts since you first started and it’s been so soooo long. Started here at hui3r in college, and now I’m a doctor and you guys have been with me this whole time. Cheers to a great journey 🙂

  14. I only learnt about this site last week when curiosity lead me to compare the novels against the MBFB dramas I watched. I wish you all the best and would like you to know your work is treasured by us readers who cannot read Chinese but fell in love with Chinese novel translations because of your expressive and meticulous work. Truly wish I had come to know you earlier …brief though the acquaintance the experience has been engaging and lovely. God bless!

  15. Thanks so much for translating and for sharing these great novels with us. You (and tbe authors) have brought so much enjoyment & a whole new world for me (one who doesn’t know how to read Chinese). I wish you all the best.

  16. Thank you, Hoju. You have given me much through this blog…good things to hold onto in hard times. And we’ve all been through hard times recently. I’ve told you in comments on various stories what your translations have meant to me. But at this moment in time I want to express my gratitude for the roads your translations allowed me walk on. Sincerely, Laila.

  17. Thank you so much for the hard work you’ve put into your translations. Thank you for bringing these novels to us. Thank you for actually getting permission from the author to share. Thank you for the parts of yourself you’ve put into these translations. The pictures, the footnotes, the analyses… I’ve been a mostly silent reader, but I’ve spent so many hours enjoying your translations. They’ve gotten me through some hard days. I’ve cried and laughed along with the characters, and some of your notes have really touched me. I actually bought a couple of Mo Bao Fei Bao’s books because of you. I wish the best for you and your family. Leaving behind a part of yourself is always bittersweet. But you’ve touched so many people and made such a difference. Thank you!

  18. You’re translations have always been my GO To, coz its expressed in a easier and beautiful manner. I’ve also been looking forward for every side notes you give every chapter, its very engaging and makes me feel you have thoroughly read the novel making it your own. It saddened me much knowing you will be retiring but also hoping for a complete healing from such painful experience.

    Thank you so much for sharing your splendid works to us.
    GOD BLESS you!

  19. Hi Hoju,

    It so happened I just found out NU so late; just this year 2021. The Cdramas Le Coup De Foudre introduced me to NU site where I read I Don’t Like The World, I Only Like You and the series of novels included in NU directed me to your brilliant site hui3r.

    Thank you for your hard works. All those you have the translated I could say I read it all. You are a good translator. I feel every word you used. I especially love the novel “The Road Home” and You are My Glory. Because of your translated novels I became a fan of MBFB and Guman.

    Further,I know this isn’t the end of your beautiful mind and magnificent works. Life is journey and somehow I know we always come back to where our hearts lie, like you how you love this kind of work, in someway we’ll meet again. Keep up the good works and God bless you.

  20. So sad to read this post. I’ve found your translations are amongst the best and I come back often to read my favourite novels. Just want to ask if the site will remain or will be taken down at some point?

    Anyway I hope this isn’t a forever goodbye but I wish you all the best in everything xoxo

  21. Hello or should I say goodbye?.
    I do not know what or how to feel after reading your post, because among so many things, your post is several months old. I feel so bad and sad because I couldn’t bid farewell when your message happened. Your page/translations/works gave me so many things. I laughed, cried, was happy, very happy, and fell in love so many times with such handsome and perfect men. Even when it has been several months I have to say to you some words. I think it is my must and my right.
    Hoju! Thank you very much from the bottom of my heart. The novels, which you translated, are alive by themselves, and you made that I was part of that beautiful world. I have to be grateful for the love that I can still feel from every love story. Life is hard but always a bit less when it is accompanied by marvelous stories that brighten up dark days.
    Hoju, you will be missed, you are being missed so deeply from someplace in Latin America when it is 02:01 a.m. And a special thanks for your kindness when you answered my comments, always so nice despite my complaints regarding certain female leads. I hope you can read my message, my dear. And if someday you decide to come back, I will be waiting for you here, patiently. I want you to be happy, loved by your beloved people, be light in this world, and be successful in every project you take on.
    I won’t say goodbye, just I will let drop a “see you”!
    And then see you!

  22. English isn’t my mother language (as you will realize when you read my messages hahaha) so when I discover a novel that I like I print every chapter out and then I translate manually (yes I catch a pen and write 😂). Yesterday I was checking some papers and I found the impression that I had of the prologue of “The Twelve Years: Song of the Unsung Friends” and then I remembered it. I liked a lot the preface and my heart started beating quickly again. Then I told myself “Why had you forgotten this beautiful story?”. In my defense I will say that despite this COVID-19 thing, life still goes on and it is even more hard. Anyway so I run to your page and I checked the posts and I read your farewell post. Now I feel as if I was inside a limbo. I remember that I fell in love with that third young master already and now I have to say goodbye to you (oh yes, a see you!) and to him. I guess I still have Ji Chengyang (let’s ignore JiYi for now) and ChengGe and Gilbert Blythe (yeah, you didn’t translate anything about him but he is my favorite fictional character and I love him). Just that. I am doubly broken. Your page and works were my safe place. I am sorry, I just know to complain but I had to cry somewhere, everywhere *sigh* . Well as I said before, I won’t say goodbye, just a see you.
    So then see you!

  23. Oh no, I’m so sorry that you’ve suffered so after bringing so many people so much joy through your work!! I do regret only just discovering your translations here 2 weeks ago and I’ve been hooked!! On my 3rd MBFB novel translation of yours when I happened to see your farewell post 🥲🥲🥲 I hope you get to see this and know that you’ve brought much joy through your hard work!! Also wishing you all the best and hope you continue to keep your love for cnovels alive, till we meet again and THANK YOU AGAIN for your super gifts (the translated novels) here. Hopefully you decide to keep them up here for new readers to discover and continue (sadly I was only half through together forever when it got pulled down). Anyways, you have my blessings!!

  24. Not sure if you will see my comment but I want you to know that I’m deeply greatful for your hardwork. In each translation, I can tell that you put in your heart and effort in writing it. Your work made my day (especially in the time of Covid). I bet you have no idea how much impact your translation (and your gossip comments😜) have done to us the readers.

    As an amateur artist, I think I could understand your stress. I have found this quote by Van Gogh and would love to share it with you

    “Don’t take things that don’t concern you directly too much to your heart, and don’t let them weigh upon you too heavily”

    It is really sad to say goodbye to you but I wish you will succeed in whatever you decide to do! And hope you and your family doing well.

    And again thank you so much I love you 💙

  25. Hoju…even though I missed the time when you were translating…but reading all of it now I really really miss you.

  26. Hoju, I cannot thank you enough for your hard work in translating these novels. I write this with a bit of regret at the knowledge that you won’t be translating novels anymore but my heart is still full that I found this blog.

    Thank you for providing me a look into parts of Chinese culture and for introducing me to the writing of Mo Bao Fei Bao. Her (your) words will stay with me forever.

    💜

  27. Dear Hoju,
    Thank you for sharing your reasons for withdrawing from the translation world, I know that you have given it a lot of thought in your decision. Although I am grieved and sad, I completely understand and respect your wish. Unfortunately, I am a later-comers since I only recently came upon your site by chance. However, I want to thank you for the enjoyment and enlightment that you have given me with MBFB stories. I can tell that each translation project was a labor of love for you as shown by your diligence and enthusiasm in providing pictures and explanation of Chinese idioms in to your translation (this has added SO MUCH toward my understanding of the story). As all great performers and storytellers know, there lots of prep work needed beforehand in order to “bring to life” the story for the reader. To that end, it is a “gift” to the reader and I thank you for doing that. As I still see people posting how wonderful MBFB work is through your translation, I also humbly thank you for the care and attention that you have given to her work so that us non-Chinese speaker can enjoy her stories and appreciate what a wonderful writer she is. Lastly, my hope is for you will recover, and remember the great joy that you have given to this community, and resolves some of the internal challenges that come with posting, and maybe at some point…come back to the beautiful and exciting world of novel translation?? My apology for being so long winded in my first posting here, but I just feel so shocked, sad and bittersweet to see a Titian translator, such as yourself, leave the translation scene because someone was being dumb and greedy. Thank you and God Bless!!

    With Sincere Appreciation,

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