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Customer Review

on April 30, 2011
(This review is more a note on the two major ways of writing the various names in our alphabet rather than of the story itself, although my rating does indeed rate the story itself rather than any particular version.)

I bought this version of the story a few years ago found it confusing and disconcerting that the names seemed to be wrong. I assumed that it was just a different way of translating them (which was true, as it turned out), but it didn't change the fact that it was like reading Lord of the Rings when Brodo and Lam are two Bobbits who go on an adventure with Maraborn the ranger and Shandalf the wizard. The Dynasty Warriors games use another way of translating the names than this translator, and I imagine its that game series that's inspired many people to read this book. It's a version by Moss Roberts that you'll want, in that case. More information can be found on the different translations of the book if you google for "Romance of the Three Kingdoms Book Purchase Information".

However, this version's name renderings are apparently more accurate pronunciation-wise. It's like how Japanese people consider "tsunami" to be made up of "tu", "na" and "mi". They pronounce the "tu" as "tsu", however, and that's how it's widely accepted for it to be written in our alphabet. All the same, some forms of writing Japanese with our alphabet do indeed write it as "tu" since that is technically what it is. It appears the writing of the Chinese has similar parallel systems going on and that Dynasty Warriors (and the Moss Roberts translation) uses the more "proper" form which is, however, less helpful from a pronunciation point of view (the "tu" as opposed to the "tsu", as it were).
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3.9 out of 5 stars