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Firefly–Serenity Chinese Pinyinary
Chinese translations with standard Hanyu Pinyin romanization and Chinese characters for Firefly the TV series and Serenity the movie and comic books

Chinese Dialog

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Na4 mei2 guan1xi5.



mei2 guan1xi5

to have no relevance

  1. mei2: [abbreviation]
    mei2you3 没有 (traditional: 沒有 ): to have no (something), -less
    1. mei2: not
    2. you3: to have, there is
  2. guan1xi5: a consequence, a relation
    1. guan1: to involve, to have to do with
    2. xi4 [for this meaning, used only in compound words]: to involve, to relate to


  • Also: Mei2 guan1xi5.: It doesn’t matter, Never mind

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English (Borrowed Cantonese) ↓

[see Note 1 below]


ng5gaa1pei4: [traditional Chinese medicine] acanthopanax bark, acanthopanax-bark liquor [see Note 1 below; Mandarin pronunciation: wu3jia1pi2]

  1. ng5gaa1: the acanthopanax plant [Eleutherococcus gracilistylus; Mandarin pronunciation: wu3jia1]
    1. ng5: five
    2. gaa1: to add up
  2. pei4: bark (the plant covering) [Mandarin pronunciation: pi2]


  1. Ngkapei: The comic book has un-ga-pae as English (no Chinese characters or Latin letters in italics / quotation marks). Ng5gaa1pei4 (Mandarin pronunciation: wu3jia1pi2) is a Chinese distilled alcoholic beverage (from rice, sorghum, or other grains) soaked in the branch bark or root bark of the herb acanthopanax (Eleutherococcus gracilistylus) of traditional Chinese medicine.

    The literal translation ‘five add up’ refers to the plant’s five-part leaves. More on acanthopanax (provided for information purposes only): Complementary and Alternative Healing University

  2. Also: wu3jia1pi2jiu3 五加皮酒 : [traditional Chinese medicine] acanthopanax-bark liquor; wu3jia1pi2: acanthopanax bark, acanthopanax-bark liquor [see main entry above]; jiu3: liquor, spirits

See also:

  • Qing3 zai4lai2 yi1 bei1 ng5gaa1pei4? (“The Train Job”)

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Ni3 bu4 gou4ge2, ni3 hun2qiu2.

ni3 bu4 gou4ge2

you’re not good enough

  1. ni3: you (singular)
  2. bu4 gou4ge2: to be not good enough
    1. bu4 [pronounced “bu2” before a 4th-tone syllable]: not
    2. gou4ge2: [colloquial] satisfactory, qualified
      1. gou4: to be adequate, to be enough
      2. ge2 [for this meaning, used only in compound words]: qualifications, a standard

ni3 hun2qiu2

you wretch

  1. ni3: you (singular)
  2. hun2qiu2: [colloquial] [borrowed from non-Mandarin Chinese] a wretch, a no-good bastard (nonliteral), a scoundrel
    1. hun2 [used only in compound words]: filthy, muddy
    2. qiu2: a ball (spherical object)


  1. Kaylee sounds like “Nee boo goo gah, nee hwong chion” instead of Nee boo go guh, nee hwun chiou.
  2. Thank you to Firefly Chinese translator Jenny Lynn for the gou4ge2 and -qiu2 before the script was published.
  3. Also: bu4gou4 不够 (traditional: 不夠 ): not enough, not good enough

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Ni3 gao4su5 na4 niu2 ta1 you3 shuang1 mei3mu4?

ni3 gao4su5

you tell

  1. ni3: you (singular)
  2. gao4su5: to tell, to inform
    1. gao4 [for this meaning, used only in compound words]: to tell, to inform
    2. su4 [used only in compound words]: to tell, to inform

na4 niu2

that cow

  1. na4: that, those
  2. niu2: a cow

ta1 you3

it has

  1. ta1: it
  2. you3: to have

shuang1 mei4mu4

beautiful eyes

  1. shuang1: two, a pair
  2. mei3mu4: beautiful eyes
    1. mei3: to be beautiful, to be pretty
    2. mu4 [used only in compound words]: an eye

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Hello, How are you?

  1. ni3: you (singular)
  2. hao3: to be good, well [adverb]


  1. The captions (region 1 DVD) correctly have Ni hao?
  2. Agent McGinnis mouths ma5 [marker for questions], so before correction he said “Ni3 hao3 ma5?你好吗? (traditional: 你好嗎?) ‘How are you?’ instead of “Ni3hao3?” ‘Hello?’
  3. The current standard hello on the telephone is wei4 , the Hey! from “Shindig.”

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Ni3men5 dou1 bi4zui3!

ni3men5 dou1

all of you

  1. ni3men5: you (plural)
    1. ni3: you (singular)
    2. men5: [suffix for human plural words]
  2. dou1: all


[slang] Shut up!

  1. bi4: to shut, to close
  2. zui3: [colloquial] a mouth


  1. Pronunciation: Mal sounds like “Nee mun doh bih-zway!” instead of “Nee-mun doh bee-tzway!”
  2. Script version: Ta ma de! [phonetic for English speakers: TAH-mah-duh!]: Ta1ma1 de5! 他妈的! (traditional: 他媽的!): [offensive] Damn!, Damn it!, S***!, F***!; [literally: his mother’s]; ta1ma1: [literally: his mother] (ta1: he [understood: de5: [noun-modifier marker] [here: possessive (genitive), ’s, of]]; ma1: [colloquial] a mom, a mother); de5: [noun-modifier marker] [here: possessive (genitive), ’s, of]

    Nimen de bizui! [phonetic for English speakers: Nee-mun duh bee-tzway!”]: Ni3men5 de5 bi4zui3! 你们的闭嘴! (traditional: 你們的閉嘴!): you (plural) just shut up; ni3men5: you (plural) [see main entry above]; de5: [marker of a subject noun that is irrelevant to the situation at hand]; bi4zui3: [slang] Shut up! [see main entry above]

See also:

  • Bi4zui3. (“Serenity, Part 1,” Serenity: Better Days #1 & #2)
  • Bi4zui3 nin2 hen3 bu4ti3tie1 de5 nan2sheng1! (“Objects in Space”)
  • Bi4zui3. Rong2 wo3men5 fa1cai2. (Serenity [movie])

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Ni3men5 dou1 shi4 sha3gua1.

ni3men5 dou1

all of you

  1. ni3men5: you (plural)
    1. ni3: you (singular)
    2. men5: [suffix for human plural words]
  2. dou1: all

shi4 sha3gua1

are idiots

  1. shi4: to be
  2. sha3gua1: [insult] a fool, a damned fool, an idiot
    1. sha3: to be foolish, to be stupid
    2. gua1: a melon, a gourd

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Ni3 ta1ma1 de5. Tian1xia4 suo3you3 de5 ren2. Dou1 gai1si3.

ni3 ta1ma1 de5

[offensive] F*** you!

  1. ni3: you (singular)
  2. ta1ma1 de5: [offensive] Damn!, Damn it!, S***!, F***!; [literally: his mother’s]
    1. ta1ma1: [literally: his mother]
      1. ta1 [de5]: his
        1. ta1: he
        2. [understood: de5 : [noun-modifier marker] [here: possessive (genitive), ’s, of]]
      2. ma1: [colloquial] a mom, a mother
    2. de5: [noun-modifier marker] [here: possessive (genitive), ’s, of]

tian1xia4 suo3you3 de5 ren2 dou1

everyone under heaven, every person under heaven

  1. tian1xia4: the world, under heaven
    1. tian1: the sky, heaven
    2. xia4 [for this meaning, used only in compound words]: under, below
  2. suo3you3 de5 ren2 dou1: everyone, every person, all people
    1. suo3you3 de5: all, every
      1. suo3 [for this meaning, used only in compound words]: that which
      2. you3: there is, to possess
      3. de5: [noun-modifier marker] [here: integrated adjectival clause (restrictive relative clause)]
    2. ren2: a person
    3. dou1: all [commonly used redundantly with suo3you3 de5]


[colloquial] be damned, to deserve death

  1. gai1: ought to, to deserve
  2. si3: to die


  1. Meaning: As a translation for the English Everyone under the heavens ought to die in the script, the Ni ta ma de (F*** you!) in Ni ta ma de. Tianxia suoyoude ren. Dou gaisi adds no meaning. But an unpublished version of the script gives the English as F*** everyone in the universe to death. Perhaps the English was changed to the tamer version without removing the Ni ta ma de from the Chinese. The taming of this English line, at least, is suggested in an interview with series creator Joss Whedon in a section about getting away with offensive language on American broadcast television. Whedon stated that on Firefly:

    The one big restriction we had was, we couldn’t say anything actually really dirty in Chinese. Because they were like, “Mm, if this goes overseas, people will be able to understand what they’re saying, so you can’t cuss.” Originally, we had them cursing like sailors in Chinese, but they were like, “No, you have to say something that can be understood [without offending speakers of Chinese].”

    (Joss Whedon, p. 9 of “Still flying: An interview with Joss Whedon.” By Abbie Bernstein. In Firefly: The official companion, vol. 2, Abbie Bernstein, Bryan Cairns, Karl Derrick, and Tara DiLullo [and television script writers], 6–13 [London: Titan, 2007]; brackets in original)

    When the interviewer mentioned the F*** everyone in the universe to death of the script, Whedon said: Yes. Probably changed (p. 9).

  2. Mal sounds like “Nee ta ma duh. Tyen-shia soy ya duh ren. Doh goy swa” instead of “Nee tah-mah-duh. Tyen-shia suo-yo duh ren. Doh gai-ss.”
  3. The 2001 Mexican movie Y Tu Mamá También (And Your Mother Too, or “and so’s your mama!”) is known in Mandarin as Ni3 Ta1ma1 de5 Ye3shi4 《你他妈的也是》 (traditional: 《你他媽的也是》 ) : F*** you too; ni3 ta1ma1 de5: [offensive] F*** you! [see main entry above]; ye3shi4: to also be the same (ye3: also; shi4: to be).
  4. Also:
    • Gai1si3!: [colloquial] Go to hell!, Damn!, Damn it!
    • gai1si3 de5: [colloquial] damned, wretched; de5 : [noun-modifier marker] [here: integrated adjectival clause (restrictive relative clause)]

See also:

  • Ta1ma1 de5. (“Serenity, Part 1”)
  • Ta1ma1 de5 hun2dan4. (“War Stories”)
  • Ye1su1, ta1ma1 de5— (“Jaynestown”)
  • Zhen1 ta1ma1 yao4ming4. Zhu4yi4. (“Serenity, Part 1”)

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Ni3 zhao3si3 ma5? Ni3 yao4 wo3 kai1qiang1?

ni3 zhao3si3 ma5

[contemptuous] Are you looking to die?

  1. ni3: you (singular)
  2. zhao3si3: to court death
    1. zhao3: to seek
    2. si3: to die
  3. ma5: [marker for questions]

ni3 yao4 wo3 kai1qiang1?

You want me to shoot?

  1. ni3 yao4: you want
    1. ni3: you (singular)
    2. yao4: to want, wish
  2. wo3 kai1qiang1: I shoot
    1. wo3: I
    2. kai1qiang1: to shoot, to open fire
      1. kai1: to set in motion; [literally: to open]
      2. qiang1: a gun

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nian2qing1 de5

nian2qing1 de5

young one / [slang] young’un

  1. nian2qing1: to be young
    1. nian2 [for this meaning, used only in compound words]: (a person’s) age
    2. qing1: to be small in number
  2. de5: [noun-modifier marker] [here: integrated adjectival clause (restrictive relative clause) (modified noun is understood or generic: young one)]

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niao4 shi1 de5 du3gui3

niao4 shi1 de5

to be urine-soaked

  1. niao4: urine
  2. shi1: to be soaked, to be wet
  3. de5: [noun-modifier marker] [here: integrated adjectival clause (restrictive relative clause)]


a habitual/confirmed gambler

  1. du3: to gamble
  2. gui3: [suffix for insults]; [literally: a demon, a ghost]


  • Wash sounds like “niao say duh goo-ay” instead of the script’s niao SE duh DOO-gway (or Beijing “niao shr duh doo-gway”).

See also:

  • chou4 ma3-niao4 (Serenity [novelization])
  • gui3 (“Out of Gas”)
  • Jian4 ta1 de5 gui3! (“Safe”)
  • xiong2mao1 niao4 (“Jaynestown”)

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cow dung

  1. niu2: a cow
  2. fen4: excrement, dung


  • Simon sounds like “Niao-fff” instead of Niou fun.

See also:

  • niu2shi3 (“War Stories”)
  • Xi1 niu2 (“Ariel”)

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cow dung

  1. niu2: a cow
  2. shi3: excrement, dung


  • Mal sounds like “niou-suh.” The captions have niou-se on the region 1 DVD.

See also:

  • gen1 hou2zi5 bi3 diu1 shi3 (“Heart of Gold”)
  • gou3shi3 (“Shindig,” “Safe” [Cut], “Out of Gas,” “The Message” [Cut], Serenity [novelization])
  • Niu2fen4. (“Safe”)
  • Xi1 niu2 (“Ariel”)
  • zheng1qi4 de5 gou3shi3dui1 (“Our Mrs. Reynolds” [Cut])

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Ying2huo3chong2–Ning2jing4 Zhong1wen2 Pin1yin1-dian3
Firefly–Serenity Chinese Pinyinary