Z (tz), Zh (j)

(Zh: see also J)

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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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[colloquial] Damn!, What a mess!

  1. zao1: to be ruined, [literally and figuratively] to be spoiled
  2. gao1: cake, pudding

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Zen3me5 le5?

zen3me5 le5

What happened?, What’s wrong?

  1. zen3me5: why?, how?
    1. zen3: why, how
    2. me5: [suffix for question words]
  2. le5: [completion marker]

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zhan4dou3 de5 yi1 kuai4 rou4

zhan4dou3 de5

trembling, that trembles

  1. zhan4dou3: to tremble, to shiver (with cold or fear)
    1. zhan4 [used only in compound words (or as a family name)]: to tremble, to shiver (with cold)
    2. dou3: to tremble, to shiver
  2. de5: [noun-modifier marker] [here: integrated adjectival clause (restrictive relative clause)]

yi1 kuai4 rou4

piece of flesh

  1. yi1 kuai4: a piece of
    1. yi1 [pronounced “yi2” before a 4th-tone syllable]: one, a
    2. kuai4: [classifier for pieces/lumps]
  2. rou4: meat, flesh

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Zhe4ge5 ji4hua4 zhen1 ke3pa4!

zhe4ge5 ji4hua4

this plan

  1. zhe4ge5: this, this one
    1. zhe4: this
    2. ge5: [general classifier for nouns]
  2. ji4hua4: a plan
    1. ji4: a plan, a stratagem
    2. hua4 [for this meaning, used only in compound words]: a plan

zhen1 ke3pa4

to be truly horrible

  1. zhen1: truly, indeed
  2. ke3pa4: horrible, fearful
    1. ke3: [prefix turning verb to adjective meaning ‘capable of’, ‘-able’/‘-ible’]
    2. pa4: to fear, to dread

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Zhe4 shi4 shen2me5 lan4dong1xi5!?

zhe4 shi4 shen2me5

what is this?

  1. zhe4: this
  2. shi4: to be
  3. shen2me5 [usually pronounced “she2me5”]: what?
    1. shen2 [used only in the compound word shen2me5]
    2. me5: [suffix for question words]


trash [noun], junk [noun]

  1. lan4: to be messy, to be dissolute
  2. dong1xi5: a thing, a creature
    1. dong1: east
    2. xi1: west


  • Similar insults:
    • Ni3 shi4 shen2me5 dong1xi5? 你是什么东西? (traditional: 你是什麼東西?): [insult] What are you anyway?, Who do you think you are?!; ni3: you (singular); shi4: to be; shen2me5 [usually pronounced “she2me5”]: what? [see main entry above]; dong1xi5: a thing, a creature [see main entry above]
    • Ni3 bu4 shi4 dong1xi5 你不是东西 (traditional: 你不是東西 ): [insult] You’re nothing; ni3: you (singular); bu4 [pronounced “bu2” before a 4th-tone syllable]: not; shi4: to be; dong1xi5: a thing, a creature [see main entry above]

See also:

  • Shen2me5? (“Serenity, Part 2” [Cut], “Shindig,” Serenity [movie] [Cut])

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Zhe4 zhen1 shi4 ge5 kuai4le4 de5 jin4zhan3…

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Zhen1 dao3mei2!

zhen1 dao3mei2

What rotten luck!

  1. zhen1: truly, indeed
  2. dao3mei2: to be unlucky, to be out of luck
    1. dao3: to fall down/over
    2. mei2: mildew, mold

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zhen1 de5 shi4 tian1cai2

zhen1 de5 shi4

to be a real (something)

  1. zhen1 de5: [variant of: zhen1] truly, indeed
  2. shi4: to be


a genius

  1. tian1: nature-given, heaven, God
  2. cai2 [used only in compound words]: a person with a capability

See also:

  • tian1cai2 (“Bushwhacked” [Cut])

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Zhen1 mei2 nai4xing4 de5 Fo2zu3


truly, indeed

mei2 nai4xing4 de5

that has no patience, without patience

  1. mei2: [abbreviation]
    mei2you3 没有 (traditional: 沒有 ): to have no (something), -less
    1. mei2: not
    2. you3: to have, there is
  2. nai4xing4: patience, endurance
    1. nai4: patient
    2. xing4: [suffix making abstract nouns from adjectives], -ness, -ity
  3. de5: [noun-modifier marker] [here: integrated adjectival clause (restrictive relative clause)]


[Buddhism] [polite] Buddha, a Buddhist patriarch (sect founder)

  1. Fo2: [abbreviation]
    Fo2tuo2 佛陀 : [Buddhism] Buddha [loanword; transliteration for Buddha: [Sanskrit] The Awakened One (see note below)]
    1. Fo2: [phonetically used Chinese character] [now only refers to Buddha/Buddhism]
    2. tuo2 [used only in compound words]: [phonetically used Chinese character]; [literally: a steep bank]
  2. zu3 [used only in compound words (or as a family name)]: an ancestor, a founder


  1. Buddha: The Chinese characters were used phonetically not for Modern Standard Mandarin (Putonghua) Fo2tuo2 (“fuo-tuo”) but for an older pronunciation like “biuət-da.” For reconstructed Middle Chinese (220–960 CE) pronunciations of the syllables of Fo2tuo2, see Bernhard Karlgren, Analytic Dictionary of Chinese and Sino-Japanese (1923; reprint, New York: Dover, 1991), entry nos. 47, 1011.
  2. Also:
    • Fo2jiao4 佛教 : Buddhism; Fo2: [abbreviation]Fo2tuo2 佛陀 : [Buddhism] Buddha [see main entry above]; jiao4 [for this meaning, used only in compound words]: religion
    • Fo2jiao4tu2 佛教徒 : a Buddhist; Fo2jiao4: Buddhism [see above]; tu2 [for this meaning, used only in compound words]: a follower

See also:

  • Ren2ci2 de5 Fo2zu3… (“Our Mrs. Reynolds”)
  • Ren2ci2 de5 Fo2zu3, qing3 bao3you4 wo3men5… (Serenity [movie])

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Zhen1 ta1ma1 yao4ming4. Zhu4yi4.

zhen1 ta1ma1 yao4ming4

[offensive] this is damn dangerous

  1. zhen1 ta1ma1 [de5]: [offensive] damn/damned [intensifier], f***ing [intensifier]
    1. zhen1: truly, indeed
    2. ta1ma1 [de5]: [offensive] damn/damned [intensifier], f***ing [intensifier]
      1. ta1ma1: 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. [optional: de5 : [noun-modifier marker] [here: possessive (genitive), ’s, of]]
  2. yao4ming4: to be dangerous, to be perilous
    1. yao4: to want
    2. ming4: a life


to pay attention

  1. zhu4 [used only in compound words (or as a classifier for certain nouns)]: to concentrate
  2. yi4 [used only in compound words]: attention


  • Pronunciation: Wash sounds like “Juh ta ma yao ming. Joo-yee” instead of “Jun tah-mah yao-ming. Joo-ee.” But he definitely said more than the the script’s Zhu yi.

See also:

  • Ni3 ta1ma1 de5. Tian1xia4 suo3you3 de5 ren2. Dou1 gai1si3. (“Serenity, Part 1”)
  • Ta1ma1 de5. (“Serenity, Part 1”)
  • Ta1ma1 de5 hun2dan4. (“War Stories”)
  • Ye1su1, ta1ma1 de5— (“Jaynestown”)

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zheng1qi4 de5 gou3shi3dui1

zheng1qi4 de5

steamy, steaming

  1. zheng1qi4: steam [noun]
    1. zheng1 [for this meaning, used only in compound words]: steam [noun]
    2. qi4 [used only in compound words]: steam [noun]
  2. de5: [noun-modifier marker] [here: possessive (genitive), ’s, of]


[offensive] a pile of dog crap, [insult] [offensive] a bastard (nonliteral)

  1. gou3shi3 [de5]: of dog crap
    1. gou3shi3: [insult] [offensive] crap (a worthless thing); [literally: [offensive] dog dung]
      1. gou3: a dog
      2. shi3: excrement, dung
    2. [understood: de5 : [noun-modifier marker] [here: possessive (genitive), ’s, of]]
  2. dui1: a stack, a pile

See also:

  • gen1 hou2zi5 bi3 diu1 shi3 (“Heart of Gold”)
  • gou3shi3 (“Shindig,” “Safe,” “Out of Gas,” “The Message” [Cut], Serenity [novelization])
  • niu2shi3 (“War Stories”)

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Zhu3 a5, ni3 ming2ming2 zhi1dao5 wo3 shi4 bang1 ni3 zuo4shi4, you4 he2 bi4 zhao3 wo3 ma2fan5 ne5?

Zhu3 a5

O Lord

  1. zhu3: God, Lord
  2. a5: [marker of direct address of someone (vocative)]

ni3 ming2ming2 zhi1dao5 wo3 shi4 bang1 ni3 zuo4shi4

you are obviously aware that I assist you in doing your work

  1. ni3 ming2ming2 zhi1dao5: you obviously are aware
    1. ni3: you (singular)
    2. ming2ming2: clearly, obviously
      1. ming2 [for this meaning, used only in compound words]: [repeated] clear, obvious
    3. zhi1dao5: to know, to be aware of
      1. zhi1: to know
      2. dao4: a way
  2. wo3 shi4 bang1: it is I that assists
    1. wo3: I
    2. shi4: [puts focus on the sentence subject]; [literally: to be]
    3. bang1: to help, to assist
  3. ni3 zuo4shi4: you work
    1. ni3: you (singular)
    2. zuo4shi4: to work
      1. zuo4: to do, to make
      2. shi4: matters, business

you4 he2 bi4 zhao3 wo3 ma2fan5 ne5?

oh why must you cause me such trouble?

  1. you4 he2 bi4: oh why must
    1. you4: [used in rhetorical question to emphasize negative tone], (once) again (for past actions)
    2. he2: why?
    3. bi4: must
  2. zhao3 wo3 ma2fan5: to cause me trouble, to pick on me
    1. zhao3 ma2fan5: to cause someone trouble, to pick on someone
      1. zhao3: to seek
      2. ma2fan5: to bother, to trouble someone
        1. ma2: to be numbed, to be pockmarked; [literally: hemp]
        2. fan2: to trouble, to be troubled/annoyed
      3. wo3: me [indirect object]
  3. ne5: [marker for questions (about something already mentioned or for emphasis)]

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Zhu4fu2 ni3, mei4mei5.

zhu4fu2 ni3

bless you

  1. zhu4fu2: blessings, to bless, to wish happiness
    1. zhu4: to bless, to pray for blessing, to wish well
    2. fu2: a blessing, happiness
  2. ni3: you (singular)


little sister, younger sister

  1. mei4 [used only in compound words]: [repeated with neutral 5th tone] little sister, younger sister


  • Also:

    Mandarin Words for Siblings
    Relation / GenderFemaleMale
    Older Siblingjie3jie5
    older sister
    older brother
    Younger Siblingmei4mei5
    younger sister
    younger brother

See also:

  • mei4mei5 (“Serenity, Part 1,” “Safe,” “Our Mrs. Reynolds” [Cut], “Ariel,” “War Stories,” “Heart of Gold”)
  • xiao3mei4mei4 (“Serenity, Part 2,” Serenity: Better Days #1 & #2)

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