Saturday, April 15, 2006

Experimental formatting- Chinese screenplay

Edited 4th May 2006: a sloppy English translation has been appended to this post.






大厨师:现在不忙就可指给你看怎么准备铁板鱿鱼。(拿出个木板, 到火炉,从旁拿一个铁钩,便用钩把炉上烧着的铁盘托到木板上。在铁盘上落些生洋葱,加些食油。从炉上拿起蜗。)如果很忙的话,我就把煮好的料倒在碗里。你要准备铁板然后把料倒上。最后加点酒上去,就好了。


一维:Your sizzling calamari and a steamed rice.
客人:Looks good. Thank you.
一维:Enjoy your dinner.










Characters: Yee Wei, Tracey, Head Chef, restaurant customers
Scene: A restaurant
Language: Chinese/Mandarin

(There are very few customers in the restaurant. Yee Wei is at the bar’s sink washing some glasses. Tracey stands across the bar.)

Tracey: You are from Malaysia, is that right?
Yee Wei: Yes, close to the capital Kuala Lumpur. Yourself?
Tracey: I’m from China。
Yee Wei: Which part of China?
Tracey: Szechuan.

(The kitchen’s double doors open and the Head Chef leans out.)

Head Chef: (To Yee Wei, waving his hands to invite him over) Come, come. I’ll show you around while we have time.

(Yee Wei finishes cleaning the cup, dries his hands and follows the Head Chef into the kitchen. Tracey takes over washing the remaining cups.)

Head Chef: Now that we’re not busy I’ll show you how to prepare a sizzling calamari dish.

(The Head Chef reaches for a wooden tray, heads towards the gas stoves and grabs an iron hook from a side counter. Using the iron hook, he manipulates the steel dish on the burner and puts it on the wooden tray. He then adds some raw onion pieces, a dash of oil and removes a wok from the main stoves.)

Head Chef: If we’re busy, I will pour the cooked calamari into a bowl here. You’ll have to prepare the hot plate and pour the calamari onto the dish. Finally, add a dash of cooking wine, and off you go.

(The Head Chef pours the calamari into the heated dish, and adds some wine. They make a noisy hiss as each ingredient contacts the hot metal.)
(Yee Wei brings the dish of sizzling calamari and a plate of rice to a customer’s table.)

Yee Wei: Your sizzling calamari and a steamed rice.
Customer: Looks good. Thank you.
Yee Wei: Enjoy your dinner.

(Yee Wei returns to the bar’s side. Tracey is still washing glasses.)

Tracey: Is this your first day here?
Yee Wei: Second day. I worked yesterday night too.
Tracey: I see. Have you worked in any other restaurants in the past?
Yee Wei: No. This is my first.
Tracey: Oh. So what kind of work did you do before?
Yee Wei: I haven’t worked in recent times.
Tracey: (Surprised, and looks up from the glasses) Wow, how fortunate!
Yee Wei: (speechless) Ermm…

(They keep quiet for a while. Tracey continues washing the glasses, Yee Wei keeps an eye on the customers.)

Tracey: (after some contemplation) It must be nice to not have to work while studying…
Yee Wei: That’s true. You have a bit more time and less stress.
Tracey: And you can join the activities of carious clubs and groups too.
Yee Wei: Yup.

(Two new customers enter the restaurant.)

Tracey: (Nodding gently towards the front of the restaurant) Customers.

(Yee Wei grabs two menus and goes forward to greets the new customers.)

(End Prologue)

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Blogger cynical-idealist said...

Whoa, your Chinese is pretty good! I'm so out of practise, it took me quite awhile to read through that.

Hehe, new job eh? Sounds interesting too. Western place?

Plus, Tracy sounds so sad at the end. Reminds me of me when friends ask me out for functions when I'm supposed to be working. :(

11:50 pm, April 15, 2006  
Blogger cynical-idealist said...

Paiseh..."practice", not "practise".

11:51 pm, April 15, 2006  
Blogger 小李飞刀 said...

Ahh.. interesting story... Hope you will find a job that fits your qualification..

1:41 am, April 16, 2006  
Blogger sonia said...

Haha, I thought u *always* prepare a 'backup' (aka English translation)..

And haha, at least u learnt something from the chef on ur 2nd day at work (other than washing the dishes!) =P

I need to practice my mandarin! Recently, SMSes that I receive remind me how fun & witty (?) mandarin can sound or be!

4:39 am, April 16, 2006  
Blogger Lao Chen said...

Cynical Idealist:
I'd firstly refute by saying, "Hah!"
Actually, all those words i can say, and translate that pronunciation using hanyu pinyin based typing. Easy. You might consider giving it a try too.

Malaysian restaurant. It's very colourful, but i cannot even say in what way, because that might reveal too much. It's that colourful.

Don't worry about typos. I'm sure you spell with no problems.

Yuan Harng:
Yes, i hope so too. To do otherwise would be daft.

Heh. Did not feel like translating at that moment. At any rate, all the action was in pu tong hua.

Very much so. When i started i was blur, so mostly washed the cups and poured water when the action got too thick for me to be coherent. I'm less blur now btw.

Yes yes, lets start a blog in chinese movement.

11:33 pm, April 16, 2006  
Blogger ChinoDevean said...

In terms of screenplay, I must honestly say I would fall asleep if a stageplay has such a scene.

5:04 am, April 19, 2006  

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