Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Synopsis of Theodosia and the Pirates in Chinese

Are you a student of history and also of the Chinese language? Did you know that Jean Laffite was enthralled by the I Ching?  Not only he, but also his daughter Denise Laffite Little, quoted from the I-Ching in their personal scrapbook notations.

In the 19th century, it was common for people to keep scrapbooks in which they copied poetry and philosophy that appealed to them, interspersed with clippings from the newspaper and very personal family mementos. It was the closest thing to a Facebook page that they had, and sometimes one person would write in another person 's notebook or scrapbook. If you are interested in this, you can find out more about it at the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center in Liberty, Texas, where many of the artifacts concerning the life of Jean Laffite and his family are stored.

Even before I knew this about Jean Laffite, I imagined that as a world traveler, he had come across some aspects of Chinese culture and being an open-minded speculative thinker, he may have adopted some of what he learned. So in Theodosia and the Pirates, I had Jean Laffite deal with Theodosia's morning sickness by applying pressure to the correct spot, according to acupuncture, to relieve her nausea. In the book, he says he learned this from a Chinese sailor.

Just as Jean Laffite was influenced by Chinese culture, I also wish to have an influence back on Chinese culture, so it is my great desire that my novel, Theodosia and the Pirates, should one day be translated into Chinese.

So far though. all that I have managed to accomplish in that directions is to translate the synopsis of Theodosia and the Pirates into Chinese.

In the following book trailer, the narrative is the Chinese synopsis.

The text of the synopsis, written in traditional Chinese characters, can be found here:
Here is a short glossary of unusual terms or proper names within the synopsis, in case you are a beginning student of Chinese and need some help:
西奧多西婭 -- Theodosia
海盜 -- pirates
愛國者 -- Patriot
讓·拉菲特 -- Jean Laffite
新奧爾良之 -- New Orleans
英國 --Britain 
奧多西婭 -- Spain
伯爾 -- Burr
亞歷山 -- Alexander
漢密爾頓 -- Hamilton
國稅局 -- Revenue Service
麥迪遜 -- Madison
火藥 -- gun powder

Let me know how you do reading the text and listening to the video, if you are a student of Chinese. If you are native speaker of Chinese, please let me know how the text can be improved.


  1. People in China are bound to have an interest in American history, just as Jean Laffite was interested in Chinese sailors.

    1. Thanks, Julia. I do hope people in China are interested in this topic.