What do the Chinese characters on the computers in Serenity and Firefly actually say?

Illustration for article titled What do the Chinese characters on the computers in emSerenity/em and emFirefly/em actually say?

Recently, hardware hacker Phil Torrone from Adafruit started learning Chinese. And of course the first thing he did with his newfound knowledge was try to translate the characters he'd seen on computer screens in Firefly and Serenity. Writes Torrone:

This is the second row of characters from the movie Serenity at the 59:58 mark where River looks into the student teaching screen UI and sees writing, then a planet. Not sure what it was meant to mean, any ideas? These are second row ones (Chinese/Mandarin).

乍 first
举 move
久 long
乐 music
举 move
久 long
临 face/arrive/overlook/just before
乌 crow
举 move


Torrone proposes to do a series of these screenshot translations, and has already done one from Bladerunner, where the box carrying synthetic eyes displays the Chinese character for "forever." Feel free to provide more translations, or suggest other movie UIs that need scrutiny.

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Whoa, there's katakana as well. I didn't know Japanese was alive and well in the Firefly universe.