My friend's parents are visiting us and they only speak Mandarin and Cantonese and I only speak English, so she translates for us. We were talking about movies and I wanted to know what kinds they like to watch, but we ran into some difficulties trying to translate the phrase "swashbuckling adventure", and even the term "adventure" in and of itself.

Google translate says "swashbuckling adventure" is 霸道的冒险 However, DeepL translates this back as "The Adventure of Bullying" so we're not entirely sure it's accurate. DeepL says "swashbuckling adventure" is 飞檐走壁的冒险, however Google translate says this is "The adventure of flying over the wall".

So there are some issues with translating the term "swashbuckling", but there is also some issue even when translating the term "adventure" in itself. Even though all the translation tools we used offered the same result ("冒险"), my friend felt that term is more about "taking risks", whereas in both our understandings, while adventures can involve risks, the essence of the term "adventure" to us is more about the "unusual and exciting journey" aspect. Perhaps our perspectives do not align with the way the word "adventure" is used by others... but if there is a better Chinese word that focuses on these aspects of adventure, rather than merely the risk-taking aspects, we would like to know it.

Thank you. 🙂

3 Answers 3


swashbuckling (adj): engaging in daring and romantic adventures with bravado or flamboyance.

Adventure = 冒险

swashbuckling adventures = romantic adventure = 浪漫冒險

The movie genre they like is 浪漫冒險類 (like 'The Princess Bride')

you can replace 冒險(emphasize on risky) with 探險 (emphasize on exploring)


Although the dictionary translates "adventure" as "冒险", I think "探險", or "歷險" is more close to the original meaning of the word, which literally means "explore some unknowns with anticipation of certain risks/surprises".

To adventure on the north/south pole - 北極/南極探險.

A favored book of mine while I was a kid - "Tom's Adventure" was translated as "湯姆歷險記".


swash: the sound of water washing over something
buckler: a small round shield used to ward off blows
swashbuckler: The original sense seems to have been "one who makes menacing noises by striking his or an opponent's shield." (loud noises frighten spirits away)

Probably, the swash in "swashbuckling" should conjure up the idea of rolling seas and waves breaking: swash!

And the buckler is for defence in a fight.

So, we have:
swash: maritime: 海上
buckling: sword fighting: 剑术

The maritime adventures of a sword-fighting man.

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