Tsukihime vocabulary thread

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Tsukihime vocabulary thread

Unread postby gp32 » June 16th, 2004, 3:48 am

While I was translating through Tsukihime the other day, I realized that (a) we're also doing a translation of Melty Blood, (b) there are a bunch of invented terms that are used in both games, and (c) it would be nice to have some consistency between the two games. I am therefore presenting the translations of these invented words that I'd like to use and my rationale behind using them. Comments welcome. I have followed the format that EvoSpace's Tsukihime Encyclopedia uses.

VAMPIRES

Original term: 吸血鬼
Romanization: kyuuketsuki
EvoSpace TL: Vampire
gp32 TL: Vampire
Rationale: -

Original term: 吸血種
Romanization: kyuuketsushu
EvoSpace TL: Vampiric Creature
gp32 TL: Vampiric
Rationale: The "creature" is largely redundant. When refers to something as a vampiric, then the "creature" is understood. Besides, if even a tree (ie The Tree of Ennashe) can become a vampire -- and one of the 27 Ancestors of the Death Apostles at that -- then "creature" could be misleading (although, techincally, a tree *is* a creature).

Original term: 真祖
Romanization: shinso
EvoSpace TL: True Ancestor
gp32 TL: True Ancestor
Rationale: I agree with both EvoSpace and ScriptDoc on this one. The important word here is "true", not "ancestor". This makes fancier terms -- like progenitor or Methuselah -- kind of useless.

Original term: 魔王
Romanization: maou
EvoSpace TL: Demon Lord
gp32 TL: Demon Lord
Rationale: I agree with EvoSpace on this one; although a great many Japanese-English dictionaries will give this term the definition "devil", that's only true in the context of The Devil, the lord of hell.

Original term: 死徒
Romanization: shito
EvoSpace TL: Dead Apostle
gp32 TL: Death Apostle
Rationale: I agree with ScriptDoc on this one, although my reasons for liking it may be different from his. 死 itself carries the meaning of "death" itself -- as the act/event/thing, not as a descriptive adjective. 徒, on the other hand, means junior; empty; futile; ephemeral. The word "apostle" is close enough to the word "apostate" to make this similar to the spirit of the quasi-pun inherent in the Japanese invented word.

Original term: 死徒二十七祖
Romanization: shito nijuu-nana so
EvoSpace TL: The Twenty Seven Ancestors of Dead Apostles
gp32 TL: The 27 Ancestors of the Death Apostles
Rationale: As above.

Original term: 死者
Romanization: shisha
EvoSpace TL: The Dead
gp32 TL: The Dead
Rationale: We could alternatively call them The Departed, but The Dead is simple and close enough to the original Japanese definition.

Original term: 使い魔
Romanization: tsukaima
EvoSpace TL: Familiar
gp32 TL: Familiar
Rationale: Literally, the term means "tamed demon" -- and that's exactly what a familiar in Western occult myth is.

Original term: グール
Romanization: Ghoul
Rationale: This is a direct romanization.

Original term: リビングデッド
Romanization: Living Dead
Rationale: This is a direct romanization.

Original term: 魅了の魔眼
Romanization: miryou no magan
EvoSpace TL: Mystic Eyes of Enchantment
gp32 TL: Entz?ckend Zauberauge
Rationale: Why German, anyway? (a) all of Nasu Kinoko's works -- Tsukihime and Fate included -- happen in the same universe; (b) in Fate, Tohsaka Rin uses German as the language of magecraft; (c) Rin, in several of Fate's endings, travels to London to become part of the Conclave of Magi there; (d) Aozaki Aoko herself is a member of the London Conclave; (e) so it would seem that Japan falls under the dominion of the London Conclave; (f) and thus I am choosing to use German for some terms that relate to magic and magecraft that Aoko would have said to Shiki -- 直死の魔眼 and 魔眼殺し are the two prime examples, and because I'd like 直死の魔眼 to be in German, 魅了の魔眼 would also have to be in German.

Original term: 空想具現化
Romanization: kuusou gugenka
EvoSpace TL: Image Materialization/Marble Phantasm
gp32 TL: Ex Nihilo Quicquid Fit
Rationale: Literally, "the embodiment of fantasy". Interestingly enough, in our own Melty Blood manual translation, we have Arcueid's desperation attack listed as the "Marvel Phantasm" -- which is pretty close in its own way to the meaning of the invented term. So we have a dilemma -- three different translations, each with its own merits and its own shortcomings. Therefore, let's consider what the term itself is supposed to mean. The 空想具現化 is an ability that allows the user to transmute a given amount of space into anything he or she desires; this is accomplished when the user links himself to the Akasha (or, if you're EvoSpace, the "source") and forces that which has an infinitessimally low probability of happening to actually happen. There's a philosophical/religious term quite close to this -- the concept of an ex nihilo creation. It has been used both in Catholic doctrine (the notion that God created the universe out of nothing) and in direct opposition to it (the notion that man can create something without God). And finally, there is the latin phrase "ex nihilo nihilo fit" -- which stands for "nothing comes of nothing". The 空想具現化 is just the opposite of this -- "anything at all can come of nothing"! Which leads to my translation, "ex nihilo quicquid fit", which is that phrase translated into Latin.

Original term: 固有結界
Romanization: koyuu kekkai
EvoSpace TL: Innate Bounded Barrier/Reality Marble
gp32 TL: Eigenfeld (pl: eigenfelder)
Rationale: Again with the German, for the rationale described above in my rationale for 魅了の魔眼. I dislike EvoSpace's translation here because the 固有結界 itself is a space that exists within the ego boundary of its bearer, and thus is apart from the space-time continuum altogether -- which is why it need not obey the laws of nature. It would be fairer to say that it's an innate bounded area, but even that's not that close. The term we'd have to use would have to encompass the fact that a 固有結界 is (a) unique to the individual, (b) a reflection of a facet of that individual's personality, and (c) is both a figurative and a literal space existing outside the laws of nature. In order to do this, I decided to borrow a term from the world of mathematics -- in a kind of mathematics heavily related to Quantum Mechanics known as Operator Algebra, an operator "operates" upon a function and produces another function. For every operator, there is a collection of functions which, when operated on by the operator produces THE SAME function, modified only by a constant factor. Such a function is called an eigenfunction of that operator and the multiplicative constant factor is called the eigenvalue of that eigenfunction. By similar reasoning, an eigenfeld would be a bounded area that, when created by an individual, results only in that individual.

Original term: 混沌
Romanization: konton
EvoSpace TL: Chaos
gp32 TL: Chaos
Rationale: I agree with EvoSpace on this one.

Original term: 獣王の巣
Romanization: juou no su
EvoSpace TL: Beast's Lair
gp32 TL: Tierk?nigsh?hle
Rationale: Actually, it would be closer to call it the Beast King's Lair if you were going for a straight translation. And on top of that, the 獣王の巣 is a type of 固有結界, which I've chosen to translate into german as "eigenfeld" (see above). So German it is for me. Besides, "Tierk?nigsh?hle" just looks *cool*.

Original term: 創世の土
Romanization: sousei no tsuchi
EvoSpace TL: Soil of Creation
gp32 TL: Erde von der Genesis
Rationale: 創世 doesn't just mean *any* creation -- it means Genesis, the creation of the world. If I were going for a straight English translation, I'd say "Soil of the Genesis" or "Soil of the Creation". But again, as it's a 固有結界, and since I wish to consistently translate all 固有結界 into German, I have the above.

Original term: 不死
Romanization: fushi
EvoSpace TL: Immortality
gp32 TL: Immortality
Rationale: Agree with EvoSpace.

THE CHURCH

Original term: 教会
Romanization: kyoukai
EvoSpace TL: The Church
gp32 TL: The Church
Rationale: Agree with EvoSpace.

Original term: 異端者
Romanization: itansha
EvoSpace TL: Heretic
gp32 TL: Apostate
Rationale: I would rather use the word "Apostate" here because the word "Heretic" is very charged; it's not possible to be a heretic and remain a part of the Church -- and yet Ciel and the others at the 埋葬機関 are considered to be 異端者. Now, to be an apostate is just as bad as being a heretic -- you can't really be an apostate (one who betrays the law of the faith to pursue his own interpretation of that faith) and remain part of the Church either. However, its saving grace is the closeness of the word to the word "apostle". So now we have death apostles, and then we have apostates within the church who are hunting the death apostles down. I find this a nice pseudopun that Nasu Kinoko would surely approve of if he knew of this project of ours.

Original term: 埋葬機関
Romanization: maisou kikan
EvoSpace TL: Burial/Entombment Agency
gp32 TL: The Inquisition
Rationale: While "Burial Agency" is a technically correct translation, I'm not sure that it captures the spirit of the 埋葬機関 very well. Members of the 埋葬機関 are charged with stamping out heresy in the form of vampires -- a charge that is eerily similar to the mission that the Inquisition was given in the church of the Middle Ages. And the Inquisition was a Church-sponsored organization in the real history of this world. And it *did* serve to hunt down -- often incorrectly -- those that the Church felt were heretics. Finally, the Inquisitors of the old day often did work alone, and were given their own authority to try and kill people. This is *very* similar to the way that the 埋葬機関 works in the game.

Original term: 埋葬者
Romanization: maisousha
EvoSpace TL: Burier
gp32 TL: Inquisitor
Rationale: See above.

Original term: 代行者
Romanization: daikousha
EvoSpace TL: Mediator
gp32 TL: Agent
Rationale: Essentially the same meaning -- a 代行者 is someone who represents -- and acts with -- the authority of his or her parent organization. This is exactly what an agent or a mediator does. Agent is more succinct than mediator is, which is why I chose it.

Original term: 殺し屋
Romanization: koroshiya
EvoSpace TL: (Professional) Killer
gp32 TL: Assassin
Rationale: An assassin is a professional killer. 'nuff said.

Original term: 騎士団
Romanization: kishidan
EvoSpace TL: Knights
gp32 TL: Holy Knights
Rationale: I added the 'holy' to differentiate them from the other knights that we find in the worlds of both Tsukihime and Fate.

Original term: 法王庁
Romanization: hououchou
EvoSpace TL: Vatican
gp32 TL: The Vatican
Rationale: Agree with EvoSpace.

Original term: 概念武装
Romanization: gainen busou
EvoSpace TL: Conceptual Weapon
gp32 TL: Conceptual Weapon
Rationale: Agree with EvoSpace. An interesting thing is that the phrase "conceptual weapon" has been used infrequently in philosophy to denote an idea or a motif used to destroy another idea or another motif -- which is exactly what 概念武装 do.

Original term: 黒鍵
Romanization: kokken
EvoSpace TL: Black Key
gp32 TL: Goetia Key
Rationale: EvoSpace's TL is completely accurate -- 黒鍵 means 'black key' nothing more, nothing less. However, given what the 黒鍵 does -- bring a supernatural being back under the laws of reality -- I think it would be far more appropriate to reference the apocryphal Goetia, Key of Solomon -- which was used to subdue, bind, and banish demons.

Original term: 火葬式典
Romanization: kasou shikiten
EvoSpace TL: Cremation Ritual
gp32 TL: Cremation Mass
Rationale: The term "ritual" is more associated with the dark arts than it is with the Church. The most common "ritual" that the Roman Catholic Church is, of course, the Mass. Mass is also held for a person's burial or remembrance, so this is appropriate.

Original term: 鉄甲作用
Romanization: tekkou sayou
EvoSpace TL: Steel Plate Effect
gp32 TL: Steel Plate Effect
Rationale: ... mainly because I don't have a better suggestion.

Original term: 第七聖典
Romanization: dainana seiten
EvoSpace TL: The Seventh Holy Scripture
gp32 TL: Seventh Scripture
Rationale: In the Church, *the* Scriptures are by default holy.

Original term: 浄化
Romanization: jyouka
EvoSpace TL: Purify/Purification
gp32 TL: Purification
Rationale: Agree with EvoSpace.

DEMONS AND DEMON HUNTERS

Original term:
Romanization: ma
EvoSpace TL: Demonic/Magical
gp32 TL: Demonic
Rationale: Agree with EvoSpace.

Original term:
Romanization: oni
EvoSpace TL: Ogre
gp32 TL: Demon
Rationale: In Japanese mythology, the terms "ogres" and "demons" are rougly equivalent -- but that's not true in Western mythologies.

Original term: 混血
Romanization: konketsu
EvoSpace TL: Hybrid
gp32 TL: Tiefling
Rationale: I know this is a D&D term, but it fits so well -- tieflings *are* demon-human hybrids.

Original term: 紅赤朱
Romanization: kurenai sekishu
EvoSpace TL: Crimson Red Vermillion
gp32 TL: Crimson Red Vermillion
Rationale: Agree with EvoSpace. Of all his translations, I probably like this on the best ^_^

Original term: 檻髪
Romanization: origami
EvoSpace TL: Imprisoning Hair
gp32 TL: Enfolding Cage of Hair
Rationale: This is the only way that I could think of to inject some of the original "origami" pun into English -_-

Original term: 退魔組織
Romanization: taima soshiki
EvoSpace TL: Demon Hunter Organization
gp32 TL: Demon Hunters' Guild
Rationale: Demon Hunters, after all, hunt demons. This is also a neat reference to (a) the hunters' guilds of old and (b) Phantasy Star.

Original term: 超能力
Romanization: cho noryoku
EvoSpace TL: Psychic Ability
gp32 TL: Psychic Ability
Rationale: Agree with EvoSpace.

Original term: 感応能力
Romanization: kannou noryoku
EvoSpace TL: Synchronization ability
gp32 TL: Catalytic Ability
Rationale: 感応 is technically "inspiration, divine response, sympathy, induction". A catalyst is something that, in chemistry, serves to lower the activation energy of a reaction so that it may proceed in situations where it normally could not. If we call a person a catalyst, then we mean that that person enabled us to do things that we normally could not -- by inspiration or by example or otherwise. And finally, a Catalyst in the Darksword series by Hickman and Weis is a person who can give magical energy to another person. This fits quite well in my book.

Original term: 直死の魔眼
Romanization: Chokushi no Magan
EvoSpace TL: Mystic Eyes of Death Perception
ScriptDoc TL: Deathsight
gp32 TL: Todesgestalt Zauberauge
Rationale: Ah, the much-debated term. I chose to sidestep the entire death (depth?) perception/deathsight issue by using German once again. Another reason I chose German here is that "Gestalt", in German, not only means "perception", but also carries the meaning "coherent perception" -- a psychological term which stands for an overriding awareness of a certain thing. And this is exactly what Shiki has. Furthermore, Aoko was the first to use this term, I think -- again another argument as to why I think this term should be translated into German.

Original term: 魔眼殺し
Romanization: magan goroshi
EvoSpace TL: Mystic Eyes Killer
gp32 TL: Zauberaugem?rder
Rationale: As above, and also the fact that 殺し is better translated as "murder" than "killer" -- thus "m?rder". As this was the pair of glasses that Aoko gave Shiki, I again think it would be most appropriate for it to be translated into German (and doubly so, given that the glasses were originally made by Aoko's sister, a magus and *not* a magician).

Original term: 殺人鬼
Romanization: satsujinki
EvoSpace TL: Murder/blood thirsty killer.
gp32 TL: Murderer
Rationale: Agree with EvoSpace

Original term: 反転衝動
Romanization: hanten shoudou
EvoSpace TL: Inversion/Reactionary Impulse
gp32 TL: Conversion Reaction
Rationale: This is actually a psychatric term that most often refers to the somatization of psychiatric issues. In any case, what is true of real conversion reactions and the game's 反転衝動 is that in both, the person suffering from one does and says things that he or she normally would not.

MAGIC AND MAGECRAFT

Original term: 魔法
Romanization: mahou
EvoSpace TL: Magic
gp32 TL: Magic
Rationale: Agree with EvoSpace

Original term: 魔術
Romanization: majutsu
EvoSpace TL: Sorcery
gp32 TL: Magecraft
Rationale: I mainly chose the word "magecraft" because where EvoSpace says "sorcerers", Fate clearly says (in English, no less!) "magi". So, "magecraft", not "sorcery".

Original term: 神秘
Romanization: shinpi
EvoSpace TL: The Super Natural
gp32 TL: The Supernatural
Rationale: Agree with EvoSpace, except "supernatural" is one word, not two :)

Original term: 魔法使い
Romanization: mahou tsukai
EvoSpace TL: Magician
gp32 TL: Magician
Rationale: Agree with EvoSpace.

Original term: 魔術師
Romanization: majutsushi
EvoSpace TL: Mage/Sorcerer
gp32 TL: Magus (pl: magi)
Rationale: I use this term because it is used -- in English, no less -- in Fate (Don't believe me? Look at the words just beneath the Fate logo in a lot of the promo material: 'I forgot to tell you something - I'm a magus').

Original term: 魔術協会
Romanization: majutsu kyokai
EvoSpace TL: Mage's Association
gp32 TL: Conclave of Magi
Rationale: Mainly just preference.

Original term: 錬金術師
Romanization: renkin jutsushi
EvoSpace TL: Alchemists
gp32 TL: Alchemist
Rationale: Agree with EvoSpace.

Original term: 魔導師
Romanization: madoushi
EvoSpace TL: Wizard
gp32 TL: Wizard
Rationale: Agree with EvoSpace.

Original term: 魔力
Romanization: maryoku
EvoSpace TL: Magical Energy
gp32 TL: Mana
Rationale: I use the term Mana because in Fate, ley lines are specifically referred to as conduits of this magical energy/mana.

Original term: 魔力回路
Romanization: maryoku kairo
EvoSpace TL: Magical Energy Circuit
gp32 TL: Mana Circuit
Rationale: As above.

Original term: アカシャ
Romanization: Akasha
Rationale: This is a direct romanization.
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Unread postby ScriptDoc » June 16th, 2004, 2:56 pm

Unfortunately, I don't think I for one can really comment on the translation of most of these terms until I actually take a crack at translation in Tsukihime. Context is the most important part of all this and Melty Blood doesn't delve too deeply into the backstory of the Tsukihime universe - though it does give us plenty of insight into the three magical groups, especially Atlas.

Also, at least in Melty Blood, we haven't even gotten into space and formatting issues. I think that'll be the ultimate deciding factor - how much space we have available to write in.

But I will say for the record I don't really like the idea of using the non-English terms - the German, the Latin, and ones pulled from D&D and other novels. I think they're very creative and probably do a good job of explaining their terms, but there are two major reasons why I'd prefer not to go that route.

First, from a practical standpoint, I think they would be confusing to the audience. They won't know what most of these foreign terms mean, and since they're intended to describe fictional concepts and beings, that doesn't leave people with many context clues to help them figure it out. You've made a convincing case for your terms in your post, but I don't think you'll be able to do the same in the game itself. And I don't think publishing a separate guide for the game would be a good idea. I'd like our work to be able to stand on its own and be accessible to as many people as possible. Again, my position is slightly different from yours since Melty Blood, being a fighting game, is going to attract a different audience than Tsukihime will.

Second, I think we have to consider these terms from the standpoint of the characters. This was one of the big arguments I made for 'deathsight,' because it seems like a simple term that people might use to describe his power. It's catchy, can be yelled out in an emergency, and avoids some of the stickier issues I mentioned before. Some of the lengthier terms you've used seem like they're more complicated than the characters would probably like. I can't comment on Aoko, though. I don't know her that well, and Atlas Academy encourages, in fact demands, that its members create their own knowledge instead of drawing it from a common pool, so we can expect that Sion's terminology might differ from Aoko's.

Also sometimes, like in the case of 'Black Key,' I think it's not necessary to go too far afield. Black Key is a perfectly understandable English term, and it's a closer translation.

As far as specifics, as I said earlier, most of these terms aren't dealt with Melty Blood so I can't speak too much. With most of the generic terms - murderer, for example - I haven't stuck with one particular term but have used various synonyms throughout the game to keep the dialogue flowing.

I use 'society' mostly when talking about the magical groups. Melty Blood has more of an alchemical perspective than a magical one. So when I translated that term I was thinking of the more modern secret societies of alchemy and the occult - the Priory of Sion, for example - rather than councils of magicians from ancient times.

I chose Marvel Phantasm originally, as opposed to Marble Phantasm, because it seemed to describe the impossible nature of the effect better. However, I also respect the rationale of the choosing of marbles, and 'Reality Marvel' doesn't fit too well, so I'd have to say we might ought to stick with Marble.

I used 'Knights of the Church' instead of Holy Knights. I'm trying to avoid the issue of whether 'the Church' of Tsukihime refers to the same Catholic Church that we know in our universe or whether it's something different, so I toss around 'the Church' a lot. And I think the 'holiness' of Tsukihime's 'Church' is kind of questionable. Since you seem to be a sci-fi buff, you can say the term is based on The Elenium, if you want.

I've used Burial Agency. I understand your comments about the Inquisition, but I think the Burial Agency is really fairly different. It seems to be more of a clandestine group, and doesn't seem interested in converting anyone. Also, I'd like to avoid too many parallels between Tsukihime's 'Church' and the Catholic Church of our universe, as I said before.

You're dead on about 'agent' but I've actually substituted 'Executor' in most cases simply because Sion tends to address Ciel by title, and calling someone 'agent' without their name, as in 'Special Agent Smith,' sounds kind of funny in English. I don't know how this term is used in Tsukihime. I have no problem using 'agent' as a plain noun, and in fact I have used it a few times when Sion used the term before coming face to face with Ciel. I usually just made it more specific by saying 'agent of the Church.'

Hope that helps, but I imagine this'll really be a discussion for when we're done, before a final patch is released.
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Unread postby gp32 » June 16th, 2004, 4:22 pm

ScriptDoc wrote:Also, at least in Melty Blood, we haven't even gotten into space and formatting issues. I think that'll be the ultimate deciding factor - how much space we have available to write in.

True.

ScriptDoc wrote:First, from a practical standpoint, I think they would be confusing to the audience. They won't know what most of these foreign terms mean, and since they're intended to describe fictional concepts and beings, that doesn't leave people with many context clues to help them figure it out. You've made a convincing case for your terms in your post, but I don't think you'll be able to do the same in the game itself. And I don't think publishing a separate guide for the game would be a good idea. I'd like our work to be able to stand on its own and be accessible to as many people as possible. Again, my position is slightly different from yours since Melty Blood, being a fighting game, is going to attract a different audience than Tsukihime will.

In Tsukihime, what invariably happens is that a character will use a term, and then that will be followed by pages and pages of explanation as to what that term means. There therefore isn't much need for people to figure out what a term might mean. I'd also argue that at least at first, the terms are meant to be on the confusing side -- and that Nasu trusted that his audience would understand the rationale behind the terms as they read along. Picking apart the meaning of his invented words is almost the same as deciphering the etymology of a real-world word ... and as such, I am opposed to trying to make the terms as accessible as possible. They're going to be explained in the next page anyway, and it does make it more enlightening for those who decide to go after the terms etymologist-style.

ScriptDoc wrote:Second, I think we have to consider these terms from the standpoint of the characters. This was one of the big arguments I made for 'deathsight,' because it seems like a simple term that people might use to describe his power. It's catchy, can be yelled out in an emergency, and avoids some of the stickier issues I mentioned before. Some of the lengthier terms you've used seem like they're more complicated than the characters would probably like. I can't comment on Aoko, though. I don't know her that well, and Atlas Academy encourages, in fact demands, that its members create their own knowledge instead of drawing it from a common pool, so we can expect that Sion's terminology might differ from Aoko's.

I agree that we have to consider these terms from the standpoint of the characters; however, given this, then I'd think I would *have* to use a somewhat lengthier term when someone like Arcueid or Aoko uses the term 直死の魔眼. Neither of them really ever asks Shiki to "use" this ability in an emergency -- and when they speak of it, they are usually attempting to convey to Shiki (and to the audience) the gravity of the Gordian razor of sorts that he carries. When they say 直死の魔眼, my impression is that they are both very deliberate in their usage of the term; they are very much trying to convey the idea that the death of which they speak is the absolute concept of death, and not anything else -- not the event, not the dictionary definition of the word. This is why I am opposed to both "death perception" and "deathsight". Or take another term, like 魔眼殺し -- when Aoko gives this pair of glasses to Shiki, she implies that these glasses would work to nullify any 魔眼 -- whether it be the 魅了の魔眼 or the 直死の魔眼. As such, I'd be uncomfortable translating this term as "deathsight killer", as that would be somewhat more specific.

I concede that Sion would probably use very different terms from the ones that Ciel or Aoko or Arcueid would. I don't know what Atlas is like, as it isn't really mentioned in Tsukihime.

ScriptDoc wrote:Also sometimes, like in the case of 'Black Key,' I think it's not necessary to go too far afield. Black Key is a perfectly understandable English term, and it's a closer translation.

I concede the point for this term.

ScriptDoc wrote:I use 'society' mostly when talking about the magical groups. Melty Blood has more of an alchemical perspective than a magical one. So when I translated that term I was thinking of the more modern secret societies of alchemy and the occult - the Priory of Sion, for example - rather than councils of magicians from ancient times.

My impression so far has been that the London 魔術協会 operates in a way that resembles a council. I can't speak for Atlas, as I've never played Melty Blood. Also, the etymology of the word "conclave" itself is derived from con (room) + clavis (key) -- signifying a locked room, or a secret society. This is why I chose "conclave" over "society".

ScriptDoc wrote:I chose Marvel Phantasm originally, as opposed to Marble Phantasm, because it seemed to describe the impossible nature of the effect better. However, I also respect the rationale of the choosing of marbles, and 'Reality Marvel' doesn't fit too well, so I'd have to say we might ought to stick with Marble.

You know, 'Reality Marble' isn't much better. While the rationale behind the word 'Marble' is definitely neat, I don't think that it's any easier to explain away than any of the foreign terms I've used. In both cases, there's going to have to be an explanation about the term *somewhere*. Otherwise, I get the feeling that a lot of people will be walking around thinking that, say, the marble phantasm is a ghostly marble, or that the reality marble is some kind of physical marble that you can manipulate or use. I really don't think that it's fair to say that we can use terms like "reality marble" or "marble phantasm" and then to say that foreign terms (some of which, like 'ex nihilo', should be quite well-known to the prospective target audience for a Tsukihime translation!) are too complicated for our audience to handle.

ScriptDoc wrote:I used 'Knights of the Church' instead of Holy Knights. I'm trying to avoid the issue of whether 'the Church' of Tsukihime refers to the same Catholic Church that we know in our universe or whether it's something different, so I toss around 'the Church' a lot. And I think the 'holiness' of Tsukihime's 'Church' is kind of questionable. Since you seem to be a sci-fi buff, you can say the term is based on The Elenium, if you want.

I've used Burial Agency. I understand your comments about the Inquisition, but I think the Burial Agency is really fairly different. It seems to be more of a clandestine group, and doesn't seem interested in converting anyone. Also, I'd like to avoid too many parallels between Tsukihime's 'Church' and the Catholic Church of our universe, as I said before.

I don't have a problem with using 'Knights of the Church'. What I will say, though, is that in Fate, Rin Tohsaka notes that the Church would frown upon the Grail War if it knew about it, due to the fact that the magi are competing for a supposedly-holy Holy Grail. So at the very least, it would seem that the Church of Tsukihime considers itself a holy entity.

The 'holiness' of the Church today is kind of questionable as well, depending on who you ask. Also, given that we also have terms like 法王庁 and the Lance of Longinus being used, it's obvious that parallels -- some of them quite deep -- are being drawn between the Church of the Tsukihime universe and the RC Church of the present day. I am thus inclined to take an opposite tack to yours; make as many parallels between the RC Church of the present day and the Church of the Tsukihime world as possible. The Inquisition itself started as a secret society, and was later reintegrated into the Church as a public organization, and was finally disbanded. And while no, I suppose the 埋葬機関 has no interest in converting people, neither, really, did the Inquisition. And on top of that, we do know that some of the Death Apostles collaborate with the 埋葬機関. And this is why I continue to argue for "Inquisition" -- in both our world and in the Tsukihime world, the Inquisition (our world)/埋葬機関 (Tsukihime) isn't supposed to exist to this day. If it did, it would be a secret police, hidden from the eyes of the world.

ScriptDoc wrote:You're dead on about 'agent' but I've actually substituted 'Executor' in most cases simply because Sion tends to address Ciel by title, and calling someone 'agent' without their name, as in 'Special Agent Smith,' sounds kind of funny in English. I don't know how this term is used in Tsukihime. I have no problem using 'agent' as a plain noun, and in fact I have used it a few times when Sion used the term before coming face to face with Ciel. I usually just made it more specific by saying 'agent of the Church.'

I like this, and will adopt it in my translations from this point on.

ScriptDoc wrote:Hope that helps, but I imagine this'll really be a discussion for when we're done, before a final patch is released.

Indeed. Thank you.
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Re: Tsukihime vocabulary thread

Unread postby tjm » June 16th, 2004, 7:20 pm

I've mentioned my skepticism for the German and similar terms elsewhere, so I'll just confine myself to a few specific comments here...

gp32 wrote:Original term: 吸血種
Romanization: kyuuketsushu
EvoSpace TL: Vampiric Creature
gp32 TL: Vampiric

I'm not really clear on how you intend this to work; 吸血種 is presumably a noun in the cases where it's used, but "Vampiric" is an adjective; it would sound very strange to say "He is a Vampiric". I appreciate that there is a little precedent for using adjectives that describe conditions as nouns describing those suffering from conditions, but I'm not at all convinced in this case.

Rationale: Why German, anyway? (...) (b) in Fate, Tohsaka Rin uses German as the language of magecraft; (c) Rin, in several of Fate's endings, travels to London to become part of the Conclave of Magi there; (...)

Alright, one more comment on the German. ^_^ Speaking as someone who has spent a great deal of his life in academic establishments in London, I can say with confidence that just because Rin comes from a tradition that uses German, this should not be taken as an indication that the London Conclave are likely to use it; far from it.

British academia (and British hermetic tradition, from which I think we can assume the London Conclave will draw) have always been highly xenophobic, linguistically speaking. English and Latin would be used exclusively; indeed I must admit, even English terms would be a relatively new addition. If the members we've seen are anything to go by, though, I think its fair to say that the London Conclave are fairly forward-looking (by Mage standards), and would probably be fond of fancy, impressive-sounding plausibly English words.

Original term: 空想具現化
Romanization: kuusou gugenka
EvoSpace TL: Image Materialization/Marble Phantasm
gp32 TL: Ex Nihilo Quicquid Fit

Having said "Latin", though... this is far too unwieldy. Surely these are meant to be the short, quick-reference terms that in tense scenes will be flying around three-to-a-sentence? "Ex Nihilo Quicquid Fit" might be fine for a poetic technical term in an academic paper, but can you imagine what Pokemon would have been like if Ash had been yelling "Pikachu! Use Ex Nihilo Quicquid Fit!" all the time? *shudder* I'm not saying the terms need to be short and pithy, but if they don't roll off the tongue at least as easily as the Japanese ones (to a western speaker!), then I think something is going wrong.

Original term: 異端者
Romanization: itansha
EvoSpace TL: Heretic
gp32 TL: Apostate

Depending on how it's used, I would be tempted to just go for "Heretic", here. An apostate is very specifically one who was once a member of the faith but departed from it; Ciel is certainly an apostate, but I would not be surprised if many the game describes with this term are not; that is, were never members of the Church in the first place. I guess translating it differently in different contexts might be the best answer.

Original term: 埋葬機関
Romanization: maisou kikan
EvoSpace TL: Burial/Entombment Agency
gp32 TL: The Inquisition

I would have assumed the Entombment Agency to be a subgroup of the Inquisition, rather than the entirety of it... though I suppose that as long as the rest of the Inquisition never turn up (and I don't expect that), it won't make much of a difference....

Have you tried looking up what term is used in Japanese for the historical Inquisition?

Original term: 騎士団
Romanization: kishidan
EvoSpace TL: Knights
gp32 TL: Holy Knights
Rationale: I added the 'holy' to differentiate them from the other knights that we find in the worlds of both Tsukihime and Fate.

I'm not sure that's really necessary; after all, you'll find very few knights that aren't (or at least don't consider themselves) holy. After all, that's what seperates them from just being slightly noble blokes with big swords.

Original term: 火葬式典
Romanization: kasou shikiten
EvoSpace TL: Cremation Ritual
gp32 TL: Cremation Mass
Rationale: The term "ritual" is more associated with the dark arts than it is with the Church. The most common "ritual" that the Roman Catholic Church is, of course, the Mass. Mass is also held for a person's burial or remembrance, so this is appropriate.

The Mass is not the cremation, though, it is something that is held alongside. I doubt the 火葬式典 involves much bread and wine, certainly. What's wrong with just "Cremation" (which is what the ceremony would usually be called) or "Cremation Rites", or even "Cremation Sacrament"? (I strongly suspect cremation probably isn't one of the sacraments, to be honest, but I won't tell if you won't...)

Original term: 混血
Romanization: konketsu
EvoSpace TL: Hybrid
gp32 TL: Tiefling

...no. Just no. ^_^; It's a horrible term of highly questionable parentage to begin with; I'd hate to see it spread. Surely there are better terms for the offspring of Demons and Humans? (After all, Angels got Nephilim, surely there's some potential for equal rights arguments...)

Original term: 退魔組織
Romanization: taima soshiki
EvoSpace TL: Demon Hunter Organization
gp32 TL: Demon Hunters' Guild

I feel this could be improved upon... Guilds generally weren't centered around families, the way the Demon Hunters are. To go for the very simple answer, how would "Demon Hunter Families" fit in the contexts where the term is used?

Original term: 反転衝動
Romanization: hanten shoudou
EvoSpace TL: Inversion/Reactionary Impulse
gp32 TL: Conversion Reaction
Rationale: This is actually a psychatric term that most often refers to the somatization of psychiatric issues. In any case, what is true of real conversion reactions and the game's 反転衝動 is that in both, the person suffering from one does and says things that he or she normally would not.

Again, if possible it might be worth checking how Japanese Psychological literature translates "Conversion Reaction"; it could quite easily have been precisely what Nasu was referring to.

Original term: 魔術協会
Romanization: majutsu kyokai
EvoSpace TL: Mage's Association
gp32 TL: Conclave of Magi

I don't know; whilst a nice term, "conclave" is specifically religious. It is occasionally used in non-ecclesiastical circles, but it's primarily used in the context of the Conclave of Cardinals. It seems implausible, given their long-standing enmity with the Church, that Magi would use such a term.

Oh, and whilst I think about it, a couple other terms it might be worth standardising translations of...

私立浅上女学院 (Akiha's private school)
枯渇庭園 (Satsuki's 固有結界)

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Re: Tsukihime vocabulary thread

Unread postby gp32 » June 16th, 2004, 9:31 pm

tjm wrote:I'm not really clear on how you intend this to work; 吸血種 is presumably a noun in the cases where it's used, but "Vampiric" is an adjective; it would sound very strange to say "He is a Vampiric". I appreciate that there is a little precedent for using adjectives that describe conditions as nouns describing those suffering from conditions, but I'm not at all convinced in this case.

Also see "antipyretic", "diuretic", "antihypertensive", "heretic", "apostate", "hybrid", "sanative", and quite a few others. I would beg differ that there is only *little* precedent for the usage of adjectives as nouns.

tjm wrote:Alright, one more comment on the German. ^_^ Speaking as someone who has spent a great deal of his life in academic establishments in London, I can say with confidence that just because Rin comes from a tradition that uses German, this should not be taken as an indication that the London Conclave are likely to use it; far from it.

British academia (and British hermetic tradition, from which I think we can assume the London Conclave will draw) have always been highly xenophobic, linguistically speaking. English and Latin would be used exclusively; indeed I must admit, even English terms would be a relatively new addition. If the members we've seen are anything to go by, though, I think its fair to say that the London Conclave are fairly forward-looking (by Mage standards), and would probably be fond of fancy, impressive-sounding plausibly English words.

First of all, the London Conclave may be based in England, but it is not exactly an English establishment. If I understand it correctly, Mage Conclaves (or whichever term you want to use) meet in places where there is a vast amount of mana/a large intersection of ley lines -- such as Big Ben in England. The members of the London Conclave that we know of are not English at all -- in fact, some of its most powerful members (Rin and Aoko included!) are Japanese, and a figure who had a hand in teaching magecraft to the ancestors of at least a few who are currently part of the Conclave would be Wizard Marshal Zelrecht -- who I think we can safely assume was German.

Beyond that, I agree with you that it would probably be best if we could synthesize our own words using english-based etymology as a starting point. Since you're very much in opposition of German, why don't you spearhead that effort? I'm going to continue to use the German terms in my translation until we reach consensus on the terms we will use -- at which point I'll switch them over.

tjm wrote:Having said "Latin", though... this is far too unwieldy. Surely these are meant to be the short, quick-reference terms that in tense scenes will be flying around three-to-a-sentence? "Ex Nihilo Quicquid Fit" might be fine for a poetic technical term in an academic paper, but can you imagine what Pokemon would have been like if Ash had been yelling "Pikachu! Use Ex Nihilo Quicquid Fit!" all the time? *shudder* I'm not saying the terms need to be short and pithy, but if they don't roll off the tongue at least as easily as the Japanese ones (to a western speaker!), then I think something is going wrong.

It could be shortened to "ex nihilo" without any loss in meaning. And another thing -- maybe in Melty Blood it's different, but in Tsukihime the characters don't shout out the names of attacks or techniques as they're doing them. Speaking of which -- Arcueid's attacks in Melty Blood are all in German, except her 空想具現化. Anyway. Perhaps this is what ScriptDoc was talking about when he was noting that Melty Blood and Tsukihime have slightly different audiences. I argue that the 空想具現化, the 固有結界, and many others are highly technical terms in Tsukihime, and deserve to be translated as such.

tjm wrote:Depending on how it's used, I would be tempted to just go for "Heretic", here. An apostate is very specifically one who was once a member of the faith but departed from it; Ciel is certainly an apostate, but I would not be surprised if many the game describes with this term are not; that is, were never members of the Church in the first place. I guess translating it differently in different contexts might be the best answer.

Agreed.

tjm wrote:I would have assumed the Entombment Agency to be a subgroup of the Inquisition, rather than the entirety of it... though I suppose that as long as the rest of the Inquisition never turn up (and I don't expect that), it won't make much of a difference....

I agree with your standpoint; and the rest of the Inquisition doesn't ever turn up.

tjm wrote:Have you tried looking up what term is used in Japanese for the historical Inquisition?

宗教裁判. A completely different term from 埋葬機関, I know.

tjm wrote:I'm not sure that's really necessary; after all, you'll find very few knights that aren't (or at least don't consider themselves) holy. After all, that's what seperates them from just being slightly noble blokes with big swords.

The Servants in Fate are also referred to as a group of knights, and they're decided *not* holy. As ScriptDoc suggests, "Knights of the Church" is a nice compromise.

tjm wrote:The Mass is not the cremation, though, it is something that is held alongside. I doubt the 火葬式典 involves much bread and wine, certainly. What's wrong with just "Cremation" (which is what the ceremony would usually be called) or "Cremation Rites", or even "Cremation Sacrament"? (I strongly suspect cremation probably isn't one of the sacraments, to be honest, but I won't tell if you won't...)

It's not one of the sacraments at all. However, I have no problem with "Cremation Rites".

tjm wrote:...no. Just no. ^_^; It's a horrible term of highly questionable parentage to begin with; I'd hate to see it spread. Surely there are better terms for the offspring of Demons and Humans? (After all, Angels got Nephilim, surely there's some potential for equal rights arguments...)

Since you're so vehement about this, perhaps you would like to do the research and give us a replacement. I would love to have a term that is more correct than just "hybrid" and less varegiated than "tiefling".

tjm wrote:I feel this could be improved upon... Guilds generally weren't centered around families, the way the Demon Hunters are. To go for the very simple answer, how would "Demon Hunter Families" fit in the contexts where the term is used?

There were four main families of Demon Hunters (the Nanaya were destroyed, as we know, except for Shiki), but I don't think that we can say that they control the 退魔組織 in any way. In fact, Nanaya Kiri decided that he would leave the 退魔組織 after his son Shiki was born -- and that's part of why his clan was completely massacred.

Several of the early merchant guilds in Europe were notoriously family-dominated, on the other hand. In any case, a few suggestions here would be nice. If you don't like "guild" for the reasons above, then "organization", "assembly", "association", and a bunch of other terms like it are out.

tjm wrote:Again, if possible it might be worth checking how Japanese Psychological literature translates "Conversion Reaction"; it could quite easily have been precisely what Nasu was referring to.

(Nitpick: 'psychological' and 'psychiatric' are very different things! Conversion reactions are psychiatric phenomena, not psychological ones.) Online sources haven't been much of a help with this, but I did do a MEDLINE search in hopes of finding original japanese psychiatric literature that referred to conversion reactions explicitly. Unfortunately, most of the ones I've found are in English, so that doesn't help too much. We'll see as I crunch through the literature.

tjm wrote:I don't know; whilst a nice term, "conclave" is specifically religious. It is occasionally used in non-ecclesiastical circles, but it's primarily used in the context of the Conclave of Cardinals. It seems implausible, given their long-standing enmity with the Church, that Magi would use such a term.

It seems equally implausible that magi would be involved in a war over a Holy Grail, but that didn't seem to stop them. Also, having just run a google search on the term "conclave", I'm not altogether convinced that the primary usage of the word is in the context of the Conclave of Cardinals.

tjm wrote:私立浅上女学院 (Akiha's private school)
枯渇庭園 (Satsuki's 固有結界)

Someone with more knowledge and more time than I have can take a stab at these.

Thank you for all your comments. They were very helpful. Suggestions for replacement terms and your rationale behind them would be even more helpful (hint hint ^_^).
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Unread postby TheXev » June 17th, 2004, 2:28 am

Also, at least in Melty Blood, we haven't even gotten into space and formatting issues. I think that'll be the ultimate deciding factor - how much space we have available to write in.


To extend the length of the script wouldn?t be any problem as it?s a simple matter of simply making the text files larger, but right now the space on screen is a bigger concern. Without a font hack in place there are exactly 28 full-width ASCII characters that can be displayed per line(half width crashes MB).

Image
*note, ReACT?s scripting language is exactly the same.

As you can see, it looks pretty ridiculous as is. The font wouldn?t look bad if it was veritable width, but I?ve simply been to busy with school and other misc items (like ReACT?s release, and rehacking the EXE for MBR, then again 2.001, now I?ll have to do 2.002! ><). I really need get some of the new gfx extracted and posted.

I?ll be spending most of this weekend knee deep in MB?s code to try and fix this issue. I?m glad Tsukihime?s fix was far easier.

Since I honestly don?t feel up to commenting on anything else said tonight, I wanted to know how everyone would feel if I invited EvoSpace and perhaps a few other translators into this conversation. I would probably wait awhile to do so and perhaps move the thread into one of the public forums after we?ve finalized what we?re discussing (sort of a public approval before diving into translating any more).
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Unread postby ScriptDoc » June 17th, 2004, 3:42 pm

I like the idea of a public discussion, because it's the players who are ultimately going to judge the quality of the translation, but I don't think you're going to get a good idea of public opinion from this board. The only people on it are die-hard fans and import gamers, and these guys don't have the same outlook as your average player. I don't know what a good test group would be, though.

I pretty much agree with tjm's additional comments. As far as the 'vampiric' one goes, I use 'vampirism' as in, 'he's suffering from vampirism.' This one comes up a lot for me because Sion is looking for a cure for vampirism. Also, yes, in Melty Blood, the characters do yell out in battle - not always their attack names, but I agree with tjm that we should be thinking along those lines. Arcueid's attacks are not exclusively in German - check the manual. I've left the German bits intact. I'll also agree with 'guild' being a problem with the 'demon hunters.' How about 'House of Demon Hunters' or 'Demon Hunter House.' That would imply an extended family, hereditary work, etc. And certainly a member of a house may choose to leave it because he disagrees with their ideals. This is a pretty common concept in Japan.

But once again I'd like to point out that Geneon is releasing an English version of the Tsukihime anime in the US. Not all of the terms are likely to be mentioned in the anime (any bootleggers that can confirm this?) but some are, certainly the major ones, and we probably ought to find out what the official terms are going to be before we jump at each other's throats over this.
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Unread postby ScriptDoc » June 17th, 2004, 4:12 pm

Whoops, forgot about those other terms you needed translated.

For Akiha's private school, my guess would be 'Asagami Women's Academy.'

Satsuki's move is easier. That'd be 'Withered Garden.'
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Unread postby NuAngel » June 17th, 2004, 7:01 pm

Germinization of some of the words is simply a bad idea. Just like in ANY two languages, there will be some words and phrases that simply DO NOT translate the same.

The simplest Spanish / English example: "Salsa Caliente" vs. "Hot Sauce." Words are reversed, there's already an English version of the word "Salsa" that doesn't always imply the same thing as "Sauce." You can find a host of things wrong with just that simple two word translation.

The "Vampiric" seems to be one of the words causing the most unrest, I can see... and it's true - in some sentances it'll work fine as an adjective, but "Vampiric" is simply not a NOUN, and therefore cannot be used as such. There will be some places where things simply won't translate right, and that's when you have to know that there are differences between languages.

ENG: "What time is it?" vs. SPAN: "Que ahora es?" (The hour is?). Some things just won't make sense to an English speaking audience, or they just won't fit no matter who's reading them. This is the reason revolve is a team of human translators, not just Xev running stuff through babelfish. ;)

While it's a good extra step to understanding some of the trickier words, you cannot rely on this extra step to "clarify" anything for you. Run a word through babel fish or freetranslation in five or six languages then bring it back to the first one... your word is not likely to be the same anymore.

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Unread postby zalas » June 18th, 2004, 1:44 am

ScriptDoc wrote:But once again I'd like to point out that Geneon is releasing an English version of the Tsukihime anime in the US. Not all of the terms are likely to be mentioned in the anime (any bootleggers that can confirm this?) but some are, certainly the major ones, and we probably ought to find out what the official terms are going to be before we jump at each other's throats over this.

It all depends on how much they research, which doesn't seem very much from the way the anime was produced. I mean... there was a blatant kanji error in a sign that appears throughout the series, blatant animation shortcuts and Ciel eating spaghetti. If Geneon really took it seriously, they might be able to come up with something, but for such a niche release, I seriously doubt Geneon USA would be putting in that much effort. After all, is the typical anime fan going to know about Japanese doujin software?
As for terms, many terms do show up in the show, mostly the more common ones, like Shinso, Shito, Shisha and also the episode titles. Most of the episode titles are used literally in the game (Chokushi no Magan, Origami, Conversion Reaction, etc.) However, most of the techniques and Aoko's dialogue is lost. (Haven't watched past ep 10 though, so don't quote me on that)

NuAngel wrote:ENG: "What time is it?" vs. SPAN: "Que ahora es?" (The hour is?)

Hate to be nit picky, but 'ahora' is 'now'. You're probably thinking of 'Que ahora es?' (with accents and inverted question marks placed appropriatedly :))
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Unread postby NuAngel » June 18th, 2004, 2:22 am

Hate to be nit picky but:
'Que ahora es?' (with accents and inverted question marks placed appropriatedly )


is no different than what I typed. If you are going to correct me, do it right. Fine, I miss spelled a word, but don't be nit picking if you're gonna make the same mistake. And don't tell me to add accents either, forgive me for not using a Spanish keyboard.

"?Qu? hora es?"

Better? :roll: You got some whiner's in this house, Xev... :lol:

And for future reference you can get the "?" symbol by holding ALT and typing 0191 and then releasing ALT, in most English fonts. The upside down "!" (?) is ALT+0161.

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Unread postby ScriptDoc » June 18th, 2004, 1:43 pm

Can't we all just get along?

Regardless of how well Geneon does their translation, whatever they do is what's going to be the official story in the US. Even if they rename everybody and set it in the town of Reedington, that's how it is. I think there should be at least one patch that conforms to Geneon's terms, although nothing's wrong with a 'Director's Cut' or something if we have problems with what they do. But if we don't match their terms I think we'll look a little silly.

And we probably shouldn't criticize them too much since nobody knows what terms they're going to be using yet.
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Unread postby TheXev » June 19th, 2004, 11:31 pm

True dat.

*note ? If Nu gets out of control, I?ll kick his ass in a very literal sense. ;)
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Unread postby gp32 » June 21st, 2004, 4:31 am

ScriptDoc wrote:Regardless of how well Geneon does their translation, whatever they do is what's going to be the official story in the US. Even if they rename everybody and set it in the town of Reedington, that's how it is. I think there should be at least one patch that conforms to Geneon's terms, although nothing's wrong with a 'Director's Cut' or something if we have problems with what they do. But if we don't match their terms I think we'll look a little silly.


Agreed.

Meanwhile, a few alternate suggestions for terms, just for fun:

Original term: 固有結界
Romanization: koyuu kekkai
Alternate TL: egoliminarium
Rationale: This is something along the lines of what tjm and I would agree might be an interesting approach -- to derive jargon from english etymologies. The "ego" part is obvious; "liminarium" is derived from "(sub)liminal" (the border of the conscious world and the subconscious world, or the ego boundary; the base etymology is derived from the latin 'limen' = border/limit) and "-arium" [derived from latin, meaning 'a (finite) place for'].

Original term: 檻髪
Romanization: origami
Alternate TL: (enfolding) locks of hair
Rationale: This is a clever pun that Zalas thought of. Would also suggest "hairlock" as a variation on this.

Original term: 檻髪
Romanization: origami
Alternate TL: trichoplication
Rationale: Yet another english etymology-based word, albeit one based more on medical terminologies. Tricho- is a prefix that means hair (see trichosis, trichotillomania, trichomonad, trichomoniasis, sporothrix shenkii -- the root of the prefix comes from the greek 'thrix', meaning 'hair') and a -plication is an operation in which something is folded over on itself and ensnared (see fundoplication, plica circularis -- the root of this suffix comes from the latin 'duplus', meaning 'to be folded upon itself')

Anyway, as ScriptDoc suggests, let's wait and see how Geneon handles their localization and go from there.
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Unread postby TheXev » June 23rd, 2004, 9:40 am

I believe we would reach a consensus on current terminology right now, so we will know what to implement. Since I am far from qualified to take on such a task, I believe gp32 should organize this. We can leave the non agreeable terms up for debating and solidify what has been agreed upon.
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Unread postby tjm » June 23rd, 2004, 12:02 pm

It appears to me (speaking mostly as an observer right now) that a large part of the debate here is stemming from a difference in motivations.

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One motivation is that the audience should like the terms used. If the translation uses a translation of "kuusou gugenka" that's signifcantly more unwieldy or less appropriate than "Marble Phantasm", then most people are just going to keep thinking of it as "Marble Phantasm"; they'll most likely be irritated by the constant use of the other term. If people aren't going to like and use the term, it might as well have just been left untranslated.

Another motivation is accuracy; a desire that the translated terms should contain as precisely as possible the exact meaning and information contained in the original terms. This is good for the analyser audience, the people who want to work out precisely how the Tsukihime world works and what it all means, without having to delve into the Japanese themselves.

And the other motivation is authenticity. The player of the English version should have as near as possible precisely the same experience as a player of the Japanese version. That is, the translated terms should feel to an english reader the same way the originals felt to a japanese reader; similar levels of "technicality", similar levels of "archaity", and at a first glance at least they should convery the same information. (Judging this aspect is extremely difficult without the assistance of a native Japanese speaker.)

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I think that the question of how to balance these three motivations will need to be settled before you'll start to get consensus on which terms to use; unfortunately, in most cases, no one term is going to be ideal for all three purposes.

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Unread postby gp32 » June 23rd, 2004, 8:30 pm

TheXev wrote:I believe we would reach a consensus on current terminology right now, so we will know what to implement. Since I am far from qualified to take on such a task, I believe gp32 should organize this. We can leave the non agreeable terms up for debating and solidify what has been agreed upon.

And I think this debate has proven that I'm only marginally more qualified *sigh*

I don't think that calling in more experts will necessarily help at this point. We obviously have a fairly knowledgeable fanbase here already, and translators that are willing to defend their points of view. For now, I think the best approach would be to use the terms that I posted up-top (only in the Tsukihime translation -- ScriptDoc's already got his own terms for Melty Blood, and he should retain those for now) as TEMPORARY VARIABLES -- the german terms without the umlauts -- as we have a central record of them already. One landmark, as ScriptDoc says, is the release of the English-localized Tsukihime TV anime. I agree with ScriptDoc that we are probably going to need to adopt all the terminologies that the Geneon localization uses, no matter how good or bad they turn out to be. If they decide to say "Chokushi no Magan" for 直死の魔眼, for instance, then so be it -- that's the term we're using, end of debate. The problem with this is that (a) there are tons of terms that the TV anime doesn't touch upon, including those most highly under debate here, and (b) it will take a long time before all the Tsukihime episodes are released here (then again, given our own schedule, this will likely not be a problem).

Then again, iff the Geneon localization staff decides to use "Chokushi no Magan", and is consistent with this schema of direct romanization throughout (which it probably will not, but one can dream ...) then our dilemma is largely solved -- we can follow suit and directly romanize just about everything else ... even though that's a completely non-optimal solution that completely disregards TJM's three criteria below. These discussions simply don't matter for certain terms, as there are going to be officially-sanctioned translations. For others, though, read on ...

tjm wrote:One motivation is that the audience should like the terms used. If the translation uses a translation of "kuusou gugenka" that's signifcantly more unwieldy or less appropriate than "Marble Phantasm", then most people are just going to keep thinking of it as "Marble Phantasm"; they'll most likely be irritated by the constant use of the other term. If people aren't going to like and use the term, it might as well have just been left untranslated.

This is indeed the way that any translation is judged at first; if the terms used are so unwieldy in the translated language that they are untenable, then the translation is likely to be looked upon as inferior in nature. The difference, for instance, in Alfred Birnbaum's translations of Haruki Murakami's writing vs. the currently-sanctioned translations by Jay Rubin may well lie in the fact that Rubin's translations are slightly less technically correct, but are somewhat more "readable". And in our circle, the central term that has become a poster child for this motivation is 直死の魔眼, as the term "deathsight" clearly rolls off the tongue the easiest, but doesn't do well as a replacement for the piece of jargon that it is often used as in Tsukihime (Again, I don't claim to know how it's used in MB. ScriptDoc?). Then again, this is one of those terms that will have an official localization, so maybe my example isn't entirely adequate here ...

Finally, I think the term "kuusou gugenka" is used once in the Tsukihime anime. We'll see what Geneon does with it if that's true.

tjm wrote:Another motivation is accuracy; a desire that the translated terms should contain as precisely as possible the exact meaning and information contained in the original terms. This is good for the analyser audience, the people who want to work out precisely how the Tsukihime world works and what it all means, without having to delve into the Japanese themselves.

This, too, is an important motivation. The problem here, I think you'll agree, is that the question becomes one of 'exact meaning' and 'information contained in the original terms'. Take 固有結界, which has a literal meaning (innate bounded field), an exact meaning (a literal and figurative 'space' that exists within the ego boundary of an individual, in which the laws of space and time no longer apply), and a recognition of how it can be used (as a 'field', it can be deployed into a specific part of reality itself, and can paint over the fabric of reality completely [above explanation largely courtesy of Rin Tohsaka in Fate/stay night]). Then there is the fact that 結界 itself is used by itself to describe a defensive/offensive matrix of magecraft that is of lesser power than a 固有結界 -- while this is of more concern to your last motivation below, it would still be relevant to this motivation.

As an aside, I was thinking the other day that the term "Ego Matrix" would be interesting, if not for the massive amount of pop culture that currently surrounds the word "Matrix". Ed from Chibi no Choco Fansubs suggests "Egomanifold" as another alternate term, by the way.

Then there are directly-romanized terms, like "Walking Dead", "Magus", and (from Fate/stay night again ...) "Blood Fort". I don't think there's any debate about using these terms, but at the same time one must note that, in some cases (most notably 'Blood Fort'), what you get is a term in kanji and then a direct romanization written in furigana above it. The actual term used for "Blood Fort" (which is, if you want to know, one of the higher-level abilities that the Servant called Caster possesses) is 血の要塞 (chi no yousai = 'stronghold of blood'), which holds connotations and, indeed, denotations (as we later find ...) that "Blood Fort" doesn't easily encompass. I'm not sure there's any way in situations like that where this second motivation could easily be satisfied.

And what are we going to do if the official translation from Geneon decides to localize terms like the above differently? For that matter, do those terms even appear in the anime? I don't think they do, but if there's even one term that ends up like that, we're in trouble, as that would threaten to invalidate the basis upon which we are so eagerly waiting for Geneon to release its translations of the TV series in the first place.

tjm wrote:And the other motivation is authenticity. The player of the English version should have as near as possible precisely the same experience as a player of the Japanese version. That is, the translated terms should feel to an english reader the same way the originals felt to a japanese reader; similar levels of "technicality", similar levels of "archaity", and at a first glance at least they should convery the same information. (Judging this aspect is extremely difficult without the assistance of a native Japanese speaker.)

This is my main motivation, and probably why I originally wanted to translate the terms into German. What I think is beyond argument is this: the majority of the terms that we are debating here are meant as jargon. Now, I am not saying that the terms have to be overly complex or that they have to sit like a bag of wet cement in the reader's mouth: if technical terms like "PC", "anal retentive" (which was, believe it or not, a term that was first used in Freudian developmental psychology!), "neurotic" (which is another borrow-term from psychology and psychiatry, and does not mean what most people think it does), "existentialist" (which is the proper name for (a) a certain school of philosophical thought or (b) a certain school of mainly French, mainly WWII-era writers), and "zen" (which has come to mean something completely different than its original meaning) have crossed over into the everyday vocabulary, then I see no reason why our translations of Nasu's terms have to be unwieldy to satisfy this third criterion. I cannot disagree, though, with your statement that this may be difficult without a native Japanese speaker.

tjm wrote:I think that the question of how to balance these three motivations will need to be settled before you'll start to get consensus on which terms to use; unfortunately, in most cases, no one term is going to be ideal for all three purposes.

I suppose the Holy Grail of sorts would be to come up with very mellifluous jargon, or something like that ^_^. But since we probably won't come to any strong consensus even if we try to do that ...

We're going to have to face the fact, as you say, that there's probably no way that we're going to attain such balance for any, not to mention all, of these terms. Given that, again, I am currently using the German terms without umlauts in my translation work because we have record of those terms up top here, and when we decide on the finalized phrases it will be a simple matter of find-and-replace-all. I realize that's not much better than just using the original Japanese or even using some arbitrary variables, but at least this way I won't constantly have to be switching my IME back and forth.
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Unread postby tjm » June 23rd, 2004, 11:19 pm

gp32 wrote:This is my main motivation, and probably why I originally wanted to translate the terms into German.

Well, I think you may be overestimating the obscurity of the japanese terms.

Taking myself as an example player of the english version, and trying not to sound too conceited (I'm sure my spelling mistakes balance it out)... I think I can say that I've had more "classical education" than most of the potential audience, and on top of that I've studied a little German (albeit only a year's worth). Yet the term "Entz?ckend Zauberauge" is completely meaningless to me. I have no referents, I can find no similar terms in any languages I'm more familiar with, no basis for camparison with other terms; in short I can get nothing from it whatsoever.

Unfortunately, we can't say for sure how a japanese reader would percieve their term, but we can perhaps guess at a little:

魅了
A single word, though very possibly not a common one. It's in both of my fairly small dictionaries, though, so I think it's probably fair to say most japanese people with a good vocabulary would be familiar with it. (Said dictionaries give "fascination" or "enchantment" as possible meanings. I would check what my English->Japanese dictionary gives for these terms, but I seem to have misplaced it.) Let's suppose it's about as well-known a word as "beguiling" is in English.


Not a word on its own, but a common kanji in manga and games. Even if japanese readers never think in terms of kanji meanings (I don't know if they do or not), the words this kanji is a part of are consistently magical, demonic, or evil. I think that, at the least, seeing this kanji would make the reader think "occult". (Or possibly 魔法少女...)


Common word. Eye or eyeball.

So, to a japanese reader, even though it's a strange phrase, I think we can be confident they could guess at "occult-eyeball of beguiling" without much difficulty or resort to dictionaries.

It would be nice if the english reader could get about this amount of information out of the translated term, too; I'm afraid I don't think any of your German terms offer that (except for "Erde von der Genesis").

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Unread postby gp32 » June 24th, 2004, 1:51 am

tjm wrote:
gp32 wrote:This is my main motivation, and probably why I originally wanted to translate the terms into German.

Well, I think you may be overestimating the obscurity of the japanese terms.

This is why I noted that I *originally* wanted to translate the terms into German. I have no intention of doing so anymore, for the very reason you stated above.

As a matter of fact, I have no problem with using EvoSpace's or any other terms as temporary variables until we finish our debate, and the only reason I'm continuing to use the German terms is because I've already used those terms in some preliminary drafts (and I admit that I'm lazy; I'd rather just change the terms all at once when we decide on what to use).

Oh, and to me "zauberauge" made a lot of sense, although that may be because I'm trained in classical music and thus I think of Mozart's opera "The Magic Flute" as "die zauberflote" -- and "auge" -> "augur" -> "to see/eyes".

Anyway, it's obvious at this point that the final translations won't be in German, so let's stop arguing about that and move on.
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Unread postby tjm » June 24th, 2004, 2:13 pm

Some thoughts and suggestions on some of the trickier terms still outstanding (most of which won't be covered by the anime). Where possible I've tried to think in terms of the third motivation, but as has been observed, this is difficult.

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魅了の魔眼

See the analysis in my last post. Given that it's shared by several terms, I think the word 魔眼 needs to be considered on its own; neither "gaze" nor "sight" related terms are really ideal, since it needs to refer to things that both go out from and come in to the eyes (at least to modern ways of thinking). If something can be found for that, then I think "beguiling" as an adjective works quite well for 魅了の.

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空想具現化

空想 - (full word) (n) a fancy, or vision, or fantasy
具現 - (full word) (n) incarnation, embodiment
化 - fairly common suffix meaning "becoming"
(It's also worth noting that "Marble Phantasm" is the name of one of Shiki's class's Culture Festival stalls in Kagetsu Tohya.)

Straighforwardly, seems like it would suggest something along the lines of "fantasies gaining physical form". No idea how technical or mystical it would sound, though. I would suggest something along the lines of "Phantasms Realised", but given the blatant homage in Kagetsu Tohya, and the fact that the thought of marble (the rock) conveys a fairly strong sense of "reality", I don't see any reason not to stick with "Marble Phantasm".

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固有結界

固有 - (full word) (na-adj) characteristic (of something), inherent (to someone), personal; (mathematics:) eigen-
結界 - Not a common term; neither of my dictionaries list it. Likely to be familiar to many fans in Japan through the anime and manga "X", in which it is a bounded space cut off from the rest of the world. I believe it orginates from the term for a protected zone inside a Shinto temple.

I can see little or no connection to the last term, so I would shy away from "Reality Marble". I agree with gp32 that the emphasis of the first term is primarily that this is something inherent to and personal to the user. The original term seems like it would convey something along the lines of a "personal space" or "personal zone", but both of these seem too casual for what is not a simple japanese term.

Conversely, 結界 is almost certainly a mystical term, not a technical one, so the "obvious" technical translation ("eigenspace") would seem inappropriate. "Sanctum" seems far too gentle a term to describe most of them... perhaps something along the lines of "domain" would fit? "Domain of the Self"? ...nah, far too poetic.

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獣王の巣

Part of me very much wants to say that the lion is the King of Beasts, and thus this should be translated as "the lion's den". Unfortunately, google seems to suggest that this association is a fairly weak one in Japan (in fact, most of the results for 獣王 are for a pachinko game), so I guess "Lair of the Beast King" will do.

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創世の土

"Soil of Genesis" sounds perfect to me.

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混血

混血 - (full word) mixed race, mixed parentage

This seems to be a fairly ordinary, everyday japanese word referring to people of mixed parentage. The english term for this was once "half-breed", but this long ago became a perjorative and insulting term for the children of colonials and native americans, and now like all words referring to a person's race is considered politically incorrect. "Half-blood" would be a little safer, and has the joint advantages of being close to the original japanese, and of conjuring precisely the right image of having demon blood in one's veins.

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直死の魔眼

Even setting aside 魔眼, I don't think we're any closer here. http://www.animeondvd.com seem to imply that Geneon have used "Mystic Eyes of Death Perception" in a press release (http://www.animeondvd.com/reviews2/disc_reviews/3242.php - see the "They say" section), but this may only be a temporary term... or AoD may have just translated a japanese press release themselves.

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