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Yoritomo Kazuto

Translating to Japanese

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So my wife and I have started for fun slowly beginning the process of translating the card game into Japanese (starting with names). Does anyone have access to an L5R card template I could use for seeing how the translated text fits. Still trying to decide weather to just do Hiragana for the names, or do Kanji with smaller hiragana above it. One of the names did have to be changed slightly so far, specifically the Doji (どじ) name as the name (and thus the Kanji) means clumsy. Our big change to it was lengthening the O sound so now in romajii it would be written as Douji (どうじ) . If anyone is willing to help with this fan project I greatly appreciate it as well.

You will also find attached a picture of the names so far and how we have started to translate them.

Rokugan names.png

Edited by Yoritomo Kazuto
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How will you translate the given name Altansarnai? I guess you could vaguely transliterate it with katakana.  Two of the syllables don't even exist in Japanese.

寝所アルタンサレナイ?  You certainly couldn't use kanji... or hiragana, because I think "aru tan sa renai" (あるたんされない) already has a clear meaning, and it's definitely not a name.

Anyway, the Crane name you mentioned is definitely Dōji, not Doji, and your kanji is accurate (堂路).  Some of the other ones you listed here are a bit shaky though:

Asahina     朝比奈

Daidōji      大道寺 (Close though.  Just the middle kanji was off)

Kakita     垣田

Kitsuki     杵築

Hida     飛騨

Hiruma     昼間 (Also close. 日 = ひ = day/sun.  昼 = ひる = daytime/noon.  The second kanji is correct.  You essentially had Hima instead of Hiruma.  日間 would actually be pronounced にっかん (niikan), ひあい (hiai), or かかん (kakan) depending on context.

Kaiu    I'm not sure what the kanji for this would be, or if there really is one.  I'm not even sure it's a Japanese name.  For example the author of the manga "The Promised Neverland" is Shirai Kaiu, but his name just gets transliterated using  Katakana for the given name, and kanji for the family name (白井カイウ).  I suppose Kaiyū (回遊) could be a name.  Anyway, I think I'd want to ask someone who's first language is Japanese on this one.

Kuni     久邇   Not 100% on this one.  The name is Kyu-Miyake (旧宮家), which are branches of the Japanese Imperial Family, so you will usually see it written as Kuni-no-miya (久邇宮).  Kuni (久邇 ) feels legit though.  Otherwise I guess it would just be 邦, which is also pronounced Kuni, but that just means "country".

Yasuki     泰樹

Kitsuki     杵築

Mirumoto     未留本 or 未流基.  This name is nonsense.  Miyamoto (宮本) is a name and Kurumoto (久留本) is a name.  I would feel compelled to use the two kanji 留and 本.  留 using the On pronunciation ル, and 本 using the Kun pronunciation もと, just as in Kurumoto (久留本).  I really like the idea of 未留本, but I'm not 100% sure it would work.  The first On pronunciation of 未 is ミ, so I believe this would be pronounced Mirumoto.  It would essentially mean the essence of un-restraint. 未 = un-, not yet, hitherto... 留 = detain or stop, and 本 = book, present, main, origin, true, real.  I also think that 未流基 would be pronounced Mirumoto, and jisho.org agrees with me.  Based on the kanji, this would mean not flowing from the foundation or source.  Rebellious?  I guess that makes sense for Rokugani culture, since they use two swords (daishō).  It seems more reasonable to base it off of a real name though.  I guess they would both work.

Tamori     田森  (eventually they will print a Tamori)

Togashi     富樫  (You were close though.  藤樫 is not a word or name, so the kanji would be pronounced independantly as fuji and kashi.  トウ is the first On pronunciation for 藤 though, so とうがし(tōgashi) is not a stretch, but definitely not とがし(Togashi).

Anyway, this is kind of a fun exercise.  When I have some time I'll run through the rest of the list.

 

-baconspoon

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There are some typos in your list; the kanji you have for Kaiu (加藤) is the name Kato. Also, some of the family names in L5R exist in real life and you might want to use those real names as a reference. The Shiba were a real, powerful samurai clan, for example.

It's a shame that the AEG boards are no more as there was discussed in depth there. I even made a few translated cards:

UGQZK3m.jpg

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1 hour ago, baconspoon said:

How will you translate the given name Altansarnai? I guess you could vaguely transliterate it with katakana.  Two of the syllables don't even exist in Japanese.

寝所アルタンサレナイ?  You certainly couldn't use kanji... or hiragana, because I think "aru tan sa renai" (あるたんされない) already has a clear meaning, and it's definitely not a name.

The use of katakana to transcribe foreign words is a really modern practice. There are two other options used historically that I think would fit the setting better:

  1. Attributing kanji for the name based solely on their phonetic values (such as 加須底羅 for castela)
  2. Attributing kanji for the name based solely on their meanings (such as 煙草 for tobacco)

In the case of Altansarnai, the length of the name in kana would make the first option unwieldy. But given that the name means "golden rose" in Mongolian, you could easily assign it kanji such as 金薔薇 or 金花.

(Incidentally, there was a real Shinjo clan who wrote their name as 新庄.)

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2 hours ago, Yoritomo Reiu said:

The use of katakana to transcribe foreign words is a really modern practice. There are two other options used historically that I think would fit the setting better:

  1. Attributing kanji for the name based solely on their phonetic values (such as 加須底羅 for castela)
  2. Attributing kanji for the name based solely on their meanings (such as 煙草 for tobacco)

In the case of Altansarnai, the length of the name in kana would make the first option unwieldy. But given that the name means "golden rose" in Mongolian, you could easily assign it kanji such as 金薔薇 or 金花.

(Incidentally, there was a real Shinjo clan who wrote their name as 新庄.)

I guess I was thinking from the perspective of what a modern literate Japanese person can read, or perhaps even a Rokugani courtier.  I think something like  金花 is probably more akin to what the actual character might have signed in Rokugan, but there is definitely no person who would be able to pronounce it based on reading that, even in Rokugan if it were real.  The first option is fair, phonetically applying kanji, but I think what you are describing is the man'yōgana system.  This still uses one grapheme per morae, and if you transliterate Altansarnai to Arutansarenai (アルタンサレナイ), it still has 8 morae, so the man'yōgana for this would still have 8 characters. It would be even more unwieldly than modern kana.  In your example, castela is 加須底羅 instead of カステラ.  Otherwise I think you are just smashing together kanji that could theoretically be pronounced アルタンサレナイ, but realistically never would be.  For example, you could write 或単猿名井, but even the most cunning linguist would need to be taught what the intent was and then memorize it.

As for Shinjo, yes, definately 新庄.  My use of 寝所 was just hilarious windows autofill as I was typing it out.  I guess my original translation would be pronounced shinjo arutansarenai, but would mean what? Golden flower of the bedroom? 

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I would assume that Altansarnai wouldn't have any kanji names attached to it since she was already born outside of Rokugan and born in a clan that had a mixture of different cultures already. Plus, the syllables of her name doesn't exist in Japanese language so that's a major indication. She might have a cultural name of some sort, something more connected to Rokugani culture and hence, would have the appropriate syllables. However that name hasn't been revealed yet. (Or if it even exists in the first place)

Also, are you in Japan? Been looking for a playgroup here in Osaka to no avail.

Edited by Shosuro Teri

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On ‎11‎/‎28‎/‎2017 at 8:15 PM, Yoritomo Reiu said:

The Shiba were a real, powerful samurai clan, for example.

I prefer to think of the Shiba as being very cute, sometimes silly, dogs.

Smiling_Shibas_Hero.jpg

 

I do find it fun to play through a game like Shogun 2:  Total War and actually recognize the occasional general's family name!

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While in the realm of fiction ... you can enjoy whatever you are doing ...  I'd still incline to not look this up as any ACTUAL translations. 

Composition of name in Japanese ( especially in Kanji) is heavily dependant on strokes of Kanji in Family Name, to not add-up to some unlucky number(s) or other bad omens. In fact, many Japanese families, when expecting, plan the naming often with some out of family help for weeks and months ahead. All in all ... it's very complicated. 

Therefore, if the game doesn't have any Japanese translation ( is it localized in Japan?), I'd refrain from creating Kanji for the names of characters ...but hey, that would render your initiative pointless anyway =) 

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15 hours ago, Khudzlin said:

Let's hope they do a much better job than on Arkham Horror.

The publisher of Chinese L5R is not AsmodeeCN but emperorpenguingames, and they do a very good job.

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FWIW we had a thread on kanji for Rokugani names on the old AEG forum, the results of which I reconstructed over here a couple of years ago: 

A bit out of date insofar as it has things like the Spider Clan and the Toturi dynasty that aren’t in the reboot, but we ended up with a quite complete list. 

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So idk if someone already did this, but I went to that Chinese homepage and looked up all the Kanji writings they're using. Here's what they came up with:
 

Hida – 樋田

Hiruma - 昼馬

Kaiu - 堺雨

Kuni -

 

Asahina - 朝比奈

Doji - 道寺

Daidoji - 大道寺

Kakita - 垣田

 

Togashi - 富樫

Mirumoto - 見元

Kitsuki - 木津紀

Agasha – 阿賀娑

 

Akodo - 阿古渡

Ikoma - 生駒

Kitsu - 木津

Matsu –

 

Asako - 朝子

Isawa - 伊澤

Shiba -

 

Bayushi - 間由史

Shosuro - 渚寿路

Soshi - 蒼士

Yogo -

 

Shinjo - 新条

Moto -

Utaku - 歌国

Ide - 伊达

Iuchi - 井内

 

I exchanged simplified Chinese characters for the respective Kanji (e.g. replacing 马 in 昼马 with 馬).
It seems pretty obvious that they "worked backwards", i.e. came up with Japanese writings, without regard for what the Chinese pronunciation would be, and then simply replaced Kanji with simplified characters where necessary.
Which is the most sensible way to do it I'd say. Otherwise they wouldn't have picked 道寺 for Doji, which would be dàosì in Chinese. 
They also took liberties with lengthening vowels, like turning Doji into Dōji, which is a reasonable thing to do. If we're trying to work in-universe, so to speak, then Doji is actually a transliteration of the "original Rokugani", and it's not unreasonable to assume that things like vowel length would get lost in the transliteration from Rokugani to English; with Japanese to English it happens all the time. They used some Kanji in ways I've never seen before (国 for "ku" or 达 for "de", and then some downright funky things like 渚寿路 for Shosuro and 蒼士 for Soshi) but those might very well be obscure or old-timey Nanori readings. Some things don't sit quite right with me (using 国 for the Kuni, or the fact that the Kitsuki and the Kitsu share the 木津, when there would be a hundred different ways to spell it). But I guess one could argue that this is the closest to an "official" Kanji version for the names that we've seen so far. So that is kinda cool in its own way I think. ^_^

 

Edited by ShosuroSora
Spelling error

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Thanks @ShosuroSora for making that list; I meant to do it months ago but never got around to it. 

I guess these are therefore the "official" kanji for the L5R family names?

They also went to the trouble to give kanji for personal names. Nice to know that Tsukune is not a meatball after all (they went with 筑音) but Toturi is a bit weird: 久津. Unless 久 is a simplified kanji for something else in Chinese, it looks like they changed his name to "Hisatsu" or something like that.

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On 3/27/2018 at 12:51 AM, ShosuroSora said:

But I guess one could argue that this is the closest to an "official" Kanji version for the names that we've seen so far. So that is kinda cool in its own way I think. ^_^

 

 

On 3/29/2018 at 8:42 PM, Suzume Tomonori said:

Thanks @ShosuroSora for making that list; I meant to do it months ago but never got around to it. 

I guess these are therefore the "official" kanji for the L5R family names?

They also went to the trouble to give kanji for personal names. Nice to know that Tsukune is not a meatball after all (they went with 筑音) but Toturi is a bit weird: 久津. Unless 久 is a simplified kanji for something else in Chinese, it looks like they changed his name to "Hisatsu" or something like that.

 

This really confuses me, and shows their translation teams really don't know what they are doing, or they have compleatly changed the names of each family / character.

I have a very basic knowledge of Mandarin, but 樋田, the 'official' translation of the Hida name, would actually be pronounced 'tōng tián', though any actual Mandarin speakers please correct me if that's wrong.

 

None of those are really appropriate to use in Japanese either, however. Japanese Kanji do use Chinese characters, but the way they use them is very, very different. I'll show you by walking you through the first name on your list, the Hida. 

In Japanese, almost every kanji has two ways to read it: on'yomi, the traditional Sino-Japanese pronunciation, though there are some alterations, and kun'yomi, the Japanese pronunciation. In the official Chinese version of the game, Hida is written as 樋田. Those kanji do read as "ひた" (Hii-ta) in the Japanese kun'yomi reading, which is what they were going for, but why they'd use them for the Chinese translation I don't know. 

The second kicker comes from the fact that traditionally, words with more than one Kanji are usually pronounced using their on'yomi reading, not the kun'yomi! For example, suugaku 数学 means "mathematics," kazu 数 means "number," and manabu 学ぶ means "to study," you will always see suugaku 数学 read as suugaku, never as kazumana 数学. This is because kazumana isn't a real word.

So a native Japanese speaker would read 樋田 as とうでん, or "Tōuden".

Also, there are many Kanji that share the same readings, but have different meanings. 樋田 actually means "Rain gutter/ drainpipe - Rice paddy", which implies a peaceful farming people, not at all appropriate for the powerful Hida.

If they wanted the Kanji to read "Hida", they must use different ones, or change the family names in the Japanese translation.

Oddly enough, the Kanji for the Kuni, Matsu, Shiba, and Moto would be the correct readings in Japanese, as their single Kanji would be 'correctly' read with their kun'yomi pronunciation. Though their meaning is kind of random.

(Matsu 松 means "pine tree", for example.)

 

Now, we actually DO have an official translation of something. But it makes it even more baffling. The first player token in the core set has Kanji on it. The Kanji 五輪伝 , to be precise. These can be read in on'yomi as:

五 is "Go" or the number 5,

輪 is "Rin", meaning "ring, loop, circle"

伝 is "Den" which can mean Legend.

When put together, their on'yomi reading is 'Go-rin-den", which gives us the official Japanese title of the game, as it clearly is meant to say "Legend of the Five Rings". (Or more literally, Five Rings Legend. If you wanted an accurate translation, it would be 伝の五輪 , Den-no-go-rin)

There's a catch here. "五輪" is the Kanji used to refer to the Olympics in Japanese. So a Japanese speaker would read 五輪伝  as "Olympics Legend". Given AEG's and L5R's past history with the Olympic committee, that seems like a MAJOR whoops.

It's also really close to 五輪塔, which is a traditional grave tower in Japan, so you're also risking evoking imagery of death and mourning.

Edited by RavenwolfXIII

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On 10/31/2019 at 2:20 PM, RavenwolfXIII said:

Now, we actually DO have an official translation of something. But it makes it even more baffling. The first player token in the core set has Kanji on it. The Kanji 五輪伝 , to be precise. These can be read in on'yomi as:

五 is "Go" or the number 5,

輪 is "Rin", meaning "ring, loop, circle"

伝 is "Den" which can mean Legend.

When put together, their on'yomi reading is 'Go-rin-den", which gives us the official Japanese title of the game, as it clearly is meant to say "Legend of the Five Rings". (Or more literally, Five Rings Legend. If you wanted an accurate translation, it would be 伝の五輪 , Den-no-go-rin)

Not being at all knowdgeable in Japanese, other than dabbling many, many years ago... wouldn't Go-rin no Monogatari be also a posibility? Or monogatari is not used appropiately in this context?

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On 10/31/2019 at 10:20 PM, RavenwolfXIII said:

 shows their translation teams really don't know what they are doing,

I would disagree; I think given the difficult of the task they actually did very well and that a lot of thought went into the process.

 

On 10/31/2019 at 10:20 PM, RavenwolfXIII said:

So a native Japanese speaker would read 樋田 as とうでん, or "Tōuden".

I have my doubts about that, for the same reason that native Japanese speakers don't say "Sanden" when they see 山田 ("Yamada.")
 

 

On 10/31/2019 at 10:20 PM, RavenwolfXIII said:

If they wanted the Kanji to read "Hida", they must use different ones, or change the family names in the Japanese translation.

If I've misunderstood this point, I apologize in advance.

樋田 is a real Japanese surname that can be read "Hida." (Actually, if you put 樋田 into Google the first page mostly hits news articles about a guy whose surname is the "Hida" reading.) However, there are other ways to read it, and a few other possible kanji for Hida. Jim Breen's WWWJDIC has a name dictionary on it as well, which is good or looking name readings up on. You have to select the "Japanese Names" dictionary from the drop down menu next to the search box, however. Link to the dictionary is here: http://nihongo.monash.edu/cgi-bin/wwwjdic?1C

Or do you mean changing the kanji to get something read phonetically as "Hida" in Chinese? My understanding has been that when Japanese names in kanji are written in Chinese that the characters are used basically as is (sometimes changed into simplified forms) though I don't speak Chinese so I can't say for sure.

 

On 10/31/2019 at 10:20 PM, RavenwolfXIII said:

(Or more literally, Five Rings Legend. If you wanted an accurate translation, it would be 伝の五輪 , Den-no-go-rin)

That would be an inaccurate translation. While "no" and "of" share a meaning, they are grammatical different, namely in which order the modifying word and the modified word come in. 伝の五輪 ("Den no Gorin") would be "The Five Rings of Legend." The first player marker gives the correct order for  "Legend of the Five Rings"  with an implied "no" (see below.) Though I can't comment on how 五輪伝 would sound to the ears of a native Japanese speaker. That is to say, if it would sound cool or lame or awkward of what-have-you.

 

On 10/31/2019 at 10:20 PM, RavenwolfXIII said:

There's a catch here. "五輪" is the Kanji used to refer to the Olympics in Japanese.

Indeed it is. What I think was going on here is that since Legend of the Five Rings draws its name from Miyamoto's Book of Five Rings they were trying to emulate the Book of Five Ring's title for the game's title on the first player marker. The title of the Book of Five Rings in Japanese is 五輪書, and while the "no" isn't written there it's read "Gorin no sho." "No" goes unwritten in some place names as well, such as 高田馬場 ("Takada no Baba") or old domain names like 紀伊国 ("Kii no Kuni.") So I have so far assumed that they wanted 五輪伝 to be read "Gorin no Den", with the unwritten "no" meant to emulate Miyamoto's book title.

 

 

This thread is kind of old, so I think it's important to note that in light of the FFG version of the L5R RPG's release this third party Chinese translation probably isn't considered the "official" kanji for the L5R family names. I say that because the sample characters from the RPG had kanji names on the covers to their character sheets and they were all different from the kanji in the Chinese translation. Personally I like the Chinese translation versions better on the whole, but your mileage may vary.

Edited by Suzume Tomonori

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