Behind the name

Ask questions about the personality and backstory of the multitude of characters in the Suikoden series.
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Raww Le Klueze
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Re: Behind the name

Postby Raww Le Klueze » Tue Dec 31, 2013 1:53 pm

Fits here as well as any other place.

The 3 pre-final bosses in Suikoden V:

Girtablulu - likely misspelling of Girtablilu (or Girtablullû), though looking at the Japanese I'm not sure they got it correct there either, either way an ancient Akkadian mythological creature that has the torso of a man and the body of a scorpion which sort of fits the appearance of the in-game boss being a mechanical version.

Gudalim - ancient Sumerian god, also known as the Battle Bison. Synonymous to the Mesopotamian demon Kusarikku that incidentally liked to hang out with Girtablilu, portrayed as a gatekeeper guarding against malevolent intruders (is there another kind?). Has torso of a man and legs of a bull. Eh, in-game appears to have hooves for feet at least?

Enmesharra - also known as Enmesarra, a Sumerian god of the underworld and a Sun God. I guess they took the sun-motif and ran with it.

And here I thought those guys were just really random.
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Re: Behind the name

Postby Rachael » Wed Jan 08, 2014 6:40 am

I thought of another reason for Boris' (first) name. According to Arthurian legend, the trio who found the Holy Grail consisted of Galahad, Percival, and Bors. The romanization of Bors is ボールス, which is close to the romanization of Borus, ボルス. Coincidence?
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Re: Behind the name

Postby BrucePrintscreen » Wed Jan 08, 2014 3:20 pm

I read in this topic someone said the name of 'Lotte' comes from a word meaning 'man'. I don't know where you got such a weird idea... Lotte is simply short for Charlotte, it's very much used in Germany for example but I heard it in other countries like France too.

No one mentioned that Nabokov is named after an awesome author?

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Re: Behind the name

Postby eldrasidar » Thu Jan 09, 2014 2:41 am

Rachael wrote:I thought of another reason for Boris' (first) name. According to Arthurian legend, the trio who found the Holy Grail consisted of Galahad, Percival, and Bors. The romanization of Bors is ボールス, which is close to the romanization of Borus, ボルス. Coincidence?



Yeah, a lot of the zexen knights are named knights of the medieval courtly tales. Percival and Galahad of course are Authurian, while Roland comes from the tale of the Frankish knight Roland.

Salome oddly enough is female biblical name. It derives from shalom, or peace.

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Raww Le Klueze
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Re: Behind the name

Postby Raww Le Klueze » Thu Jan 09, 2014 3:46 am

eldrasidar wrote:while Roland comes from the tale of the Frankish knight Roland.

Hardly likely since his name isn't Roland in the Japanese game.
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Re: Behind the name

Postby Antimatzist » Thu Jan 09, 2014 4:08 am

Raww Le Klueze wrote:
eldrasidar wrote:while Roland comes from the tale of the Frankish knight Roland.

Hardly likely since his name isn't Roland in the Japanese game.

But it's very similar to Bors-> Borus

Roland: ローラン
Roland (in game): ロラン

Salome oddly enough is female biblical name. It derives from shalom, or peace.

There are also some artists with Salome as their last name, but I guess his name is a reference to a (female) disciple of Jesus. She was at his crucifixion and the first to uncover his empty tomb.

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Re: Behind the name

Postby Raww Le Klueze » Thu Jan 09, 2014 5:25 am

Antimatzist wrote:But it's very similar to Bors-> Borus

Roland: ローラン
Roland (in game): ロラン

Roland would be ローランド.

There's no mystery here. The translators of 3 just weren't very smart and made lots of pointless changes to names just like Nicol became Nicolas, they just added stuff if they didn't like the original name.
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Re: Behind the name

Postby Antimatzist » Thu Jan 09, 2014 7:52 am

Depends on your origin, Wikipedia says ローラン means Roland, but ローランド means Orlando which is the Italian name of Roland. It seems the original name of the real character was Hruotland, but maybe that seemed to obscure.

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Re: Behind the name

Postby Rachael » Fri Jan 10, 2014 5:08 am

ローラン is the Japanese pronunciation of "Roland" in French, as in "Chanson de Roland." Of course, almost everyone (including myself) who sees the name is going to "hear" the English pronunciation.

It's like how "Georg" is supposed to be pronounced "gay-org" but they changed it, probably because teenagers across the English-speaking world would be like "HAHAHAHAHA THEY SAID GAY OMG"

But Raww is right--many of the Japanese names were changed to make them more "acceptable" to English-speaking audiences. "Nicol" is one example. It's similar to "Nicole," which is a female name, so I guess they thought people would feel weird about it. ("Peggi" is apparently okay, but the game called him a "she" at least once.)

"Blight" was originally romanized ブライ, which would make the "t" silent. I think they changed it to ブライト (without the silent "t") retroactively, though--I seem to recall some Japanese websites using ブライト.

Jillia was "Jill" in the Japanese version. I guess the translators thought "Jill" was too boring a name for a princess.

V's Marina was originally "Marino." "Marino" is actually a Japanese female given name, but to the English-speaking ear, it sounds masculine.

Of course, I haven't actually played the Japanese version of any of these games except Tsumuji. I get all my information from Japanese sites. If I'm wrong on any of these feel free to chime in.
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Re: Behind the name

Postby Wolkendrache » Wed Aug 20, 2014 10:38 am

Kai: Either from celtic/germanic, has something to do with "fight"; or from chinese 凯 meaning "victorious".
Shu: In chinese there are several surnames pronounced Shu; yet, it makes me think of either 書 (book), because it is associated with "scholar" or "intellectual"; or 術 which means "skill" or "art", like in wushu (martial arts).
Zen: Makes me think of Zen gardens, although Japanese seem to not use this term for this kind of gardening.
Huan: I was thinking of 緩 (revive, recuperate), but the katakana actually says "Houan", not Huan
Liukan: It's ryuukan in katakana. I don't know what it's supposed to mean, but if you say Dr. ryuukan to Japanese, they'll probably catch it as Dr. flu or Dr. influenza. Bad name for a Doc.
Long Chanchan: Long means dragon in chinese. There are hundreds of options for chan (could be zhan, zhang, chan, or chang), most suitable is 掌 (to beat with the palm of the hand) perhaps.
Tsai: 蔡 is a surname in chinese. 才 or 材 would be "a capable individual".

@Vextor:
Vextor wrote:Riou and Ryu sound pretty different in Japanese, actually. "Riou" itself is also a name of one of the 108 stars in Shui Hu Zhuan.

Which character? Riou doesn't sound chinese at all.
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Re: Behind the name

Postby Rooks » Sun Dec 14, 2014 11:50 pm

Wolkendrache wrote:Kai: Either from celtic/germanic, has something to do with "fight"; or from chinese 凯 meaning "victorious".
Which character? Riou doesn't sound chinese at all.


I don't know the Kanji, but there is one in reference to "Soul" that is usually vocalized as "Kai," if I am remembering correctly.
Riou likely isn't Chinese, but from the Japanese Translations of Shui hu Zhang.

I've been thinking about Camus and Miklotov for a while now. "Miklotov" is made to sound like Russian, but is not Russian as far as I know. However, there is a late 19th- early 20th century minor philosopher from Moscow named "Nikolay Mikhaylovsky."

So, this then leads us into philosophy rather than literature for the two:
Albert Camus (Albear Cam-oo), the famous French-Algerian atheist existentialist and author of "The Stranger."
Admittedly, Mikhaylovsky to Miklotov is a bit of a stretch, but the philosopher was a latter-czarist historicist who wrote on how "Heroes" emerged from "Crowds." That is that heroes were not predestined to take their place as heroes, but were born when elevated due to circumstance and the support of like-minded people around them. Effectively, he tried to reconcile the disputes of classical "Great Man" history had with more modern Historicist and Marxist ideals about collective strength and change-as-a-process. So, he was effectively a step in the process that led from Czarism to Marxism/Leninism in the country throughout that period. This is important, as it sounds quite a bit like the hero narrative often adopted by the games.

Admittedly again, he is a minor philosopher, especially when compared to Camus, but who knows how popular he may be in a place like Japan?
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Re: Behind the name

Postby Antimatzist » Mon Dec 15, 2014 1:54 am

But what kind of reference would it be when they change the spelling and pronounciation of the name? They are nowhere the same in the Japanese.

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Re: Behind the name

Postby Wolkendrache » Mon Dec 15, 2014 7:27 am

Camus was mentioned in this thread iirc:
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=13919
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Re: Behind the name

Postby Rooks » Mon Dec 15, 2014 7:18 pm

Well, Camus would most likely be after Albert Camus, then not the guy from the French revolution. Especially since I would think the with a survey of foreign literature course in college, Murayama would have likely read The Stranger, as it is one of the more important works of existentialist philosophy since Kierkegaard. And the fact that I do see traces of existentialism in his games. Not existentialist -per se- because that is an odd fit with fantasy, but traces of inspiration here and there.

Miklotov is a stretch, but I think it fits thematically, and that is something. Murayama might have just remembered it wrong and not checked, like he did with half the French in Suikoden I. to a Japanese person, I imagine, they would think of the name like this: Mi|Ku|Ro|Bu|Tsu|Ki adding syllables onto the name. Dropping the admittedly excessive end to the name leaves us with: Mi|ku|ro|bu, from there it is not far to Mi|ku|ro|to|bu, or Miklotov.
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Re: Behind the name

Postby Antimatzist » Tue Dec 16, 2014 2:31 am

Yes, but:
Mikhaylovsky: ミハイロフスキー (Mihairofusukī)
Miklotov: マイクロトフ (Maikurotofu)

The two names are nowhere near the same. The pronounciation of Miklotov is different - it sounds (as Wolkendrache pointed out earlier I think) more like Microtoff.


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