Suikoden names misspelled?

Hypotheses for, and analyses of, the various Suikoden characters.
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Suikoden names misspelled?

Postby Wolkendrache » Fri May 23, 2014 4:18 pm

In Japanese there is neither L nor R, so the translator has to interpret what could be meant. Mostly it's obvious, because most names are popular. Anyway, some names make me wonder...

Tir: It's not in the game, where does it come from? Anyway, his father has a little outdated but German name (Teo). Why shouldn't his son have a little outdated but German name as well? He just missed one, because "Till" fits perfectly to these critera. So either the translator didn't know the name "Till", or it is supposed to be "Tir" for some reason, although it's not even a name afaik.

Raura: The 4 possibilities are "Raura", "Raula", "Laula", and "Laura". Since most characters with western names have actually very common western names, "Laura" would make more sense.

Milich: Actually that makes sense, because it exists as family name (somehow some characters have family names as first names). What is confusing me is that the Katakana for "Milich" would be Mi-Ri-Hi, but it is "Mi-Ru-I-Hi". Is he supposed to have a french sounding name as "Milluige" or so?

On a side note, the Katakana tells you how a name is supposed to be pronounced. Georg is not supposed to be pronounced english (George), but german instead. And yet, in S5 cutscenes they pronounce it english. The reason is simple: if english speakers try to pronounce "Georg" in a german way, they'll usually end up like "Gay Org". :-)
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Re: Suikoden names misspelled?

Postby Antimatzist » Fri May 23, 2014 4:34 pm

@Tir: Yeah, I also think Till might be a possible name, but with the radio drama, Tir sounds more likely (even though I don't know how a Japanese would pronounce Till). But it fits better with the Scarlet Moon Empire names that are often inspired by German (like Heinz, Kreutz, Barbarossa)

@Raura: You're right, Laura makes more sense, but Raura sounds more exotic. Also, it seems this name really should be pronounced in a "German" way.

@Milich: Mh, interesting. Millouille? But I am no expert in romanizing, so Milich might be ok within the creative liberties.

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Re: Suikoden names misspelled?

Postby Pyriel » Fri May 23, 2014 4:43 pm

"Tír" is a Gaelic word that means "land". I always assumed that was where his name originated.

Edit: Probably worth mentioning that it would properly be pronounced like "tay", so if that is the case, they transliterated by the characters, rather than the sounds. I doubt anybody at Konami actually knew the language, though, and if you assume it follows English rules, there's no reason to think "Tiru" was anything but the right way to render it.

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Re: Suikoden names misspelled?

Postby Antimatzist » Fri May 23, 2014 5:07 pm

ティル just seems to be the Japanese transcirption of Till, e.g. Till Eulenspiegel, a famous fictional person from German folklore, is transcirbed as ティル・オイレンシュピーゲル. Or James Till, some... Canadian.. biophysicist? ジェイムズ・ティル. Or Til Schweiger, famous German actor - ティル・シュヴァイガー.

I don't know if Konami ever transcribed the name as Tir or if it's just the fandom that did it (very much like Razro - Lazlo), but Till seems to be, in the context of the background of names in the SME, a really good transcription. You can't argue that either of those is wrong, but it just makes sense.

But it seems that ティル can also be transcribed as Tir like in Tír na nÓg (ティル・ナ・ノーグ). Especially with his name, McDohl, a celtic reference makes sense. I also couldn't come up with a "German" transcription of McDohl that wouldn't sound strange to make "Till" more plausible. Till Mackeldoll.

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Re: Suikoden names misspelled?

Postby Wolkendrache » Fri May 23, 2014 5:42 pm

Antimatzist wrote:But it seems that ティル can also be transcribed as Tir like in Tír na nÓg (ティル・ナ・ノーグ). Especially with his name, McDohl, a celtic reference makes sense. I also couldn't come up with a "German" transcription of McDohl that wouldn't sound strange to make "Till" more plausible. Till Mackeldoll.


There are many Suikoden characters whose full names are supposed to be pronounced in separate languages: Freed Yamamoto (eng. + jap.), Georg Prime (ger. + eng.), Kiba Windamier (jap? + fr.). Moreover Teo isn't celtic either.

Unless Konami explicitly said the name has certain (not german) roots, I'm totally convinced it should be Till. Let me give you an example of how I feel about other interpretations: We all know Luc is an existing french name, but let's say the translator didn't know it, so he wrote "Rook". People would come up and say, it derives from old persian "rukh" meaning "table". Others would say it comes from germanic "Ruug" meaning "front" (all not true, just for the example). Now a french guy comes up and says it's probably "Luc", because let's say that characters father is called "Pierre". I mean that argument is just really strong.
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Re: Suikoden names misspelled?

Postby Pyriel » Sat May 24, 2014 12:15 am

Forgive me for indulging in sarcasm, but: Right, if you dismiss the fact that his surname follows a typically Gaelic form, there's no reason at all to believe his given name is anything but a relatively obscure German name. It also helps if you assume Teo is German in the first place, and has no values in other languages.

You could be right, I just don't see how you can be, "totally convinced". It's a house of cards where one assumption follows from another, like a Simcha Jacobovici investigation.

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Re: Suikoden names misspelled?

Postby Vextor » Sat May 24, 2014 5:04 am

About 12 years ago there was no common agreed translation for Tir's name, and for that reason I decided to create a name that would fit his surname. That is how I came up with "Tir" so Pyriel was pretty much correct. I also based it on the myths surrounding Tir nan Og, because it seemed fitting with hoe Tir has eternal life, etc. I have no idea if Konami ever used that in their official sites or publications.

In once case, they did use Nash's last name translation that I came up with. Originally they used "Ratokie" but in their English Suikogaiden site (I am not sure if it even exists now) they used Latkje... so sometimes they will use fan-created versions if it gets enough use.
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Re: Suikoden names misspelled?

Postby Wolkendrache » Sat May 24, 2014 6:03 am

Wonderful, the “Tír” mystery is finally solved!

As a name by Konami, it would have been very strange, considering the fact that many Suikoden characters have german names, while gaelic names are rare. I also found it hard to assume that Konami deliberately wanted to give the hero an absolutely obscure name, whereas the majority has common existing names like ..."Till".

Actually I assumed that Milich fans would be the first to pummel me ;-)
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Re: Suikoden names misspelled?

Postby bluemask » Sat May 24, 2014 7:20 am

Vextor's post is just... Wow. Oh and according to this site. They also used Latkje in a Genso Figurine Set. Amazing.

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Re: Suikoden names misspelled?

Postby Pyriel » Sat May 24, 2014 9:50 am

Yeah, that is pretty interesting. It still leaves Konami's intent as an open question, and unless they say something officially, I reckon you can pick your poison.

It's not my intent to pummel you, Wolkendrache. I just see your evidence for it being German as sort of flimsy and superficial. My evidence that Konami based it in Gaelic has similar qualities, and I'll freely admit it. I'm not convinced that my theory is right, and I'm not 100% convinced that they didn't name him after a cash register drawer.

To explain my post from last night better, "Teo," is a common abbreviation for names equivalent to "Matthew" in some languages; and it's also short for, "Theodore," in several others throughout Europe. By itself in Gaelic, it means, "hot," or, "to make hot." And for a little conspiracy theory angle, there's a somewhat disused word in Gaelic, "teomachd", that means something like, "skill," in the contexts I've read it in. If I wanted to, I could probably make a fair case that somebody at Konami just turned that word into a Scottish/Irish name with a few alterations and an extra syllable at the end. I don't find any of this beyond doubt, but some of it holds up at least as well as jumping to the conclusion that, "Teo," is a German name because you happen to know German.

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Re: Suikoden names misspelled?

Postby Wolkendrache » Sat May 24, 2014 1:07 pm

I used „pummel“ in a humorous sense. I was never feeling being attacked, and I never dismissed your theory as low quality. You’re right, I shouldn’t have said “convinced” because that could be provoking. You’re probably also right to call my theory superficial. That would have actually strengthen my theory, because I think Suikoden characters were given superficial names. Just ordinary existing names from particular existing countries. I can’t think of other Suikoden names that pose such a riddle which can only be solved by deeply delving into that language, and needing interpretations like stemming from another word, which is not even a name. I was (and still am) just thinking that my theory would have been less flimsy than yours. But it’s irrelevant since it’s all been revealed.

My questions are actually caused by katakana-transcription confusion. Assuming I read katakana correctly (I’m no pro), then I should add some more inconsistencies: Georges actually reads Giorgio, Varkas is Barkas, Alhazred is Azrad (seems to be a short form of Al’Azred, just read about Necronomicon), Mikain (Sierra) is Mykene. Besides I was assuming that Miklotov is supposed to be pronounced in a Slavonic way, but it indeed seems to be English like “micro-toff”.
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Re: Suikoden names misspelled?

Postby Pyriel » Sat May 24, 2014 1:38 pm

Well, that's kind of the thing. They pulled names from all over, and, "Tir", is far from the only one that doesn't have obvious origins. What's the theory on, "Pesmerga"? A Turkish tribe or something like that? Then they transliterate them into Kana, and the localization team transliterated them back, and in some cases applied their own interpretations. I don't see either theory really being stronger than the other, without more evidence directly from Konami. In the end, it's like that "Lost In Translation" thing, where you send a sentence through a translator that converts it from German/Gaelic/Turkish or whatever to Japanese, to French, to Russian, and finally back to English or German or whatever you like. What comes out might be perfectly easy for another person to decode, or it might be an impenetrable mystery that you have to fill in with conjecture.

Then you have regional crap, like what probably happened with Miklotov. I mean, here in the States and even in Canada, we have enormous numbers of people who regard it as borderline treasonous to pronounce things in a way that isn't traditional and Anglicized, and everybody in general is ignorant about some aspects of even their own culture. It's not terribly shocking that Japanese people, taking names from other cultures, might have misunderstandings or other difficulties in pulling them into their language.

I didn't really look at your last set. I get, "Georugu", for Georg Prime, though. I don't know how you get Giorgio from that, but I use a Japanese website which may or may not have transcribed the names exactly from the game, I suppose.

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Re: Suikoden names misspelled?

Postby Wolkendrache » Sat May 24, 2014 2:14 pm

The weird thing about Miklotov is: The Japanese creator called him ma-i-ku-ro-to-fu (that's what the katakana says), and the translation team turned it to Miklotov. The japanese form sounds more english (like microtoff), but maybe that's just me.

I'm talking about the S1 character, its katakana reads as jo-ru-jo, whereas Georg reads as ge-o-ru-gu, just like you wrote. But I must add that I can't guarantee the correctness of these sites (japanese wikipedia and suikodenwikia) concerning katakana. I must assume it's correct.
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Re: Suikoden names misspelled?

Postby Pyriel » Sat May 24, 2014 4:00 pm

Ah, I tend to forget that guy exists. It looks like how French-speaking people say "Georges" to me (or about as close as you could get without being silly), but I'm not familiar enough with either language to offer anything more.

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Re: Suikoden names misspelled?

Postby Antimatzist » Sat May 24, 2014 6:49 pm

Varkas is Barkas

Afaik, Japanese don't differentiate between V and B, very much like latin-derived words (as a German, compare taberna - Taverne)


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