Talk:Characters/Spelling discrepancies

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Discussion of Protocols to be Used for Spelling in Naming[edit]

Now comes the work of utilizing this comprehensive and useful data. I suggest the character's "Name" be the one most popularly used by the English speaking Touhou community when such a distinction is available and can be backed up with supporting evidence (in case of objections).

For example "Sanae Kotiya" and "Sanae Kochiya" both give approximately 8,000 hits on "English Only" search for google. So it could be

Name: Sanae Kotiya

Alternative Spelling: Sanae Kochiya

but for Tewi it would be: (20,000 hits for "Tewi Inaba" on English only google, 2,000 for "Tei" which is the most recent name used in an official Touhou game)

Name: Tei Inaba (TH09)

Popular Spelling: Tewi Inaba (TH08)


or Shizuha Aki (4,000) vs. Sizuka Aki (5)


Name: Shizuka Aki (TH10 In-Game)

Alternative Spelling: Sizuka Aki (TH10 Character Profiles)

etc.

Thoughts, ideas? Once consensus is reached regarding some formulation, template revisions and character page editing can commence. TheTrueBlue 19:09, September 1, 2009 (UTC)

For what it's worth, this is Wikipedia's format for introducing characters: "Huziwara no Mokou (藤原 妹紅, Fujiwara no Mokō, alternate spelling Fujiwara no Mokou)".
With how many places some names have appeared, I don't think it's a good idea to list the sources in the characters' articles. Maybe it would work to simply have "alternative spelling" link to this article?
Currently, the "Name" part of Character Info provides the Japanese spelling and the spelling that's mainly used on the wiki. But since the article titles would give the main spelling anyway, I think that Name should be where we give standardized spellings (Revised Hepburn sans diacritics, same name order as original):
Name: 博麗 霊夢(はくれい れいむ)
Hakurei Reimu
(Article title: Reimu Hakurei)
藤原 妹紅(ふじわらのもこう)
Fujiwara no Mokou
(Article title: Huziwara no Mokou)
アリス・マーガトロイド
Arisu Maagatoroido
(Article title: Alice Margatroid)
For alternative spellings:
Alternative Spellings: Tewi Inaba, Tewee Inaba (unofficial)
Of course, this is all assuming that there's enough support for the official spellings in the first place. --TheSinnerChrono 19:41, September 1, 2009 (UTC)
As far as official spellings go, ZUN can call Tewi "Suzy Jefferson" for all it matters, that will be her "name" or "official name", I'm just wondering how to differentiate the sources for alternative spellings, if it comes from a game it's of higher precedence than a popular spelling. But how to insert "This is the spelling English Touhou Fans will recognize." succinctly...TheTrueBlue 19:44, September 1, 2009 (UTC)
From what I've seen, 90% of the "problem" is ZUN using Kunrei instead of Hepburn, mentioning which is pretty much pointless, as it doesn't change the name whatsoever. Stick to Hepburn which we're all familliar with, or include both romanizations as, say: "Hepburn: Sanae Kochiya, Kunrei: Sanae Kotiya" if you aim for completeness, but for god's sake don't treat one as more "official" as the other when they're one and the same thing. This comment was made by a nameless fairy passing by —Preceding unsigned comment added by 89.79.210.61 (talkcontribs) 19:51, September 1, 2009 (UTC)
I disagree, the most recent name ZUN uses is the "name". If it's Kunrei, then Hepburn should be listed as an alternative, if ZUN uses Hepburn, then Kunrei can be so listed. If ZUN didn't expressly use English in the games it could be our decision, but it's not, he saw English letters and he gave his tacit approval. If Tewi Inaba was English-ized by ZUN as "Jessica Alba". Then Tewi's profile should read:

Name: 因幡 てゐ(いなば てゐ)
Jessica Alba
Alternate spellings:
Tewi Inaba (Popularly known as; Hepburn Romanization)
Tei Inaba (Kunrei Romanization)


It's ZUN's authority alone as the artist to set the names of his characters. As a neutral informative wiki it's not our call to disrupt what the artist chose, even if unintentionally or without caring, until he specifies otherwise, we would be overreaching into the creative process where only ZUN and his publications or official statements belong. This is my position. TheTrueBlue 20:00, September 1, 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia doesn't indicate "what most fans will recognize" in their Touhou character article, and I don't think we need to, either. But if you want something succint, then adding "(popular)" could work.
And I agree that we should primarily use the official spellings, but for wikis, what most people want can be more important than what's "correct". If just you and I want the official spellings, and everyone else wants the popular spellings, then oh well.
but for god's sake don't treat one as more "official" as the other when they're one and the same thing.
Katamari Damacy is a good example of an unusual official spelling being used more than the Hepburn version, and it doesn't even follow any recognized system. Would you support primarily referring to that series as "Katamari Damshii"? (If so, then fair enough, since you'd be consistent.) --TheSinnerChrono 20:23, September 1, 2009 (UTC)
You would have been right if ZUN had called his character something wildly different in his romanizations than what their JP names are, or if he was even remotely consistent with which romanization system he used. Yes it is ZUN's choise to call his characters what he wants, and he does, in Japanese, but that does not make him a god of romanization. Romanization is merely a tool for the English speaking to be able to read the sound of an JP word without having to learn a new alphabeth and for that an English ear is far better.
I'm with the fairy here. Treating one as more official than another when the romanization system used by ZUN differ as much as a die roll from character to character(or even same character, but different game in Tewi's case) is loosing sight of what is important. What is important with this wiki is to introduce and give facts about Touhou project to the English speaking community, not be overly pedantic over what is more official or not when the creator clearly haven't thought too much about it.
As for Katamari Damacy, that is the official English name for it, Touhou doesn't have any official English version, so the example doesn't apply.----Umhyuk 20:35, September 1, 2009 (UTC)
Tewi's name actually changed spelling in Japanese, you know.
That aside, when ZUN calls Tenshi "Tenacy" or something equally inane, I may agree with its officiality. Until then, the only official name is the Japanese name, period (except for characters with actual foreign names, of course, but none of them are subject to this "discrepancy", I believe). Their transcriptions seem to follow the standards (save for not marking double vowels, apparently) and various spellings are (save for double vowels, again) 100% equivalent with each other, so there's absolutely no reason to believe some are meant to be official rather than... well, just transcriptions. Nameless fairy came back for a while
Another fairy here. I just can't fully support the "ZUN's most recent romanization" policy. If this were simply a matter of using one romanization system or another, I'd be more convinced, but it isn't. ZUN himself is inconsistent, sometimes even within a single name (Hong Meirin, Momizi Inubashiri, Gensoukyo) and outside of the Hepburn vs Kunrei-Shiki clashes, some of his English names look every inch like clear misspellings (Medicin Melancory, Starsaphire). If I could believe that he absolutely intended those to be the names in English, I would accept them, but I don't see any reason to think they're not mistakes.
I understand the position that we shouldn't argue with his choices even if those choices are unintentional, but I don't agree with it. Of course, that's a very sticky thing to say; I think the artist's intent matters, but we don't know what that intent is. However, I am willing to take it on faith that it's not ZUN's intent to be nonsensical, especially not to an extent that obscures meaning (as some of his romanizations might). That does mean judgment calls are necessary sometimes, which makes it a riskier policy, but also one with the potential for much better results.
Until he releases some official statement explaining what he wants in localizations of his work, everyone is naturally going to have to apply their own ideas about what is a pretty sensitive subject. Ultimately, if I used a foreign language incorrectly in something I wrote (and that wasn't intentional as part of the story), I would want others to correct it. I can only afford the same respect to ZUN and his work; I love Touhou and I want to see it represented as well as possible.
And Katamari Damacy? That was a game produced and ported by big companies, released under that title with an excellent, polished, professional localization all around. I'm pretty sure they deliberately chose spell it that way. ZUN is an amazing guy with a lot of talents, but at this point it doesn't really look like romanization is one of them, and as he hasn't actually engaged in translation or localization, his concern lies with the Japanese version first. Conversely, Medicin Melancory is the most recent spelling he's used for that character; would you support using that primarily? 76.223.6.134 21:08, September 1, 2009 (UTC)
Tewi's name actually changed spelling in Japanese, you know.
Do you have a source for that?
TH08 キャラ設定.txt: 因幡 てゐ(いなば てゐ)
TH09 キャラ設定.txt: 因幡 てゐ(いなば てゐ)
PMiSS: 因幡 てゐ
It appears my memory simply failed me. Disregard, I suck cocks, etc. 89.79.210.61 21:53, September 1, 2009 (UTC)
(except for characters with actual foreign names, of course, but none of them are subject to this "discrepancy", I believe)
Some are, like Merlin/Marlin, but most of the discrepancies come from stuff like PMiSS and EaLND.


And Katamari Damacy? That was a game produced and ported by big companies, released under that title with an excellent, polished, professional localization all around. I'm pretty sure they deliberately chose spell it that way.
It's also used for the Japanese version, given http://katamaridamacy.jp/ . Or did the Japanese company only start to spell it that way because of the English version? Admittedly, I don't know, but I remember hearing that the creator came up with the spelling.
Conversely, Medicin Melancory is the most recent spelling he's used for that character; would you support using that primarily?
No, as it was only used in PMiSS, not necessarily by ZUN directly. ZUN's "Flandre", for example, contradicts both PMiSS's "Frandle" and EaLND's "Frandre". And to clarify, it's TheTrueBlue who is recommending the most recent spellings; I would suggest the ones that have been used most by official sources, as it avoids one-time mistakes but still allows for gradual corrections. (though that leaves the issue of resolving ties)
Ah, actually, did he decide the PMiSS and EaLND spellings? I know he was involved with them, but I don't know in what way.
I think the artist's intent matters, but we don't know what that intent is.
That's true. Maybe someone could ask him about it? He clarified the spellings for some of the non-Japanese names because people asked, so maybe he'd clarify if the English spellings are supposed to be "this is what you call them in English" or not. But that's probably not very likely to happen, I suppose. --TheSinnerChrono 21:38, September 1, 2009 (UTC)
Ah, sorry, I probably could have aimed that comment better; it started out as more of a direct response than it ended up being.
It's also used for the Japanese version, given http://katamaridamacy.jp/ . Or did the Japanese company only start to spell it that way because of the English version? Admittedly, I don't know, but I remember hearing that the creator came up with the spelling.
Point, but it was still presumably discussed and reviewed by everyone else at Namco, which is, y'know, a major company. Even if it ended up being a stubborn whim of the creator, which he's certainly entitled to, by the time the game was released he had to know perfectly well that it was also non-standard, and by the time it was ported over they had to know it would lead Western audiences to pronounce the name differently too.
Ah, actually, did he decide the PMiSS and EaLND spellings? I know he was involved with them, but I don't know in what way.
Eh? If ZUN didn't write PMiSS himself this is the first I've heard of it. It looks like characters' pictures in the book are generally accompanied with their name written out by the artist, sometimes romanized, so some of those could almost be attributed to the artists; but the romanized names are also printed in the title of each article, so it'd have to be some kind of layout override from the publisher if it wasn't ZUN. I don't know much about the circumstances around the EaLND stuff, though.
Maybe someone could ask him about it? He clarified the spellings for some of the non-Japanese names because people asked, so maybe he'd clarify if the English spellings are supposed to be "this is what you call them in English" or not. But that's probably not very likely to happen, I suppose.
No argument here, that would be nice if it could work. He's answered emails before, apparently, but it seems that was a long time ago. Sigh, ultimately, he's the only one who can truly clear this kind of thing up; everything we do here is guesswork, one way or another. And if I remember right he never expected Touhou to get much of a fandom outside of Japan (nor has he ever been too preoccupied with fandom). I'm not sure he ever really planned on people like us. 76.223.6.134 23:12, September 1, 2009 (UTC)
Eh? If ZUN didn't write PMiSS himself this is the first I've heard of it.
You're right. What threw me off was that it's called an "official fanbook", so I thought that it was just written by some fans who got ZUN's approval, not ZUN directly. --TheSinnerChrono 00:16, September 2, 2009 (UTC)

Since you guys were bringing up how Wikipedia presents the characters, and I am responsible for making part of that list, I'll say this for reference: whichever romanization came first takes the first spot. For example, "Tewi Inaba" came first, and it is the one that most people are familiar with, so it's placed first, then "Tei Inaba" because it is the next official romanization, and so on. I also include names that fans are the most used to, like "Hong Meiling", but they come last. Regardless of what ZUN changes, the first name he gave is the name that's gonna stick to people's minds, which explains how we couldn't get over calling the rabbit "Tewi" instead of "Tei". _dk 23:05, September 1, 2009 (UTC)

While this discussion continues, I'd like to suggest that perhaps an official email from this URL from the official English Touhou Wiki would not be as easily dismissed by ZUN as random fanmail, it simply needs to be worded carefully, and possibly duplicates sent to tasofro and various other companies ZUN works with, in Japanese and English (maybe?) to give it that gaijin feel, and an answer may actually be forthcoming. On the other hand, we might catch ZUN on one of his beer tasting stints and get a jumble of info that he wouldn't remember sending the next day. Or maybe the message would be coherent and decisive? Just throwing it out there. TheTrueBlue 08:06, September 2, 2009 (UTC)

Tally so Far[edit]

•TheSinnerChrono proposes: Name should be where we give standardized spellings (Revised Hepburn sans diacritics, same name order as original)

•TheTrueBlue proposes: Last name used by ZUN in an official work is main name, alternate names have (TH##) as origins

•89.79.210.61 proposes:Stick to Hepburn which we're all familliar with, or include both romanizations as, say: "Hepburn: Sanae Kochiya, Kunrei: Sanae Kotiya" if you aim for completeness

•Umhyuk proposes: Agrees with 89.79.210.61 (directly above).

•76.223.6.134 proposes: judgment calls are necessary sometimes, which makes it a riskier policy, but also one with the potential for much better results

•deadkid proposes: whichever romanization came first takes the first spot.

So it appears that support for hepburn and/or judgement call for main name has TheSinnerChrono, 89.79.210.61, Umhyuk, and 76.223.6.134's, while dk and myself are on opposite ends of the chronological timeline. So it looks like hepburn and/or judgement call for main name will be the course for now. And no definitive agreement has been reached regarding how alternative spellings should be included and in what format, but I will extend my support to 89.79.210.61's system as "Hepburn: Sanae Kochiya, Kunrei Sanae Kotiya"

If no objections to this are forthcoming within 2 or 3 days to this inclusion of Kunrei and Hepburn in each character's profile regardless of main name spelling, then the process of updating character profiles and templates accordingly should commence. TheTrueBlue 05:22, September 5, 2009 (UTC)

(Bullets would probably work better than indentation for that initial list.)
This isn't like Chinese, where multiple systems are used a fair bit. With Hepburn's popularity, the only thing that makes the other spellings notable is that they were used in/by official sources. Because their system isn't what makes them notable, their system generally wouldn't be worth mentioning. I say keep the alternative spellings how they are.
Also, to clarify:
  • By "main name", do you mean the article title or the "Name" part of Template:Character Info? (What you quoted from me only applies to the latter.)
  • Which version of Hepburn would you prefer to use for the alternative spellings? (Traditional, Revised, Modified)
--TheSinnerChrono 15:06, September 6, 2009 (UTC)
I agree, in the sense that Kunrei is more a showpiece of nationalism and past politicians' leverage than actually useful or used (with regards to English learners of Japanese at least):
From Wikipedia:Kunrei#Kunrei-shiki spellings of kana
Because Kunrei-shiki is based on Japanese phonology, its major disadvantage is that it can cause non-native speakers to pronounce words incorrectly.[5] For example, an English speaker unfamiliar with Japanese would probably be understood if he attempted to pronounce Shinjuku (in Hepburn) as [ˈʃɪn.dʒu.ku], whereas an attempt to read the Kunrei-shiki spelling Sinzyuku would likely not be comprehensible if pronounced [ˈsɪn.zju.ku], or worse [sɪnˈzaɪ.ʊ.ku]
I would propose to only include or mention Kunrei if ZUN at some point used it. As for style of Hepburn for use, you're the only user who proposed a particular style "Revised Hepburn sans diacritics, same name order as original" so unless anyone objects, that will the order of the day.
Article titles shouldn't be changed, the broken links would be unnecessary and there's no present objections raised that I'm aware of regarding the names of character profile article pages themselves. TheTrueBlue 16:05, September 6, 2009 (UTC)

The argument against Hepburn[edit]

Plain and simple, unconditionally using Hepburn, especially the bizarro Hepburn that is intentionally bizarro, does not make sense. This is because, overall, this isn't even about romanisation.

Whether a character's name is written in kunrei or Hepburn or whatever else isn't even the point. What matters is that the character's name was romanised at all, and that there's a concrete romanisation/s that exists at all. What ZUN says about his work matters a lot more than what an otherwise unrelated guideline (that, again, has specific exceptions present) says about romanising from a Japanese source (we already have romanisations), and what a whole lot of other people (of which probably 0.01% actually know any sort of Japanese) happened to write down on the internet.

Imagine if fans recognized that "Cirno" is incredibly silly and that "Chillno" was clearly what you were supposed to take away. Imagine if they spent the last ten+ years writing "Chillno" on the internet, regardless of ZUN's insistence of "Cirno". Would you pick "Chillno" instead? I wouldn't, and I'm the one who thinks "Cirno" was a bad move on ZUN's part. I know it's a much deeper kind of wrong, taking a dump on what the creator of a work has decided. It doesn't matter how much "effort" he has appeared to put into a romanisation either, what's written is what goes.

Beyond this, what really hurts the case for what we have now is that inconsistency of choosing a set of standards and then adding various exceptions to it that go directly against those standards. It's completely arbitrary and ends up being contradictory. These exceptions apply to highly specific names with the only possible reason being because.

I've been linked to the Wikipedia article on article naming quite a few times whenever I try to bring this up. We are Touhou Wiki. We do not have to follow Wikipedia's horribly inaccurate standards for writing something as simple as a name. There are far too many people who think we do.

What people say doesn't matter because what people say changes when sites like this do. Wikipedia influences people, which feeds back into Wikipedia. This was never a joke (please, xkcd haters, this is not your time). It already applies to other areas here; I remember there was an issue a while back where some horribly inaccurate information was sitting around on the wiki and it took forever for someone to take it down. Sadly, I don't remember what that is, but there's probably a lot of that here.

There are all sorts of other issues. There are many people who rightfully believe that the Wikia is better off, simply because of the strange yet strict policies here at Touhou Wiki. We can deal with those later and elsewhere. This is the small stuff, can we please fix it already and move on? Despatche (talk) 20:52, 18 January 2016 (UTC)

Easier to revise the name of works into their numbering[edit]

In editing, I suppose the table is easier for viewers to see when revising from #1 to #2 —
#1

Given name – family name Family name - given name
In-game Mystic Square
Perfect Cherry Blossom
Immaterial and Missing Power
Imperishable Night
Phantasmagoria of Flower View' [1]
Scarlet Weather Rhapsody
Phantasmagoria of Flower View [2]
Mountain of Faith
Subterranean Animism
Undefined Fantastic Object
Ten Desires
Double Dealing Character
Urban Legend in Limbo
Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom
Hidden Star in Four Seasons
Wily Beast and Weakest Creature
Other Perfect Memento in Strict Sense Eastern and Little Nature Deity
Symposium of Post-mysticism

#2

  Given name – family name Family name - given name
In-game TH05
TH07
TH07.5
TH08
TH09
TH10.5
TH09
TH10
TH11
TH12
TH13
TH14
TH14.5
TH15
TH16
TH17
Other PoFV EaLND
SoPm

Notes: ^  Bla bla bla.


What do you think about this idea? Or Is it better to put down both? If there is no objection, I'll revise on the way #2, and expand it into the whole.

I prefer seeing the full game title, and it is also generally how a game should be referred to in the wiki. ☢ Quwanti 16:26, 19 February 2020 (UTC)
I know titles should be typed in full if we have no difficulty in seeing the table. OK, thanks! masuo64 Talk 03:04, 20 February 2020 (UTC)