Talk:Wily Beast and Weakest Creature

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Minor translation notes[edit]

Bringing this up just for the sake of translating these terms consistently. For 動物霊 doubutsurei and 畜生界 chikushoukai: I think specifically doubutsurei should be translated as "animal spirits" and chikushoukai should be translated as "beast world", i.e. we should make the distinction between doubutsu (animal) and chikushou (beast). "Beast" does have a more negative connotation than "animal" so it does fit with chikushou also having a negative connotation (in general, but also in the game, e.g. the last line of Keiki's profile). The title for Stage 5 is given as 畜生メトロポリス Chikushou Metropolis and the BGM is Beast Metropolis, so I think this works.

Also, for 鬼傑組 kiketsugumi and 勁牙組 keigagumi: this isn't really inconsistent since I think it's translated as "Kiketsu Family" and "Keiga Family" everywhere, but I want to suggest using "Kiketsu-gumi" and "Keiga-gumi" because it looks like in English-language news articles, they use -gumi for yakuza organizations like the Yamaguchi-gumi (wiki article, but see references).

Please share your thoughts if you have any. Polaris (talk) 01:11, 15 August 2019 (UTC)

I've been thinking the same thing re:the animal/beast terms, yeah. Thanks for the note on English news using -gumi, too-- if it's legible to the average English reader after all then I'm all for going whole-hog w/ yakuza terminology like that Gilde (talk) 02:23, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
While I agree with the latter part about Yakuza gang name formatting, I have to bring up my issues with translating 畜生 as "beast". ZUN uses three different words for "animal" in the game: 獣, 動物, and 畜生. Unfortunately, English only has two words for the concept, "animal" and "beast". We already use "beast" for 獣 and I believe that's the right translation. 獣 does have a negative connotation in Japanese, it's more often used for wild animals and by itself can even mean "brute" or "(you) animal!". Even the adjective "beastly" or "bestial" in Japanese would be 獣的. 動物 literally means "moving thing" and the most direct translation is "animal" (which means the same thing judging by the root word); animals are animated, they can move. 畜生 means "animal life". There's no negative connotation to the word by itself at all until you get into the Buddhist context. The game directly references 畜生界, the Buddhist Animal Realm. It's specifically called that in Tendai Buddhism, where it's part of the Ten Realms (in other Japanese Buddhist traditions it's called 畜生道, the "Animal Path", where it's one of the 六道, "Six Paths"). The vast majority of Buddhist scholary texts in English use the translation "Animal Realm"; using something like "Beast Realm" or "Beast World" would make people believe it's a location that ZUN made up on his own (that's one of the problems I have with THpatch's translations too...). In fact, the word 畜生 is so heavily intertwined with Buddhism that the Japanese wikipedia page on it talks only about it's relations to Buddhism and even gives a Sanskrit word translation, "tirayanc" a synonym to "tiragyoni". That's why I firmly believe that 畜生界 should be left as "tiragyonigati". It's the only way to avoid using the same translation for a different word. Additionally, the same translation methods were chosen when it was decided that 有頂天 be "Bhavagra" and 無間/無間地獄 be "Avici" instead of the literal translation equivalents of "Highest Heaven" and "Non-Stop Hell"
Anyway, I completely understand if that's something you want to avoid, for whatever reason. After all, the most common English translation is "Animal Realm" and not "Tiragyonigati". I believe doubutsu and chikushou should remain animal and not beast. ZUN's track record with translating his own terms is pretty shaky to say the least, he used "Ghastry Dream" for PCB's Youyoumu, opted for "Necro-fantasia" in MA, and chose "Pandemoniac Planet" over Pandemonic Planet for DBoA. Not to mention that even in WBaWC's own extra stage, named "血戯えの業風 ~ Beastly Storm", the term immediately brought up by Kutaka when talking about Saki is 動物霊, which kind of muddles your argument when considering the title is reffering to her. Sorry if this was too tangent-y, I got a little passionate.
Ennin (talk) 01:09, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
I mean, I'd say the fact that it has a negative connotation in the Buddhist context (and that it can be a curse word) is enough to say that it has a negative connotation in general. (This is more splitting hairs on what I'd consider a connotation, I think.) Practically I'm okay with using "Animal Realm" for 畜生界 and leaving "beast" for other instances of 畜生 (though there aren't many of them, actually).
I'm strongly against using the Sanskrit equivalent because, well, it's... bad. A person who speaks Japanese will look at 畜生界 and they'll probably understand that it's a world for beasts, even without any Buddhist knowledge. A person who speaks English will not look at "tiragyonigati" and come to the same conclusion. English speakers shouldn't have to go through the extra step of looking up a Sanskrit term when we can absolutely just use "Animal Realm" instead. (Honestly I'm against Bhavagra and Avici for similar reasons, but w/e too late now.) Polaris (talk) 06:45, 16 August 2019 (UTC)