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Regarding Recent Edits[edit]

While working the PMiSS article for shinigami, I looked for a page linking to yuurei but could only find bourei and sourei. Where should yuurei point to? TheTrueBlue 09:36, September 2, 2009 (UTC)

亡霊 vs. 幽霊[edit]

Perfect Memento in Strict Sense uses 亡霊 for ghost, so why 幽霊? Is there a difference in the Kanji? Tony64 (Talk/Con.) 01:32, 26 September 2011 (UTC)

The problem lies in translation. Both are ghosts but they are different to an extant. If you read OSP chapter 4 in Japanese, you see Yuyuko calling herself 亡霊 and in a way that it's special. In the same chapter the non-huminoid ghosts are refered to as 幽霊. Without someone to find Japanese sorces it's hard to get these right. Most or if not all English translations will define both as ghosts with a slight difference in kanji. --Hikaruxz 01:38, 26 September 2011 (UTC)

Actually...whoever translated 幽霊 as phantom is wrong...I just noticed that. In this case Youmu and Youki are infact half ghost, not phantom which also means they are infact half dead. So in the end the ultimate problem lies with the numerous types of ghosts and creatures that Shinto has which translate the same to one thing but have an important difference. --Hikaruxz 01:39, 26 September 2011 (UTC)

Alright conclusion. The phantom never existed in Touhou. It was all a translation miss that no one noticed likely becuase no one though they would both translate to the same thing. Yūrei and Bōrei are both translated as ghosts.

  • Yūrei (幽霊) - Your average ghost.
  • Bōrei (亡霊) - A ghost with all or most of it's original body structure.

--Hikaruxz 01:56, 26 September 2011 (UTC)

Hikaruxz, I think you mistranslate certain words...
幽霊 DOES NOT MEAN average ghost, and 亡霊 DOES NOT MEAN A ghost with all or most of it's original body structure.
幽霊 can be understand as ghost that is already appeared in natural, and 亡霊 can be literate as a dead person's ghost. - KyoriAsh 04:34, 26 September 2011 (UTC)

Some electronic dictionary


1 死者のたましい。亡魂。
2 死後さまよっている霊魂。恨みや未練を訴えるために、この世に姿を現すとされるもの。亡霊。また、ばけもの。おばけ。「―が出る」「―屋敷」
3 形式上では存在するように見せかけて、実際には存在しないもの。

1 死者の魂。亡魂。また、幽霊。
2 過去にはあったが、現在ではもはや存在していないもののたとえ。「軍国主義の―」

- KyoriAsh 04:37, 26 September 2011 (UTC)

Those two weren't definitions for the actual folklore. In the Touhou versions thats what they are or appear to be right now. Thats why I put those definitions in the Touhou specific section on the page. --Hikaruxz 04:57, 26 September 2011 (UTC)

However, as of PMiSS (in Japanese), Bourei and Yuurei are different category and does not consider as "Ghost" as a whole, mind differentiate? (at least what my chinese translator counterpart recitfy this as both words have different meaning) - KyoriAsh 05:01, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
There only different in Japanese. In English theres not to many types of ghosts, or I don't really know anyother types of ghosts in Western culture that can act as an equivelent. You also have to remember that Touhou is primarily Shinto based so everything has to come from Japanese culture. The original kanji borrowed from China is heavily modified so Chinese translators can only get a good estimate of what it means.--Hikaruxz 05:08, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
I don't think it is a "good estimate" of what it means, as JA:幽霊, ZH-HANS:幽灵, ZH-HANT:幽靈, and JA:亡霊, ZH-HANS:亡灵, ZH-HANT:亡靈. There's similarity in terms of Shinto's definition with Chinese word - KyoriAsh 05:12, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
Not by what the definition of the kanji but by what the creature is. The kanji were given to spirits belonging to native Japanese culture. Becuase they didn't have a native writing system, they had to use the kanji they borrowed from China. What the kanji means is insignificant to what it is.--Hikaruxz 05:16, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
Yuurei originally consider as Phantom is due to Prismriver Sisters' Boss theme: 幽霊楽団 ~ Phantom Ensemble, that's why ZUN already differentiate Bourei and Yuurei are NOT in the same category (as Ghost) - KyoriAsh 05:18, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
Thats just speculation or guesses. 霊知の太陽信仰 ~ Nuclear Fusion is an example 霊知の太陽信仰 doens't mean Nuclear Fusion. You also can't forget that it's the title of a song. The English and Japanese are separated words. --Hikaruxz 05:22, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
霊知の太陽信仰 ~ Nuclear Fusion is different meaning in terms of Japanese and English title, however, 幽霊楽団 ~ Phantom Ensemble is connected, you can't denied IT - KyoriAsh 05:27, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
Wait (楽団) Orchestra and Ensemble are similar but still different though. An orchestra is a type of ensemble but a ensemble isn't specific to orchestra. And again it's a song title, theres nothing in the text that say a yūrei is a phantom. --Hikaruxz 05:39, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
Just like phantom is one of the Yuurei, but Yuurei doesn't mean it is phantom - KyoriAsh 05:53, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
That sounds familiar. But yea a phantom may be a yūrei but you can't call a yūrei a phantom. --Hikaruxz 06:08, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
Ya know...I don't even know what a phantom is. Pretty much every dictionary refers anything supernatural as a phantom including Youkai...but I did see ファントム in Katakana as the actual word...but directing me to both yūrei and bōrei. There is no definition for phantom besides directing you to ghost in a English dictionary to...--Hikaruxz 06:34, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
Similar to Kyonshi which English doesn't have an accurate translation, but Chinese does have actual translation - KyoriAsh 06:23, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
Why are people changing "phantom" to "yuurei" anyway? There was absolutely nothing wrong with that in the first place. That's even how ZUN translated it in the Prismriver's theme. "Yuurei" is translated as "phantom" and "bourei" is translated as "ghost." Simple as that. NForza 22:16, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
You get stuck in a problem here then. Phantom translates to Ghost anyway. Phantom doesn't have it's own meaning and you would always be directed to the definition of a ghost. In Western culture theres not a whole diversity thus yuurei and bourei are considered the exact same thing. The only way to be 100% accurate is to keep the romanization without translating it. It's the same case with Oni being translated to ogre and it's clear that an oni is a compleatly different creature. Another case is with almost everything supernatural in Japan translates to ghost or demon. Again the Prismriver's theme is nothing more than a song name and theres nothing stated nor is there any proof that it has any significance to the Touhou world. The reason can be as simple as becuase ghost and phantom are the same thing in English, Phantom Ensemble might of just sound better than Ghost Ensemble, although 楽団 (gakudan) is defined as orchestra, not ensemble. --Hikaruxz 00:05, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
Phantom doesn't really have to mean ghost though, and besides, right in the article for "yuurei" in PMiSS, they have a clear definition to differentiate "yuurei" and "bourei" so applying that to phantoms and ghosts shouldn't be a problem. Or would "spirit" work better instead of "phantom?" And if we were going to be 100% about everything we would call Reimu a "miko" and Kasen a "sennin." Also, gakudan can be translated as "band" as well, so just any kind of music-playing group is an acceptable translation depending on the context. NForza 01:03, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
Phantom and Ghost have no difference in definition. Yuurei and Bourei only have a difference to the Japanese. There both a type of ghost. Bourei being a rare and more dangerous variety of a yuurei. Yuyuko being a bourei is always group up as yuurei (Yuyuko doesn't correct any of the characters for this so theres no objection). The wording in Perfect Memento in Strict Sense can be misleading. It states that a yuurei and bourei can be mistaken for eachother, the difference is that yuurei doesn't have to be a spirit of the deceased. Bourei on the other hand are always the deceased. BUT, that doesn't mean that a bourei isn't a yuurei nor does it mean a yuurei can't be the spirit of the deceased; it simply means that theres a major difference that you need to be aware of between the two. A bourei can still be a yuurei but not all yuurei are bourei. --Hikaruxz 02:24, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
But that is exactly what is defined in the entry for "yuurei". I'm not arguing that. I'm saying that we can make special definitions within the Touhou world and apply them easily understood terms in English, because they can be applied in a similar manner i.e. All ghosts are usually phantoms but not all phantoms are ghosts. And I still claim these are similiar but not equal terms. If you study their origin, "phantom" was originally meant to apply to supernatural yet formless things, a.k.a. "yuurei". It only came to be used as a synonym for "ghost" later on, but the nuance is still different enough to need delineating, just like what Akyu did in the book. However, "ghost" has always specifically meant to be "disembodied soul of a dead person," essentially, a soul that used to be living at one point, but no longer. This also fulfills the criteria of "bourei". The terminology was just fine the way it was. NForza 03:10, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
There are yuurei that fit into the category of ghost, all the ones mentioned in Phantasmagoria of Flower view are yuurei and are translated as ghost but in . If you translated all the yuurei as phantom then people won't know what your talking about. Reimu refers to Yuyuko as Yuurei no Oyadama aka boss of the yuurei aka translated as ghost. You wouldn't translate it to phantom becuase it only makes it unnecessarily confusing. You also don't want to encourage translations over romaji in cases like these; Japanese is easily learned incorrectly from small exceptions. Phantom (The supernatural spirit) in Japanese is what it is in English, ファントム, which then redirects you to both yuurei and bourei. Keeping them within the same page makes it more clear than using exceptions and the use of romaji promotes correct use of Japanese if anyone is interested in learning it. --Hikaruxz 03:33, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
Also cheaked a different dictionary. Phantom is used to describe something non-existant like a dream, mirage, or optical illusion.--Hikaruxz 03:37, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
In the case of Reimu, it was a casual nickname, not official. Like I said, the meanings are close enough that they can casually be used interchangably, but strictly speaking, it is not the case. Of course literal translations aren't going to work all the time like in those cases, but calling them ghosts is still perfectly accurate, since it has been clearly denoted that both the phantoms in PoFV and Yuyuko were previously living, therefore it is fine to call them ghosts. Basically, yuurei/phantoms that are also ghosts can be called ghosts. How is anyone learning anything incorrectly? The purpose of the wiki isn't to teach Japanese, it's to give people who have little to no knowledge of it understanding of the setting. I'm not what sure what you mean when you say "same page" though as even in PMiSS there are seperate pages for both phantoms/yuurei and ghosts/bourei. Also, earlier you said that phantom and ghost meant the same thing. Does that mean that ghosts are also non-existant like dreams, mirages or optical illusions? In any case, is there somewhere a little more appropriate for this discussion so other people will actually see it? NForza 05:00, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
The word phantom defined as a non-existant thing. Some people just later used it as an alternative name for ghost, likely just to give it more of a impact. Having a ghost page and having a phantom page is like having two ghost pages. If they mean the same thing then there no point in having two pages. And again the two sentences in both yuurei and bourei are misunderstood; it's saying there key difference between yuurei and bourei but it doesn't say a bourei is not a yuurei. One is dangerous and one is harmless and it would be important to mention that in a guide like Perfect Memento in Strict Sense. Of course your not teaching Japanese here but Touhou is a Japanese game and you can't avoid impossible translations like this, but becuase it's a Japanese game you can get off with using romaji. If it doesn't have a good translation then romaji becomes a valued tool in naming things. This is usually the case of youkai like Tsuchigumo or Hashihime where if you call them Earth Spider or Bridge Princess it doesn't sound right. Again names for youkai shouldn't have translated names in the first place becuase thats not what the youkai itself is called (It's like your personal name). The same can apply for yuurei and bourei becuase both mean the same thing, the use of romaji should be put into effect. --Hikaruxz 05:38, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

That kind of speculation is inacceptable. I'm not saying you need hard proof, but that reasoning is way too flimsy. But I don't see what your problem is. Why does it have to say a bourei is not a yuurei when it can be inferred that a bourei IS a yuurei with unique properties. 幽霊は必ずしも死者の霊とは限らない means "Yuurei are not limited to being the spirits of the deceased" which gives the impression that BEYOND the limit, they can be, hence, bourei/ghosts. Therefore, all bourei are yuurei, but not all yuurei are bourei. You keep saying that English doesn't have enough different words to differentiate between yuurei/bourei/whatever else but I think that's because your grasp on English is insufficient. You keep going by dictionary definitions and not looking further into the nuance of these words. I fully recognize that Japanese mythology has a lot of unique beings, but in this case, there is enough precedent in Western mythology to overall assign the English names to them while explaining the details in places like PMiSS. NForza 06:08, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

I can understand using Asian mythology in usage with other Asian mythology but Western mythology only has equivalents not the exact thing. My problem is simply becuase not everything can be translated into English and maintain it's original definition or concept. I already explained what you just said right now, "All bourei are yuurei, but not all yuurei are bourei". You can't separate the two. Both yuurei and bourei have their primary translation as ghost.

Having them both in the same page all grouped up as ghosts makes it fine for either bourei or yuurei to be called a ghost in translations. When you call one of them phantom then conflicting translation occur. --Hikaruxz 06:19, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

But they AREN'T the same thing. You can separate the two because not all yuurei are bourei. ZUN even goes as far as to separate the two. And you can't call both ghosts because only bourei are actually ghosts by definition. There wasn't a conflicting translation because the differences between yuurei/phantoms and bourei/ghosts are clearly defined in the book. You are completely misunderstanding what I'm saying. Can we just wait until someone else takes notice of this argument so there can be some mediation because we are not getting anywhere. Those edits were made too soon, too, because there wasn't nearly enough deliberation to warrant the changes. NForza 07:34, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
OK, I double-checked the Japanese definitions in a Japanese dictionary (, and sure enough, it gives almost identical definitions for yuurei and bourei. However, the definition for yuurei had an additional meaning: 形式上では存在するように見せかけて、実際には存在しないもの。 "Something with form that appears to exist, yet does not actually exist." Compare this to the entry on for "phantom": an appearance or illusion without material substance. It seems close enough to me. NForza 08:01, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
Ok then forget arguing on this, that last edit should be a compromise. Both stated to mean the same thing but an exception in Touhou is mentioned. Also that definition of phantom is more better used to define the word genkaku (幻覚) or maboroshi (). Edit:Forgot to add the most important part is that the most important reason why there both on the same page is becuase there both the same thing outside of Touhou. BUT, a Touhou variant is added below so they know what they mean. The important part of adding them both on the same page is so that people understand the orignal version and can compare with the Touhou version. --Hikaruxz 08:16, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

I know this is supposedly settled, but I'm opening this back up because I still don't agree with it in the least. If this is an English wiki, what can be explained in English should be. Unique monsters like kappa, tengu and even oni are fine, but I still think that yuurei should be phantoms and bourei should be ghosts. You need to imagine someone completely new to Touhou coming here to look up stuff. Assume that they have an elementary knowledge of Japanese folklore. But if they see Youmu as a "half-human, half-yuurei" they'll be confused as to what a yuurei is, and once they do find out, they'll think "Why not just say ghost or phantom?" The point is that while kappa, etc. are common enough in other sources, yuurei and bourei will be translated as something else because there is a suitable analogue in western mythology. There is no reason why it can't be the same here. Trying to be too accurate here just won't work. NForza 07:46, 18 April 2012 (UTC)

Since yuurei is an established English loanword, I think that it should be left as is. However, bourei is not an established term even in Japanese mythology, so going by the Wikipedia page, perhaps it could be "ruined spirit."--としあき 08:06, 18 April 2012 (UTC)

It seems that the use of yuurei or bourei in the species has the potential to cause such confusion. After all, not everyone has the knowledge of what is a bourei/yuurei, and we can't expect everyone to catch up with this. While I do like to see phantom be used in place of yuurei, if you still want to make a distinction between yuurei and phantom, why not use expressions such as "[[yuurei|phantom]]"? For one thing, that settles any inconsistencies between what's said in the infobox of Youmu's article, and for another, the use of the word "phantom" will help first time visitors understand her identity.
@NForza: While I do agree with your opinion here, we might be facing some stalemate with this discussion just like the "ability to the extent of ~" business, so I've some alternative proposals in mind, one of which I've already posted up there. How do you think about another alternative of using parentheses? (e.g. half human half ghost (yuurei), or half human half yuurei (ghost))--This message from DeltaSierra4 was delivered on 08:06, 18 April 2012 (UTC)

I think the parentheses could be a good idea. In any case, after doing a quick search, I have found out how often "yuurei" (or "yurei") is used in English, so I see no good reason to get rid of that one. I do agree that "bourei" could be translated, though.--としあき 08:13, 18 April 2012 (UTC)

There is no problem if you want to delineate by using specific terms and affixing them to specific definitions. In other words, define "Phantom" as "yuurei" and define "Ghost" as "bourei" in their respective article pages. The use of "yuurei" as "phantom" does pose a minor problem to me though. Funayuurei (applicable to Murasa) is more commonly translated as ship ghost rather than ship phantom. - Kiefmaster99 08:35, 18 April 2012 (UTC)

I would prefer keeping "yuurei" as is and translating "bourei" as "ruined spirit." The reason is that yuurei is an established English word, and any quick search for "yuurei" will turn up with relevant results. "Bourei," however, is not the same, and I think it would be better to have that one translated (to "ruined spirit").--としあき 08:44, 18 April 2012 (UTC)

I'd like to propose a merge of Yuurei and Buurei into one article with subdivisions with Yuurei and Buurei with that distinction made that DeltaSierra made on the page. The idea is like having subspecies of ghosts, which might make more sense to an ordinary English speaker not familiar with Touhou or Japanese. The problem right now is that both are like Ghost in English but if you use the link on Yuyuko's or Youmu's page, you'll go to a different page with no way of moving to the other, which can be a problem since they are roughly the same concept. It's the same problem of trying to make a distinction of Jelly and Jam into Jewish, they don't make the distinction but we do.

Merge is a bad idea since they are completely different, and are not subspecies of ghosts. However, I do agree that "see also" links should be added.--としあき 09:51, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
It should be noted that the very first link on the bourei page is a link to the yuurei page, so I think that that one is already settled.--としあき 09:53, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
Additionally if you think that "they are roughly the same concept," then this is a misconception that does not need to be perpetuated by merging them together. In Touhou, they are actually completely different in concept, not just a simple difference in wording.--としあき 09:54, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
Buurei states that it translates into the same thing as Yuurei. Also, the description on Buurei sounds a lot like what many would call ghost (dead person remaining behind) although having a more physical form than a garden variety ghost(which western ghosts can have sometimes have a physical form temporarily.). I'm thinking having them on the same page for a side-by-side type of comparison might be a good idea.
Bourei states that ordinary Japanese usage is the same, but that in Touhou, it is completely different (hence the need to be separate). In any case, having them on the same page only for "side-by-side comparison" doesn't really seem like a good reason to have them on the same page.--としあき 10:22, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
Hmm... it seems like one source of confusion might have been my recent removal of the lengthy section talking about the difference between yuurei and bourei. I removed it since it was taken from the Nicovideo Encyclopedia, although it should be noted that it was all originally from Perfect Memento in Strict Sense. For now, I have temporarily restored that section (see on the Bourei page).--としあき 10:26, 18 April 2012 (UTC)

I'm going to state here that no one considers yuurei an English word. The ghost/phantom bit with a translator note is a reasonable way of handling the situation. Japanese words where an English word can work is not. Whatever compromise is established, yuurei has to go.--IcedFairy 17:12, 18 April 2012 (UTC)

No, yuurei does not have to go. It is an established enough English word that it can be used without being a barrier to most people.--としあき 18:04, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
If this were true then you wouldn't have people hunting down their logins to say it's not accepted. However it seems you and I are at an impasse. I'd like to hear from the rest of the wiki community about this, or for that matter about any of the other issues that have been popping up in regards to translation.--IcedFairy 18:37, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
It isn't established in the English language at all. Go look at any English dictionary and look for yuurei. You will not find it.
Stop making up baseless facts to support your illogical changes. You are damaging the wiki as a respectable resource for new Touhou fans and established Touhou fans alike. The sooner you admit that you are wrong, the sooner this place can be fixed. Squidtentacle 18:07, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
Due to your personal attacks on me on that other page, it seems like you just want to attack me for everything. I wasn't even the one who originally made the change in the first place.--としあき 18:15, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
As I said there, I wasn't personally attacking you. At this point it's become clear, however, that any attempts at pointing out the flaws in the current translations and page edits will be met with stubborn refusal and the same comments made over and over without actually addressing the complaints made. It really doesn't matter at this point whether or not you made the change, because you're defending the change just as vehemently as if you made it yourself. If you don't want to be called out, don't defend something the majority is obviously upset about, whether or not you're the cause of it. Squidtentacle 18:25, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
I don't know, but saying "you're a moron" and "you're retarded" seems like a personal attack to me.--としあき 18:28, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
How unfortunate, because I said neither of those. Please be sure to actually read who the comments that you're responding to were made by before accusing someone of saying things. Squidtentacle 18:30, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
It seems like I made a mistake, and confused you with someone else; regardless, it is clear that you are ganging up with two others against me, as if you were trying to get rid of me. You did say several times that it would be better if I left.--としあき 18:39, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
Enough of this, before I start handing out probations again. Thank you. Momiji 18:51, 18 April 2012 (UTC)

Well, although Yuurei is a word used in the wikipedia article, the question would be if it is established enough a word within an English speaking community? For instance, if you walk into a random place full of English speakers and ask them what a Yuurei is, would there be enough people who can answer that question? Even in Wikipedia, Yuurei is more like the name of an article rather than a term listed in a dictionary; your evidence is that Yuurei was used in the wikipedia article, but if we perform a dictionary search, yuurei doesn't return any results. Hence we could think that Yuurei isn't established enough to be used as a term.
However, what we could do is utilize the Yuurei article just as it is on the wikipedia page (i.e. the article that you linked us to): We keep the Yuurei page on this wiki, use the word "ghost" or "phantom" (whichever one is decided to be used) to describe a character's species, and provide the link to the Yuurei in a parentheses or something.
I took a look at the Bourei article, by the way, and it says Bourei means the same thing as Yuurei. I don't know who wrote that part of the article, but is that sentence trying to suggest that there's possibly a way to translate both Yuurei and Bourei into similar words? (i.e. something like "phantom" and "cursed phantom" - warning: Not suggesting here that we use these two translations, just thinking up an example) --This message from DeltaSierra4 was delivered on 21:07, 18 April 2012 (UTC)

I think that that is a good idea: keep it as the name of the page, but translate it when it is used elsewhere (perhaps using the parentheses idea that you suggested earlier).--としあき 23:00, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
OK, I don't think you might like this but it seems like the parentheses idea might be getting some negative feedback due to possible confusion confronted by average wiki visitors (since they'll now be thrown two different words, one of which they're not familiar with). If there seems to be too much objection to the parentheses idea I'm thinking about suggesting another alternate proposal of using links like this: Species: [[Yuurei|Ghost]] (which would be Ghost, for those of you who are wondering). --This message from DeltaSierra4 was delivered on 23:04, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
I guess I can also accept that idea. However, for bourei, I would suggest "specter," not "phantom," since "phantom" might correspond more to poltergeists.--としあき 23:31, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
Wow, now why didn't I think of that word? We always encounter specter as the word in Diablo as names of ghosts and what not and my mind never hit that spot. Specter is actually a good word choice there, and I've a feeling that this one might get enough momentum. What does everyone else think? --This message from DeltaSierra4 was delivered on 23:39, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
Specter works quite well in my opinion. Would we be using that to replace the old "phantom" and then return "ghost" to what it was? Squidtentacle 23:48, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
That's acceptable to me. Momiji 23:56, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
幽霊 would be ghost, and 亡霊 would be specter.--としあき 23:58, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
Just like to point out how amusing it is to see the French call 幽霊 (Yûrei) "Spectre" and 亡霊 (Borei) "Fantôme" (n.b. fantôme is the generic TL for 'ghost' and 'phantom'), probably originating from the English having previously used both "ghost" and "phantom". Perhaps they have it backwards... - Kiefmaster99 01:37, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
Oh gawd, don't tell NamelessLegacy, he'll have a fit over the multilayered translations, and somehow it'll all be my fault. Momiji 06:34, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
Ghost and Specter sound fine to me, although I think the French have it right, and it should be Specter for yuurei and Ghost for bourei. Specter sounds a little too threatening in my opinion, but I can live with it. NForza 08:27, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
Bourei are the more threatening species, so specter for bourei is better.--としあき 08:56, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
Honestly, I think that would be misrepresenting what our current bourei is. A "bourei" is not a "specter", it's quite clearly a "ghost".
Another appropriate translation, if we really, really don't want to use specter or, for whatever reason, phantom, is eidolon. It would accurately represent what our current "yuurei" is, and it sounds good to boot. Squidtentacle 20:55, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
Do you mean apparition? (I'm not used to the world Eidolon...) Definition wise it seems to match closely with Yuurei. --This message from DeltaSierra4 was delivered on 21:19, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
I mean eidolon, actually. A specific kind of apparition that manifests as an image of a person either living or dead, similar to the Prismrivers. I just thought it fit nicely. Personally I'd rather have phantom, but there are options. Squidtentacle 21:32, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
Right, because that was the search result I got the word apparition from. If it's similar to the Prismrivers there's the risk of people making associations between eidolon and Poltergeists, in case of which I'd prefer phantom as well. --This message from DeltaSierra4 was delivered on 22:29, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
No, a bourei do fit the definition of spectre well. It is the yuurei who are ghosts. Also, if "recognizability" or "using words known to most people" is your goal, then I am not sure how "eidolon" is a common word known to people any more than "yuurei" is. Also, poltergeists are not actually yuurei (if you read their entry in Perfect Memento, it will begin with "they are not actually yuurei, but they were put in this category because they couldn't fit anywhere else"). Since the Prismriver Sister's theme is "phantom ensemble," that is why the word"phantom" should be reserved for poltergeists and not yuurei or bourei.--としあき 22:59, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
I'm not going to get into this argument again. Ghost fits the definition of our bourei, not our yuurei.
Eidolon was suggested because "specter" was too threatening. Additionally, I don't think we can take song titles as a serious statement of a character's trait. Otherwise we might as well start saying that Remilia is a dead princess. "Phantom" works perfectly fine for yuurei, and poltergeists can easily be called a subspecies of phantom as they were before. Squidtentacle 23:08, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
No, poltergeists are not a subspecies of yuurei. That is stated in Perfect Memento.
Since you say "ghost fits the definition of our bourei," I am just wondering, what do you take to be the meaning of "ghost"?--としあき 23:18, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
Actually, you're right, bourei do deserve the name specter. I'm not sure what I was thinking at first. Eidolon sounds silly though. Let's just go with ghost/specter or apparition/ghost for yuurei/bourei. NForza 08:06, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
[1] "In traditional belief and fiction, a ghost is the soul or spirit of a deceased person or animal that can appear, in visible form or other manifestation, to the living.". Compare this to Akyuu's "the embodiments of deceased". No other word comes even close to matching the meaning. Not "eidolon", which includes holograms. Not "spectre", which is just an apparition. And certainly not "phantom", which just means "something illusionary". The "problem" I see here is people assuming secondary, figurative uses of "ghost" somehow invalidate the main one. They don't. They just attest to the word's wide usage and popularity - which is yet another reason to use it over anything else.
And judging from the Perfect Memento in Strict Sense/Yuurei article, yuurei are simply what we'd call spirits (and I believe that's the definition the translation should be adjusting to, not the generic Japanese understanding of the term), up to the nuance of "essence". There's a problem with Ten Desires implying they're, in fact, different from other *霊, rather than encompassing them, but still, "霊は霊", and adding some kind of a qualifier, if needed, would be preferable to using some different, unrelated word. YouDoNotHavePermissionToEditOurSecretEliteWikiWithoutAnAccountHurr 08:52, 21 April 2012 (UTC)
I am not sure what you mean by "the embodiments of deceased,"
"死者そのものの具現". YouDoNotHavePermissionToEditOurSecretEliteWikiWithoutAnAccountHurr
but usages of the word "ghost" include more than what the Wikipedia page says, including things like "the ghost of fascism" or "the ghost of nazism" and things like that, which would fit the idea of yuurei well.
First of all, I've already addressed this. I already said I'm not going to be repeating myself discussing with you, didn't I? I bolded the relevant part in case you missed it.
Second of all, this argument is self-defeating, as "ghost of nazizm" still refers specifically to a spirit of a dead movement. Contrast this with the famous use of "spectre" in the exact same context - even (or rather especially) in this figurative usage, the nuance is important, 19th century communism was a not-yet-materialized, but thriving, spreading and very much alive ideology. YouDoNotHavePermissionToEditOurSecretEliteWikiWithoutAnAccountHurr
Also, "spectre" does carry more meaning than just what the Wikipedia page says, since it is used more for phenomena that are more concrete than ghosts, and its more threatening connotation fits bourei better.--としあき 10:32, 21 April 2012 (UTC)
No, it actually doesn't and isn't. YouDoNotHavePermissionToEditOurSecretEliteWikiWithoutAnAccountHurr 14:06, 21 April 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps one problem is that Touhou Project uses yuurei and bourei differently from how those words are commonly used. The word yuurei is used very frequently in the same way as how the word "ghost" is used in English, but in Touhou Project, they are indeed much closer to "essences" or "spirits," so you may be correct there. However, even so, that doesn't mean that we need to "correct" the usages of the word in the translation to make them more descriptive of the species, and the fact is that yuurei is always simply taken to be "ghost." If "spectre" means ghost, then the simple reason that it fits is because it means the same thing as ghost but is used less often, which is the same as the case for bourei (which means the same thing as yuurei but is less often used).--としあき 01:43, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
I'll reset the indentation, it's getting unreadable. YouDoNotHavePermissionToEditOurSecretEliteWikiWithoutAnAccountHurr 20:14, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
The main problem with ZUN writing his own definitions is precisely the fact that he wrote them, and they're among the things that need to be translated. It's not that we need to make the words descriptive of the species, it's that we need to make them fit the very text of the definition itself. What you're saying makes sense and, on a purely conceptual level, making bourei into a spectre looks like a much better choice than turning yuurei into a phantom. But when I read the definitions themselves (that is, the contents of Perfect Memento) and try to insert them into the text, the former just doesn't fit. (And yes, I'm aware "spirit" for yuurei fits at least the current translation even less.)
Also, it's not a matter of "correcting" anything, it's a matter of "not breaking". ZUN doesn't seem to have intended the terms to keep their original meanings, and he certainly didn't intend to redefine the language. He probably just took whatever words he had available and used them to describe his own distinct ideas. And it's those ideas that need to be conveyed, first and foremost, rather than semantic qualities of words he named them with for the lack of better choices. (And yes, this does mean that, personally, I'm actually perfectly fine with leaving yuurei and bourei intact. I understand why people want to use English, agree with the idea and am mostly fine with any wording you might choose. All I ask for is that the entire text of the translations makes sense afterwards. And I just don't think that the choice of words that would make the text say, for example, "They're often confused with spectres, which are always the embodiments of deceased, but ghosts are not necessarily always the spirits of the deceased", (pretty much the exact opposite of the actual nuance separating the terms) achieves that.) YouDoNotHavePermissionToEditOurSecretEliteWikiWithoutAnAccountHurr 20:14, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
I figured that if we want to be anal about this, buurei as described by ZUN would properly be called "revenant ghosts". YouDoNotHavePermissionToEditOurSecretEliteWikiWithoutAnAccountHurr 07:34, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
You know, I think using Yuurei/Bourei is fine. Just as long as the terms are described well enough that people understand the concept behind the new terms and have an idea on how to use them. Momiji 20:37, 25 April 2012 (UTC)
I have to strongly disagree with this. English has many different words to refer to ghosts, so effort should be put into finding the ones that best get the point of what ZUN intended across. He might have used words that already existed and put slightly different meanings in them, but just writing in Japanese on the English wiki has to be the absolute worst solution, especially since we were using Ghost and that made sense to everyone. Since they're both types of Ghosts, using "Ghost" for one of them would not be an option. And here's a thing: Consider Poltergeist a little further. We're calling that Poltergeist, not sourei. BUT the Touhou definition of Poltergeist is also slightly different than the real world definition, which seems to be the logic that has been used for using yuurei and bourei. In Touhou, they're always constructs, which is not the case in the real world. Uh, you know what I mean. (if Poltergeist is renamed sourei, I'm going to punch someone in the face). But they're a third subtype of ghosts. Right now, it seems to me that the best English terms would be spirit for yuurei and revenant for bourei. Even if the latter of those terms is probably more efficient at giving people Doom II flashbacks, it's still better than bourei since it's an actual english word. Always highly open to hearing other suggestions. KennyMan666 09:31, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
The word "spirit" is already taken by another word 霊, for which there is a need to distinguish between them and yuurei.--としあき 09:34, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
We don't need to go into "revenant" or other fancy words, and I agree with Tosiaki about why we shouldn't use "spirit". Let's just go with phantom/specter for yuurei/bourei. NForza 14:13, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
I think we should reserve phantom to being the noun form of the word "phantasmal," which comes up a lot, and has been used by ZUN freqently in unrelated circumstances. I think we can simply have yuurei be "ghost" since it was frequently used to designate Youmu for her stage on Immaterial and Missing Power.--としあき 14:35, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
Ghost/specter sound fine to me too NForza 14:35, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
So, Ghost for yuurei and Specter/Spectre for bourei. Does anyone have any strong objections to that? If not, I'll move the pages soon. Well, in a few days. KennyMan666 12:15, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
I think I was being sufficiently clear that, yes, I in fact do. You can, of course, ignore me if you wish. YouDoNotHavePermissionToEditOurSecretEliteWikiWithoutAnAccountHurr 11:11, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
I strongly feel that our current "bourei" should be Ghost. It's a spirit of the deceased, which ghosts always are. I'd be in favor of Specter for yuurei and Ghost for bourei, though, if we really don't want to go back to Phantom/Ghost for whatever reason. Squidtentacle 17:00, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
I still think that Yuurei/Bourei are fine as-is. Momiji 00:41, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
I'm fine with Ghost/Specter or Phantom/Ghost. I just don't want to leave it in Japanese. NForza 11:44, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, there is absolutely zero reason of using the Japanese words here. To quote you with the long username: "He probably just took whatever words he had available and used them to describe his own distinct ideas. And it's those ideas that need to be conveyed, first and foremost, rather than semantic qualities of words he named them with for the lack of better choices." To me, this is NOT an argument for keeping the Japanese terms. In fact, rather the opposite. In Japanese, yuurei means ghost. ZUN put a slightly different meaning in the word. But the Japanese word itself does not convey that, since it still means just "ghost". If the reader has to read the page to figure out these small distinctions anyway, then it is much more to our advantage to use words people will understand immediately on other pages, rather than make them click it and then go "Oh, it means ghost. Why didn't they just write ghost?" Someone who knows enough Japanese will read the word "yuurei" and know it means "ghost", won't need to click the link to the article to know it means ghost, and be none the wiser about that ZUN has a slightly different meaning of the word. Hell, is there any species name ZUN has used that doesn't differ slightly from the traditional meaning? ZUN's poltergeists are more different from traditional poltergeists than ZUN's ghosts are different from traditional ghosts, yet noone has ever complained about the Prismrivers being refered to as poltergeists. They're close enough to the traditional meaning for noone to raise much of an eyebrow at it. And that's what we should be doing with these words too.
Seriously, we're overcomplicating this big time. As long as we explain it on the pages, which we already do anyway and also force people to read the pages just to figure out what the fuck these fancy words we're using means, using actual English words is not going to take any of ZUN's meaning away from the words. Especially not since yuurei and bourei on their own doesn't carry any of that meaning either.
Here's a list of words to consider: Ghost, Spectre, Phantom, Wraith, Apparition, Revenant. KennyMan666 21:30, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
Few things to consider:
  • In her routes, Youmu is repeatedly questioned about being dead. While she denies it, it's still an indication that the nuance is still present. A point for "ghost".
  • In SoPM vengeful spirits are said to be a type of yuurei (and "fundamentally the same"). It's possible that yuurei may actually encompass all *霊. This would suggest some calque, or at least a standardization of all translations of *霊.
Personally, I'm only fundamentally opposed to yuurei->ghost, bourei->something other than ghost. YouDoNotHavePermissionToEditOurSecretEliteWikiWithoutAnAccountHurr 10:55, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

First off, I don't exactly consider Yuurei/Bourei to be 'fancy words' in any way at all. I mean this is like complaining about having to learn about the difference between 'Jinja' and 'Jingu' whenever it was you first encountered those words.

Second, I'll admit that 'Yuurei' is a bit shaky, and it could probably just go back to 'Ghost', but leave 'Bourei' as is. Momiji 22:39, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

Third, I'll quote Kyori from last year:

幽霊 can be understand as ghost that is already appeared in natural, and 亡霊 can be literate as a dead person's ghost.

A 'yuurei' isn't necessarily the ghost of a dead person, but a ghost as a species of their own, and probably exist within their own life cycle (see: Youmu). A 'bourei' ~is~ the ghost of a dead person (like Yuyuko). This is why I think 'yuurei' ~could~ be left as is, because in the west we really don't have a concept of ghosts as a species, and not just being the risen spirit of a dead person.
Momiji 22:46, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
The original translation of Yuurei->Phantom seems fine then, since the concept of a phantom isn't particularly tied to spirits of the dead. --Prime32 23:06, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
This is going to be very confusing, seeing how Yuurei was Ghost beforehand, and Bourei currently has a redirect for Phantom. It just seems like this is all about using English words for the sake of using English words, in my opinion. Momiji 23:41, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
Actually, the earliest version of this page in History was titled Ghost and referred to Bourei. Then it became a page for both Yuurei and Bourei, then this February it was renamed Yuurei and the Bourei information was removed. --Prime32 00:25, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
Yep I just confirmed this. The edit history is very convoluted, which is why I was confused. Last year there were "Ghost" and "Phantom" articles, with Phantom describing Yuurei and vice versa, but at some point the Phantom content was merged in with Ghost. Later on the Bourei content was split off into its own article and "Ghost" moved to "Yuurei" with redirects for the existant article (Ghost > Yuurei and Phantom > Bourei). So yeah, Yuurei as Phantom and Bourei as Ghost works. Momiji 00:59, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
Speedily-approving the move back. Momiji 01:05, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
If I may, I would say making a word up like a "Lost ghost" (I chose "lost" because bourei are the ghosts which are lost from the reincarnation and their will of living[dying?]. An "Embodied ghost" would be more substantive, but isn't sounding right in my opinion) for bourei will be better, since it could give some hints on the identity of Yuyuko for the readers (An average Japanese can easily make sense out of what ZUN wants to imply due to the kanji 「亡」 used here). I know that some people are against making words up for certain reasons, but I think that a normal English reader would just get confused by the use of ghost/phantom/specter (Heck, you guys are still wondering which word would match the original Japanese. This should be obvious).--Doncot (talk) 01:22, 19 May 2012 (UTC)

May I add a suggestion? I can see both sides to this row, but I can only see yourei/bourei been more preferred. So, why don't we just move all info back to 'ghost' and list yourei/bourei under a section called "Japanese ghost", or something like that? To me, choosing what English word will go with yourei/bourei sounds confusing to start with. If so, we could put poltergiest (Sourei) under here as well. Tony64 (Talk/Con.) 19:53, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

But there isn't anything special that distinguishes a "regular" one from a "Japanese" one. And ZUN already calls "sourei" poltergeists. In fact, if you recall the Prismrivers' theme song title, ZUN pretty much had it in Japanese and English. Yuurei Rakudan -> Phantom Ensemble. NForza (talk) 10:29, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
Good point lol. That was only a suggestion where I didn't expect people to take anyway, but if we're going to have this in English, I suggest doing it at somepoint soon. Tony64 (Talk/Con.)

It's been a fair amount of time since the last discussion has ended, and no one seemed to want to step up and rename articles. Did agreement die off or something? I'm perfectly happy with leaving the two articles as-is. I'd rather not have things flip-flop. Momiji (talk) 22:58, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

I was going to rename them, but I wasn't sure whether your approval was for one page or two. --Prime32 (talk) 23:26, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
To be honest, I prefer the articles as-is. That's my final personal opinion. I know people are bent on having them in English, or debating whether they should be separate or combined, but I also feel that constantly moving them is as bad as having them mistranslated. Momiji (talk) 08:27, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
I don't think anyone's made a change yet since the initial change to yuurei/bourei. It seems that the subject as run its course, so if it does change back to phantom/ghost, that should be final outside of some joker messing with stuff. NForza (talk) 10:30, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

ZUN's neo-definition of 幽霊 in PMiSS is "動植物の気質そのもの" (temperaments themselves of animals & plants), and it sounds similar to an Ancient Greek concept "ψυχή" or Latin "anima", English "soul". --masuo64 Talk 15:30, 8 June 2012 (UTC)

Polling for Consensus[edit]

It seems that there is a deadlock between opposing sides. Therefore, I have decided to comb through the history of the discussion (post-April 18) and tally support for naming.

Note: The following list is also inclusive of supporters post-June 1st.

Support for Japanese (Yuurei/Bourei)[edit]

  • Bluewolf963
  • Hikaruxz
  • Momiji
  • Myrtle Pyonta
  • Shiizendame
  • Tosiaki

Support for English[edit]

  • DeltaSierra4
  • IcedFairy
  • KennyMan666
  • Kiefmaster99
  • NForza
  • Prime32
  • Squidtentacle
  • TiamatRoar
  • Patchwork
  • Glasnost
  • Qazmlpok
  • Zelinko

Term with greatest consensus - Phantom/Ghost[edit]

  • DeltaSierra4
  • Glasnost
  • KennyMan666
  • NForza
  • Patchwork
  • Prime32
  • TiamatRoar
  • YouDoNotHavePermission...
  • Qazmlpok
  • Zelinko

(Please correct the above if I had made any mistakes.)

The current article was created from splitting "Ghost (species)" into "Yuurei" and "Bourei" in February; no prior consensus was established prior to the move and split. As it stands now, consensus leans towards English use.- Kiefmaster99 (talk) 03:00, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

Is this poll still open? I support English and Phantom/Ghost! TiamatRoar (talk) 15:48, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

Question: is yuurei/bourei the exact same thing to phanton/ghost or is it just an equivalent? I ask because an oni is equivalent to an ogre, but we don't translate that. And yes TiamatRoar, it's still open :) I think for a month, maybe shorter. Tony64 (Talk/Con.) 17:10, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure there's no such thing as an "exact" same thing as ghost or phantom because even when the words are used in English, one person's ghost in a ghost story could be a very different nature than another ghost in another person's story. However, universally accepted about the term "ghost" is that it refers to something that's undead and typically intangible/without a body. They also almost always haunt abandoned areas and are sticking around due to lingering ties to this world. I'm not very well versed in Japanese (like, at all), but so far everything I know about what's generally accepted about English ghosts seems to match the articles in Perfect Memento, with the minor differences more than being chalked up to the fact that one ghost in one ghost story tends to have some differences compared to another ghost in another ghost story (even in Touhou, this is the case with Minamatsu vs Yuyuko, etc). Ogres, meanwhile, are VERY different from Oni in today's popular culture. Far as I could tell, the vast majority of depictions of ogres are as big dumb brutes, which is incredibly different from the "work in hell, drinks a lot, and always tells the truth" onis of Japanese culture (or at least, of Touhou). The popular depiction of ogres is absolutely nothing like onis, and the only thing the two have that's remotely similar to each other is their strength (this same reasoning applies to the tengu does share a few similarities to goblins (mischievousness, long noses) but there are a lot of key differences (goblins are small and aren't revered but instead really looked down on in most cases). Meanwhile, the popular media depictions of ghosts, even with their myriad of differences in different stories, for the most part matches the depiction of yuurei/buurei in Touhou right down to the look (Yuyuko's a special case on her look, which IIRC is even pointed out by Perfect Memento, but take those things floating around her, or take a picture of Tojiko and show it to someone, and they will probably say "Oh, it's a ghost.", unlike a picture of a Japanese Oni or Tengu and Ogre and Goblin, I think). I suppose the one lingering question I'd have for this is if the Japanese have any other word that stands for a disembodied undead spirit. IE, if I were to take an english picture of a ghost and show it to a Japanese, would they call it something else instead of a yuurei or a buurei? Well, that and the vice-versa question of if the Japanese refer to the European depictions of goblins (those mischievous little green critters) and ogres (big dumb brutes, not particularly daemonic or magical in most cases) as tengus and oni. Come to think about it, are Boo Diddlies from the Mario series referred to as yuurei or buurei in Japan? Cause show anyone who speaks English a picture of it and they will say "Oh, it's a ghost." When others tossed blankets on themselves and chase Youmu around in Oriental Sacred Place (and Japanese culture in general. ...IIRC, they did that, at least), are they referred to as something other than yuurei or buurei? Cause again, I'm pretty sure if you show someone who speaks English a picture of someone else with a blanket draped over them and they will say "Oh, it's a ghost costume." (just FYI, these are serious questions and not meant to be insulting or sarcastic in tone). So if you show someone who speaks Japanese a picture of someone wearing a blanket, would they refer to it as a yuurei/bourei costume? TiamatRoar (talk) 20:03, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
Within Touhou, Youmu ~is~ a Yuurei (specifically a half-Yuurei), and Yuyuko ~is~ a Bourei. As far as they go, Youmu's yuurei-half is ethereal and can move through physical objects (doors, walls, etc.). Yuyuko on the other hand cannot. There's also the idea that yuurei just occur as stand-alone existences, naturally, which would also be the case with Youmu (and her father). A Bourei is generally someone who died but has something still tying them to the physical world, like jealousy or a grudge or something (Yuyuko doesn't, and like I said before, is sort've an 'officially sanctioned Bourei', although she would've reverted to yuurei form if she had succeeded in PCB).
So if you see a manga about Yuyuko floating through walls, it's wrong, she can't do that as a Bourei. Youmu's yuurei-half can, though.
Anyway, I'm for leaving the articles in Japanese first, but if they're in English they need terms that reflect 'yuurei/bourei' well enough to work (or are at least general enough to be used as such). Momiji (talk) 20:22, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
Maybe we should sort out this discussion. Although they both share some similar concepts of dead people's spirit, they're not entirely compatible. So if you say 'exact' no it's not. There was nothing wrong with translating 幽霊(Yuurei) to ghost/phantom in the beginning. But after 亡霊(Bourei) came up everything just screwed up. In the ordinary Japanese 幽霊(Yuurei)/亡霊(Bourei) are synonyms just like ghost/phantom in English. But since Yuurei/Bourei are treated as complete different species in the Touhou world, we needed to somehow map these words to the original Japanese, which is the point of concern. Some just mapped Yuurei/Bourei to Ghost/Phantom. This was the easiest option but didn't work out good, because Ghost/Phantom were completely replaceable and while one person used Yuurei->phantom, other used Yuurei->ghost or Bourei->phantom, causing nothing but chaos. To solve this issue, these are the suggestions on the table for now.
1: Go for Yuurei->Phantom, Bourei->Ghost.
2: 1 doesn't work out so lets make a new word up or find a more suitable word in English.
3: Why deal with these trouble in the first place? just leave it in Japanese. --Doncot (talk) 20:43, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
Webster defines a ghost as "a disembodied soul; especially: the soul of a dead person believed to be an inhabitant of the unseen world or to appear to the living in bodily likeness" and a phantom as "something apparent to sense but with no substantial existence", without the caveat that it's the spirit of a dead body, but the two can be synonyms of each other (note that synonym does not always mean EXACT, which is the case with ghost and phantom as well as bourei and yuurei). I think that fits the difference between a bourei and a yourei in Perfect Memento in Strict Sense more than well enough, with the specifics behind it being easily attributable to the fact that the vast majority of ghosts and phantoms in some stories are different from ghosts and phantoms in other stories. Really, tell ANY non Japanese person who knows nothing about Touhou Yuyuko's story or Minamatsu's story without referring to their species, and that person will say she's a ghost, which means the only one that's really questionable is what word to use for yuurei (Youmu). Yuyuko, Tojiko, and Minamatsu match up exactly with what any English speaking person who knows nothing about Touhou would call a ghost ("exactly" meaning in terms of being within the admittingly somewhat broad range of the meaning of "ghost", but Tojiko, Yuyuko, and Minamatsu being in the same universe shows that the range of buurei is meant to be broad, too). Youmu's more questionable because she falls into that more blurry area of a spiritual being that isn't the spirit of a deceased person where there are a ton of English possibilities for the term (including ghost, but we shouldn't use that because there's already something else that more clearly fits the ghost definition) TiamatRoar (talk) 20:59, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
Re: ghosts being without a body. I watched a horror movie with my (not-exactly-Japanophile) family where a murder victim reappeared a few days later, completely tangible, but acting obsessively and feeling slightly "off". Everyone in the room recognised the character in question as a ghost, and referred to them as such. And then there's the vanishing hitchhikers. So I'd argue that the Western concept of ghosts does include things like Yuyuko, they're just not the first thing that comes to mind. There are stories out there with ghost-like entities formed from memories/desires/personality fragments too (eg. the site of a mass murder creating a ghostly playback of events on its anniversary), but they aren't regarded as entities in their own right (usually being non-sentient) and don't have a proper name - a ghost hunter might say something like "This isn't a ghost, it's just a memory".
@Doncot, there was no inconsistency in translation. Yuurei was translated as Phantom, and Bourei as Ghost. The confusion was created by someone renaming/splitting the page and changing the redirects in the process. --Prime32 (talk) 20:49, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, my miss. Newbie should keeps its mouth shut for the talks of the past, I guess? --Doncot (talk) 21:08, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

For what it's worth, I'd like to chime in with my support for using English. There's absolutely no reason to stick to the Japanese terms, which are relatively opaque and obscure to the common English speaking fan, when this site is meant to cater to English fans; this is especially true since there are many nuanced English terms for different types of spirits, i.e. Ghost, Phantom, Specter, etc. I've taken the liberty of adding my name to the above tally. - Patchwork (talk) 07:05, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

I'm going to go ahead and add my support to the use of Phantom and Ghost. I think they do the job just fine here. - Patchwork (talk) 19:35, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
There is currently strong support for English use and Phantom/Ghost for Yuurei/Bourei. If there is no new further discussion in three days (~1 week from prev), then general consensus is assumed to exist. - Kiefmaster99 (talk) 13:49, 6 June 2012 (UTC)

Can I just say sommat? There are a number of users who haven't edited this talk since the vote pool was announced, but they still appear in the list. Is this acceptable?? Tony64 (Talk/Con.) 14:34, 6 June 2012 (UTC)

Recent editor opinion is inclusive of everybody since NForza restarted the discussion, since this is still continuing from there. - Kiefmaster99 (talk) 14:44, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
I'm still here and I'm still in support of Phantom/Ghost. KennyMan666 (talk) 18:56, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
I support use of the Japanese terms over English; there is more depth of meaning in the Japanese terms. --Bluewolf963 (talk) 10:45, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
What Bluewolf963 said is exactly my reason why jp is better that en, so why people prefer English I don't know... To link to this, we have other species that is still in jp form: Bakeneko isn't the western idea of a cat; Bake-danuki isn't the western idea of a raccoon; Yuki-onna isn't the western idea of a snow woman; Namazu isn't the western idea of a catfish; Kitsune isn't the western idea of a fox etc etc. I also see others in en like the Night Sparrow, but I don't want to go there since that's been discussed before. How I see it, using western terms for this breaks the qualities the east had and the history on what a Youurei/Bourei actually is, so why people really want to use Ghost/Phantom I still don't know. Even if non-Japanese people would refer to them as ghost cos they are unaware of the y/b (as I did when I was new to all this), they still need to understand that it's the eastern idea of a ghost. Yes, ZUN used such word for the Prismriver sisters, but how I see it, they live in a western mansion anyway (Keeping the western feeling there). Any objection to what I just said? Tony64 (Talk/Con.) 16:05, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
Bake-Danuki means "Monster racoon dog", not racoon or racoon dog, and is this important distinction is the primary reason why all appropriate youkai had their species changed to that. I suppose your argument could be modified into "Then we should call them monster racoon dogs instead of bake-danukis on this wiki", but I think it can slide on the grounds that "monster racoon dog" as a concept doesn't actually exist in the west, unlike ghosts. The same applies for kitsunes, where they are called Bakegitsune, because there is no such thing as "monster fox" in western myth. Run a search for "monster fox" on wikipedia or google and you will end up with no appropriate results. Therefor we (arguably) can not and should not translate those terms into "monster fox" or "monster racoon dog" because that would be the equivalent of us making up an English word (or set of English words) that does not exist, which is (arguably) not something we should be doing. "Ghost", however, is an actual English word and English concept that fits yuurei just fine, again with the minor differences easily being chalked up to the fact that ghosts always have minor differences in any story (including Touhou within itself, even).
Namazu IS translated as "catfish" in this wiki. See "unnamed giant catfish", where the character is specifically stated to be a catfish.
Similar to Monster Racoon Dog, Yuki-onna isn't translated into "Snow woman" simply because "the western idea of a 'snow woman' doesn't even exist in the first place. To call a Yuki-onna a snow woman makes no sense beyond doing it for sake of a direct translation, because there's no such thing as snow women (seriously. Look it up in Wikipedia or Google. You won't find it beyond "Yuki-onna" because it doesn't exist). Unless you mean the physical snow men made with actual snow and then given tertiary sexual characteristics and called a snow woman, in which case, we can say "Yuki-onna isn't translated and called snow woman on this wiki because it isn't the Western OR Eastern idea of an actual snow woman crafted by snow." (real world people/children make/craft snowmen/women in Japan too, after all).
In essence, Ghost is an actual western concept that matches the Japanese concept (with the minor differences being due to the fact that all ghosts in all myths have minor differences from each other, including various Touhou ghosts from each other) and probably the ACTUAL correct equivalent given that every videogame I've ever seen translated into English by official publishers used "ghost" (or one of its variations like phantom/spectre, etc). Monster Racoon Dog and Snow Woman are NOT western concepts and thus (arguably) the original Japanese can be used because there is no western equivalent to match to it. And Namazu, again, is already translated as Catfish. TiamatRoar (talk) 18:22, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
If I had to choose an example of a term TL'd to English on this wiki that is used more often than yuurei, it's kami (gods). Many terms used do depend on prior popular use to some extent. As seen earlier, many editors do not feel "yuurei" is an established loanword, unlike kitsune. Terms like bakeneko (or bake-anything) can't be translated as the idea of bake- must come with it. If the term were simply "neko", it'd easily become "cat". Catfish seems to be used often enough like Namazu (see Unnamed Giant Catfish. - Kiefmaster99 (talk) 17:57, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
Um... not to state my position on whether it should be allowed or not, but if we are going to accept/take into account the signatures/votes/whatever of people who've only contributed 0-2 other edits to this wiki, which thus indirectly would be declaring that this poll is meant for the population at large (re: wiki readers, not just wiki editors), we should probably try to get a larger population size (IE, advertise the poll more. Maybe put it on the front page or something). That's assuming this poll is meant for both editors and readers. If it is meant for only editors, then we'd have to define what an "editor" is. TiamatRoar (talk) 18:18, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
For the purposes of this poll, an editor is anybody with an account. Since I made no prior statement on this, it'd be unfair to change it now. Also, I consider a 60% supermajority to be a threshold for taking action. Any less, and I would prolong the discussion a bit longer. - Kiefmaster99 (talk) 19:59, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
Well, for it to become established, we must do that indeed. Those words were allowed to flourish in their own right and Yuurei/Bourei can do so as well. Yes, it's true those terms are close as you said, however there are distinctions that must be made. We can't worry about culture shock over what is the best translation to the wiki. For Namazu, there is no established name for the character so keeping the name to Namazu (since that is it's species) that is better than to call it catfish, which would seem out of place for this wiki. Neko does indeed equal cat, however Nekomata does not not. If there is a distinction, we must make the clear. Tony64 (Talk/Con.) 18:28, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
IMHO, it should not be a wiki's job, purpose, or right to establish words on its own. The other terms on this wiki flourished on their own without this wiki, and before this wiki existed. Whether or not Yuurei flourishes as a term from this day on (cause it certainly didn't before this wiki existed, nor does it today considering I've yet to see the term in any videogame or manga officially translated to English) is not this wiki's place to establish (in my opinion). Also, again, we DO already call Namazu "Catfish". That's the name of his page. Unnamed Giant Catfish. The page Namazu specifically starts with "Namazou is Japanese for catfish" and no character is labelled as a "Namazu" in any page on this wiki (and "catfish" is used in all the storyline translations besides that brief moment in Wild and Horned Hermit). (well, actually, the unnamed giant catfish appears to be called both a catfish and a namazu in its info box. It should be noted, however, that the "species" section of that box is technically unofficial and thus arguably wrong/mislabelled, and given the contradictory nature of that info box, maybe it should be changed)TiamatRoar (talk) 18:31, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
As an aside in regards to the "I've yet to see the term in any official translation of a game or manga", I've also yet to see "yuurei" or "buurei" used in any of the unofficial Touhou game translations and manga translations, either. IMHO, it says a lot that those who scanlate mangas and make game translation patches always use ghost, too (and makes the wiki look kinda wierd when it uses the term "Yuurei/Buurei" while the game dialogue translations and scanlations on it don't). TiamatRoar (talk) 18:48, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
That's probably why both yuurei and bourei were dumped in ghost due to both being translated as ghost with the exception of Youmu and Youki. If almost all yuurei are translated as ghost and all bourei are translated as ghost, then it just already showed that using phantom wasn't popular 95% of the time, likely due to how yuurei were defined in various cases throughout the games. --Hikaruxz (talk) 19:02, 7 June 2012 (UTC)

I think the real core of this issue comes down to the fact that this is an English language wiki meant for the western fanbase, and "yuurei" and "bourei" are simply obscure and indecipherable to the common English speaker. There is zero excuse to be using obtuse foreign terms when the aim of the site is to be accessible to the western public. We keep words like "tengu" and "oni" because they have been established as loan words since long before the founding of the wiki, and because they come with a whole slew of specific attributes that aren't really encapsulated in any English terms; "goblin" and "ogre" are the closest parallels, and they are still wildly different. This is simply not the case with "bourei" and "yourei" though, as they are for the most part analogous to the western conception of ghosts at large; the fact that translators never leave these words untranslated, and always use "ghost" or "specter" or "phantom" or some other English word to describe them is proof enough that the concepts parallel each other fairly well; the split between "phantom" and "ghost" here is purely for disambiguation purposes on our end to specify differences between two classes of ghostly entity. The fact of the matter is that, as an information repository, the most sensible thing to do with deeper information like this is to use basic English terms that our audience will understand, and simply link them to a page with a more in depth look at what the technical distinctions are—which, given that a species page exists for these species, is already what we are set up to do. Keeping obscure Japanese terms in place when they have very close parallels in extant English words, especially when those English words are already used by the fanbase at large, and the technical differences between the two species can be explained elsewhere, is flat out unprofessional. - Patchwork (talk) 19:43, 7 June 2012 (UTC)

btw, I would defiently exclude the fanbase from this since that's fans to worry, history revisions on this wiki, any unofficial Touhou translations (again, fans) and only as well people referring to yuurei/bourei as "ghosts" while watching an anime (again, fans). I've never came across games company that has en translations for y/b (I might be missing out of the world, but idk). Namazu/Catfish might need some fixing up on what should be used (as earlier, I'd support Namazu). snow-woman or yuki-onna I don't know much about, so excuse that.
Anyway, whether we actually use en side or jp side idc hahaha, but I do see it as unacceptable to be randomly choosing en translations (ghost can translate to both yuuurei and bourei and vice versa), so immediately I disagree. I can suggest to use the article "ghost" and to have that linked to "yuurei"/"bourei" (e.g. On Youmu's page: "Species : Ghost (Yuurei)"). Simple, isn't it? I've read all this talk and I simply still think we should keep to y/b simply cos it's the eastern term (no matter how similar they are to the western ghost). Is this just a coincidence that y/b are similar to the western ghost?
On another note, if we were to use en form, I'd definitely keep it in its eastern spirit (do I have to say the reason why again?). I'll be truly honest, but I think en side is making a huge mistake. Currently, I'm just one man fighting for jp side, so I'm saying no more. Thank you. Tony64 (Talk/Con.) 14:21, 8 June 2012 (UTC)

To add my two cents, as a (amateur) translator I see no practical reason to use yuurei/bourei instead of ghost/phantom. The differences between the terms are slight to the point of being arbitrary in both languages, so in the context of Touhou the differences are whatever ZUN decided them to be, which is why they would need to be explained in their own article anyway. Using transliterated Japanese when there is a plethora of equivalent words in English would be unacceptable in professional or literary translation (and I know a few people who work with it), and even in fan translations it would only confuse most readers. Assigning them different translated terms like ghost and phantom and using them consistently is the best way to keep closer to the original spirit (no pun intended). Otherwise it just sounds at best like misguided preciosity, and at worst like "Just according to keikaku." syndrome. --Nietz (talk) 15:24, 8 June 2012 (UTC)

On "keeping the spirit of the original term"... Touhou's creatures already don't follow the spirit of the original term. The words "yuurei" and "bourei" do not describe what Touhou calls yuurei and bourei, they're just used because they're common terms for ghostly things. If we use common terms for ghostly things, then the translation is equivalent. If we use foreign words like yuurei and bourei, it implies that they are exactly yuurei and bourei, and they're not. --Prime32 (talk) 16:48, 8 June 2012 (UTC)
The coined term, phantom which was used doesn't explain what this creature even is anyway. This is also why we have "Yuurei in Touhou" to explain the differences. These changes are all simply to keep originality. --Hikaruxz (talk) 16:55, 8 June 2012 (UTC)
One last thing for me is that, if we go change yuurei to phantom, everyone better actually use the term and not just for 3 exception (Youmu, Youki, Yuurei page). When the term phantom was supposedly in use, not a single person bothered to use it in Phantasmagoria of Flower View becuase either it didn't sound right or ghost ended up being the better word. Yuurei is already translated as ghost most of the time and there are cases were yuurei are the spirits of the deceased and will be synonymous with bourei. If you want phantom to genuinely be accepted as a coined term like you say it was, then I expect those who vote in favor of English to actually use it, not just for a few and use ghost for the rest. --Hikaruxz (talk) 16:55, 8 June 2012 (UTC)
In all honesty, I think using Bourei everywhere it comes up would look even odder than Phantom (although personally, I like the way spectre rolls off the tongue, myself. Honestly though, the terms ghost, phantom, spectre, and apparition are all so fluid and similar to each other that it wouldn't really matter as long as two different words get used. I hear this is the case with Yuurei and Bourei as well in general Japanese when you don't take ZUN's differentiation into account). Well, at any rate, I'm in favor of changing all cases of Youmu's species being brought up to whatever ghostly equivalent we decide on, phantom or otherwise. Since all it takes is being able to identify the character for it, even non-Japanese speakers can help out with that transition.TiamatRoar (talk) 17:24, 8 June 2012 (UTC)
As of now, there are 7 editors in support of Japanese and 12 users in support of English, with Phantom/Ghost being the agreed term to use. This gives the English side 63% support. I recommend we wait another three days anyways for any last comments, and if support remains high, then we should start renaming terms/moving articles, as I doubt opinions will change much further. - Kiefmaster99 (talk) 05:45, 10 June 2012 (UTC)
No further discussion has taken place. With the amount of support for Phantom/Ghost, I would now consider it safe to begin moving/renaming the articles and terms throughout the wiki. - Kiefmaster99 (talk) 23:18, 14 June 2012 (UTC)

I have taken my name out because I am really not bothered what side we use (But I still prefer jp side). Like I said (no need to take the rest of my comment serious), if we are goin' to use en side, then I'd keep it to its Eastern spirit as much as possible. As long as it has that kind of info, I can't complain. However, I still feel that people will be flummoxed when explaining Eastern terms of a ghost when using western names. Can that be sorted easily? Tony64 (Talk/Con.) 16:32, 15 June 2012 (UTC)

For the record, and since the changes still haven't been made, yes, I still hold my support for using English names.
On that note, I don't see why fans, as previously stated by Tony64, should be taken out of the equation. This wiki is for the fans, both people who aren't yet fans of Touhou who are looking for information and those who have been fans of Touhou who need to refresh their memory on the theme every so often. Their interests are far more important to the wiki's goal than the interests of the editors.
On the subject of explaining terms, I have a very easy time explaining the difference between a phantom and a ghost in Touhou to my friends and family who know nothing about Touhou. A ghost is, essentially, the spirit of a dead person with a tie to the world. A phantom is basically a manifestation of someone's memory, whether that person is alive or not, but it's not exactly the person in question.
And while this might be better off in another section, I'm going to mention it here because it was brought up here. Why is Mamizou a bake-danuki as opposed to the well-known and often-used term of tanuki? That makes absolutely no sense to me, and I can't help but wonder if this was another change made without previous discussion. Squidtentacle (talk) 19:53, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
Japanese raccoon dog ( tanuki) and bake-danuki (化け狸, lit. monster-tanuki) are different terms, you can't mix them up.--Doncot (talk) 21:19, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
In that case, couldn't we call her a "monster tanuki" or "youkai tanuki" or something like that? I know plenty of people wouldn't recognise "danuki" as being related to "tanuki". --Prime32 (talk) 16:34, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
This is going off topic, moving fields -> Talk:Tanuki.--Doncot (talk) 17:14, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

So we have consensus and the limit is lifted. So how do we rename this page ghost? Zelinko (talk) 04:54, 12 July 2012 (UTC)

The consensus was that this page shouldn't be named ghost. --Prime32 (talk) 13:08, 12 July 2012 (UTC)
The consensus is that yuurei be renamed to phantom, and bourei be renamed to ghost. In addition, any existing instances of "ghost" need to be checked to see if it matches the yuurei definition. Actually, I'll just move them myself then and post tasks on the Community portal. - Kiefmaster99 (talk) 17:14, 12 July 2012 (UTC)
Now that page has been moved, introduction should be changed accordingly. --WGH (talk) 17:59, 12 July 2012 (UTC)

Summary of Discussion[edit]

For ease of future reference, here are the major arguments for both sides and any reservations.

Japanese terms[edit]

  • Potential for confusion if English is used
  • Alternate proposal of using parentheses or link piping (e.g. ghost)
  • Need to translate meaning of both yuurei/bourei without breaking

English terms[edit]

  • Understandability to English readers
  • Yuurei/Bourei not established as loanwords
  • Yuurei/Bourei analogous to ghost (unlike Tengu or Oni)
  • English has plethora of ghost synonyms much like Japanese
  • ZUN's use of yuurei and bourei differ from traditional def'n, possibly arbitrary; we can similarly do the same for English
  • Reserv: Terms must be able to convey yuurei and bourei well
  • Reserv: Usage must exist and be made consistent across wiki

- Kiefmaster99 (talk) 15:52, 13 July 2012 (UTC)

Ghost vs Phantom in Seihou[edit]

I know that "bourei (亡霊) = Ghost" and "yuurei (幽霊) = Phantom" is standard on this wiki for the Touhou Project, but should this scheme also be followed in relation to the Seihou Project? So far, I only can only see that '幽霊' has been used in relation to Seihou, whereas '亡霊' hasn't, but I also see that both English words 'phantom' & 'ghost' have been translated from '幽霊'. Tony64 (Talk/Con.) 16:32, 28 April 2013 (UTC)