Notes On Translating Names In Orguss

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Notes On Translating Names In Orguss

Post by Tachyon » Fri Oct 20, 2006 8:16 pm

I would like to discuss why I've decided to render certain names in certain ways for the Orguss pages here at Gears Online. This post may be pretty boring so read it at your own risk. By making these decisions I'm probably disagreeing with other Orguss fans. I hope we can all overlook our differences of opinion.

Chiram vs. Terram vs. Terran -- I'm taking the conservative approach with this one and choosing "Chiram." Chiram (チラム) is a made-up name so I'll just leave it as is. My UK friend said Orguss' writers were trying to say "terran" but ended up using an invented name. For proof of this I can only offer speculation. 80's anime (especially sci-fi anime) is full of poorly translated names from English (just look at different Gundam shows). The English word terran might be seen on paper and misunderstood by a Japanese person to be pronounced "tee - ran." Japanese has no "tee" sound so "chi" is used. Also, chi (地) means dirt or earth in Japanese. For example, planet Earth is chikyuu (地球). Perhaps Orguss' writers were making a multilingual pun?

The terran argument also makes sense when you look at Orguss' setting. After recovering (as much as possible) from the disaster of the Space/Time Bomb detonation the remnants of Earth's former nations made a new government. One of the goals of this government was to win back the Earth from the Mu invaders and those strange Emaan people. By naming it Terran they were making a bold statement, "This is our planet! We belong here! You don't!" However, "teran" (テラン) isn't what we see written in the Orguss books. It's "chiram."

Pakki- vs. Emaan Scooter -- The flying craft resembling a motorcycle is usually called a "pakki-" (パッキー) but this name sounds pretty silly and can be confused with Pocky snacks. I usually try to do straight translations but this is an exception. One page of the This Is Animation The Select books calls the machine a "scooter" (スクーター) so I went with that. Emaan Scooter should work well and reduce confusion.

Demolisher Cannon vs. Hasai Cannon -- This was a tough call to make. After reading the 2 main sources (in English) for Orguss information online I got used to calling it the Hasai Cannon. After a close examination of the Japanese Orguss books it looks like the cannon was intended to be named after a word common to the Japanese language: "demolish, crush, break into pieces." So I brought the Japanese name "Hasai Hou" into its literal translation, Demolisher Cannon. A UK friend and longtime Orguss fan backed this up. A note will be added to the cannon's page to help reduce potential confusion among English speaking fans.
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