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Translating Exalted to Korean

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  • #16
    Ooh, boy. As a Korean, you guys have no idea how much I'm excited about this. It's sad that I don't actually play Exalted, but maybe I can contribute......

    ... 'Cause I've been actually thinking about translating White Wolf/ Onyx Path stuff to Korean as well! I'm in military service now, so I can't do this often, but here's what I've been thinking:

    Exalted- 선 / 仙
    They used to be human, but ascended into something divine, yet not quite truly divine. Sometimes translated as 'Immortal' or 'Sage' (the latter in Naruto) Look up the concept of Xian from Wikipedia!
    Exaltation- 등선 / 登仙
    Literally means 'ascend to Xian-hood'. Logical consequence from above.

    Celestial Exalted - 천선 / 天仙
    Terrestrial Exalted- 지선 / 地仙
    Apparently, in Taoism (and Wuxia) the Heaven-Xian are somehow of higher class than the Earth-Xian.

    Solar Exalted - 일선 日仙 : Sun-Xian
    Lunar Exalted - 월선 月仙 : Moon-Xian
    Sidereal Exalted - 성선 星仙 : Star-Xian
    Dragon-Blooded - 용인 : literally, Dragon-People
    Abyssal Exalted - 연선 淵仙 : the word 'abyss' is 심연(深淵) in Korean, which literally means 'deep well'. I just picked up the 'well/spring/pond' part.
    Infernal Exalted - 마선 惡魔仙 : Demon-Xian

    Spirit - 영 靈 : the generic word for 'spirit'.
    God - 신령 神靈 : divine-spirit, or even spirit-spirit
    Elemental - 정령 精靈 : essence-spirit
    Ghost - 유령 幽靈 : shade-spirit
    Demon - 악마 惡魔 : evil-devil
    Deva - 마신 魔神 : so, the Devas are like Demons, but of the Primordials rather than Yozis, right? So they're standing between divinity and demonhood... which is why I give them that name.
    Primordial -
    Yozi -
    Neverborn -
    Incarna - 천존 / 天尊 : I like this one! Clever.

    Unconquered Sun - 불패의 태양 / 不敗의 太陽 : literal translation
    Luna - 태음 / 太陰 : the dictionary says that this word means "the Moon refered to as the satellite of the Earth"
    Five Maidens - 오서성녀 / 五瑞星女 : Five Auspicious Star Maiden.

    Eh, my time's almost out- I hope to join again in quickly!


    • #17
      Originally posted by szp View Post
      Fair Folk - 요정 / 妖精
      This translation is dangerous. It means "Wicked Entity" or something along that line, but it's also a common word for Disney-esque fairies. I could -really- reach and say 도깨비, which is the name for the otherfolk-equivalent in Korea, but... I'm really reluctant to do that.
      Note that "Fair Folk" is, in-setting, used to avoid invoking and offending the raksha, so something more polite might be in order (emphasis on might).

      Originally posted by szp View Post
      Wyld - 와일드
      Considering that "Wyld" seems to be a WW's neologism, I feel justified in transliterating it.
      "The Wyld" is really just a pseudoarchaic way of spelling "wild." Because this is stupid, I'd translate it into... 혼돈? 혼돈 seems about right.
      Last edited by The MG; 11-16-2015, 04:05 PM.


      • #18
        Bless this post and this person! It's always excellent to include more folks into this wonderful game.


        • #19
          Once I participated in a similar effort but for spanish speakers. Certain terms are particularly difficult like Wyld, Manse, or Daiklave.

          Join the Strife


          • #20
            Also there are some things that I can perfectly accept in English but just sound wrong in my native language. This includes most charm names and things like limit break.

            Join the Strife


            • #21
              acanthus Thanks for sharing! A few things though.

              As for using 선/仙 - while it captures the meaning of "ascended human" perfectly, it is a very Taoist term. In 3e, Taoist stuff seems to be associated with Getimians only, so I would prefer to reserve Taoist words for them only. Being wary of using explicitly Taoist words was recommended before and I think I am inclined to follow it. However, 등선 is definitely better sounding than 득신. I... would not use 등신 though (for those not fluent in Korean - 등신 is a childish pejorative term).

              연 for Abyssals rather than 명 would be a more faithful choice. However, considering the (apparent) connection between the Deathlords and the Abyssals in this edition... But then again I could just change the translation for Deathlords to include 연 somewhere.


              • #22
                The project is still going on. I have mostly focused on the system part, the terminology of which does not really merit much discussion. I am also preparing for an online game, so that has distracted me from working on text that is not directly relevant to my game. =p

                But I'm considering using the Fair Folk as antagonists, and while putting together some ideas, I remembered the existence of the Hannya. Which is... linguistically curious.

                My understanding is that the writing team got "Hannya" from the role in Japanese Noh theater, where Hannya is a demonic character. It's a fierce thing, so it kinda fits super-predators that eat Raksha. Translating their name to Korean, though, has been pretty interesting so I decided to share my thoughts. Perhaps you folks could help me out!

                I am considering three options for Hannya - 한냐, which is a transliteration of the source word; 반야, which is an old Buddhist transliteration of the Sanskrit word from which Japanese hannya comes from; and 프라즈냐, which is a more up-to-date transliteration of the same Sanskrit word. The reason I'm using transliterations is because 1) actually translating the word to 지혜 is rather unimpressive, as that is a very common girl's name; 2) the Buddhist tradition steered clear from translating sublime core concepts because the idea was translation is never perfect and therefore it detracts from the wisdom/truth of the originally chosen words; and 3) the rest of the Fair Folk-related words are transliterated in order to respect the Sanskrit origin. BUT THIS CAUSES A CONFLICT. The reasons are as follows;

                1) Hannya/Prajna isn't as "Hindu" as stuff like Raksha, Ishvara, Advaita Iraivan, etc. It's more Buddhist, so perhaps breaking away from the convention is meaningful.
                2) Hannya might be more important as the name for the Japanese Noh character than as an Indian concept.

                Reason 1 is the biggest factor. Setting-wise, Hannya is a new generation of Wyld entities who are distinctively different from the Fair Folk/Raksha, while being still somewhat similar. In real life history, Buddhism came after and was born from Hinduism. The latter, though unfathomably ancient, remained mostly in the Indian subcontinent. Buddhism spread like wildfire. In its spread, it has evolved and changed. Perhaps the difference between the Raksha and the Hannya is supposed to mirror that - they come from the same source but the latter has changed drastically. If this is true, then it is probably meaningful to translate/transliterate Hannya in a different format to reflect that.

                Reason 2 could also influence things. Hannya, in Noh, is a demon who is apparently only named after Prajna. If this is true (or at least the reading the writing team operated under) then there is no need to dwell on the source of "prajna". In fact, it would be "wrong" to use anything other than direct transliteration. This could be important because Buddhist lexicon has far more recognition than Noh lexicon. If I do focus on the Buddhist etymology, then the image of the Noh character will never be evoked.

                So I'm conflicted. My gut feeling is to go with 프라즈냐/Prajna, but considering the points above I feel like 반야 could be a compromise. But then (once more) again, using 한냐/Hannya might be the best choice.

                Help me out?

                Addendum: If this is an overanalysis and the writing team had no real thought behind choosing "Hannya" then I will spontaneously catch fire and die.


                • #23
                  Go with "ban ya", because why not (my current keyboard does not have hangul, and I don't know how to read hangul anyway).

                  "From now on, instead of saying 'half-assed', I will use 'muled'. 'This is a muled job, Chris', I will say to my friend Chris. 'You need to do better, or your ass is grass. And not, like, metaphorical grass. There are weeds growing in there as we speak.'

                  "'The DEA is after you, man' I will tell him, in all seriousness."


                  • #24
                    I hope resurrecting a years-old thread isn't too looked down upon.

                    Though I took a break for more than a year, with the arrival of my orichalcum edition and the start of an offline game, I'm resuming the project. There's been quite a bit of update since the old posts.


                    Translating the Exalted Host
                    The old convention was Exalted = 성웅 (聖雄). I have dropped this for a more neutral term 진인 (眞人). This word is interesting -- it literally means "True Person". It can mean someone who is true to themselves; who speaks truth; or has attained the "true" ideal of humankind. All in all, it is a very positive term. In certain schools of esoterica, 진인 refers to a kind of people who have transcended and achieved superhuman status. Pretty... Exalted, right?

                    One problem with 진인, however, is that the same esoterica teaches it's a self-attained status. Surely teachers can lead one to become a 진인, but it's not due to direct divine intervention (as far as I know). Thus it misses one possible implication of the title "Exalted" -- one who is elevated by something else.

                    In play, though, the players are enjoying having their PCs called 진인. It sounds cool, has cool connotations, and meets many criteria of a cool translation.

                    Now, on to specific types of the Exalted:

                    * The Solar Exalted are being called 태양진인. I am still upset about 태양 (太陽) having the word "yang" right in there. But it sounds powerful and positive. I might reconsider this choice once the Getimians book is out. (Also, I've considered using 대일 (大日) again and thought it might actually fit better, as Vairocana is the "supreme" Buddha. But 대일 sounds really soft in Korean.)
                    * The Lunar Exalted are being called 대월진인. Same reason as before.
                    * The Terrestrial Exalted are 용혈진인 and this has really caught on with the players.
                    * The Sidereal Exalted are 오성진인, which incidentally sounds "wisest" among all the Exalted, if a word can sound inherently wise. They are still Five Stars Exalted.
                    * The Abyssal Exalted got a huge revision. I've decided on 심연명인 / 深淵冥人. Character-by-character, it's "Deep Waters Doom Person". "Deep waters" here is the oft-used Korean word for "the Abyss" and "Doom person" is a play on 진인. If the Celestial and Terrestrial Exalted are humans brought to true perfection, the Abyssal Exalted are humans brought to doomed perfection.
                    * Following the Abyssals model, other "non-standard" Exalted received a slight twist -- the Exigent are 만신영인 (All-Gods Spirit-Person), the Liminals are 사문역인 (Death-Gate Boundary-Person), etc.

                    Now for the hypothetical Exalted Host that haven't been introduced in the corebook...
                    * I am imagining that the Infernals will appear in 3e, given that they had a preview during the Kickstarter project. Now the Infernals may be the one who deserve the title 멸천마인 / 滅天魔人. If their goals resemble what they had in 2e, the Infernals would be the ones interested in destroying/extinguishing Heaven. If not, though, I think I could go with 녹일마인 / 綠日魔人. Character-by-character, that's "Green Sun Demon Person".
                    * For the Alchemicals, I want to break the pattern intentionally and call them 연금진계 / 鍊金眞械, literally "Mastered-Metals True-Machine". 연금 here is short for 연금술, the Korean word for "alchemy". An alternative might be 연금계인, or "Mastered-Metals Machine-Person", but that doesn't flow off the tongue that much.
                    * I don't know too much about the Getimians just yet, so I'd be wary about coming up with a translated name for them yet. Some inchoate ideas for them are 무극도인 (Wuji Tao-Person), 역세도인 (World-Shifting Tao-Person), and 역선도인 (Inverse-Xian Tao-Person). Given that the Getimians have a Taoist dealio going for them, calling them "Tao-Person" is kinda set. It's the modifier that I can't decide.


                    I'll post more soon. I'm in the process of figuring out translations for the Magical Materials and such and would appreciate feedback on that. =o


                    • #25
                      Hm, well...orichalcum comes from Greek, and essentially meant "mountain copper" ("oreikhalkos" from "oros" meaning mountain and "chalkos" meaning copper), as the original description of the metal was something more akin to copper or brass than gold. However, orichalcum in Exalted can still I believe be smelted in the heart of volcanoes and found naturally in elevated locations like mountains, so the first part might be useful to you at least?

                      Moonsilver is prooobably easily ported over as-is, though you might know a way to make it sound extra cool. XD

                      Starmetal...ah, does Korean have a concept of "thunderbolt iron" or "meteor iron"? The mythic qualities associated with that in fiction are what starmetal draws on.

                      Jade is probably easy, though it might also need some kind of qualifier to hint that this isn't just your ordinary green rocks. XD

                      Soulsteel...I'd look for something that references the soul-trapping effect. Make it sound like something you really don't want cutting you.

                      "Won't you believe in him? Even if there is no God, or Buddha...there is still Kamen Rider." —Taki Kazuya, Kamen Rider SPIRITS

                      Now...count up all your sins.


                      • #26
                        Apparently Orichalcum shares a lot of conceptual space with Hihiirogane (日色金), a super-metal of Japanese origin. Especially here since it means something close to "sun gold".


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by szp View Post
                          I hope resurrecting a years-old thread isn't too looked down upon.
                          ​I'd say that for your own thread, and updating on progress for an ongoing project, it's a special case.

                          ​It's usually annoying when it brings up arguments that have long been resolved or forgotten.

                          I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                          Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
                 Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)


                          • #28
                            Isator Levi : Noted!

                            CycloneJoker , Elfive : Thanks for the pointers. I did not know about hihiirogane and I'll definitely have to see if I can incorporate that.

                            In the meantime, what I got for the magical materials as follows:

                            Orichalcum: It would have been nice if I could make use of the Greek roots, but 산동 ("sandong") sounds like a brand of rice beer. >_> I might actually use that as a name for a rice beer sold in a Nexus pub. What I have now is 일화진금 / 日火眞金, or "sun-fire true gold". I got the impression that orichalcum is supposed to be the platonic ideal of what gold should be, or something similar. Further, 眞/"true" is being used repeatedly to refer to the Exalted Host, so I think that's kinda fitting. But that's kinda mouthful, so in chargen we've been calling it 진금 for short.

                            Moonsilver: As straightforward as the original name is... I wanted a name for moonsilver that fits the four syllables pattern. Currently I'm using 유월연은 / 流月然銀, or "flowing moon nature's silver". It sounds like moonsilver -- it's got semivowels everywhere. But it's kinda convoluted, as far as a translation for "moon silver" goes.

                            Starmetal: Korean has a loanword from Chinese for meteoric iron. For extra fun, the first half of the word -- 운철 -- sounds the same as the Korean word for fate -- 운명. Different hanja characters (隕 vs. 運), but it's kinda neat. So I'm going with 성광운철 / 星光隕鐵, or "star-light fallen iron". Fallen there refers to the fact that it's fallen from the sky, not that it's fallen in status.

                            Jade: Breaking the four-syllables pattern, because jade is a real thing and it has a real name. Using 비취 / 翡翠 or 옥 / 玉. Both are names for real-life jade and I'm switching between the two, depending on which sounds cooler in the context.

                            Soulsteel: Using 시현혼철 / 屍玄魂鐵. This is kinda complex -- cbc, it's "corpse-black soul iron". But 玄 is a charged character, with meanings including "to be shrouded in mystery", "to be untouched by knowledge", "darkness beyond wisdom", etc. Very... occult. Though, I doubt the full name will be used often much in play, as 혼철 alone means "soul metal".

                            For extra fun, Adamant: No real details on adamant in 3e as far as I know and info on adamant in previous editions has been hazy, iirc. However, I think adamant is supposed to be magic diamond with associations with lightning (if Autochthon's Core means anything). Which is perfect, because diamond in Korean means "lightning stone", via Sanskrit "vajra". Still, adamant is not just 금강석 -- it's magic 금강석. I'm suggesting 홍휘금강 / 虹輝金剛, which could be "rainbow-glimmer vajra".


                            Now, stuff made with these fancy materials. I've split up what the books would call Artifacts into two separate things for the purpose of naming them. Just flat-out Artifacts are 보패 as before. Artifact weapons, though, are being called 신병이기 / 神兵利器. It's a term that appears in literary wuxia, used to refer to miraculous weapons. Character by character, it's "god-soldier beneficent-tool", but if I were to back-translate it, I'd go with "god-weapon". (So that was kinda fun seeing this exact wording in Tomb of Dreams!). 보패 vs. 신병이기 distinction isn't a concrete thing in our group, but having the PCs' weapons called 신병이기 just resonated with the players. So I guess that was a good choice.


                            I'd like to switch to terms regarding sorcery and martial arts now, since they are super interesting, but out of time! I will post again later today or tomorrow. =o


                            • #29
                              Looking forward to seeing more, I just wish I spoke Korean and thus could be of more help! XD This is super cool.

                              "Won't you believe in him? Even if there is no God, or Buddha...there is still Kamen Rider." —Taki Kazuya, Kamen Rider SPIRITS

                              Now...count up all your sins.


                              • #30
                                Now on to sorcery and related terms --

                                I'm operating on the idea that sorcery is a demon thing, with the idea shown in previous editions that said Mara taught Brigid sorcery. But I'm not seeing sorcery as evil demon magics, so I'm trying to strike a balance.

                                As before, I'm using 마술 / 魔術 as before. 魔 is a very complex and charged character, which can cover anything from "monster" and "demon" to "magic" and "uncanny". It has a very negative connotation in many expressions, but as a part of magical words, it's... somehow neutral. Given the complex meaning, one could compare the idea represented by the character to "witchcraft", but with less political weight.

                                The other character, 術, is something I'm using frequently across the project. It's got meanings about "trained technique", "talented trick", and so all. With 魔 and 術 combined, it can mean something like "magic technique" or "demon arts". Or in common speech... just "magic" or "sorcery". Perhaps I'm putting more thought in the word than is necessary, but my awareness of that particular setting detail forces me to take this convoluted path.

                                Extra fun fact: To my knowledge, the character 魔 comes from Mara, the Buddhist demon. I believe Mara the Exalted demon is named after him and perhaps this Mara the Buddhist demon-Mara the sorcery teacher connection was intended from the first place. But I imagine only the developers really know.

                                (To contrast, I'm translating "magic" as 마법 / 魔法. Same 魔 there. 法 can be law (in legal and physical senses) or Dharma, as in Indian philosophies. 마법 is a common everyday word for "magic", though. The idea of magic being Maradharma is something that intrigues me as a translator.)

                                Moving on to details...

                                Spells: Continuing with the Buddhist nuance, I've used 주문 / 呪文 for spells. Three reasons: in genre fiction, 1) 주문 is the go-to translation for magic spells; 2) Character-by-character, 呪 means something along with "desired result" or "curse". 文 is "words"; and 3) 주문 is how Buddhist/Hindu "mantra" is translated. All in all, spell as 주문 has connotations of sorcerous prayer, formal method of speech and thought, etc.

                                Ritual: Not my translation, but my Twilight player has been using 제식 / 祭式. Character-by-character, it's composed of "rite" and "method". Again, semantically charged words. However, it's got that magico-religious feel I want with sorcery. It's also one of the go-to translations for magic rituals in genre fiction.

                                Shaping Ritual: I'm taking a huge liberty here. I've been translating this to 마술 이론 or "sorcerous theory". From my reading, shaping rituals are how one approaches sorcery -- understanding, requirements, causality, etc. This could use an improvement. I'm also trying to avoid this conflicting with spells that are rituals.

                                Sorcerous Workings: This is very troubling for me. I'm thinking about 기적 구현 or "miracle-working" (on the other hand, actual thaumaturgy in Exalted is being translated as 방술 / 方術). However, this is straying very far from the demonic connotations I'm associating with sorcery-related terms.

                                Sorcerous Motes: Also taking a huge liberty here, but I actually feel this translation is "better" than the source phrase. I'm using 마기 / 魔氣. "Demon qi" or "magic qi", basically. In-game, it's a fusion of 마술 and 영기, so it'd be "sorcerous Essence". However, having sorcerers gather demonic energy before casting a spell feels all kinds of cool to me.

                                Circles of Sorcery: The prosaic words to call them are 제일환, 제이환, and 제삼환. Respectively "the First Circle", "the Second Circle", and "the Third Circle". However, the fancier names for them are 천하환, 천상환, and 태양환. "The Circle under Heaven", "the Circle over Heaven", and "the Circle of the Sun." There's also 녹보지환, 남보천환, and 금강일환. "Green Jewel Earth Circle", "Blue Jewel Heaven Circle", and "Diamond Sun Circle". Oh my God. So many names for tiers of sorcery.

                                I feel that these translation suggestions could use some feedback. For one, I'm making the subtle demonic nature of sorcery very overt. However... that connection already exists in Korean. If anyone has an idea to dampen the association or for alternate ways to express ideas about sorcery, I would appreciate it