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Author Topic: Xenogears - 天帝  (Read 1838 times)

Almagest

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Xenogears - 天帝
« on: November 24, 2017, 05:35:04 pm »
How would you translate 天帝 (てんてい)? It was officially translated as "Emperor", but I've looked it up in a Japanese dictionary, and found that 天帝 is literally the god of Christianity, Yahweh/God. In the 'Character' section of Xenogears Perfect Works, 天帝 is translated as "Providence". The Collins dictionary defines Providence as "God, or a force which is believed by some people to arrange the things that happen to us."

And if I should go with "Providence", I was thinking if it requires an article when in a sentence ("The Providence").
« Last Edit: November 24, 2017, 05:44:13 pm by Almagest »
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danke

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Re: Xenogears - 天帝
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2017, 05:46:40 pm »
It has more of an implication of "The Creator". Honestly, "The Lord" would probably be the most direct translation.

Providence is more 神意, which would be "Divine Will".

Almagest

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Re: Xenogears - 天帝
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2017, 05:58:23 pm »
It has more of an implication of "The Creator". Honestly, "The Lord" would probably be the most direct translation.
I think these would cause confusion. The game constantly uses 神 to refer to God, and it uses 天帝 to refer to a character named Cain (天帝カイン). Cain is like the representative of God on the planet. His ultimate goal is to revive God (神) so humans can go to paradise.
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weissvulf

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Re: Xenogears - 天帝
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2017, 06:22:24 pm »
The references I have don't show it as an exclusive term for Christian God, but a general term (heavens creator) applied to various beings that fit that description. That being said, I know Xenogears uses a lot of Biblical names so it seems likely the term is a loose reference to the Christian God from a Shinto cultural perspective - as in "thing pertaining to religions with a single god".

I think 'Creator' would be the most accurate, but accuracy isn't always best because Eastern and Western audiences have different cultural perspectives. 'Providence' is not a common term these days and therefore wouldn't really mean much to an English player. I think Yahweh would be a mistranslation- if they had meant that, I think they would have used Katakana.

Personally, I would just pick a term that captures the gist of the original, but makes more sense in context. If it's more a title for Cain, something like 'avatar' 'prophet' 'father' or 'lord'.

hanhnn

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Re: Xenogears - 天帝
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2017, 04:52:06 am »
I think these would cause confusion. The game constantly uses 神 to refer to God, and it uses 天帝 to refer to a character named Cain (天帝カイン). Cain is like the representative of God on the planet. His ultimate goal is to revive God (神) so humans can go to paradise.
How about King God? Or God Emperor?

If there is a character named Cain (天帝カイン), then it does not mean a real omnipotent God or a Creator.
I think it is more likely the King/Emperor of the Galaxy/Universe.

Almagest

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Re: Xenogears - 天帝
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2017, 09:37:20 am »
Or God Emperor?
This was how I translated it originally. Solaris is indeed an empire, and Cain is its supreme leader. And Cain is like a god himself: he's the all-seeing, all-knowing, all-powerful being. He's also the oldest "human" alive on the planet: he managed to live for 10,000 years.

I wonder if "God-Emperor" is okay? Or does it sound silly?
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weissvulf

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Re: Xenogears - 天帝
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2017, 07:23:31 pm »
Though the term 'emperor' has taken a beating from imported Eastern translations (where it's used more to mean 'powerful'), it actually means 'a king who rules over other kings'- ie does not destroy local governments, but maintains them in a subordinate role. For example, the English monarchs added the term to the royal title (Ind.Imp.) when they subjugated India and removed it when they returned India to local rule. I would only use it if Cain actually rules other kings, or you want him to sound Asian in flavor.

A translation can either be literal (ie God Cain), or you can try to capture the spirit of the original and convey that to western ears. If you're doing the latter, some thoughts based on your description: Allfather, First One, Celestial?

I think Emperor God sounds better than God Emperor, English is structured such that the last word is the primary 'object' and the preceding nouns its modifiers (aka adjectives). Since 'god' is a higher 'rank' than emperor, it sounds weird to have it as a modifier rather than the final object. It would be like saying "The dress was a green dark."   

Almagest

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Re: Xenogears - 天帝
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2017, 09:21:46 am »
Quote
I think Emperor God sounds better than God Emperor, English is structured such that the last word is the primary 'object' and the preceding nouns its modifiers (aka adjectives). Since 'god' is a higher 'rank' than emperor, it sounds weird to have it as a modifier rather than the final object. It would be like saying "The dress was a green dark."   


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hanhnn

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Re: Xenogears - 天帝
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2017, 08:14:06 pm »
Is Emperor really that unfamiliar to western ears? I know 2 famous Emperors that I'm pretty sure they are more well known in the west than in the east.

At first, I think 天帝 could mean 皇帝 of 天河, like this Emperor.


Then I think about this, he's not a God but a Godly Emperor with god-like power.


Now after reading Solaris wikia page, it reminds me of Tales of Destiny II's twin planet, so Celestial Emperor could be an option.
天帝 is simply just an Emperor in the sky.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2017, 08:26:33 pm by hanhnn »

yugisokubodai

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Re: Xenogears - 天帝
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2017, 09:02:57 pm »
Emperor of the Gods, for simplicity in my opinion.
The word "Tentei" originates from "Brahma" or "Deva" in Sankrist.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brahma
See also "Bonten" (梵天) and "Taishakuten" (帝釋天)/Indra.

weissvulf

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Re: Xenogears - 天帝
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2017, 10:58:36 pm »
Quote
Written by an American writer
Ha Ha, technically written by a second rate, fringe American writer! (runs before Dune fans start throwing pointy objects)

But seriously, the object of literature isn't always to sound smooth and Herbert's fan base was largely built around being non-conventional. He probably chose that title partly because the exotic irregularity draws your attention. Much like dissonance in music is used to highlight the harmony that follows. Just my opinion for what little that's worth. The only rules in art are in the mind of its creator.

Quote
Is Emperor really that unfamiliar to western ears?
I didn't mean Emperor is an unusual word in English, just that serous usage is reserved for political leaders of subdued foreign nations. If you want a word that simply means 'powerful' or 'ruler', then there are more accurate tittles.

Almagest

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Re: Xenogears - 天帝
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2017, 05:37:14 pm »
So let me get this straight:

Emperor God: a god who acts like an emperor, conquering other nations.
God Emperor: an emperor (allegedly) with divine powers, or an emperor who is seen/worshipped as a god by his people.

Is it correct?

Emperor of the Gods, for simplicity in my opinion.
The word "Tentei" originates from "Brahma" or "Deva" in Sankrist.
"Emperor of the Gods Cain" is a bit too long and might need commas when in a sentence. I need something shorter. Plus, the religion of Solaris is a monotheistic one.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2017, 06:03:18 pm by Almagest »
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weissvulf

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Re: Xenogears - 天帝
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2017, 05:50:07 pm »
Quote
Emperor God: a god who acts like an emperor, conquering other nations.
God Emperor: an emperor (allegedly) with divine powers, or an emperor who is seen/worshipped as a god by his people.

I hope I didn't give the impression that this was 'big deal'; it's extremely minor. I've only been commenting because I tend to be overly analytical and long winded.

Specifically, I feel that a native English speaker would not be likely to say "God Emperor". If they were reading that phrase, and bothered to think about it, they may likely come to the conclusion you stated.

If you say:
"Cain is an emperor god", the base sentence is: 'Cain is a god'. In this case, 'emperor' becomes a modifier answering 'what type of god is he'. You could substitute any descriptor word instead of 'emperor': 'he is a bicycle god' 'he is a geek god'.

If you say "Cain is a god emperor", the base sentence is 'Cain is an emperor'. 'god' becomes an answer to 'what type of emperor is he'.

Because 'god' is generally a more potent office than emperor, it would likely be considered his primary attribute. If someone read 'he is a god emperor', it's more likely to sound like 'he's really just an emperor, but he calls himself a god too'. If we thought that, we would likely just omit 'god' from his description altogether.

I'm reminded of a line from the movie 'The 13th Warrior' where two 'civilized' men are walking into a run-down barbarian camp. One asks the other "what do you suppose the leader of this camp calls himself?" The reply is "oh, 'emperor' at the very least."

Readers would know what you mean either way, especially in a fantasy game where it's expected that things will be 'exotic'.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2017, 08:45:28 pm by weissvulf »