Japanese Konami titles translated in English

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Por wimpie3

Master (237)

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29-05-2018, 13:10

Each Konami MSX game has a Japanese title. Most of the time they are the same as the English titles. Like for instance スーパーコブラ (which is pronounced as Supa Kobura): you can clearly recognize Super Cobra. But some titles translate in entirely different titles. I'm currently compiling a list for my book but I'm not sure I've got all translations right. Are there Japanese speaking people here who can help me?

わんぱくアスレチック -> Wampaku Athletic? (but what is Wampaku?)
モン太君のいち・に・さんすう -> Google Translate has no clue!
ぽんぽこパン -> Ponpon bread?
イーガー皇帝の逆襲 -> Eager Empress Strikes Back?
魔城伝説 -> Demon Legend?
夢大陸アドベンチャー -> Yume-tairiku adventure?
悪魔城ドラキュラ -> Akumajo Adventure (but what is Akumajo?)
コナミの占いセンセーション -> Divine Sensation?

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Por ghost_jp

Master (132)

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29-05-2018, 13:48

wimpie3 wrote:

わんぱくアスレチック -> Wampaku Athletic? (but what is Wampaku?)
モン太君のいち・に・さんすう -> Google Translate has no clue!

Wanpaku means rudeness or puppyish. Generally Japanese people use this word to express cobby boys.

いち, に, さん are pronounced Ichi, Ni, San. They mean one, two, three.
さんすう means arithmetic as one of subjects in primary school.
いち・に・さんすう is a very popular equivoque. Children learn one-two-three in an arithmetic class in school.

Now it's time to go for me. Let me explain the others later...

Por gdx

Prophet (2654)

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29-05-2018, 14:01

わんぱく: always on the move
アスレチック: Athletic

ぽんぽこ: Pompoko is the Onomatopoeia for the sound produce by Raccoon dog's belly
パン: bread

悪魔城: Castle of demons
ドラキュラ: Dracula

Por ghost_jp

Master (132)

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29-05-2018, 15:35

I've just been back with released from a dull business task.

At first, an additional topic. I'm sure you know the title of Yie Ar Kung-Fu. This name comes from an equivoque similar to いち・に・さんすう.
yi, ar, san, si mean one, two, three, four in Chinese. Yie Ar Kung-Fu matches rhyming words to yi-ar-san-si, or one-two-three-four.

Quote:

ぽんぽこパン -> Ponpon bread?

gdx is correct. Let me add one more thing. The whole onomatopoeia is pon-pokko-pon. Here you can also see an equivoque between Pan (means bread, it is called Pan in Japan after Portuguese language) and the last Pon.

Quote:

イーガー皇帝の逆襲 -> Eager Empress Strikes Back?

The whole title is a parody of Emperor Strikes Back, the episode V of Star Wars.
The name of emperor; Eager, comes from a secret language used in a popular Chinese restaurant named Gyoza no Oh-Sho (餃子の王将). When somebody orders a jiao-zi there, a staff shouts to the kitchen "i: ga: koh ter". This secret language is just quasi-Chinese language. It sounds like イーガー皇帝 to Japanese ears. This phrase is very famous among Japanese people, so Konami seems to have picked it up as their game title.

Por wimpie3

Master (237)

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29-05-2018, 15:52

Very interesting stuff!

Por ghost_jp

Master (132)

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29-05-2018, 15:54

Quote:

魔城伝説 -> Demon Legend?
夢大陸アドベンチャー -> Yume-tairiku adventure?
悪魔城ドラキュラ -> Akumajo Adventure (but what is Akumajo?)

All of 魔城, 夢大陸, 悪魔城 are not general nouns, but combination terms or neologisms.

魔城 and 悪魔城 have the almost same meaning. We Japanese generally understand these phrase as "terrible castle". I dare to free-translate them to English.

魔城伝説 -> The legend of battle in terrible castles
悪魔城ドラキュラ -> Dracula in the terrible castle

夢大陸 is a combination term from 夢 + 大陸. 夢 is dream, 大陸 is continent. So 夢大陸 means dreamy continent or dreamlike continent. Therefore the title should be translated as the adventure in dreamy continent.

Quote:

コナミの占いセンセーション -> Divine Sensation?

This title is the most difficult to explain to non-Japanese people. The word "sensation" in such titles for Japanese doesn't have any meaning in most cases. Japanese creators often use this word without careful thought. So I dare not to translate the word. I mean the title should be called Konami's fortune-telling in English.

Por gdx

Prophet (2654)

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30-05-2018, 02:58

Maybe something like: A sensation of fortune telling from Konami

Por wyrdwad

Paladin (729)

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30-05-2018, 05:20

魔城 and 悪魔城 don't really mean "terrible castle" -- they're more like "Demon's Castle" and "Devil's Castle" (if I had to translate the two differently, those would be the two translations I'd use). 魔城伝説 also doesn't have the word "battle" in it at all -- it's literally something like "Legend of the Demon's Castle." Whereas 悪魔城ドラキュラ is just "Devil's Castle Dracula" -- it's a little awkward even in the Japanese, TBH, as it kind of makes it sound like Dracula is the name of the castle, not the person in it.

As for コナミの占いセンセーション, the word "sensation" in this case definitely means "a sensation," as in something wildly popular. Like, "The Beatles were a real sensation in the '60s." So it's literally trying to make it sound like fortune-telling is SUPER-COOL. Wink

Also, for わんぱくアスレチック, I feel like none of the translations noted here so far quite got the nuance of the word わんぱく, which I'd say is best translated as "mischievous," or even "naughty" (in the non-sexual sense).

-Tom

Por ghost_jp

Master (132)

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30-05-2018, 06:43

wyrdwad wrote:

魔城 and 悪魔城 don't really mean "terrible castle" -- they're more like "Demon's Castle" and "Devil's Castle" (if I had to translate the two differently, those would be the two translations I'd use)

Yours is just literal translation.

You are correct. 魔 nor 悪魔 don't mean "terrible" directly. However, I hoped to show to the first questioner what kinds of meaning the original Japanese creator had wanted to inscribe to these titles.

Strictly there is a little semantic baggage between 魔 and 悪魔. Generally 魔 means a devil in Buddhism. 悪魔 means one in an Abrahamic religion. It is clear that Konami's Knightmare didn't have any relation to Buddhism. Therefore they didn't always intend to use a dictionary meaning of 魔. The reason why I used the word "terrible" in my private translation was that we Japanese often use these words for expressing an impression "terrible just like a devil" without any undertone to religions.

I wondered what the first questioner wanted to know is not meaning in a dictionary but undertones particular among Japanese people. I also wonder why non-Japanese-people try to make an argument about a dictionary meaning of Japanese terms, against a real native Japanese man, me. oO

Por wyrdwad

Paladin (729)

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30-05-2018, 08:36

I actually didn't realize you were Japanese, despite the username! Sorry about that.

Part of the reason I felt the need to correct you, though, is simply because I don't think "terrible" is the word you want in English. "Terrifying," maybe? When you say "terrible castle," the implication that has to me, as an American, is "subpar castle," or "unimpressive castle." It's terrible, as in, it's not up to proper standards! Despite being derived from the same root as the word "terror," the word "terrible" doesn't really have any sense of fear or scariness attached to it in common usage -- it just means "really bad." And not bad as in "evil," but bad as in "not worth your time." Wink

I deal with these kinds of nuances all the time, since I'm currently employed as a Japanese-to-English translator and editor for a video game publisher, so please forgive me if my corrections came/come across as rude or condescending; I mean absolutely no disrespect. I seek only to educate, and to ensure that people have the best possible experience in translation.

-Tom

Por Eugeny_Brychkov

Paragon (1065)

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30-05-2018, 08:59

Very interesting discussion, and it seems both @ghost_jp and @wyrdwad are right. As everyone have got a "feeling" of what is being meant by the title(s), IMHO it is a time to switch and invent appropriate title in English, which would not be a translation of the original Japanese title, but explain the idea and the essense of the game.

For example, "悪魔城ドラキュラ" to name as "Dracula's Nest", and "イーガー皇帝の逆襲" to be "Dumplings Return". No idea if these are appropriate or not as I did not see the games Smile

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