7 most awkward/bad translations in FFVII

Pixel

The Pixie King
#1
What are the weirdest or worst localisation choices in FFVII?

There are the obvious

This guy are sick < This guy looks sick
Orthopedic Underwear < Grown up/Sexy Underwear
Would you stop acting like a retard and climb!? < Stop being so damn dramatic!

What would be your picks, whether its small things or more substantial translation errors?
 

Octo

KULT OF KERMITU
AKA
Octo, Octorawk, Clarky Cat, Kissmammal2000
#3
What about:

"No one get in way of Reno and the Turks"

Where Reno temporarily starts talking like a caveman.
 

JBedford

Pro Adventurer
AKA
JBed
#4
Some of my favourite non-dialogue ones:
-Bizarro Sephiroth. The translators read his name as "Reverse Sephiroth" so changed it to "Bizarro Sephiroth", not a localisation change I would disagree with. But his name is meant to be "Rebirth Sephiroth"!
-I quite like the Corral Valley/Corel Valley disaster. So the original translators misspell "coral", and then the people handling PC are like "lemme fix that for you" and end up changing it to "Corel"! The coral-filled valley is nowhere near Corel!
-They mistranslated the Basilisk enemy as "Bagrisk". Which is a fairly standard TL error for VII. But the game also has the Basilisk Claw, which they also mistranslated, this time as "Vagyrisk". Wut.
-And the brilliant Battle Square options:

Failing basic English. TWICE!

Grow Lance instead of Glow Lance is pretty funny, as is Touph Ring.

As for dialogue. Jenova's one line in the entire game should be memorable in itself, but "beacause" makes it moreso.

And finally this:


"That's how you'll fool them"
"So that's how you fooled them"
 

Kieron_ODuibhir

Sinister Amanuensis
AKA
TrisakAminawn
#6
And meanwhile there are Kimara bugs!

Does anyone know if Aerith saying she and Tseng have known each other since they-plural were kids is a translation issue or a writing one? It's caused me many headaches, Tseng's timeline is very very mysterious and broken. :loopy:
 

The Twilight Mexican

Ex-SeeD-ingly good
AKA
TresDias
#8
Does anyone know if Aerith saying she and Tseng have known each other since they-plural were kids is a translation issue or a writing one? It's caused me many headaches, Tseng's timeline is very very mysterious and broken. :loopy:
…ツォンはタークスで敵だけど、子供の頃から知ってる。

"... Even though he's among our enemies in the Turks, I've known him since childhood."
 

Kieron_ODuibhir

Sinister Amanuensis
AKA
TrisakAminawn
#9
Thanks! I was pretty sure something like that had happened, because if Tseng had been in and out of Hojo's labs to meet Aerith before himself reaching adulthood for any reason, feels like it would have come up again...though it would have opened an interesting angle on why he's so protective of this kid.
 

JBedford

Pro Adventurer
AKA
JBed
#11
Wasn't Safer Sephiroth a mistranslation too?
"Safer" doesn't really mean anything in context so probably. His name is written &#12475;&#12540;&#12501;&#12449;, while "safer" would more likely be transliterated as &#12475;&#12540;&#12501;&#12449;&#12540;.

It's probably meant to be "Sefer Sephiroth". Sefer is a Hebrew word, like Sephiroth is a reference to the Hebrew Sefirot. From what I've seen, "sefer" is usually transliterated as "&#12475;&#12540;&#12501;&#12455;&#12523;", but &#12475;&#12540;&#12501;&#12449; sounds close enough for me to put my money on this being the intention.
 
#12
"Words aren't the only things that tell people what you're thinking."

While not technically a mistranslation, it reads very awkwardly and not like something a native English speaker would actually say. Dissidia's translation of this line ("Words aren't the only way to convey your feelings") sounds much better and more natural.

Also, there are way too many examples of poorly translated enemy/character/summon names to list. Typoon instead of Typhon, the aforementioned Midgar Zolom instead of Midgardsormr and Bagrisk instead of Basilisk, Shera instead of Sierra, Proud Clod instead of Proud Clad, etc.

They also mixed up which Cactuars were supposed to be the real ones and which were supposed to be the fake ones. The ones on Cactus Island were supposed to be the "real" Cactuars, not the ones in Corel Desert.
 
#14
"Safer Sephiroth" = "Savior Sephiroth"...he's been reborn (the previous form is the in-between) and emerges as a kind of Anti-Christ...thus the wings and clouds and ironically Heaven-like atmosphere. I'll have to actually cite my resources for where I read this, cos I'm sure it sounds like I'm just making it up, but I remember reading about it not that long after release...a video game magazine, perchance?

Also, have to second the notion about Tifa's line being fine the way it is. No one in an emotional situation, especially when someone's trying to nudge nudge wink wink the way Tifa is there, should ever use the word CONVEY
 

The Twilight Mexican

Ex-SeeD-ingly good
AKA
TresDias
#15
It's most certainly "Sefer." "Sefer Sephiroth" would mean some approximation to "Book of Numbers." That's the fourth book of the Bible/Torah -- the one in which the Israelites arrive at the Promised Land. That name is no accident given what Seph was about to do.
 

X-SOLDIER

Harbinger O Great Justice
AKA
X
#16
It's most certainly "Sefer." "Sefer Sephiroth" would mean some approximation to "Book of Numbers." That's the fourth book of the Bible/Torah -- the one in which the Israelites arrive at the Promised Land. That name is no accident given what Seph was about to do.
I think that this is one of those odd cases where even the Katakana isn't quite correct.

I've always thought that this was intended to be the more logical and less repetitive, "Seraph Sephiroth" &#8211; since that augments his natural "One-Winged Angel" design with the halos and six white wings that compose the lower half of his body, especially since the Seraphs are the angels that have six wings and are flying above the throne of God.







X :neo:
 

Kieron_ODuibhir

Sinister Amanuensis
AKA
TrisakAminawn
#17
I always vaguely assumed 'Safer' was an attempt to split the difference between Sefer and Seraph. >> 'Seraph Sephiroth' would have been for the best though.
 

The Twilight Mexican

Ex-SeeD-ingly good
AKA
TresDias
#18
[Warning: I probably go into more detail here than anyone cares about.]

Though I can see the reasoning behind that "seraph" idea, when it comes to their common spellings/phoenetics in katakana, "seraph" and "sefer" aren't even a little bit close.

Seraph: &#12475;&#12521;&#12501;
Sefer: &#12475;&#12540;&#12501;&#12455;&#12523;&#12540;

The "Safer" in "Safer Sephiroth" (&#12475;&#12540;&#12501;&#12449;) meanwhile is very close to the common rendering -- and for that matter, breaking down what those katakana actually come out to as romaji is "se-fa." It's not uncommon to see the ending sound of names or words that ended with "fer" in the Latin alphabet become "fa" (&#12501;&#12449;) when they get transliterated to Japanese katakana. For example, "golfer" becomes &#12468;&#12523;&#12501;&#12449;&#12540;. And Seifer (likely from the word "cypher") in FFVIII has his name spelled &#12469;&#12452;&#12501;&#12449;&#12540;.

The Weblio Japanese dictionary also points out that common renderings of "fer" in katakana include &#12501;&#12455;&#12540;&#12523;, like that seen in the more common rendering of "sefer" above.

Game developers aren't all that shy about using alternatives to common spellings, and FFVII's team was no exception. "Earth" is typically &#12450;&#12540;&#12473; in katakana, but they named Aerith &#12456;&#12450;&#12522;&#12473; -- which, aesthetically speaking, is a lot further from &#12450;&#12540;&#12473; than &#12475;&#12540;&#12501;&#12449; is from &#12475;&#12540;&#12501;&#12455;&#12523;&#12540;. Katakana is all about phoenetics, though, so you can do that sort of thing.

I think it also bears pointing out that "Safer Sephiroth" wasn't an accident on the part of the game's (sometimes questionable) English translation. The romaji seen on this card included with figurines of the boss only released in Japan (from the Final Fantasy Creatures line) still spelled the name as "Safer":

https://i.imgur.com/2FR3VvD.jpg
https://imgur.com/gKkysL8.jpg


"Safer" is a perfectly legitimate rendering of the Hebrew word in question, &#1505;&#1461;&#1508;&#1462;&#1512;. Both "sefer" (for "book") and "sephiroth" ("counts," or "numbers") were derived from the same root word, and when it comes to rendering these words with the Latin alphabet, you're going to see a lot of variation in both the vowels in play and whether a lone "f" is used or a "ph" is used.

You could see anything of the following as valid ways to render "sephiroth":

safiroth
saphiroth
sefiroth
sephiroth
seforoth
sephoroth
saforoth
saphoroth

And that's without even getting into whether the end of the word is rendered with a lone "t" or with "th." :monster:

Depending on which of these variations Square took when they were coming up with the name, they could have ended up with a huge number of slight variations on the same word and concept. As it stands, what they have with "Safer" is a matter of apparent preference for that romaji spelling anyway since the katakana used amount to "sefa."
 
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X-SOLDIER

Harbinger O Great Justice
AKA
X
#19
...(Tres' excellent tl;dr explanation on the specifics of Japanese spelling and localization)... ...As it stands, what they have with "Safer" is a matter of apparent preference for that romaji spelling anyway since the katakana used amount to "sefa."
Which is exactly why I prefaced my explanation with:

I think that this is one of those odd cases where even the Katakana isn't quite correct.
:bigawesomonster:


That being said, if you wanted to get into the technicalities of differences, they COULD be very close together (and easy to mess up) depending on how you want to break them down &#8211; as you mentioned Japanese can potentially localize foreign words in Katakana with any number of spellings.

&#12475;&#12540;&#12501;&#12449; (Sefer &#8211; as established before)
&#12475;&#12540;&#12450;&#12501; (Seraph &#8211; because the "r" sound isn't heavily emphasized in pronunciation)

Those two'd've been very easy to mistakenly transpose.

As a further example, the Persona series has used Seraph/Seraphim before, and in Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey the double halo and six wings design is VERY similar to the one used for Sephiroth's form, which really means that the comparisons here are FAR beyond just circumstantial.



While it's definitely not what the name is when properly localized, I find it one of those cases where it's VERY clear what it's meant to be, but it isn't properly spelled out in either the native OR the localization of the game.

This is especially evident when looking at the concept art by Tetsuya Nomura that refers to them as "Rebirth Sefiros" & "Master Sefiros" which aren't what they ended up being (in English or Japanese), and the later of which doesn't even have the katakana in place.





That DOES make it clear that the Seraphim-based design for his final form was done BEFORE the boss name was decided or put in place, which is why I think that the final form is really a typo/mistranslation on BOTH ends.



EDIT: A final note is that the FFVII Ultimania translation caption for Sephiroth's final form also seems to further reinforce this connection, especially when compared with the Japanese interpretation of the Christian Mythology that Persona uses for their Seraphim &#8211; with both of the the sometimes-human-form-using, six-winged, highest tier of angels being on the verge of godhood as a central visual and thematic description.

Ultimania Caption said:
Sephiroth having neared godhood. Having only a single arm turned into a wing makes one think of a &#8220;One-Winged Angel,&#8221; which is also the title of his theme song. At the start of development he was tentatively called &#8220;Master Sephiroth.&#8221;





X :neo:
 

The Twilight Mexican

Ex-SeeD-ingly good
AKA
TresDias
#20
That being said, if you wanted to get into the technicalities of differences, they COULD be very close together (and easy to mess up) depending on how you want to break them down &#8211; as you mentioned Japanese can potentially localize foreign words in Katakana with any number of spellings.

&#12475;&#12540;&#12501;&#12449; (Sefer &#8211; as established before)
&#12475;&#12540;&#12450;&#12501; (Seraph &#8211; because the "r" sound isn't heavily emphasized in pronunciation)

Those two'd've been very easy to mistakenly transpose.
The lack of heavy emphasis on the "r" only applies (as far as I've ever noticed anyway) to syllables ending with the sound. In the case of a word like "seraph," the syllable (&#12521;; "ra") will have to begin with it, and thus will be emphasized.

&#12475;&#12540;&#12450;&#12501; is, at most, going to be some loose approximation of &#12475;&#12540;&#12501; ("safe"). Run that through Google Images real quick and see what I mean -- it's going to give you the results for &#12475;&#12540;&#12501; instead. And if you then insist on it searching for &#12475;&#12540;&#12450;&#12501;, it's going to give you three results, one of which is this thread here at TLS. :awesome: I can't picture that ever being applied to a word like "seraph."

X said:
As a further example, the Persona series has used Seraph/Seraphim before, and in Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey the double halo and six wings design is VERY similar to the one used for Sephiroth's form, which really means that the comparisons here are FAR beyond just circumstantial.
Oh, the visual depiction of a seraph is definitely intentional. There's no mistaking that. I don't think that has implications for the name here, though, beyond the whole aesthetic of the moment (the celestial rose/empyrean, in which seraphim surround God).

And to speak to those examples from that other franchise, in both cases, they were what one would expect: seraph (&#12475;&#12521;&#12501;) and seraphim (&#12475;&#12521;&#12501;&#12451;&#12512;).

X said:
That DOES make it clear that the Seraphim-based design for his final form was done BEFORE the boss name was decided or put in place, which is why I think that the final form is really a typo/mistranslation on BOTH ends.
It's not beyond the realm of all possibility, but it seems more likely to me that the name is what it was meant to be -- especially because they had an opportunity with the figurine to use a different romanization for this product that was only being released in Japan, yet still ended up with the one seen in the English localization.

I really, really strongly doubt there's any significant typo on the Japanese end of this at the very least, if no other reason than because the "r" syllables always get emphasized, to my knowledge anyway.
 

Kieron_ODuibhir

Sinister Amanuensis
AKA
TrisakAminawn
#21
I don't think anybody made a mistake. I think the naming process went something like 'we have these two foreign words, and this one is similar enough to this other one to invoke it for anybody who knows enough English to get the reference in the first place, but has better assonance & alliteration with the name of the character and is a more obscure reference for bonus reference points, so we'll use this one.'

I very much enjoy seeing Christianity carelessly plundered for vague symbolism by a foreign culture. It's reliably hilarious. The fact that Japanese creators have even less sense than American ones of where Christianity leaves off and Judaism picks up and that this may matter is just sometimes a little :rclosedmonster::treemonster::objection:
 

X-SOLDIER

Harbinger O Great Justice
AKA
X
#22
That being said, if you wanted to get into the technicalities of differences, they COULD be very close together (and easy to mess up) depending on how you want to break them down – as you mentioned Japanese can potentially localize foreign words in Katakana with any number of spellings.

セーファ (Sefer – as established before)
セーアフ (Seraph – because the "r" sound isn't heavily emphasized in pronunciation)

Those two'd've been very easy to mistakenly transpose.
The lack of heavy emphasis on the "r" only applies (as far as I've ever noticed anyway) to syllables ending with the sound. In the case of a word like "seraph," the syllable (ラ; "ra") will have to begin with it, and thus will be emphasized.

セーアフ is, at most, going to be some loose approximation of セーフ ("safe"). Run that through Google Images real quick and see what I mean -- it's going to give you the results for セーフ instead. And if you then insist on it searching for セーアフ, it's going to give you three results, one of which is this thread here at TLS. :awesome: I can't picture that ever being applied to a word like "seraph."
Insofar as weird localization of uncommon names with an r in them, I'm actually speaking from experience on this one! My name has three "r's" in it – ALL of which get removed when it's converted into Katakana: "Pierce Arner" becomes "Piasu A-na-" (ピアス アーナー) in Japanese. So, while it's not exceptionally common for it to happen with words, it does happen more often than you think, and is the sort of thing where if you're not familiar with the word, it's actually not technically a mistake to attempt to use a Japanese spelling without an R for it – especially on if you're writing it from hearing it spoken vs. seeing the English.

The letter "R" is, generally speaking, a difficult and often non-emphasized sound when spoken in a lot of different words. For my favourite example, just look at everyone's favourite Game of Thrones character: Arya Stark. In British English, it's pronounced, "Aaya Staak" which is even more apparent as it's officially localized in Japanese as "A-ya Suta-ku" (アーヤ スターク) – again, completely removing all of the "r's" in the name. Hell, even Rick & Morty loses Morty's very noticeable "r" with its localization as "Rikku ando Mo-tei" (リック・アンド・モーティ).

Those're probably the easiest example of how LOTS of different "r" sounds already get completely eliminated vocally even in native English, and even more significantly in Japanese katakana localization.

tl;dr – If you'd never seen the word Seraphim written before in Japanese as "セラフィム" (or apparently also "サラフィム") and heard it spoken, it's perfectly understandable to've gone with "セーアフィム" when writing it, thus ending up with "セーアフ" for Seraph.


Google Search-Related Fun facts:

Like you stated, if you attempt a search for "セーアフ" you get sent to spellings for "セーフ" (Safe). However, Google DOES automatically recognize "セーアフィム" as a misspelling and shows results for "セラフィム" (Seraphim) if you attempt to search for it. So, if you were working from "Seraphim Sephiroth" and worked back to "Seraph Sephiroth" from that misspelling (since it's not a plural), you could end up with it. (Again, not saying that this absolutely definitely happened, but just pointing to it as a viable human spelling mistake).

Also, if you search for "セーファ" -セフィロス, to remove all of the Safer Sephiroth results, you just get lots of images of Sapphires, so it's not exactly a common term either, but that's not surprising.

Still, I find all of this exceptionally interesting/entertaining.

:awesomonster:


X said:
As a further example, the Persona series has used Seraph/Seraphim before, and in Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey the double halo and six wings design is VERY similar to the one used for Sephiroth's form, which really means that the comparisons here are FAR beyond just circumstantial.
Oh, the visual depiction of a seraph is definitely intentional. There's no mistaking that. I don't think that has implications for the name here, though, beyond the whole aesthetic of the moment (the celestial rose/empyrean, in which seraphim surround God).

And to speak to those examples from that other franchise, in both cases, they were what one would expect: seraph (セラフ) and seraphim (セラフィム).
Oh, there definitely is an officially recognized correct spelling for the word Seraph/Seraphim in Japanese, and the Persona series uses it.

My point here is that I think that with Sephiroth's final form, the name that they ended up using for the boss form is one of those things where it's just... really weird in both English and Japanese languages, such that it seems like it's going for something that it barely misses on BOTH sides, and I wanted to dig at why.

That's why I went back to look at the character, design, and katakana to see if there's a possibility that it was somehow done incorrectly (especially since it started out with a totally different name in concept). Hell, it could even've been something as simple as changing it because it sounded too similar to "Safe Sephiroth" in Japanese with the misspelling (especially because of their love of Baseball).

With all of the art coming first, and the Visual design being very obviously derived from a Seraph, and theme song emphasizing connections to Latin and Angels, I'm just poking to show that Sephiroth's final form is MUCH closer to that of a "Seraph" than that of a "Sefer" in its design and origin, and that the in-game name likely isn't correct in Japanese, or at the very least if it is it's chosen... VERY oddly.

Let's look at the FF Wiki's write-up speculation that's generally accepted: "Sefer" literally means "text" in Hebrew, it doesn't carry anything NEAR the sort of near-godly significance as a title on its own. It doesn't even really make sense without some HEAVY reinterpretation of the name taken as a singular whole as "Sefer Sephiroth" to try and connect it to the "Book of Numbers" in the Bible by stretching that backwards re-translation.

Doing that is already odd, since when those designs were conceived, rather than a whole piece, the first part of Sephiroth's name is obviously intended to be a form-specific title – first "Rebirth" Sephiroth and then "Master" Sephiroth. Additionally, that name not being the original term makes it even LESS likely that this form of Sephiroth was ever thought of as "Sefer Sephiroth" and was always conceived as "Seraph Sephiroth"

Personally, this also irks me because sefirot is linguistically derived from sefer to begin with, and the team baking in the design mythology already knew that because of making him – so it's really like having the great serpent being named "Midgar Midgardsormr" in terms of feeling a bit extra oddly repetitive, especially when they KNEW that origin.

tl;dr – Here's why I think it's wrong in the original Japanese:

• Everything about the six-winged visual design and description of the near-godhood of that form, as well as the sky in the background, and the angelic latin music parallels "Seraph Sephiroth" INCREDIBLY strongly – aside from the Katakana.
• Almost nothing about his design or description really parallels "Sefer Sephiroth" – aside from the Katakana, without drawing some REALLY stretchy parallels to a possible back-translation of the whole name, and loose connection to the story in the chapter of the Bible or the Ten Sefirot with that same name.

X said:
That DOES make it clear that the Seraphim-based design for his final form was done BEFORE the boss name was decided or put in place, which is why I think that the final form is really a typo/mistranslation on BOTH ends.
It's not beyond the realm of all possibility, but it seems more likely to me that the name is what it was meant to be -- especially because they had an opportunity with the figurine to use a different romanization for this product that was only being released in Japan, yet still ended up with the one seen in the English localization.

I really, really strongly doubt there's any significant typo on the Japanese end of this at the very least, if no other reason than because the "r" syllables always get emphasized, to my knowledge anyway.
If there's any English localization for something, most Japanese-centric products will still use it REGARDLESS of how terrible it is, so that's not really a strong defense if it as being an approval. (Even modern Japanese products use bad "official" English localizations on products all the time). Additionally, I think I made my point about "r" syllables being very common eliminations in localizing words pretty well such that hopefully that reason isn't one for you any more.

As a final fun fact, the Spanish, German, & Italian localizations are also interesting interpretations – and ALL better options than the English ones – though the German & Italian are most obviously interesting for this particular conversation (the Italian translator making the connection to Seraph, as they're almost certainly coming from a Catholic background is wholly unsurprising to me).

• Spanish: Sefirot Dios - God Sephiroth
• German: Retter-Sephiroth - Savior Sephiroth
• Italian: Seraph Sephiroth





X :neo:
 

JBedford

Pro Adventurer
AKA
JBed
#23
So, while it's not exceptionally common for it to happen with words, it does happen more often than you think, and is the sort of thing where if you're not familiar with the word, it's actually not technically a mistake to attempt to use a Japanese spelling without an R for it &#8211; especially on if you're writing it from hearing it spoken vs. seeing the English.
It's not uncommon, most more recent localisations of words from English won't transliterate an ending R as &#12523;. As your examples point out. Because ending English Rs really do just sound like extending the vowel and aren't produced in the same way starting Rs are.

But Seraph and Seraphim clearly have a pronounced R at the start of their second syllable. I would more reasonably believe that someone come up with &#12475;&#12540;&#12450;&#12501; from reading-not-hearing "Seraph" over them hearing-not-reading.

Hell, it could even've been something as simple as changing it because it sounded too similar to "Safe Sephiroth" in Japanese with the misspelling (especially because of their love of Baseball).
If they had &#12475;&#12540;&#12450;&#12501;, I don't think they would change it to &#12475;&#12540;&#12501;&#12449; to make it less like &#12475;&#12540;&#12501;.

Let's look at the FF Wiki's write-up speculation that's generally accepted: "Sefer" literally means "text" in Hebrew, it doesn't carry anything NEAR the sort of near-godly significance as a title on its own. It doesn't even really make sense without some HEAVY reinterpretation of the name taken as a singular whole as "Sefer Sephiroth" to try and connect it to the "Book of Numbers" in the Bible by stretching that backwards re-translation.
&#1505;&#1508;&#1512; sefer is Hebrew for book.

It sure looks like a seraph, but I don't think that's where the name comes from (or at least not as simply as the way you suggest). I'd be more inclined to buy the "savior" alternative. Adding the "er" suffix to "safe" to make it mean "one who saves". Except I don't think they wouldn't extend the "a" sound if that was the process.

I will say that SE using "Safer Sephiroth" on merchandise doesn't necessarily suggest anything. I haven't read it myself, but apparently there was a Famitsu article that said his name comes from "Bullet" (WP reference), and yet it's been consitently "Barret" everywhere since (not that his name couldn't still come from Bullet but they decide to romanise it differently). The XII Scenario Ultimania does use "Balflear", but also uses "Gabranth" when his Japanese name is &#12460;&#12496;&#12521;&#12473;.
 

The Twilight Mexican

Ex-SeeD-ingly good
AKA
TresDias
#24
To avoid this turning into more of a tl;dr wall of quotes than it already has, I'm going to do this as a brief list:

- All those examples you gave with names (including your own) reiterate my point: those were syllables ending with an "r" sound, so those can be excised. Those are very much unlike the "ra" in "seraph," where it begins the syllable

- The premise you're positing is dependent on the development team being unaware of the pronunciation of a word they would have almost certainly come across -- if not in their lifetimes to that point -- then while glossing over Judaeo-Christian concepts to vaguely allude to within the game, and having done so while missing the pronunciation in whatever Japanese text(s) they were consulting; which is essentially impossible, because katakana is a phonetic construct to begin with
 

X-SOLDIER

Harbinger O Great Justice
AKA
X
#25
To avoid this turning into more of a tl;dr wall of quotes than it already has, I'm going to do this as a brief list:

- All those examples you gave with names (including your own) reiterate my point: those were syllables ending with an "r" sound, so those can be excised. Those are very much unlike the "ra" in "seraph," where it begins the syllable

- The premise you're positing is dependent on the development team being unaware of the pronunciation of a word they would have almost certainly come across -- if not in their lifetimes to that point -- then while glossing over Judaeo-Christian concepts to vaguely allude to within the game, and having done so while missing the pronunciation in whatever Japanese text(s) they were consulting; which is essentially impossible, because katakana is a phonetic construct to begin with
Thanks for making this succinct, as the tl;dr is well and good as is.

– Minor misread on my part of word ending vs. syllable ending. In agreement here nao, fgj.

– Quick aside for JBedford on the definition of "Sefer" – Book & Text are the same thing. :awesomonster:

– My main point with that is that "Sefer" it doesn't really function as a title the way any of the other boss ones do for Jenova or Sephiroth. Jenova's were all post-name titles that were blissfully straightforward:

1) Jenova "Birth"
2) Jenova "Life"
3) Jenova "Death"
4) Jenova "Synthesis"

That matches because Jenova goes through a cycle of Rebirth (Birth, Life Death) and Reunion (Synthesis). Sephiroth's forms were pre-name titles, and were individual titles to his forms throughout his own development:

1)
"Rebirth" Sephiroth (since we all know why "Bizarro" is wrong)

2)
"Master" Sephiroth
"Saviour" Sephiroth
"God" Sephiroth
"Angel" Sephiroth (Seraph)
"Book" Sephiroth (Sefer)

That last one is just incredibly inconsistent with the way that all of the other titles are used to portray the evolution of the two primary boss characters between each new boss stage. This is also clearly how they were conceived because we know that it was initially called Master Sephiroth in this form, so we know that the general idea of using that title as a title for the form that matches his development is intentional.

Sephiroth comes back from the dead (Rebirth) and attempts to ascend into a near-godlike state (Master, Saviour, God, Seraph). Especially being as it's the name of the ultra-badass final boss, the term "Sefer" as Book/Text really doesn't fit that stage any more than "Safer" fits as an appropriate translation – which is definitely doesn't.


My bigger question that I was really poking at the whole time is: What the hell the development team was actually going for with "セーファ" that still maintains the same character arc-related title model that they used for Jenova and Sephiroth? Even given a mythology-related literal Hebrew word as a close best guess – it doesn't match up with that model at all, and is weirdly inconsistent from the rest of their very straightforward naming conventions for those two characters. It just feels wrong in both Japanese AND the English versions given all of the other context for how we know those boss name titles are used, and everything we know about what "セーファ" is "supposed" to be/mean.

That's why it seems more like the Katakana is odd or wrong, rather than the whole system that they used to design and name their bosses is just totally flubbed in the final boss entry on purpose.




X :neo:
 
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