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Heretic
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Every so often Squaresoft introduces a character name that has no certain pronounciation. What pronounciation do you use?

Sephiroth - SEP-HIGH-ROTH or SEPH-EEE-ROTH or SEPH-I-ROTH
Tidus - TID-US or TIE-DUSS (when I say this my friends think I'm saying tight-ass, pardon the language :p)
Ifrit - EYE-FRIT or EEE-FRIT
Zidane - ZID-ANE or ZI-DAH-NI
Tifa - TIF-FA or TEA-FA
Aeris - AIR-RISS or A-EE-RIS
Vivi - VIV-EEE or VEYE-VEYE
Brahne - BRA-N or BRAN-NE
Seifer - SEE-FA or SYPH-HER

I know there are some others as well. Hopefully when Advent Children comes out some of these will be cleared up.
 

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Knowledge is the solution
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Well.... I guess the problem would be solved even earlier if someone could find the original Katakana pronuntiations :p
 

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Sephiroth - SEF-I-ROTH, I can't imagine anyone saying Sephiroth's name any other way than that, except maybe SEF-E-ROTH. I mean, the song One Winged Angel that plays when you're fighting him in the end says his damn name - how can anyone get that wrong :p.

Tidus - Tie-Dus
Ifrit - E-FrEET
Zidane - Zi-dayn
Tifa - Tee-Fa
Aeris - Air-rIS
Vivi - Vee-Vee
Brahne - BRAH-n (wassup brah)
Seifer - Sigh-Fer (though english teaching would dictate 'say-fer' with the Sei, it just doesnt feel right to me though)

Adding some :p
Quistus - Key-STuS
Edea - Edd-Eya
Rinoa - Rin-o-Ah
Paine - Pine (like a Pine tree)
Nooj - Newj
Baralai - Bear-A-Lie
Gippal - GhIP-aL

Proto said:
Well.... I guess the problem would be solved even earlier if someone could find the original Katakana pronuntiations :p
Then they wouldn't sound anything like the names we see. For instance, Cloud would be Gumo or Kumo...so lets just stick with the english translations ;).

Aided Onslaught said:
Don't forget chocobo. I remember reading on the square site one time that it's said like chocolate though. chalk-a-boo
Oooo...mmm I say it like, Choke-O-Beaux (or Bow to simplify it :p)
 

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Classic Games Lover
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Lobo said:
Then they wouldn't sound anything like the names we see. For instance, Cloud would be Gumo or Kumo...so lets just stick with the english translations.
No, no, no - Cloud would be Kuraudo, Sephiroth - Sefirosu, Tifa - Chifa, Aeris - Earisu, Barett - Baretto, Yuffie - Yufi, Red XIII - Reddo XIII, Cid - Shiddo, Vincent - Binsento, Squall - Suukooru, Zell - Zeru, Seipher - Saifaa, Zidane - Jitan... And so on ;) It's about kana pronouncation, not translating these names into Japanese :]
 

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If it's that way, then it's just the japanese way of saying Cloud as if it were a word translated to english in the first place and then pronounced in japanese. Like they say basu for bus. Or Shii Dii Pureya for CD player. right? If so, then we're pronouncing them right, it's just with our alphabet pronunciations instead of theirs - and since we're not (well I'm not - and sure many of you arent) from japan, we use our alphabet.

PS I thought Aeris in japan was Aerith? Maybe that was PAL regions...
 

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Aeris = Aerith - both represent Japanese Earisu. In Japanese 'th' at the end of a word is represented by 'su'. They are ('s' and 'th') pronouncated in a very similar way for Japan people. I have a PAL version of FF7 and Aeris is Aeris, not Aerith (unless I changed it myself)...
 

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Ocean Soul
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Not to be too off topic, but why in FF6 did they spell phoenix down with an F? Were they just trying to be cool or something? or spelling mistake? Because they fixed it in the psx release I believe.
 

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Fenix down? Maybe space limitation on the item names... I dunno

Anyway, here's how I pronounce:
Tifa - Tih-fuh
Sephiroth - Seh-fee-roth
Barret - Bear-it
Aeris - Air-iss
Yuffie - Yuff-fee
Zidane - Zid-aine
Seifer - Si-fur
Ifrit - Ee-freet
Shiva - She-vah

I guess that's about it... hehe but don't go on my pronounciations cause I'm southern :D
 

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Lobo: actually why Proto and Hyuga brought that up is because there is basically only one way to pronounce things in Japanese. besides your inflection onto it and the emphasis on the syllables....it will sound the same because that's the way it is for them. and so that gives you a hint on what it's supposed to sound like.

also, it couldve been called Fenix down because of typos, what with the "Touph Ring" from FF7 and many other shining examples...
 

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NextGenerationGaymulation
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It's not completely off topic :D but it's hilarius how japanese can't say the difference between R and L, rice becomes Lice ( Can I have some lice please in the resturant, yeah it happend :D ) wouldn't this make Aerith Aelith ? hmm well :p
 

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its the other way around, all the L's become R ;) one of the ways to say rice is actually ライス (raisu).

now, there are still some good ones, like....how do you pronounce "election" in japanese? :p
 

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<font color="#990000"><b>Lurking</b></font>
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hushypushy said:
now, there are still some good ones, like....how do you pronounce "election" in japanese? :p
That was dirty. :lol: Good one nonetheless. ;)

Yours,
-Elly
 

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...and now they do.
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Aided Onslaught said:
haha woot! *puts up for a high five* that was awesome, good thinking.
don't encourage him
 

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Reminds me of when I edited some text in my FFVI rom. I was playing around correcting typos and whatnot in the FFVI US rom for the SNES. Ted Woolsey did a lame-o job. Of course sometimes it's best to use the english equivalent for names.

I found this interesting tidbit on Wikipedia about Final Fantasy VI.

"Name changes of major characters:
Japanese Romaji Designers' Intention US
ティナ Tina Tina Terra
マッシュ Masshu Matthew (*) Sabin
カイエン Kaien Cayenne Cyan
ストラゴス Sutoragosu Stragos Strago
ガストラ Gasutora Gastra Gestahl
アルテマウェポン Arutema Uepon Ultima Weapon Atma Weapon
ケット・シー Ketto Shii Cait Sith Stray
ミドガルズオルム Midogaruzuorumu Midgardsormr (**) Terrato

(*) The original Japanese instruction manual erroneously lists this character's name in romaji as "Mash". However, according to the character's creator, Kaori Tanaka a.k.a. Clio Saga, his full name was intended to be "Matthew Rene Figaro." The entire mix up was simply due to the inherent likelihood of confusion and error when transliterating from English to Japanese and then back to English.

(**) The English Final Fantasy VII called this creature Midgar Zolom. See Midgard for its roots in Norse mythology."

On to some Japanese spells.
For example, Blizzard, Blizzara and Blizzaga are just strange to me. I prefer Ice, Ice 2, and Ice 3. Also some strange ones from FFIV..
Keal=Cure
Dejon=Warp
Libra=Scan

Coool huh?:lol:
 

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Ocean Soul
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Yeah, I love how Final Fantasy uses a lot of norse mythology(or any for that matter), like odin and stuff. To me Norse is the best out of all the mythologys. midgard as means middle earth for you lord of the rings fans.
 

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I think the name changes in FF6 were a good job. There are certain words and names that have certain connotations in English (especially cause even the "japanese" names are mostly english-based words) that wouldn't be obvious to the Japanese. That's why localization entails more than simple translation.

For example, when I see the name "Tina" I think of some bimbo blonde girl from the valley, whereas Terra instantly brings to mind the Earth and some fantasy-type setting. With Cyan (which in english is most likely pronounced with a soft c, sai-yan, like the color), when pronounced with the hard C (or K) sound, it's cayenne, a kind of pepper, which comes across as a ridiculous name for a serious character.

The interesting point of the thread is more about linguistics, and more pertaining to English than Japanese - how one particular spelling in English can have many possible pronunciations. In most other languages spelling much more closely correlates to pronunciation - the same letter is always pronounced the same way. The problem isn't with the names themselves, but with how the Square localizers decide to spell them in English. There are certain spellings that have far less room for interpretation, yet I think they choose the spellings that they use because of the VISUAL aesthetic - it's kind of a staple of fantasy settings to have strangely spelled names (even if the pronunciation is fairly "typical"). Of the names you listed, I actually think that vivi, zidane, aeris, and sephiroth are actually fairly unambiguous spellings, where a good 90+% of native english speakers (at least american-style english) would say it the same way based purely on the spelling (vee-vee, zi-dayn, air-is (like the word heiress) sef-i-roth). The simple looking ones are often the more ambiguous (Tidus, Tifa) because the frequency of long (i = ee), short (i = ih), and dipthong (i = eye) variants of the i vowel sound are more or less equal in these spellings, so it's impossible to tell which one it is.
 
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