posted in: Updates | 22

EDIT: Thanks guys for your votes and comments! Here are the results of the poll:

Dark Emperor Team – 44%

Dark Phantom Team – 27%

Either’s fine, I just want to read! – 29%

We’ll go with Dark Emperor Team for now, but please feel free to suggest yet another name – and provide a good argument for it! We’re always open to changing names. The same goes for Wicked’s name – check our characters wiki for more information about his actual name if you’re interested.

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet – that’s what the Bard says.

The question of the day is this: what would you like us to translate “暗黑邪皇队” as?

For those who have no idea what that is, it’s the name of the team that Wicked belongs to. Before you make a decision, here’s the dilemma:

The name literally means “Dark Evil Emperor Team” – so if we’re going for accuracy (and respecting the original intentions of the author) then it’s definitely Dark Emperor Team.

However, many of you are more familiar with “Dark Phantom Team” – the name which appears in the English scanlations of the manhua.

Just in case you’ve been wondering why we’re translating “Little Dragon Girl” into Lolidragon and “Evil Spirit” into “Wicked” (yes, Wicked’s name is actually Evil Spirit), the reason is because the names are still pretty true in terms of their general impression and meaning (in particular, it was requested that we translate “Little Dragon Girl” as “Lolidragon”). The difference between Dark Emperor and Dark Phantom, however, is quite big.

In any case, you get to cast a vote! We’ll go with whichever’s more popular, but do keep in mind that we’re translating the novel, so it’s always preferable (for us) to stick true to the novels.

I’ve left further information in my response to the other comments, so take a look if you would like to understand the differences and the reasoning behind the translation dilemma. Do keep in mind that the novel is written by a Chinese author, so some of the assumptions you might make (unconsciously) might not hold true! (Such as how Lolidragon is more likely to be used as an MMO name than Little Dragon Girl – hope you guys still remember the footnote about Lolidragon’s name!)

22 Responses

  1. Deiopea

    I personally would recommend The ‘Evil Emperor Team’, and change ‘Wicked’ back to ‘Evil Spirit’. (He didn’t appear yet, so!)

    On a note.. Please, do not take the manhua in account at all.

    (I even would prefer ‘Little Dragon Girl’ over ‘lolidragon’, not sure if it would fit the RPG theme though.)

    • erialis

      Well, “dark” implies “evil”, but “evil” does not imply “dark”, so I was thinking of Dark Emperor, not so much Evil Emperor. =P As for Wicked’s name I can try and come up with a more suitable one… Evil Spirit sounds wicked lame. XD

  2. MyCurrentObsession

    Well, for me, it doesn’t really matter that much either way. I think ‘Dark Phantom’ rolls off the tongue better, but if you’d rather use ‘Dark Emperor’, that’s fine with me. Would you mind explaining to me how the substitution of one word makes the team name and meaning drastically different, though?

    Oh, and as for the names… since they mean the same thing basically, I’d prefer you stick with Lolidragon and Wicked, because that’s what most everyone is used to (including me), and thier actual names are… kinda lame.

    • erialis

      Lol. I didn’t say “drastically” different. I said there is a “big” difference. You have to admit that there is a big difference between a phantom and an emperor. Whether it is drastic is subject to question. The impressions they give are actually quite different as well – emperor suggests a more… imperious? attitude, or conqueror-esque attitude. Phantom suggests speed, cunning, intelligence (perhaps). This certainly has quite an interesting bearing on how we interpret Wicked’s character later on, by the way.

      I’m perfectly fine with going along with what suits most people, hence the number of edits so far. The only issue I have with going along with what most people are used to is when it diverges clearly from the author’s intention. In such a situation, it doesn’t make much sense to me to translate it as something that it clearly doesn’t mean just because it rolls off the tongue better.

      I’ll use an example that’s an inverse of the situation: Let’s say we’re translating Harry Potter into Chinese. Now, the current way to pronounce Harry Potter in Chinese is pretty close to its English sound – “Haalee Buoter” (that’s how it sounds). But let’s say it’s actually smoother to say “Herlo Per-te” in Chinese. The English speaker would be somewhat chagrined in all likelihood because it doesn’t as close. Would it be a great divergence from JK Rowling’s intentions? Well, technically speaking it doesn’t have a drastic effect (since the Chinese reader wouldn’t be as bothered by the original name), and since “Harry” and “Potter” are not words per se, so they don’t have a literary effect. But should we go with it? Hmm, questionable.

      The same problem is what we translators face over and over again – to translate something to suit the reader, or to try to stay true to the original? Admittedly it will be a bit awkward at the start. But over time, you will grow accustomed to it. If we look at it from a literary perspective – what impact will this have on our interpretation on the characters of Dark Emperor/Phantom’s members? After all, as I’ve pointed out, there is a difference – slight it may seem to some, but if you’ve ever studied literature, I’m sure you understand that it’s quite a big difference.

      That’s why I was also hesitant over changing Little Dragon Girl to Lolidragon – however, Little Dragon Girl is a reference to The Return of the Condor Heroes. Unless you’ve read RotCH, you probably won’t die laughing every time you think of the demure REAL Little Dragon Girl doing what the crazy Little Dragon Girl was doing. So the difference there in terms of literary impact is not as great. That was the justification early on, anyway. If someone ever puts across a convincing argument in the other direction, I’d be happy to change it back.

      Also, the variants for Lolidragon and Wicked’s names are not, in fact the same. They are different, but it difference is only palpable if you have a clear understanding of both languages or the references that they are making. Wicked and Evil Spirit are similar, but they are also not quite the same. I admit that Evil Spirit really does sound Wickedly Lame, however.

      So yes, there is reason to contemplate going with what most (not everyone) is used to, but at the same time, we should keep in mind that there are reasons why the author chose/designated a certain name. We might not understand it immediately, but sometimes in the long run, there can be a reason. Hope the explanation helped to clarify things. (:

    • CheshireCat

      And besides if I’m not mistaken its Miwa’s not Wicked’s team and “Dark Emperor” goes with him really great doesn’t it :D

    • erialis

      Yep, you’re right. Ming Huang is the team leader, actually. Wicked just happens to be more level-headed and thus in charge, but aside from finding Feng Lan, Wicked didn’t have much interest in Second Life. Hence he tagged along with Ming Huang. XD

  3. quastar

    For me, Dark Emperor sounds good. I vote for that.

    But I strongly believe that the name Wicked and Lolidragon… are good as they are now. I’m not against the ‘literal’ translation, but I go for something that’s nice to remember, and more ‘real’ when it comes to MMORPG name.

    Personally, a person is more inclined to be named as lolidragon than Little Dragon Girl in an online game… :) THat’s what I think.

    However, ultimately, whatever decision you made is fine with me. ;)

  4. omegaanima

    Considering MMORPG naming trends Lolidragon and Little Dragon Girl are both perfectly fine, but I’m pretty sure you’d be more likely to find the former rather than the latter.

    As far as Wicked and Evil Spirit, depending on the intention of the name it could vary greatly. What’s interesting is that an Evil Spirit is also thought of as a phantom. You could also use one of the various mythological names for evil spirits, like Phantasm, but personally I think Wicked is probably the best name to go with his personality.

    After you saying what Wicked’s real name along with the literal translation I think something like Phantom Emperor team would be the best translation given that Wicked is the leader, thus the Emperor whom is an Evil Spirit, or The Phantom Emperor’s team. It sounds the most logical given the information and translations given.

    • erialis

      The original name for the team does not have any element of Phantasm. Wicked’s original name does mean “evil spirit”, but keeping in mind that we’re talking about a Chinese author here – so we must look at the idea of an “evil spirit” from the Asian context, and in such a case it does not always connote “phantasmal”. X_X The same is true for Lolidragon’s name – if you look at it from a WESTERN MMORPG trend, then Lolidragon would probably be the more obvious likelihood. However, if you look at it from an ASIAN context, then the converse is actually true, since Little Dragon Girl is a famous name.

    • omegaanima

      That’s what I meant. There are multiple ways that there could be an “Evil Spirit.” If you translate it as just someone as ‘evil in spirit’ that’s different than someone who is an ‘evil spirit.’

      Either way, looking at…

      Dark Evil Emperor Team
      Evil Spirit

      do appear to have a connection ad I think that the intention was for Evil Spirit’s name to be reflected in the name of his team, just like how Rose’s is. So whatever you decide to translate Evil Spirit to in my opinion should be the first part of of the whatever Emperor team as that, to me seems to be the author’s intentions.

    • erialis

      In Dark Evil Emperor Team’s name, the character for “Evil” does come from Wicked’s name, but the word for “Emperor” comes from Ming Huang’s name – the girly boy. So what seems to be the author’s reasoning for the name would be to convey the impression that Wicked and Ming Huang are the leaders of the party – or at least the party’s cornerstone. That would probably be the chief reason why both names have “Evil” in them. (That sounds sooooooooo weird. Like they’re possessed or something. XD)

    • omegaanima

      Then wouldn’t the best translation be to do the same thing? I don’t know Ming Huang’s name or what not, but if it means emperor then it seems to me that the intention of the author was for it to be Wicked Emperor or something similar to that.

    • erialis

      Ming Huang’s name mean “Emperor of Enlightment/Understanding” (ironic, if you ask me XD). The characters used for Dark Emperor/Phantom’s name are as follows: “An” – Dark/ “Hei” – Black / “Xie” – Evil (From Wicked’s name) / “Huang” – Emperor. Shortened – Dark Evil Emperor. (We can go with this, but as I explained earlier to Deiopea, dark connotes evil, so if you say “dark emperor” it’s the same as saying “evil emperor”. If we say “dark evil emperor”, it’s like saying… I don’t know, “evil sith lord”. Kind of redundant?) We could also be literal and go “Dark Black Evil Emperor”…

    • alichi

      When it comes to translating names(of persons) literal translations arent that popular. Little dragon girl doesnt sound like a name in english, neither does loli dragon but lolidragon is more easily identifiable as a name. I’m guessing Little dragon girl preform better in chineese as a name? Same for wicked the rest.

      Ming Huang’s name mean “Emperor of Enlightment/Understanding”

      No one in their right mind would name a character that in an english translation since its suppoused to be a name not a description. :P

      As for the harry potter example, if translating literally you need to consider the fact that Potter is a profession not only a name. (and in the dark corners of history i’m pretty sure harry actually means something too…)

      When translating chineese doesnt a name both preform as a name of the person and at the same time having an inherent meaning?
      This applies for many languages, unfortunately english names are a bit corrupt when it comes to their original meaning…Its more or less lost from languages with phonetic languages.

      As far as the name of the team goes if the author refered to both wicked and ming huang in the teams name wouldnt Evil/Dark Emperors kinda sum it up? Like refering to them both? Catch the meaning screw the words :D

    • erialis

      Aye about the Harry Potter bit, but it still doesn’t change the meaning behind the example – let’s say if I changed Harry Potter to Harry Clay-molder, what would you think? =P My point was that, no matter what, if you changed something just because it makes it sound better, then you risk ignoring the fact that there is a reason for the name, just like why Harry Potter was called Harry Potter and not, say, Terry Hotter. XD As such, Chinese name has both a name and a meaning, yes, hence my reluctance to edit the name to something that seems inaccurate.

      LOL at the Dark Emperors. And I would probably collapse giggling if I translated Ming Huang as “Emperor of Light” at every turn… (“F*** it”, yelled the Emperor of Light, stamping his foot. Or something. XD)

  5. Jedai

    I never saw how Dark Phantom made much of a sense for this team. Dark Emperor is much closer to the mark IMHO, especially when you factor in Miwa personality…

    You said some of the meanings Phantom may entail in a western mind, among them I would add furtivity, a behaviour that is far from the norm for Miwa and Wicked team.

    (On the other hand, Wicked for Evil Spirit seems to me a fine translation, transcribing the intent of the author with a name you could easily meet in any MMORPG over here)

  6. BoP

    Well, the redundancy in word choice could’ve been meant to emphasize the dark nature of the team. So, there might be a word in English to reflect the redundant nature, because simply canceling out the words since they mean the same thing feels like it disregards something important. Or, it could have possibly been used to make the name sound more badass–that was the best I could think of.

    But, I have a question, doesn’t 暗黑 mean Diablo, as in the 1996 game? If so, this could be a reference to the interest of team with that game while including the two leaders nicknames, maybe… It’s just a thought. Or, it could be an allusion just like Kenshin.

    • erialis

      It’s a generic term for “darkness” and implies “evil”. The phrase is often used in other cases, so I won’t be surprised if that’s what was used to refer to Diablo. In this case though, it is unlikely that “an hei” refers to Diablo.

      About cancelling out the multiple references to the dark nature of the team, I’ll explain. “An hei” – “Dark black”, as I mentioned, is a generic term for darkness. It’s like saying, “pitch black” – it doesn’t refer to two things, but is in fact one idea. Breaking up the characters served to explain the actual fundamental components of the team’s name is all. Hence it is literally “Dark Evil Emperor Team”. We can put the evil back into the name (sounds weird), but the name becomes rather… a mouthful. So taking out the “evil” (or “dark”) is a concession to those who preferred a smoother sounding name (but I cannot go all the way and make it Dark Phantom in good conscience).

  7. john

    I kinda like Evil Emperor: because technically ur not calling “Ming Huang” as “Light Emperor,” so calling “Wicked” as “Evil Spirit” is putting his name into the team’s name, thus making it his team.

    • erialis

      As alichi pointed out, calling Ming Huang “Emperor of Light” or something is just too… grotesque for words. XD The only reason why I went with “Dark” at first was because of “Dark Phantom” subconsciously running through my head. In any case, let’s just go with the idea that dark implies evil, ok? ^^

  8. Almatt

    Well, I’d certainly go for Emperor.

    As for Wicked, while I understand what you mean about thinking Asian, the various western evil spirits still count as valid synonyms, so while it may seem wrong to you from one angle, I’m sure you can see where people are coming from. Something generic like Spectre (I probably gave a hint to my nationality there, oh well) or Shade might work, Eidolon if you want to be generic but obscure. Since these terms don’t really give any hints to the form of the spirit it is open to interpretation. At the very least they are better than Wicked, which might hint at the evil, but misses the spirit entirely.

    And Lolidragon/Little Dragon Girl… I’m almost tempted to say that it might have been better untranslated as a proper name, just with the note about the character it is based on. It breaks convention a bit, but since it was the proper name of a fictional character to start with rather than say Prince, which Lan was originally wanting to be “Prince Charming on a White Horse” (or whatever it was), or Ugly Wolf, which seemed like a character description, I almost see it working. Then again, perhaps not.

    At the end of the day though, I’m happy for you to use your own discretion. I’m not a fan of the idea that just because things are named one way in a translated piece of work that all other pieces should follow the same naming convention if there is something more accurate is available, but as others have said, they are more comfortable with sticking to the current convention.Can’t please everyone. So just please me. ;)

    • erialis

      Yep, I do get the whole Wicked thing, but I was really more… fixated? on the Dark Emperor/Phantom issue. If you can come up with a good name, let me know, and I’ll see if everyone (or the majority) likes it. I don’t have a preference for Wicked’s name, because there isn’t anything that strikes me as particularly appropriate.