Mark Simmons (scorpio@best.com)
Tue, 28 Nov 2000 17:16:44 -0800


Alessandro asks,

>I have got a small (?) question. The serialization of the manga of Kazuhisa
>Kondo "Gundam 0079" has just started in my country, but there is something
>strange that is going to drive me crazy. In the italian edition, Zion's
>dukedom has become a "principato" (I don't know how it is called in english,
>anyway is a state with a prince instead of a king, as for example Monaco in
>France) (and so the duke Degin Zabi has become the prince Dergin Zabi). I
>had always known that Zion was a dukedom (or a duchy, as I have also read).
>Does anybody know the exact meaning of the japanese kanji translated in
>english with dukedom and in italian with "principato"?

  While most Japanese-to-English dictionaries translate the Japanese word
"koukoku" as "duchy" - a nation ruled by a duke - in the real world, this
term is used to describe principalities (nations ruled by princes). The
official Sunrise name guide prepared a couple of years ago cites Andorra
and Monaco as examples of real-world principalities that are described as
"koukoku" in Japanese. Thus, Sunrise decided that "Principality of Zeon"
is the most accurate translation. While earlier American releases used
"Duchy" - in part because the shorter word was easier to fit in subtitles
- next year's release of First Gundam will switch to "principality" as
per Sunrise's wishes.

  Of course, if Zeon is a principality, where's the prince? Degwin Zabi's
title literally translates as "Archduke," a notch below the rank
required. To work around this, Sunrise's name guide suggested referring
to him as "sovereign"...

-- Mark

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Mark Simmons / scorpio@best.com / http://www.gundamproject.com/
"If you can kill it, it's not a god, just a good old-fashioned monster."

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