-Z- (z@gundam.com)
Tue, 23 Jan 2001 21:18:51 -0800


> > Exactly the rendition given in Animage's Z Gundam Handbook, published
> >in 1985. Couldn't find any other corroboration, but we do have a (early)
> >Japanese publication to support this. GIF attached just to double-check.

> I'd be damned, so she really has a Chinese name, then there really is no
> excuse to use Yuiry. Ok so Wufei doesn't exactly sound like the Chinese
> pronunciation, but it sounds Chinese enough. Yuiry just doesn't work
> for Chinese, remember we don't have the 'R' sound. I think his particular
> spelling "Chang" is the Taiwanese one (as opposed to HK and Mainland), so
> I propose this spelling for Fa's name: "Fa, Yuenli", which admittedly isn't
> exactly what you hear in the anime, but it's consistent in spirit to "Chang,
> Wufei". In a pinch, I'd say Yuily is a good compromise between "Yuiry"
> and common sense.

Most Americans will pronounce "Yuenli" as "You-en-lee" or "Yoon-lee" -- and
"Yeungli" as "Young-lee" -- so any accurate Chinese spelling would need a
pronunciation guide.

> >these spellings in US releases - they mandated the use of "Kamiru Bidan,"
> >"Judau Ashta," and "Elpeo Ple" for the Battle Assault game, though I may
> >perhaps have talked them out of "Kamiru" in future, I hope and pray. :-)
>
> Actually, I do think Kamiru is more sensible. If my parents name me Camille,
> I'd hate them for my whole life. But if they name me Kamiru (it does sound
> like a plausible Japanese masculine name) and people tease me for having a
> name that sounds like a feminine (European) name, I may put the blame on the
> people not my parents. To me, "Kamiru" makes Z episode 1 more believable.

On the other hand, the fact that it was Camille's mother Hilda who's responsible
for naming him that way goes a long way to explaining his hostility toward her.
And, although he blames his father for a lot of other things, not the least of
which is having a mistress, he may also hate him in part for going along with it
on his name.

> Do we have any official confirmation or denial (other then the spelling) that
> Frau/Fraw means woman?

There's actually a third alternative, namely Fra. There's a spot on the Moon
called the Fra Mauro highlands (3.7?S, 17.5?W) that was the site of the Apollo
14 landing and the intended landing site for the Apollo 13 mission. The first
time I hear the name, I thought it might be related to this.

> > In this case, the French name "Charles" is apparently pronounced "Char"
> >- I saw a snippet of an Aznavour concert while channel-flipping one day,
> >and the audience were all yelling "Char! Char!" So the kana rendition is
> >actually perfect. Nonetheless, Sunrise has always spelled it "Char
> >Aznable." Likewise "Elmeth" and "Qubeley," which appear to be corruptions
>
> Interesting, but then the question is still if his name is formally Char or
> Charles?
> Let's say how would it read on his military ID? I bet you it doesn't say
> "Char Aznavour" on the French singer's passport.
>
> [BTW, you mean they yelled "Sha! Sha!" right? because that's how it
> sounds on the anime]

Actually, the French pronunciation of "Charles" is "sharl" but the /rl/ is
elided and may be indistinguishable to those not accustomed to it. Hence,
"Charles Le Magne" (Charles The Great) is contracted to "Charlemagne" because
the terminal /rl/ in Charles is merged with the initial /l/ in Le.

For languages that don't have an /l/ phoneme, the /rl/ diphthong is
indistinguishable from the /r/ phoneme. Thus Charles (sharl) -> Char (shar).
And, since a terminal /r/ is usually implemented as an extended vowel rather
than as a consonant, Char (shar) -> Sha (sha-a). QED.

I'm actually torn on this name. "Shah" is the most accurate phonetic rendering
and has the added benefit of being both a real word (Persian for "king" -- the
word "chess" is theorized to be a corruption of "shahs" or "kings") and an
appropriate name for the character, but as Frederik L. Schodt discovered the
purists won't go for it. "Charles" would be the most accurate transliteration
of the name, but it'd never be pronounced correctly and the purists would hate
it even more. "Charl" would be a good compromise, but I somehow doubt that it
would go over very well.

> > P.S. This loanword dictionary is pretty handy. Just in process of
> >looking up Quattro's last name, I've confirmed that the leader of the
> >Titans isn't named "Hymen" - another alarming consensus spelling - but
> >that his deputy could very plausibly be named "Basque Homme." :-)
>
> LOL, I think the Basque people do eat some odd animal parts, but we've
> had enough toilet humour for the day.

Actually, there's some linguistic merit to "Homme" -- the Basque people live in
the Pyrennes Alps between Spain and France and, like the Swiss, have a language
that is in many way midway between that of their neighbors. "Homme" is French
for "man" and could thus conceivable be a surname among the Basque.

Of course, that's as likely as someone being named English Man, Deutsche Mensch,
Espana Hombre or Nihon Hito, but then we're talking character names from
Yoshiyuki Tomino...!

-Z-

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