Sep. 6th, 2010

gommyommy: (Default)
This is silly but it's bugging me. I've started memorizing katakana and hiragana so that I can read at least a little of Pandora Hearts in the native Japanese. My katakana book - Japanese Katakana for Beginners -- has a list of most common English names, and one of them is Liam, spelled like this: リアム. If you read Pandora Hearts, you know there's a character named Liam there -- or he might be named Reim, depending on who you talk to.

Let's look at the katakana, followed by the syllables that make up each kana, followed by the name it apparently translates into:

レイム = Re-i-mu = Reim
リアム = Ri-a-mu = Liam

Now when I write about this guy, should I use Liam or Reim? I have been using Liam, since it seems a reasonable name for someone in pseudo-Victorian era pseudo-Europe to have. Most of the other characters have European sounding names, like Vincent, Gilbert, Alice and so forth.


But the name used in the actual Japanese manga text is レイム, which is Reim.

Since (to my recollection at least) Liam/Reim has not appeared in an officially translated manga or anime yet, it will be interesting to see how his name is translated/subtitled in upcoming books/DVDs. (BTW the official subtitled DVD is being released by NIS America at the end of October).


I'll keep using 'Liam' for now, but I do think 'Reim' is far cooler.
gommyommy: (Default)

One of the challenges of writing characters who have names that are not commonly found in your culture is that you don’t usually have a clear idea what those names connote for people. For example, in the United States, certain names bring certain stereotypical images to mind, and when a mangaka uses one of those names for a character and it does not fit, the result can be rather disconcerting.
 

Be amused by the pictures )

 

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gommyommy

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