Vol. 1 | Chapter One: The Battle of Atropatene (i)

First update!

The sun should have long ago risen, but through the shroud of fog blanketing the plains, not a single ray of light could penetrate…


A few brief notes under the cut:

Generally speaking, I plan to match up names and terms to appropriate historical references as best as I can. Hence “Parse” rather than “Palse” (1/31/2015: now Pars, look elsewhere for explanation), “Maryam” rather than “Maruyamu”, etc. In cases where I couldn’t figure it out, I defaulted to the OVA spellings. I did manage to locate scans of the Japanese text, and will do my best to cross-check (I already noticed that the Chinese left out some brief lines of description — notably where the text is singing Dariun’s praises, haha*).

“Valphreze” was particularly tricky. The katakana transcription (ヴァフリーズ) is quite precise (Va-fu-ree-zu), but… the closest I was getting was Vaphres, the name of some obscure Egyptian pharaoh. Most of the other references tend to be more obvious. Then I located Vahriz — quite fortunately for me, as I think “Valphreze” just looks ugly.

Kharlan I couldn’t figure out at all. I debated changing it to “Qarlan” in order to maintain some semblance of world-building consistency, but decided to err on the side of familiarity because the spelling doesn’t offend me in this case. 😛 I’m open to argument/persuasion on this one, though. (Now translated as Qaran: see this post)

The other term I couldn’t quite figure out was mardan-e mardan (マルダーンフ・マルダーン). It’s not a perfect fit, but I’m assuming it’s following the “___ of ___” form that crops up constantly (Shahanshah, Pahlavan-e Pahlavanan, etc.). That said, mardan appears to mean “man” irl, but the in-text translation is given as “warrior of warriors.” Similarly, Mardan is later given as a title translating to warrior. (1/28/2014: see this comment)

As for the mention of the timing of events in the the opening lines, I did wonder if Dr. Tanaka intended to use the old Persian calendar — after all, he went as far as using actual units of measurement and military ranks as well. However, the text literally says “the middle of the 10th month” followed by mentions of autumn — which seems to match up more to the Gregorian calendar, i.e. “October.” (The 10th month of the old Persian calendar apparently corresponds more closely to December/January.)

The other possibility is that he’s using the Zoroastrian calendar… but there are like a gazillion versions of that. So to be safe, I’m just going to go with numbered months from here on out.

And a final note re: terms of address — as always when translating from Asian languages to English, the various modes of politeness/formality are difficult to get across. I did my best to balance readability and accuracy.

* Yes, I translated it. 😛

Note: Those of you coming in from LJ or DW may prefer to follow via feeds — arslan_feed at DW or arslan_feed at LJ. 🙂


6 thoughts on “Vol. 1 | Chapter One: The Battle of Atropatene (i)

  1. M.A.KH says:

    marde-e mardan is verb in Farsi which means a very brave and strong man.

  2. ysra says:

    Wait i will learn english

    Only two ywars and will read tha novel ):

  3. LightFykki says:

    I am leaving this reply as a thank you for translating this epic piece. It is very hard to come by for any English translation, especially the one where someone actually took the time to investigate minor details, like customs translations and names. I am very grateful.
    I must say, I quite enjoyed the anime adaptation of the Arslan Senki (the old and the new one), so I couldn’t wait to finally find and start reading the original novel.

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