Vol. 1 | Chapter Four: Beasts and Beauties (i)

When King Innocentius VII first set out from his true motherland, the full military strength of the Lusitanian army was said to consist of a cavalry of 58,000, an infantry of 307,000, and a navy of 35,000, for a total of 400,000…


Notes under the cut:

New chapter! And a new character, one of my favorites on the Lusitanian side. His name in Japanese is rendered ギスカール (gi-su-kaa-ru), but he’s almost certainly named after Robert Guiscard (d is silent in French I guess!).

1. There are a couple of descriptive lines in the middle of the section that seem abrupt and out of place. The Chinese skips these lines — a choice I find understandable for the first time (and makes me wonder if I’m translating from a different edition) — but I translated them anyway without any attempt at smoothing out the transitions other than to add a section break that wasn’t there in the original.

2. Guiscard is described as a 公爵 (koushaku). This, like several other terms, can be translated as both prince and duke, though probably more commonly as the latter. I’ve translated two other titles as “prince” so far — one indicating the son of a king (Arslan), and the other indicating a minor sovereign (Kayumars of Badakhshan). I settled on “Duke” for Guiscard because his historical namesake was also a duke, and also to emphasize the differing political systems between the invaders and the natives. But I do also refer to him as “prince” in his station as the king’s brother.

3. As for Guiscard’s nickname for Innocentius, “The Possessed” — that’s literally 神がかり (kamigakari), “possessed by God”, a dig at his brother’s fanaticism.

4. Guiscard addresses Innocentius as 兄者 (anija), which is a very formal/archaic term for older brother.

Andragoras, for the record, addressed his own brother Osroes as 兄上 (ani-ue), which is also very formal but has a slightly more intimate feel to modern ears*, I feel. One can imagine Very Proper Families still using the -ue forms of address, and it certainly shows up quite a bit in fiction. (I never noted it previously, but Arslan and Dariun also address their father and uncle respectively with -ue.)

“Anija,” however, is just really old-fashioned, almost stilted. In context, I interpreted it sarcastically, but I hesitate to claim that this is the definitive interpretation.

* Dissecting the terms EXTREMELY literally, “anija” is kind of like “he who is my elder brother”, whereas “ani-ue” is “brother above me”, or more loosely “revered brother.”

5. “manna”: To be honest, it was really tempting to translate this line as a pithy “God will provide”, but the fact that he specifies manna is particularly amusing.

– – –

Sharp-eyed readers will have noticed that, among other minor tweaks around the site (uploaded covers, updated title translations), I put up a half-assed translation of the afterword, which lists some sources of inspiration/influence on the series that some of you may find interesting (though there’s a very cheeky and more or less inconsequential spoiler in the second-to-last paragraph — so if even minor spoilers bother you don’t read it until the end of this chapter in a couple weeks. Should be fine if you’re caught up with the manga — I think the relevant characters have already been introduced there).

On a similar note, a “rudimentary” character page for the entire series is now up in case you want a stab at various names. Again though, be aware of possible spoilers. A completely spoiler-free version (i.e. book 1 only) can be found at Tumblr.


3 thoughts on “Vol. 1 | Chapter Four: Beasts and Beauties (i)

  1. Watcher says:

    Keep up the good work, i have always been watching 😉

  2. Claudia says:

    Yes, the final d in French is silent. Same for t. But of course in French, you will always find at least one word to contradict the rule, that’s a saying we have: “The exception confirms the rule”. Yeah, that’s how stupid exceptions get in French ahaha I’m a francophone if you need any help with French names. 😉 I was happy you did name Étoile properly in an earlier post (e-to-wa-ru in Japanese is very close to French because our vowels are the same. The Japanese “e” is é like “ay” in English. Big difference is the ending of words just like when you translate names like Narses (na-ru-sa-su: you omit the u at the end). So in Étoile, the “le” is more l alone with a very faint French e sound. Just like any English words ending in “al” “ay-to-wal”

    • T. E. Waters says:

      Oh boy. I have a HUGE list of names I’ve figured out/been trying to figure out that I ninja tweak every now and then, but if you’re sensitive to spoilers you may not want to look. (It’s just a bare-bones list of names, but the factions may be a little spoilery.)

      I haven’t had a chance to tackle the remaining names in a while, but the Lusitanians are somewhere in the middle of the page: https://arslansenki.wordpress.com/appendix/characters/

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