Vol. 1 | Chapter Five: Successor to the Throne (iv)

If Dariun possessed the same power as Farangis to understand non-human speech, perhaps he would have sensed his Uncle Vahriz’s voice warning him from the other realm…


Notes under the cut:

This section is amusing from a characterization standpoint, because Mr. Silver Mask really does have kind of a Darth Vader vibe* (with hilariously uninspired taunts), while no one does snark quite like Narses. (Maybe Giv, though he’s a lot less subtle about it.)

* More accurately, he’s a blatant Char clone (do I need a TV Tropes warning here) — the OVAs even used the same voice actor for him!

(This is probably a good place to note that I’ve always had a random theory that Narses is actually a genius before his time [an anachronistic Picasso or something] and therefore more “misunderstood” than necessarily bad at art. 😄 Though it’s also funny taking Dariun’s word for it that it’s just That Bad.)

Anyway, I don’t know — I can accept Dariun not thinking too hard about it, but I’m actually surprised the truth (or certain possibilities) didn’t occur to Narses, given their discussion all the way back in Chapter 2, coupled with what Qaran hinted at. Granted, it seems they’re assuming that mask guy is Lusitanian, and the omniscient narrator may have revealed more than what the two of them actually remembered back in that chapter…

(That or there are a LOT of burn survivors running around out there.)

That said, I do think Narses has suspicions, but just isn’t voicing them due to lack of proof.

– – –

Meanwhile, more standardization issues (pointless tl;dr ahoy):

I was happy to change Parse->Pars (since Parse was never correct to begin with, but simply a localization choice on my part), but the one name I’m really grumpy about is Dariun vs. Daryun. A lot of the other names have standard/accepted spellings in English (Narses, Giv, Tahmineh), and so I feel justified in sticking to my spelling instead of complying with official localizations… but not Dariun. (ダリューン: da-ryuu-n)

When I first started this project, there were several options floating around (some more viable than others):

Dariyun (this one plainly incorrect/a misreading of the katakana), Darun with the umlaut, Dariun (which could be seen as an alternate to the previous, as umlauts are often represented by iu), Daryun, Daryoon… and probably some others that I’m forgetting.

Either way, right from the start it really came down to two choices: Dariun vs. Daryun.

I started with the assumption that the character was named for Darius the Great. (I think this is a pretty safe assumption, because we will see much later that Arslan is also inspired a bit by Cyrus the Great. Dariun/Daryun does not otherwise seem to be an actual name. I could be wrong; let me know if so.) Anyway, if you read up on the etymology, Darius is the contracted and Latinized version of Old Persian “Dārayavauš” — Daraya being an element meaning roughly “to hold”, and “vaus” being irrelevant to the Arslan character’s name but more or less meaning “good”. (i.e. using terrible handwavy linguistics of the sort Tanaka seems to employ throughout the series, Dariun is literally named “Supporter.”)

In modern Persian, the name is Dariush (it’s also spelled Daryush, but the spelling with the i seems slightly more popular). Personally, I also prefer the spelling with the i, as it’s the more consistent transcription IMO, and helps hint at the general pronunciation of “i” (Giv, Farangis, “gir” in Shergir, “divs” later on — much closer to the sound in “geese” [but not that tight either] than to the sound in “give” or “gist”). So I decided to go with Dariun, both because it helped set up “Giv” later on, and because the spelling hints more clearly at the Darius reference in English. The only advantage Daryun had over Dariun, in my opinion at the time, was that it hinted more accurately at the correct syllable emphasis (da-ryoon vs. DAR-i-uhn), but I was working from the assumption at the time that people were used to seeing “Daryoon” from the OVAs (I can’t actually remember which spelling the subs used, since they changed at least once too). In terms of indicating pronunciation, Daryoon is certainly superior to all other options, so it seemed to me Daryun was a half-assed compromise in that sense (and besides, what stops people from parsing that as “dar-yuhn”?).

… Long story short, both “Dariun” and “Daryun” are probably equally correct, which means it really ought to be no skin off my back to switch to official localization. But that’s even MORE stuff to change than “Parse,” lol. (I don’t know if anyone noticed, but I deliberately minimized use of “Parse” knowing that I was probably going to change it someday — it was usually fine to use “Parsian” instead of “of Parse” or the like). And, to be honest, I just don’t like Dariun spelled with a y. I just… don’t. (Sorry, this is a personal, irrational peeve, but I hate it when people use y’s to exoticize or fancy up perfectly good names unless there is good linguistic reason for it.)

So sorry, but unless I get a lot of complaints about this one… I doubt I’ll change it. (And sorry for boring you with my behind-the-scenes thought process/grumpy justifications, LOL.)


6 thoughts on “Vol. 1 | Chapter Five: Successor to the Throne (iv)

  1. Ecilan says:

    Well… the manga translation in Crunchyroll uses Daryun and Narsus. Although it doesn’t really matter as long as their names are distinguishable lol.

    • T. E. Waters says:

      Yeah, that’s the reason I wanted to clarify my reasoning in this post! The series has had a looooot of inconsistent spellings over the years, so I wanted to explain why mine is different from the current official take.

  2. Claudia says:

    I find your reasoning for name translations always sound and you put a lot of thought into them, therefore ending with the best ones I think. And even if the new versions have Daryun, it is very easy to read your translation and switch back and forth since both are so close. They should have hired you to make the names consistent 😉

    • T. E. Waters says:

      Thanks. I actually change my mind a lot in the process though, or sometimes just give up and put something that looks “reasonable”. It’s too bad we don’t have access to Tanaka’s notes, which would probably make things tons easier!

  3. Claudia says:

    Now thanks to the new series, Silver Mask is no more a Char Clone. Didn’t know such a thing existed before reading that. I still don’t get why the new Arslan was kept that way if his whole family but mother were changed to Persian-looking characters. Is there more to it or they wanted to stick with the original OVA in order to keep all fans happy? Keeping the Queen’s looks instead of going back to her original dark-hair was probably a good move if that’s all there is but there are still some plot elements in the new series pointing at some more obscure origins for Arslan, perhaps. Suspense! 🙂

    I do hope poor Narses is an artist whom future generations will acclaim while his present one hates. So many artists endured that fate, it’s funny how the author uses it as a humoristic plot to defuse tension though.

    • T. E. Waters says:

      Hehe, well… Plot reasons. The queen’s been blonde in all adaptations that I’m aware of, because I guess they want to keep readers/the audience guessing 😛

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