Vol. 2 | Chapter One: Kashan Castle (v)

“Your liege is dead. Do you mean to fight on for a dead man?” …


Notes under the cut:

This is the first illustrated scene of the book! Though like that one weirdly placed illustration in the previous book, I think this could be arguably illustrating the previous section instead.

1. pen vs. hut: 小屋. I remember translating this as “pen” back in book one (5-ii). In fact I originally had it as hut in that section too (the more obvious translation, though “pen” is also acceptable [usually in a “dog kennel” sense]), but changed it because in context it seemed weird to be chaining people up in a “hut”. These here are pretty explicitly huts though.

2. zanj: Historically the term “Zanj” did NOT necessarily imply “slave” and was more of a general racial (not ethnic) identifier, although there is definitely a heavy association with slavery. In that sense it’s very similar to the loaded word “Negro” in English (which is how “Zanj” is often translated in older texts). Because Tanaka is specifically using the term to refer to slaves, I chose to keep it lowercase. It’s probably worth noting though that slavery in these contexts tends to be different from New World slavery.

3. bittersweet: ほろにがい, horonigai. “Nigai” by itself is bitter. But “horo” does not mean sweet. I’m not sure about exact etymology, but it’s basically a not unpleasant sort of bitterness like coffee or tea. In fact, bittersweet isn’t totally correct in context — it’s not so much a “sweet” memory as it is a “looking back now that I’m older and wiser” sort of thing. But I don’t think there’s a good alternative describing this emotion in English, and this is at least closer than “bitter” by itself.

4. “you both”: It’s more ambiguous in the text, which just uses an informal plural you (お前ら, omaera) without indicating any specifics. But I can’t imagine Vahriz saying something like this to anyone else but Dariun and Narses (especially considering the use of “omae,” which is rude for strangers/passing acquaintances), and Dariun’s reaction seems to confirm this.


7 thoughts on “Vol. 2 | Chapter One: Kashan Castle (v)

  1. M.A.KH says:

    Thanks for update
    well “zanj” is Arabic pronunciation in Farsi we use “zangi”
    that’s because of Arabic lack of “G” sound.
    with best wishes

    • T. E. Waters says:

      That makes sense! “Zanj” is the spelling more commonly known/referred to in Western sources though, but this is another thing I’ll add as a note in the glossary, thanks!

      • M.A.Kh says:

        Your welcome and one more thing “Zangy”(زنگی) was generally used to refer to not only slaves but all people with black skin.
        With best wishes

  2. Ars Roccii says:

    Hello, my name is Ars Roccii. I found your translation at random and ask permission to translate it in my blog arsroccii.blogspot.com into Portuguese.

    Sorry for my bad english, it is not my native language.

    This is my email if you want: arsroccii@gmail.com

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