A flock of bolbol, nightingales, flew past the moon, their singing resembling the notes of a crystal flute…
Notes under the cut:
This scene is illustrated!
Also, I know updates have seriously slowed down again on my part, for which I apologize. I’ve said it before, but it’s worth clarifying again that I definitely do NOT mind if other fan translators/teams want to pick up the project (you don’t even need to ask, it’s not like I’ve staked any claim on this :P) — I’ll still continue here at my slow speed of course, but I know my updates are super spotty and I’m sure there are people out there who can translate faster than I can!
1. “Hadid”: This is Arabic for iron, alternatively spelled hadeed. Jinn are supposed to be afraid of iron (see also: similar European superstition), so in some traditions it seems one way to scare them off was to shout “Hadid, hadid!” Obviously, Tanaka is using this slightly differently.
2. raishal (ライシャール): translated literally as 水晶笛, crystal flute. Like “kahina”, this term wasn’t used in the first book. There is no instrument by this name that I can find, and it’s not referring to crystal either. In King Husrav and His Boy there’s a whole list of Sassanian instruments, many of them apparently still unidentified, but nothing that looks like a match.
What I will note from the research I did/various videos I was linked to (thanks MAKH!) is that most of the culturally relevant wind instruments are end-blown rather than transverse. The text doesn’t really specify though. (IIRC Arakawa and the new anime chose to depict it as a whistle? 笛 can certainly be interpreted that way, but that doesn’t really help with the term here either!)
Anyway, closest match name-wise (which is still pretty off) seems to be “shimshal/shmshal/shemshal”, which is a Kurdish instrument — older texts refer to it specifically as a shepherd’s pipe.
If anyone has other ideas, I’d love to hear them!
3. FYI, I’m translating Zandeh’s dialogue a bit loosely as I don’t have a good grasp on his voice yet (i.e. just how cheesy/theatric he’s supposed to be, LOL).
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By the way, let me take this opportunity to do an informal poll: do you all prefer the spelling Afarid or Afrid? (The Japanese transcription on her name is weird, hence the usual spellings; I wouldn’t be confident about this if it weren’t for the fact that the dialogue when she’s introduced makes it pretty clear what Tanaka intended… but I haven’t been able to settle on a spelling. I personally like Afarid best for various reasons, but I also realize it’s not a very good compromise with the Japanese…)