Friday, March 14, 2014

What Pandaria Terms Mean in Asian Languages

Hi All!

This is a special post for everyone, since I had originally intended to write this up at the BEGINNING of the MoP expansion, however I am saving it for now since we are probably all getting a little bored with the game.

So all these new terms, I am sure they were quite confusing when we first set foot on Pandaria. What do they actually mean? Of course they are made up but I have found that they reference a lot of Chinese and Japanese linguistics.

So I will try to do my best to reference all the stuffs in chronological order as we are exposed to them (Level 85-90). I will first try to decipher the names, then tell you what I have thought about the names all this time.

Jinyu: The Jinyu are the fish people and it is similar to Japanese word play of "People Fish", normally we would try to say Yu-jin, or people of the fish, but they turned it around. Yu can also be used in Chinese.

How I see the word Jinyu is through Cantonese, where Jin = Grilled, and Yu = Fish, so grilled/pan seared fish.

Hozen: The most accurate representation for Hozen would be the "Ho" in their name which is formal Chinese for "monkey", or Hou Zi.

However, I read it as "Ho Zen" or Monkey God.

Mogu: Mogu sounds like "Mongolian" in Chinese, or "Mong Gu", but Mogu also means Mushroom. So they are mushrooms.

Sha: Sha sounds so....Sha and mysterious, but I see it as the Mandarin word "Sha" or "below", get it? Cause they're below ground?

Taran Zhu: This can be a legit Chinese name, but I interpret the words as "He, Lazy, Pig". Yeah, Zhu is pig.

Yaunghol: It sounds like Mongol. Duh. Yaung can sound like "sheep", so they aren't really cows, but Mongolian Sheep Barbarians!

Liu Lang: Y'know, that guy who wandered off with the turtle which became the wandering isle? His name is actually literally "wander". Touche.

Tushui: Push-water. Mandarin.

Huojin: Fire-people. Mandarin/Japanese bastardization.

Shaohao: Little Monkey. Teehee. (Xiao Hou)

The Four Celestials:

Chiji: Toilet Paper (seriously, it's pronounced Tsee Jee in Canto).
Xuen: All
Niuzao: Cow Run
Yu'lon: Jade Dragon (boring hey?)

Ji-Kun: Tissue. Cantonese.

Lei-Shen: Thunder God. Literally.

Ra-Den: Thunder, Lightning/Electricity. Or sigh...Raiden.

Mogushan: Mushroom Mountain

Did I miss any? Any weird names/terms you've encountered that's been bugging you and you'd like me to haphazardly decipher? Let me know!

Truny the Decipherer

1 comment:

  1. How fun! It's good to see that Blizzard actually tried on the naming.

    Weren't the mogu supposedly crafted from the earth. A sort of golem. Mushroom wouldn't be that far off of a concept then.. :)