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).
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