Title is a fairly half-baked attempt at "land delighting in spirit-words" to Quenya, which translates Kotodama no Sakiwau Kuni, one of the poetic names of Japan.

Did some more thinking about Japanese translations of Lord of the Rings. "Brandybuck" would be "Sakaishika", which is bizarrely well suited to being nicknamed "Sakashika". Then "Oldbuck" would be "Furushika"; "Meriadoc" would be, say, "Tamnosiki" (an imaginary Ainu name meaning "sword center"—the important thing is just sounding alien to all the other names but similar to the nickname), because "Merry" would be "Tanoshi". "Gamgee" would be "Karimura", while "Samwise" would be "Nakamasa"; "Hamfast" would unfortunately have to be "Uchitsugi", losing the rhyming of Sam and Ham or Ran and Ban.

"Peregrin" and "Pippin" are a bit harder. The former I would render as "Hanasemono", and the short form to Hata—a bit of a stretch, but one I can probably get away with. "Took" is going to stay, of course (well, as Tûku), since it's just "Tûk" in the Westron and the Hobbits themselves don't know what it means.

"Baggins", of course, is "Fukuro"—Japanese is one of very few languages where Bilbo and Frodo's surname is not translated to a word involving the local word for "bag" already. "Bag End" would thus be "Fukurokôji", already the Japanese for "cul-de-sac" (maybe changed to "Fukuro Komichi", the second word being the native Japanese reading of kôji, the better to keep with the etymological rule). "Sackville Bagginses" would be "Byôchô Fukuro", using the Sino-Japanese reading because "Sackville" is from French roots (presumably it translates an ultimately Sindarin name that that branch of the Bagginses use, to be pompous). "Bilbo" apparently may mean "two-edged sword", which is of course "Mitsurugi" as a Japanese name; "Frodo" could be "Masaru" but that's the same element as in Sam's name; I'd go with "Satoru", different reading of the same kanji. Or we could go with the "Daur" epithet in Elvish, which also means "high, lofty, noble", and call him "Sugureru".

"Shire" becomes "Koori". "Hobbit" would be "Anazumi"—presumably you can use the Middle Japanese roots to come up with the equivalent of Rohirric "holbytla", but good luck finding Middle Japanese online (Old Japanese, which I said to use for Dalish and the Dwarf names, is even worse).

While I can't find the Middle Japanese words themselves, I can say that "Éomer" and "Éowyn" are "Noruaki" and "Noruyuki", respectively—or rather whatever are the Middle Japanese roots of those words, should they be different. "Éothéod" would likewise be "Norutami", and "Theoden" would be "Tamitake". "Riddermark" would be "Norukoori".


Rannm Thawts Twel

Random thoughts. Turns out "twel", along with "twal", is the actual Scots form of "twelve".
  • I once said that androids de-frag, and that they dream about the memories while processing them. But then I discover that solid-state storage doesn't defrag; it's fast enough for fragmentation not to be much of an issue, and defragging is extra write-rewrite cycles, which is just extra wear on the device. So now I just vaguely describe it as "memory optimization".

    Incidentally their processing uses quantum computing, but their storage is some kind of ("classical") 3D storage, though I don't think it's exactly optical storage (if it is, it's a super easily-rewritten one). Not just in the AIs (though those are the highest-end ones), but also in things like phones. The no-cloning theorem makes quantum ROM probably a physical impossibility.
  • I love how the same people who deny that the forced labor by Irish POWs from Cromwell's wars was slavery (it may not have been as bad as black slavery but it sure as hell wasn't not slavery), will turn around and claim that serfdom was pretty much equivalent to slavery. Never mind serfs had exactly every right of freemen except traveling without permission and owning purely military weapons (they could carry their tools for self-defense)—far more rights than indentured servants, which all non-black unfree labor in the New World is, a priori, declared to have been, without checking the particular rights of a particular population of unfree non-black labor. This is, of course, a classic argument known to the Schoolmen as si est caput, vinco; si est navia, amittis.
  • The only issue I have with the Joker movie, is that it isn't one. The Joker doesn't have a tragic backstory; he's basically just the platonic form of an asshole. He does monstrously evil things because he finds them amusing, period, the end—a troll on a borderline genocidal scale. That was also something Nolan got wrong: the Joker does not have a message to teach, he's an absolute nihilist.

    It's interesting that the "basically pure evil" Joker is opposed by a subtle, borderline antiheroic hero like Batman—whereas the platonic form of a do-gooder, Superman, is opposed by the subtle, borderline antivillainous Lex Luthor. I don't know if anyone at DC meant that to happen, or maybe the writers just noticed things were kinda pointing that way on their own and ran with it, but it's still cool.
  • Am I the only one a bit disappointed that Destiny 2: Shadowkeep doesn't involve any ill effects from Eris picking up the piece of Oryx's soul that was left inside his sword? Like…Eris, that's exactly what you're not supposed to do. I mean maybe it doesn't count as replacing him and allowing him to be immortal, since Toland the Shithead refers to you as "squanderer" when he meets you in the Dreaming City, but still: don't touch shards of dead demon lords. That's like…Fantasy-Universe Survival 101, Eris.

    Still, pretty cool, especially since the Nightmares were only the beginning, and then the Vex invasion starts. And you get to go back to the Black Garden. I especially like how basically everything on the Moon except Sorrow's Harbor is just the places you went on the Moon in the first Destiny—but with scarlet spiky walls here and there (which, e.g., allow extra cover in the part of the World's Grave where you fight Omnigul's Nightmare, which lemme tell ya, is a huge improvement over the original version).

    Also, real Legend of Zelda vibe. I mean, the main bad guys are "Nightmares" à la Link's Awakening; the particular form taken by the Darkness in the final cutscene of the main questline is à la Ocarina of Time; and a huge portion of it is asset-reuse, à la Majora's Mask (not a complaint, just an observation).
  • Will say, though, that the book of Vex-related lore (basically a neo-Grimoire) that you find, Aspect, is infuriating to me, and probably nobody else. Namely, its chapters are named things like "Mirative", "Irrealis", or "Jussive". Those are moods. Aspects are related to tenses, and express things like the completion ("inchoative", "progressive") or repetition ("frequentative", "iterative") of the verb's action. Moods express the verb's relation to reality or the knowledge or attitude of someone (the speaker, the subject, sometimes the interlocutor)—that the action of the verb is doubtful, surprising, desired, or normative on someone or something.
  • Hmm. Is An X of Y and Z (A Song of Ice and Fire, et al.; A Court of Thrones and Roses) worse than long-winded nonsense like High School Prodigies Have It Easy Even In Another World! or Do You Love Your Mom When Her Normal Attack Is Two Attacks at Full Power? I mean just in terms of titles. (Though "is edgelord dark-fantasy bullshit, whether neckbeard or YA, as bad as isekai?" is also a valid question. Though most isekai is also dark-fantasy bullshit, for similar demographics.)

    Also annoying, though not to the same degree, is the [Character Name] and the X, often specifically [Character Name] and the X of Y, e.g. most of the Harry Potter books. (Now I want to see if I can get a paper about "periphrastic genitive constructions in fantasy-novel titles" past peer-review. Actually you could probably seriously look into what, exactly, makes fantasy series have titles in those two formats; there's actually been research into why light novels have the kind of titles they do, after all.)
  • Turns out I was worrying over nothing, years ago, when I said it's anachronistic to have leaf-spring suspension carriages in a medieval-based setting. I mean it still is, but instead, they had a chain-based suspension, called a "rocking carriage" (char branlant)—back to at least the 1300s and quite likely Roman times. Unfortunately period-accurate wagons would, in a visual medium, strike most of the audience as anachronistic…because they were covered wagons visually indistinguishable from the ones we know from the Oregon Trail (though actually the medieval wagon probably had a more advanced suspension…since it had one).
  • I wonder, when they translate Lord of the Rings into non-European languages, how much of the setting do they translate? E.g. I would not be surprised if Frodo's pseudonym, recommended by Gandalf, were "Okanoshita" or "Okashita", in Japanese, but the thing is, "Frodo" is just as much a translation; his name is actually "Maura" (and his surname "Labingi" and his house "Laban-neg"). To do justice to the translation convention that's a part of Tolkien's world, all the Common Tongue names would have to be rendered by Japanese equivalents, since they were converted from Westron to English.

    And then, of course, you'd have to convert the names of the Dwarves from Old Norse (representing Dale-tongue) to something like Okinawan, and then the Rohirrim to maybe, say, Old Japanese. Or maybe Dale to Old Japanese and the Rohirrim to Middle Japanese. That of course deletes the link between Thorin and Company and the Dvergatál. No idea what the Meriadoc/Kalimac names, representing a whole different language-group from Westron, would be—maybe Ainu? Actually yeah that'd work perfectly. There's presumably some Ainu word that sounds like the native Japanese for "cheerful" (tanoshi).

    Upon looking, sadly, I discover that the Japanese form of Frodo's house's name is simply "Baggu-Endo". I mean I'm not really surprised, but come on.
  • A search of Le Blogue suggests I haven't mentioned it, and it bears repeating even if I had, but the pilot episode of Star Wars: Resisty Resistance features both pirates and monkeys.


Fin Lovaas do Dii Reyliik

I was always saying that it was a shame nobody wrote a certain song parody. So I wrote it myself.
The Last Dragonborn (with apologies to America)
When the last Septim dies lighting the last dragonfires
And Crystalline Law falls in the Summerset Isles
In the shadow of the Snow Throat, where the weave of time was torn
He will fight the World-Eater, the Last Dragonborn.

When the wyrm-cult’s betrayer from Apocrypha rises
And the Gardener of Men his machinations devises
And the might of the Voice holds Ehlnofey wills to scorn
In the distance hear the Shouting of the Last Dragonborn
Zu'u nahlaas, zu'u nahlaas

When a shadow is cast over Magnus’s window
And vampires seek to enslave all who live down below
Then look to the Scrolls where new prophecies yet can warn
Listen, hear the Voice, of the Last Dragonborn
Zu'u nahlaas, zu'u nahlaas