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 [Debate] The best translation for "Maboroshi no Ginzuishou"

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Blake
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PostSubject: [Debate] The best translation for "Maboroshi no Ginzuishou"   5th August 2013, 4:23 pm

I was searching through this part of the forum, and I found out there's no topic for this, so.. here it is!
We all know that Ginzuishou means Silver Crystal, but what do you think "Maboroshi no Ginzuishou" means?
Is it "Illusionary Silver Crystal", is it "Phantom Silver Crystal", is it "Legendary Silver Crystal" or "Imperium Silver Crystal"? And why?

I personally think it should be "Legendary Silver Crystal" and to explain it, I'm gonna analyze the rest of the translations.

Illusionary: So, "Maboroshi" is supposed to automatically translate to "Illusionary". But why should the Silver Crystal be illusionary? Is it not real? Does it have the power to create illusions? In most of the versions of Sailor Moon, the Silver Crystal is a real thing. I know it comes from within Usagi's body, but still, people can touch it, therefore it's real. Only in PGSM the Crystal is never stated to be either way, and the only times we see it is when Usagi cries it out and awakens as Serenity, and also when Princess Sailor Moon uses the Harp to play her song or heal Mercury's wound (it's supposed to be attached to it, like it was attached to the Moon Stick in the manga and anime). So my guess is that, for the manga and anime (and maybe the myu, I haven't got the opportunity to calmly watch it) this translation wouldn't be accurate, but it would be for the live action.

Phantom: This translation isn't actually in any of the Sailor Moon versions, except for the Latin Spanish dub, in which, whichever scene of episode 34 the Silver Crystal is mentioned, it would be called "Fantasma Cristal Plateado" which is basically "Phantom Silver Crystal". However, I've read that some fans like to call it that. But why? Is the crystal the essence of a ghost? Does Usagi turn into one while using it? Just what is the relation of the Silver Crystal with the word "phantom"? I personally don't understand it, and since the crystal does not seem to posess ghost-like powers, nor does it grant them to it's user, I disregard this translation.

Imperium: This is one of the names that the English dub calls the Silver Crystal. It's weird, I don't like it, but I kind of understand why would they call it that. The Silver Crystal is owned in the past by a Queen, the ruler of a Kingdom, and that can be related to the word Imperium for some reasons:

  1. Imperium and Empire are similar words to a native Spanish speaker like me, since they both seem to mean "Imperio", which is similar to Kingdom, hence the relation to the Moon Kingdom-
  2. Imperium is a Latin word that means government, which was Queen Serenity and Neo Queen Serenity's thing, and both of them were the owners of the Silver Crystal at one point.

However, none of this reasons seems truly valid to me, so I don't think it's accurate.

Legendary: Oh yes, legendary. It just seems like the perfect translation to me. Why? The Silver Crystal is considered the most powerful Sailor Crystal in the whole universe, and we've repeatedly seen how it causes miracles. What am I talking about? Well, QS used it to send all of the people who died after the battle to be reborn; Usagi used it's full power, yet while she was dying she was able to revive herself, her friends and Mamoru, with a bonus of amnesia so she wouldn't have to fight ever again; In the S season, the Holy Grial was destroyed, but Sailor Moon, with the help of her friends and Sailor Uranus and Neptune, was able to transform into Super Sailor Moon and defeat Pharaoh 90 with her pure heart, which I assume is directly related to the Silver Crystal; also she saved the entire freaking universe in both the Sailor Stars season and the Stars arc of the manga. Pretty amazing, huh? That's why I think that "Legendary Silver Crystal" is worthy of being the translation of "Maboroshi no Ginzuishou".

Ok, now that I've exposed my case, how about you guys express your opinions on this topic?
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PostSubject: Re: [Debate] The best translation for "Maboroshi no Ginzuishou"   5th August 2013, 5:59 pm

((random thoughts: Maybe Illusionary could be changed to Illustrious? 
: notably or brilliantly outstanding because of dignity or achievements or actions : eminent
2
archaic


a : shining brightly with light


b : clearly evident
— il·lus·tri·ous·ly adverb
— il·lus·tri·ous·ness noun


That would tie Illusionary and Legendary and still make it sound awesome XD

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Last edited by Sailor Uranus on 5th August 2013, 6:22 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: [Debate] The best translation for "Maboroshi no Ginzuishou"   5th August 2013, 6:09 pm

Blake97 wrote:

Illusionary: So, "Maboroshi" is supposed to automatically translate to "Illusionary". But why should the Silver Crystal be illusionary? Is it not real? Does it have the power to create illusions? In most of the versions of Sailor Moon, the Silver Crystal is a real thing. I know it comes from within Usagi's body, but still, people can touch it, therefore it's real. Only in PGSM the Crystal is never stated to be either way, and the only times we see it is when Usagi cries it out and awakens as Serenity, and also when Princess Sailor Moon uses the Harp to play her song or heal Mercury's wound (it's supposed to be attached to it, like it was attached to the Moon Stick in the manga and anime). So my guess is that, for the manga and anime (and maybe the myu, I haven't got the opportunity to calmly watch it) this translation wouldn't be accurate, but it would be for the live action.

Considering that in the beginning they were looking for it and were unable to find it "Illusionary" does seem to fit. In the beginning of all versions, they don't know what or where the crystal is. Perhaps the name stuck even after finding it.

Quote :
Imperium: This is one of the names that the English dub calls the Silver Crystal. It's weird, I don't like it, but I kind of understand why would they call it that. The Silver Crystal is owned in the past by a Queen, the ruler of a Kingdom, and that can be related to the word Imperium for some reasons:

  1. Imperium and Empire are similar words to a native Spanish speaker like me, since they both seem to mean "Imperio", which is similar to Kingdom, hence the relation to the Moon Kingdom-
  2. Imperium is a Latin word that means government, which was Queen Serenity and Neo Queen Serenity's thing, and both of them were the owners of the Silver Crystal at one point.

However, none of this reasons seems truly valid to me, so I don't think it's accurate.

There are some spellings I've seen where it's "Empyrean" or something like that... I don't think they were even bothering to translate maboroshi, just give it a name that fit their adaptation of the SM anime at the time.

Quote :
Legendary: Oh yes, legendary. It just seems like the perfect translation to me. Why? The Silver Crystal is considered the most powerful Sailor Crystal in the whole universe, and we've repeatedly seen how it causes miracles. What am I talking about? Well, QS used it to send all of the people who died after the battle to be reborn; Usagi used it's full power, yet while she was dying she was able to revive herself, her friends and Mamoru, with a bonus of amnesia so she wouldn't have to fight ever again; In the S season, the Holy Grial was destroyed, but Sailor Moon, with the help of her friends and Sailor Uranus and Neptune, was able to transform into Super Sailor Moon and defeat Pharaoh 90 with her pure heart, which I assume is directly related to the Silver Crystal; also she saved the entire freaking universe in both the Sailor Stars season and the Stars arc of the manga. Pretty amazing, huh? That's why I think that "Legendary Silver Crystal" is worthy of being the translation of "Maboroshi no Ginzuishou".

I like legendary just cause I feel it fits with the series regardless if its the proper translation or not.

I am however fine with either Illusionary or Legendary.

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PostSubject: Re: [Debate] The best translation for "Maboroshi no Ginzuishou"   15th December 2013, 11:19 pm

I like the word 'Mythical' personally, because it implies that it might not exist for sure (hence tying to the 'Illusionary' bit) yet also has that awe-inspiring factor in 'legendary'.

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PostSubject: Re: [Debate] The best translation for "Maboroshi no Ginzuishou"   16th December 2013, 5:34 pm

There is a really awesome post on tumblr that goes into detail about translating Maboroshi.  *digs for a bit*

AHA!

http://galaxycosmos.tumblr.com/post/62882808594/sailor-moon-and-japan-maboroshi

Quote :
Maboroshi appears in Sailor Moon in the phrase “maboroshi no ginzuishou” (幻の which is usually translated as “mystical silver crystal” though many variants exist. “Ginzuishou” is hard to translate as anything but “Silver Crystal” but “maboroshi” has a bit more licence.

Maboroshi on its own is a noun which means something along the lines of “illusion, phantom or dream”, but with the “no” it becomes a descriptive term. Within Sailor Moon, the understanding is basically that the Silver Crystal possesses “maboroshi” qualities. that is to say it is something so fantastic, rare and mysterious that its very existence has come into question. Like a fantasy. I think that is the clearest understanding of the word I can personally give for its use in the series. Understanding must ALWAYS come before translation, a competent translator is one whose understanding stage requires minimal time. The Silver Crystal, in other words is something unbelievable, however it is a physical object so it clearly exists, so it seems “maboroshi” is being used almost metaphorically and this opens a wide spectrum of possible translations. A good translation is one that will bring the understanding of the word into another language, a bad translation is one that will look at a dictionary with no understanding of how its being used.

Various translations may be from "Phantom Silver Crystal", personally I do not favour this, the word “phantom” has other connotations in English that are not there in the Japanese and can misrepresent the idea, but I would not regard it as incorrect. There is also an argument involving Phantom Crystals. Kodansha used “Legendary Silver Crystal” to much moaning and whining from some fans because “legendary” does not appear in the dictionary for “maboroshino”, this is unjustified. The English word “legendary” and the Japanese phrase “maboroshino” both fit the criteria of the idea in this context so there is nothing wrong with this translation. Legendary certainly implies something wonderfully strange and rarely seen. The most common I believe is "Mystical Silver Crystal"  which again I have little problem with. Personally I prefer "Illusionary Silver Crystal" since after all, the villains are constantly pursuing the Silver Crystal which seems to be ever-elusive, illusionary also matches the dreamlike fantasy nature of the Silver Crystal and has a grand sound to it as “maboroshino” does. Come to think about it "Phantasmic Silver Crystal" also has a nice ring to it.

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PostSubject: Re: [Debate] The best translation for "Maboroshi no Ginzuishou"   16th July 2015, 12:02 pm

I prefer Legendary myself. To call it illusionary of phantom makes it seem like it's a myth or something. Imperium... I've only heard that in there dub. Also, the subbed version I'm watching uses phantom Silver Crystal, so yeah. There's that.

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PostSubject: Re: [Debate] The best translation for "Maboroshi no Ginzuishou"   16th July 2015, 12:05 pm

Well it's not the imperial silver crystal, that's for sure. As for literal translations, I'm fine with all of them except "Phantom". Phantom, to me, implies something dark idk.

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PostSubject: Re: [Debate] The best translation for "Maboroshi no Ginzuishou"   5th December 2015, 1:12 am

"Legendary Silver Crystal" works fine for me. The word "legendary" makes it sound elusive (which it is) and powerful.

"Illusionary Silver Crystal" - while this translation is nice, the crystal isn;t an illusion in anyway

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PostSubject: Re: [Debate] The best translation for "Maboroshi no Ginzuishou"   8th December 2015, 10:22 am

I feel like it would be Illusionary Silver Crystal.  But I'm not a native Japanese speaker, so I'm just guessing.
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