Hide spoilers Show spoilers

Translation Notes

The Elcenia stories and their supplemental material are written in English. However, none of the characters are ever speaking it. An extremely haphazard method of handling this is instantiated in the stories, and described below. It should be possible to read the stories without an explicit understanding of the translation convention, but this description is offered for those who are interested.

  1. Dates, times, and measurements
    1. Elcenian days of the week and Elcenian months, as well as the unique "-for" days, are consistently referred to with their names in the language Leraal. Other languages have other names for these days, which are not mentioned or used in the story. See Elcenian dates for more about these.
    2. Barashin days of the week and Barashin months are consistently referred to with their names in the language Martisen. Other languages have other names for the days of the week and similar, but not identical, names for the months, which are not mentioned or used in the story. See Barashin dates for more about these.
    3. Elcenian times of day and periods of time are referred to using the Elcenian time system, the components of which are translated into English words. Characters may translate Elcenian times into their nearest Barashin equivalents, which are also translated into English. Likewise, Barashin times of day and periods of time are referred to using the Barashin time system (with English words), but characters may translate them.
    4. Systems of measurement for things other than time (distance, weight, volume, etc.) are converted into American units (feet, pounds, gallons, etc.) for convenience, as these things are not (unlike dates and times) based on locally varying astronomical phenomena. (Except weight, which potential for variance is quietly ignored.)
  2. Names and titles
    1. Some constructed languages in this setting have precise orthographies (e.g. Leraal, Ertydon); others do not (e.g. Draconic, Martisen). Names (for people, places, and things) which come from orthographically precise languages are rendered in that orthography. Names which come from other languages are rendered in English characters in such a way as to be likely to elicit correct pronunciation from native speakers of English and also look reasonably pretty. (Occasionally, these names will be adapted to orthographies from other languages by characters, especially if they are called upon to write a name from one language in another alphabet; this will generally be marked explicitly in the text.)
    2. In Leraal, titles "Aar", "Aaral", "Aaran", and "Aaralan" are used (usually prior to surnames, sometimes alone) as a way to formally address (respectively) adult men, adult women, young boys, and young girls. These titles are used only by Leraal-speaking characters, and other characters addressing such individauls.
    3. In Ertydon, a wide variety of honorifics are used after names (surnames, personal names, or full names) to refer to people who hold a variety of formal statuses (noble, religious, military, business, etc.) or to indicate that they hold none. These are presented in the original Ertydon in this format: Name-honorific. They are used predominantly by Ertydon-speaking characters but may be employed by others to refer to or address such individuals.
    4. In narration, characters will be called whatever the perspective character calls them. (This may change throughout the stories, and narration will adjust to reflect that.)
  3. Magic and objects
    1. Elcenian forms of magic (wizardry, witchcraft, sorcery, magery, merfolk magic, hearing, lightcraft, and dragon magic) are all referred to with English words, as are most phenomena that relate to these magic forms. Individual spells may be presented with names that are partly not in English, typically because they are named after a person or a place. The words that are associated with casting a spell are usually not specified in the text; when they are, they will be presented in transliteration.
    2. Barashin magic (kamai) and many associated terms are referred to with the Eashiri word for them (because Eashiri is used as the scholarly langauge of kyma). Some terms that readily translate are presented in English instead, such as the names for the five disciplines. When Barashin characters refer to magic in general, this is translated as "magic" instead of being rendered as "kamai", even though Barashin langauges do not natively contain words for magic that are not equivalent to kamai; assume that in most of these cases, Barashins trying to talk to each other or to Elcenians about other forms of magic must first spend some time making awkard distinctions and explaining definitions, which portions of dialogue are simply not shown.
    3. Leraal nouns are pluralized with a terminal "ik" (e.g. "sisaak", dragon, becomes "sisaakik", dragons.) In any case in the text where the Leraal word is used untranslated (or is a name), it will be pluralized in this way. Words from other languages use English pluralization conventions regardless of how they would normally pluralize nouns, except when the singular is also the plural (e.g. wolfrider words).
    4. Objects in general that exist only in Elcenia or Barashi may be presented with English words or phrases as names ("scoots", "cold cabinets", "glass paper") or untranslated names ("hofis", "raan"). Objects with Earthly counterparts are called by their English names (spoons, gaslamps, rugs).
  4. Plants and animals
    1. Living things that exist in Elcenia and/or Barashi, and have real near counterparts on Earth (e.g. cats, potatoes, humans) are referred to with the English words for them. This applies even in cases where the English term refers to a person or place that doesn't exist in Elcenia/Barashi (e.g. "Canada goose", "L'Hoest's monkey"), but in those instances more generic terms will be preferred ("goose", "monkey"). Assume that even if something in Elcenia or Barashi is referred to with a word for an Earth species, it may have noticeable differences from Earth phenotypes (such as the ability to use magic, in humans).
    2. Living things that exist in Elcenia and/or Barashi, but are mythical on Earth (e.g. rocs, firebirds, elves) are referred to with the English mythologial terms for them. The instantiations of these creatures in the story may differ strikingly from the nearest comparable use in other fiction. Sometimes, dissimilar creatures between Barashi and Elcenia both adopt the same name (dragons, fairies); in cases where which species is being discussed is ambiguous, a descriptor ("Elcenian fairy", "Barashin dragon") will be added.
    3. Living things that exist in Elcenia and/or Barashi and have no counterparts whatsoever on Earth or in other fiction are given translated names ("sootheweed", "spirit", "stratus chaser") or completely invented names ("lelon", "kiri", "kiersa") and referred to consistently with these.