Thursday, April 7, 2011

Possible Change in Spelling?

I would like to ask everyone's opinions on something. That is, some changes in the English spellings of names written in katakana in the Japanese version. The two I am wondering about are:

1. The name of the organization which created Basilisks. In Japanese, it is called "カドゥケウス"  (KADUKEUSU). CMX translated this as "Cadocaeus", so in Ch34 I also used the same spelling. However, there is no A sound in the Japanese version. Furthermore, the translation "Caduceus" seems to fit the theme of this story. According to wikipedia, ( Caduceus is the symbol of the staff of Hermes in Greek mythology / Mercury in Roman mythology. If you look at the picture of Caduceus in the wikipedia article, it has 2 snakes, which is a symbol often used in Apothecarius Argentum to represent Basilisks. Also, it is often used as a symbol for medicine in western culture (incorrectly, according to wikipedia!). So, I think "Caduceus" is the better translation, but I don't know if it's okay to contradict CMX, who, after all, do have PROFESSIONAL translators.

2. The name of Trildan's mother. In Japanese, it's written "デルモベーテ" (DERUMOBEETE). CMX translated it as "Dermobede" but I didn't remember that we already knew her name, so I didn't bother to look it up and translated it literally as I understood it, "Delmobette". I also considered "Thelmobette" since 'th' is not a sound normally found in Japanese, it's possible they'd use "de" as the closest substitute. I'm not entirely sure about this, it's a theory. If anyone knows how 'th' is usually katakana-ized, please let me know!  I've never heard of any name "Delmobette". I've never heard of anyone named "Thelmobette" either, but it sounds slightly more plausible.

If anyone has an opinion, please write a comment to let me know what you think I should do. I feel pretty confident that these are better translations, but I don't want to confuse everyone who's been reading Apothecarius Argentum since the beginning, and I definitely don't want to disrespect CMX's translators. Especially since CMX is out of business, it seems similar to 'speaking ill of the dead'!


  1. I'd stick to Caduceus, it makes little difference and it works a lot better as you point out, I certainly don't mind in any event.

  2. Ditto on Caduceus. As for Derumobeete, her name is unusual enough that we'll know who you're talking about no matter how you spell it (though it might be confusing if you start spelling it with a "Th"). The word "the" is often katakana-ized as "za," isn't it?

    Any way you feel like translating these names is fine by me. I'm so grateful to you for all your efforts! Thank you for all your hard work!


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