Japanese and other language notes
These are some problems I've come upon while trying to translate the song titles. They mostly involve problems with not knowing exactly how to pronounce a particular grouping of kanji, but there are other issues that come up with names as well.
Machi (various): The word has two different kanji that read exactly the same. I don't know the rules on when to use one or the other; the song titles seem to use either one at random.
Yubiwa (FF4 OSV): "Yubiwa" means "ring," as in a piece of jewelry. Basically, Cecil and Kain deliver a bomb ring to the Mist Village. This caused some confusion for me at first because in the original English FF2 game on the Super Nintendo, what you delivered was a "package."
Shoujo/otome (FF4 OSV, FF4 piano collections): According to an online translator, this kanji can also be read "otome," while my dictionary says the kanji for "otome" are different. But several people have told me the more common pronunciation is "shoujo," so I'll stick with that.
Hikuutei (various): I haven't been able to find a romanization for the exact series of kanji used for this song title. After some informal study, I believe you read them as "hikuutei." "Hi" is "to fly"; "kuu" is a mid-word pronunciation for the kanji "sora," which means "sky"; and "tei" is a kanji often used at the end of words to mean "ship" (which, when it stands alone, is pronounced "fune").
Makiba/bokujou (FF7 OSV, FF7 Reunion): The kanji could either be read "makiba" (meadow) or "bokujou" (ranch). But the two words have one translation in common: "pasture." So although it could translate either to "Boy of the meadow" or "Boy of the ranch," it most likely means "Boy of the pasture."
Someone did email me (I'm sorry, I've lost your email! *humble bow*) to say that the sound file of this particular song that he extracted from the game had "bokujou" in the title, so I guess that tells us which pronunciation it should be. ^_~
Miko/fujo (FF3 OSV, 1987-1994): The same kanji can be read either as "miko" or "fujo," and both words mean "priestess." I've heard "miko" used most often in anime.
Noroi/majinai (FF3 OSV, FF5 OSV): The same kanji can be translated, rather strangely, as either "curse" or "charm." I haven't played the games, so I don't know which one it's supposed to be. For all I know, in one game it could mean "curse" and in the other mean "charm."
Jounin/kodomo/kobito/joujin (FF3 OSV): You wouldn't believe how many different ways there are to say this particular kanji grouping. All the translations generally mean "child" or "small person," but I'm not sure which word to use in what context. An online Japanese translator favors "kobito," so I'll stick with that.
Kokyou/furusato (Various): The same kanji can be read either as "kokyou" or "furusato," and both words mean "hometown." However, I've heard "furusato" used most often in some anime I've watched.
Yougeki/shuugeki (FF9 OST): Another kanji grouping that could possibly be pronounced different ways.
UKURE le CHOKOBO (FF9 OST, disc 2, track 9): What you see in the picture is exactly how the title is printed in the tracklist. I think this is meant to be a pun on the name. The main background instrument in this song is meant to be an ukulele, a small guitar-like instrument originally from Portugal that's now most associated with Hawaii. If you've noticed, other arrangements of the chocobo theme are titled, for example, "Mambo de chocobo," "Eleci de chocobo," "Aloha de chocobo," etc., with the word "de" in the middle. Whoever came up with "UKURE le CHOKOBO" must have gotten the bright idea of separating the word "ukulele" and using the last "le" in place of "de." It's...clever, I guess?...
Silly side note for those who care about grammar: Why do I use "an" instead of "a" when I say "an ukulele"? In Hawaii, the word "ukulele" is usually pronounced, as well as I can put it in writing, "oo-koo-leh-leh," which is how I pronounce it, as opposed to many other places that pronounce it "yoo-koo-lay-lay." Thus the Hawaiian pronunciation gives it a vowel sound in the beginning, hence my use of the word "an."
Kedamono/kemono (FF10 OST): Yet another kanji that could possibly be pronounced different ways. However, I've heard "kedamono" used in some anime.
CHII (FF10 OST): The first word, "CHII," in the song title of disc 1, track 15, is actually from the Al Bhed language. Thanks to enigmaopoeia's Al Bhed language guide at GameFAQs, I have a bit more info on this. The katakana that make up this word are the characters for "CHI" and "I." Those two, according to enigmaopoeia's guide, come out to the Japanese word "kimi," which means "you." Thus, the song name is translated, "You are (of) the Al Bhed race."
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Last revised Dec. 23, 2003