Just a little something I was thinking of and thought I would share with everyone, since some people have been asking me about how I decided to translate certain names. It gets really tricky with things that don’t even exist. For example, in Coiling Dragon, there are a lot of ‘dinosaur’ type creatures, that are classified as ‘dragon’ type creatures, because in Chinese, the word for ‘dinosaur’ is 恐龙 – ‘terrifying dragon’. So this can get tricky. For example, 迅猛龙 is literally ‘Velociraptor’, but a Velociraptor is a small creature that definitely doesn’t breathe fire, and it’s hard to explain why it would be a dragon-type creature. Hence, I decided to go with the invented term ‘Velocidragon’.
Similarly, a recently introduced creature was known as the 棘背铁甲龙; literally, the ‘Thorn Back Metal Armor Dragon’.
Now, this is a wholly made up creature, but it seems like the closest actual creature to this name was the 棘背龙, the ‘Spinosaurus’. But leaving aside the ‘metal armor’ part of the name, a Spinosaurus doesn’t have a row of spiky thorns on its back like this creature, which to me rather sounded like a Stegosaurus…which in Chinese is called a 剑龙, ‘Sword Dragon’, totally different than this one. So I ended up playing with several variations of the name, from ‘Iron Spinespike Dragon’ to ‘Steel Spikedragon’ to ‘Armored Stegowyrm’ and lots more. In the end, I decided that this creature was a ‘composite’ creature, and thus I wouldn’t draw too much on the ‘Spine’ part from Spinosaurus, or from the ‘Stego’ part from Stegosaurus, and just went with something cool that was close to the original; ‘Armored Razorback Wyrm’.
Just something I thought a few of you who were interested in translations might find interesting. Translation really isn’t a science, it’s an art…and this is one of the reasons why each 3500 word chapter does take quite a while!