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Is "Galm" A Mistranslation?

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Is "Galm" A Mistranslation?

Postby thepeaguy » Wed Jul 17 2019 12:59am

Hey, folks.

Humour me for a bit here.

Is the name "Galm" a mistranslation of "Garm" or "Garmr", a name derived from the Niflheim monster of Norse mythology?

I know a lot of the villains' names are essentially made up crap in the Shining series (like Bulzome and Zeon, for starters), but the name "Garm" seems to be a more accurate translation of the original Japanese name of the God Emperor of the Vandals.
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Re: Is "Galm" A Mistranslation?

Postby knight0fdragon » Wed Jul 17 2019 8:42pm

Galm is Ga ru mu : ガルム, Which could be Garm, Gurm, Galm, Gulm, Garum, Gurum, Galum, Gulum lol.


If you have any Japanese Norse literature, Check to see if the characters match
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Re: Is "Galm" A Mistranslation?

Postby Rune » Wed Jul 17 2019 9:12pm

Japanese wikipedia suggests it's possible:
https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%82%AC ... B%E3%83%A0
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Re: Is "Galm" A Mistranslation?

Postby thepeaguy » Wed Jul 17 2019 10:43pm

knight0fdragon wrote:Galm is Ga ru mu : ガルム, Which could be Garm, Gurm, Galm, Gulm, Garum, Gurum, Galum, Gulum lol.


If you have any Japanese Norse literature, Check to see if the characters match


Rune wrote:Japanese wikipedia suggests it's possible:
https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%82%AC ... B%E3%83%A0


I found something else to corroborate my predication:

Image

I know that Hiroyuki Takahashi is a massive fan of Celtic, Greek and Germanic mythology (I read one of his old interviews from back in the early 90s to confirm this). It just seems possible to me.

I also know that localisers back then had to do the work on a limited time scale without having the necessary time and resources to confirm back to the writers of Camelot the veracity of these names. Whosoever worked on the English versions of StHA and SFIII at the time probably wasn't aware of the mythological creature called "Garm", so they went with whatever sounds plausible.

Unrelated, of course: With SFIII, Camelot used specific English words as original names for a lot of the characters because English is an exotic language to the Japanese. To the English speaker, hearing someone called "Arrogant" or "Dominate" would probably sound strange, so the localiser had to improvise on the spelling, so that it can blend in with the medieval setting with faux archaic names.

Sorry, I just find this fascinating to talk about.

EDIT: "Zeon" is an actual word that is Greek in origin. It can mean "intensity". Apologies for my mistake.
Last edited by thepeaguy on Fri Jul 19 2019 12:35am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is "Galm" A Mistranslation?

Postby knight0fdragon » Thu Jul 18 2019 5:06pm

That wiki entry does not say anything, because as I said, the word could translate into many different words in the US

It looks like Yugioh also uses it for Garmr https://yugioh.fandom.com/wiki/Garmr_of ... dic_Beasts, so it is quite possible that Galm is at least inspired by such a beast.
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Re: Is "Galm" A Mistranslation?

Postby Rune » Thu Jul 18 2019 5:59pm

knight0fdragon wrote:That wiki entry does not say anything, because as I said, the word could translate into many different words in the US


The significance is that the letters match for the wiki entry. The wikipedia entry for ガルム is the entry for the mythological beast.
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Re: Is "Galm" A Mistranslation?

Postby thepeaguy » Thu Jul 18 2019 7:57pm

Rune wrote:
knight0fdragon wrote:That wiki entry does not say anything, because as I said, the word could translate into many different words in the US


The significance is that the letters match for the wiki entry. The wikipedia entry for ガルム is the entry for the mythological beast.



Hiroyuki's an avid reader. He's been a fan of European mythology, fantasy and Western sci-fi for many years. Hence the company name.

I think he read the Japanese translation of the Icelandic Poetic Edda from way back in his uni days - the part about Ragnarok. That's probably where he got the name from.

Btw, I found and contacted Jareth Hein, the localiser of all of the Sega Saturn's Shining games, to get to the bottom of this. I hope he responds.
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Re: Is "Galm" A Mistranslation?

Postby Trovador » Sun Aug 04 2019 4:39am

I always thought "Zeon" was a mistralation for Zion.
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Re: Is "Galm" A Mistranslation?

Postby thepeaguy » Sun Aug 04 2019 8:17pm

Trovador wrote:I always thought "Zeon" was a mistralation for Zion.


Zeon is a spelling variant. It's either Greek or Hebrew in origin.
Last edited by thepeaguy on Sun Aug 11 2019 2:05pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is "Galm" A Mistranslation?

Postby Maeths » Sun Aug 11 2019 10:03am

Well, being nordic myself (Swedish), I had to check what the Poetic Edda has to say about Garm, and it isn't a lot.

Garm skäller gräsligt
framför Gnipahålan;
fjättern skall brista,
fri varder ulven.

Freely translated (although there are of course official translations as well):

Garm barks terrifyingly
outside the Gnipa hollow;
The fetters will break,
free becomes the wolf.

This is a refrain from Völuspá (The prophecy of the Völva), talking about the end of the world. Bear in mind that original language is Icelandic (above is Swedish), and there's a bit of a problem with the translation of "Gnipa", which means something lite "protruding"/"sticking out", but Gnipa hollow is generally considered to be a mountain cave and probably the entrance to the underworld.

Sorry, going off a bit here, but to get to the point: Garm is the greatest of all hounds and him going free probably means he'll kinda eat the world = the end of times (which the Völuspá is basically about). Fits alright with Galm, who, while not the highest of vandals, still is kind of a fan of ending the world and stuff.

EDIT: Might of course be something more about Garm in Snorre's Edda, but I don't have that one.
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Re: Is "Galm" A Mistranslation?

Postby thepeaguy » Sun Aug 11 2019 2:14pm

Hi Maeths.

As you're probably aware, the Japanese are ga ga when it comes to Norse mythology when its references are included in various jrpgs.

One of the Takahashi Bros is a Lord of the Rings and King Arthur nut. As he has read a lot about European folklore, I reckon he is aware of the Poetic Edda and probably picked out the name "Garm" because it sounded cool or whatever.

Jareth Hein, the man who localised many of Camelot Software Planning's games since the Sega Saturn days, probably wasn't familiar with Norse mytholgy, so he decided to localise the name differently. I tried reaching out to him on Facebook to learn more about his reasoning, but no cigar, unfortunately.

Tada, more evidence that it's "Garm": https://fireemblemwiki.org/wiki/Garm
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Re: Is "Galm" A Mistranslation?

Postby Maeths » Sun Aug 11 2019 7:23pm

Yeah, perhaps there's no depth to the name choice, but I was thinking the Poetic Edda is esotheric enough that even reading it on a shallow level and not giving up after page 1 requires a certain amount of awareness of the symbolics, names and references given. It's not a pop-up book by any stretch of the imagination. But then again, the names from our mythology show up from time to time, so he might also have picked it up from anywhere.
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