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"魔界大神殿" & "ギャラリーオブラビリンス"

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30 Jul 2019
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I'm aware as to what the general meanings of these two are, but I needed help figuring out whether or not certain alternative phrasing could be used while still being considered "correct."

First we have "魔界大神殿," which is a BGM title taken from Devil May Cry's soundtrack. "魔界" is "Makai" which in English is often translated to things like "underworld," "hell," "netherworld," etc. "神殿" would be "shrine" or "temple" and "大" would simply be "big" or "great." In this context "魔界" is "underworld" and the "神殿" in question most resembles a place of worship, so the best literal translation would probably be "Underworld's Great Temple." However something about that wording sounds off to me and thus I was curious if it could also be read as "Great Underworld Temple," "Great Temple of the Underworld" or even just "Underworld Temple." I'm uncertain since I believe those would instead have to be written out as "大魔界神殿", "魔界の大神殿" and "魔界神殿" respectively, but perhaps I'm mistaken.

Secondly we have "ギャラリーオブラビリンス" which is the original Japanese subtitle for the game "Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin." This title has been official translated on digital soundtrack releases as "Gallery of Labyrinth," but it goes without saying that this is hardly proper English. However, I was curious if this could also be translated as "Gallery of Labyrinths" or perhaps even "Gallery of the Labyrinth?" I believe "ラビリンス" can be plural in this context, but I don't think "オブ" can be read as "of the" on its own. This is likely one of those instances where only the person who made the title really knows what it was meant to mean, but either alternative could work in context. "Gallery of the Labyrinth," would make sense if Dracula's Castle (the game's setting) is meant to be the "labyrinth" in question. Alternatively, "Gallery of Labyrinths" would make sense too seeing a several of the stages in this particular entry are accessed through portraits painted by the antagonist, making it a "(art) gallery of (pictures leading to) labyrinth(s.)"

If there's any other context I can provide here which might be of use then please let me know.


6 Mar 2003
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Translation is not an exact science and word-for-word translations are often not the best translations. Thus, any of "Great Underworld Temple," "Great Temple of the Underworld" or "Underworld Temple" are perfectly fine regardless of what the original says.

Same thing in the second example, "Gallery of Labyrinths" or "Gallery of the Labyrinth" are probably better than the original translation. Keep in mind the original translator, even if they are professional, don't necessarily know the context of whatever they've been asked to translate. So while you know there are multi-levels and, thus, many labyrinths they probably did not. And the fact they didn't use the best English choice means they were probably native Japanese and not native English speaker.
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