‘Castlevania Bloodlines’ names translation

This week, we are going to know some curiosities of character names of ‘Castlevania: the next generation’, European version of ‘Castlevania: Bloodlines‘ from Sega Megadrive and its translation from Japanese to English language. In this version, the gamer can select between two main characters: John Morris and Eric Lecarde, the best couple of all ‘Castlevania’ games. The first character is the son of Quincey  Morris from Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’, and his childhood friend, Eric Lecarde, or rather his boyfriend, from Spanish city of Segovia, and the second character to select. The principal question is focused on the surname  Lecarde is not Spanish, maybe it is a French surname. So what happened during the process of translation? Well, now we should find Eric Lecarde’s original name in Japanese language, and its romanization.

John Morris and Eric Lecarde (Ayami Kojima Style) : castlevania
KOJIMA Ayami’s illustration

エリック・リカード, (Erikku Ricaado) /erikku rika:do/. His official translation in America and Europe was ERIC LECARDE. Really, this name seems French, and not Spanish surname.  Is this localization of the name correct in English? Yes, it is. ERIC LECARDE is correct because the IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) and the Phonetic System of English vowels and the romanization of names in katakana syllabary.

The original name of ERIC LECARDE is ERIC RICARDO. Moreover, in Japanese language the phonetic sound of /l/ is assimilated to /r/ and the phonetic sound of /r/ to /l/. We can translate the Japanese name エリック・リカード (/erikku rɪˈkɑːdo/), we can show two cases of translation: Ricardo, or Lecarde, and both are correct.

エリック・リカード –> Erikku Rikaado / erɪkku rɪˈkɑːdo/ –> Eric Ricardo (Richard in English and Spanish name and surname, based on Japanese Phonetic).

エリック・リカード–> Erikku Licard(e) /erɪkku lɪˈkɑːd/ –> Eric Lecarde (French surmane based on English Phonetic).

And be can found other option of translate:

エリック・リカード –> Erikku Ricaad(e) /erɪkku rɪˈkɑːd/ –> Eric Ricarde (Mixed translated, based on Japanese and English Phonetics).

Elizabeth Bartley | Castlevania Wiki | Fandom
Elizabeth’s artbook from ‘Castlevania: Vampire Killer’

The second case of translation is ELISABETH BARTLEY, the wicked villain of the game. Her case is similar to ERIC LECARDE. This character is based European vampiric mythology: the bloody countess ELISABETH BÁTHORY. But, BARTLEY is an English surname and it isn`t Hungarian surname. The answer to mystery is easy from the field of Phonetics. Now, we can show the Japanese name of ELISABETH BARTLEY.

エリザベット・バートリー /ɪrɪzabetto ba:tori:/ –> ERISABETTO BAATORII, and these name is more similar to ELIZABETH BÁTHORY /ɪˈlɪzəbəθ ba:tori/ , the evil vampire countess.

エリザベットバートリー /ɪrɪzabetto ba:tori:/ –> ERISABETTO BART(O)RII –> ELISABETH BARTLEY /ɪˈlɪzəbəθ ba:slɪ:/.

In both cases, the katakana’s name is ambiguous to translate to English Language with the complexity of English Phonetics. The Japanese transcription allowed other phonetic interpretations that produce orthographic changes in video games localization.

The phonetic transcription is based on [https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/]

Acerca de sergiopaterna
Lingüista y Traductor | Grado de Estudios de Asia Oriental - Japonés - (UAB) | Máster en Lingüística Teórica y Aplicada (UPF) | Título Oficial Avanzado en lengua japonesa (EOI Barcelona) | Doctorando en Comunicación e Interculturalidad (UV)

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