March 20, 2015

Strike the Blood -- "kenjuu"

There's a word kenjuu they use all the time in this series which gets translated as "familiar". Normal vampires have the ability to summon one of these. Kojou will eventually have 12 of them, but at the beginning they exist but don't acknowledge his mastery. It's a plot point in the series that he is gradually gaining control over more and more of them as time goes on. (Actually it's a deus ex machina; every time he gets in a bind he gets a new one and it has exactly the power he needs to get out of it.)

Anyway, FFF translates it as "familiar", which usually means tsukaima.

Kenjuu isn't in the dictionary, so I assume it's two words. I've got it that 獣 juu is "beast", because most of the kenjuu have the form of animals. Kojou's first one is "Regulus Aurum" and it looks like a tiger, for instance. Vatler's all look like snakes, gaining him the nickname hebi tsukai "snake user".

Is it this 権 ken, meaning "authority" or "right (to do something)"? Nothing else looks reasonable.

Also, I could be wrong; it might be 呪 ju meaning "spell" or "curse".

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Japanese at 09:19 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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1 I cheated and looked at the Japanese Wikipedia page for the series. It's 眷獣; the only word I find that starts with that ken is 眷族 kenzoku = "family; dependents. retainer", and you found the right juu, beast.

There is a kenjuu in most dictionaries, though: 拳銃 = pistol.

-j

Posted by: J Greely at March 21, 2015 10:10 AM (9Nz6c)

2

That's not cheating, and part of why I was frustrated is that I couldn't find the original Japanese spelling anywhere.

I did some searching in English and found a place where someone was talking about translating the first light novel, and had decided on "blood beast" for a translation. (Deliberately not being literal.)

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at March 21, 2015 11:49 AM (+rSRq)

3 "blood beast" is an odd choice, basically abandoning the meaning of the original word. The only word containing 眷 in JMdict that isn't based on kenzoku is 眷顧 kenko = "patronage", so this translator is shaping the reader's perception in a way that differs significantly from the original.

-j

Posted by: J Greely at March 21, 2015 01:11 PM (9Nz6c)

4

The discussion on that page made pretty clear that he knew he was distorting the meaning and he wasn't trying to translate it, but he had to come up with something short and reasonably relevant.

I guess the idea was that they're "blood" beasts because Kojou has to drink blood to activate each one for the first time.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at March 21, 2015 02:21 PM (+rSRq)

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