Well, first, I assume that everybody here is watching the show or reading the books...so, no problem!
But (IMO) people who says "this is spoiler" or "spoiler alert", are the ones who makes more spoilers XD!
If we have to translate Ionos to Jon, why don't we have to translate Daenerys to Dannie or something? In English, we tend not to translate foreign names.
Daenerys isn't translated to English because as you say, English doesn't translate names. However some languages do this (like Japanese), which is why Jon becomes Ionos I imagine.
Also (as you may or may not know), in the books, Daenerys is actually referred to as Danny very often.
I didn't know whether that Danny name was just a fan fiction thing. I haven't yet read the books, much against my wife's urging. Thanks for letting me know that was not overly gauche.
Since we are translating into English, though, I would not translate Ionos, any more than I would talk about John the Terrible of Russia or John Cocteau the playwright. Japanese does not translate foreign names into Japanese, generally, but rather just alters the phonetics, so they can be pronounced. The Japanese Duolingo course actually uses the name John quite a lot, written out in katakana, but not otherwise altered. People who work in Japan often do take a Japanese name, though, so my sister Virginia uses Shigenobu, and I might refer to her as that in Japanese.
And to the Valyrian team's credit, Ionos is now accepted. They (he? she?) really are on top of things.
I think you are misunderstanding. Ionos isn't being translated to John, rather John is being translated to Ionos.
I also don't think it is a translation, as much as just adapting it to Valyrian phonetics, hence my Japanese comparison. This is something the creator of the language explains is done in Valyrian, and he frequently "translates" fans' names on his blog if they ask him to.
edit: to clarify, the Ionos frequently mentioned throughout this course is most likely a reference to John Snow, a character from ASOIAF.
Oh, I see. I have seen the television show, so I assumed it was him, but I simply assumed it was supposed to be a Valyrian name. This still, I bet, is going to cause me some confusion in translating names. I would assume Daenerys, from a Valyrian family, and Varys, from somewhere in Essos, for instance, would be Valyrian names, but Tyrion, for instance, sounds Valyrian, but comes from a family that is clearly not and tends to give children names that must be translated. It does clear this up for me, though. Thank you again.
For the record - Tyrion is a Valyrian name. In the books, it is discussed that Tyrion has a Valyrian given name, whilst Jaime and Cersei do not, but it's not actually specified why. (It actually might be a spoiler for a popular fan theory).
As for translating names, it's pretty common in natural languages, just not in all of them. For example, until recently Italian music students would learn about "Giovanni Sevastiano Bach" instead of Johann Sebastian. The Hungarians traditionally translated virtually every foreign name - I know of Hungarians who didn't realise Jules Verne was French until they were adults, as they'd grown up knowing that Around the World in 80 Days was written by Verne Gyulya and assumed he was Hungarian.
In Chinese, they read Japanese names as if the characters were in Mandarin. Same for Vietnamese and Korean names (even though those don't natively use characters anymore), Ho Chi Minh is called "Hu Zhiming" in Chinese, Kim Jong-Il was called "Jin Zhengri". This is because those names ultimately go back to Chinese-imported characters (胡志明 and 金正日 respectively).
Oh, and of course - we in English talk about Confucius, who in Chinese is called Kongzi... Because of a perceived need to "Latinize" the names of philosophers in the past.
If it does refer to Jon Snow, it ought to be spelled that way every time, and it isn't. On the subject of changing names, though, I just figured it was a necessity of highly inflected languages that they have to assign some paradigm to names that come from uninflected (or even differently inflected) languages. I've seen this a lot in Latin and Ancient Greek, which have been known to absolutely brutalize names that come from Persian and Sanskrit, and I still see it when people try to put modern names into texts they're writing in Latin (some European countries still write diplomas, for example, in Latin).
You make some good points regarding the translation of names, although I would point out that Kongzi was not made Confucius in English, but rather taken directly into English from Latin. I would definitely say that before the eighteenth century it was most common to rework names to conform to the target language. It has become increasingly rarer in European languages over the last couple of centuries, though. I too have often heard Jules Verne referred to as Verne Gyula, for instance, but I have never heard of Bach János, Dickens Károly, Vuitton Lajos, or Washington György, though I have had conversations in Hungarian concerning all of them. The people I was talking to were generally quite educated in a variety of languages, though, so that may have changed how the person was designated. The Chinese writing system does make it devilishly difficult to represent foreign names phonetically, but I believe the Japanese and Koreans do try to refer to Chinese names by transcribing them in katakana and hangul, though they might just as well have used the Chinese characters, giving them the Japanese and Korean pronunciations. In any case, though, the practice observed is that of the target language. If I were referring to George Washington in Valyrian of the third century after Aegon the Conqueror, therefore, I might refer to him as Jorah Vasingtonys, or however one might Valyrianize it. When translating into twenty-first century English, however, I use the practice of that language, which is not to translate names, but rather to leave them in their original forms, though transliterated into Roman characters.
Actually - it's a bit more complicated than that how the Japanese do Chinese names. They do names from everywhere else in the world in Katakana, but Chinese names they keep in characters, then read in a variety of ways.
For example, historically Mao Zedong is called Mō Takutō, based on Japanese readings of the characters 毛澤東 (although the Ze character is replaced with the Japanese simplification (same as in the city Kanazawa) which I can't type here). Same in Vietnam btw, Chairman Mao is called Mao Trạch Đông based on the Vietnamese reading of the characters. For other historical figures it's the same or similar, Sun Yat-Sen is called 孫文 and pronounced Son Bun.
For modern Chinese people in Japan - it varies, but I knew a Chinese guy at school in Nagoya whose name was Gao Yingjie 高英杰, I can't remember how the Japanese kids pronounced his full name, but they all called him Kō kun, based on the on reading of Gāo.
You see a lot of Chinese migrants in Japan working places like 7-11, usually their name card says the name in characters, often with hiragana over it to approximate the Mandarin sound, but not always. As opposed to the Turkish guy next to them with his name sounded out in katakana.
As for Koreans in Japan, not entirely sure, but I know it's similar (ie on readings of what the Korean names would be in Hanja).
Adding to what others said, recall that DJP was specifically asked by GRRM to make HV resemble Latin, as it fulfills a role as a learned, written standard, just like Latin in old Europe. And Latin writers regularly Latinized names from all languages, including Germanic ones (Falkner → Falconarius, Jameson → Filius Jacobi, etc.). It's to be expected that learned HV in GoT world would Valyrianize foreign names like Iōnos, Rullor etc.
Indeed they did. Consequently, if I am translating into Latin, I always latinize names, even my own Jacobus. English, however, delights in foreign words, and has not translated foreign names since the nineteenth century, so when talking about foreign names in English, I always leave them in the source language, the language of the text. This sometimes gets English-speakers in trouble when speaking about a place like East Central Europe, where people of each nationality insist that names be in their language, e.g. Johannes de Hunyadi should be Hunyadi Janos, Iancu de Hunedoara, Janko Sibinyanin, etc.
The infinitive form of the verb is: ȳdragon
Brandon vōlī ȳdragon kostas. — Bran can speak to ravens.
Quptenkos Ēngoso ȳdrassis? — Do you speak the Common tongue?
Udrirzi Valyrio ȳdrā? — Do you speak Valyrian?
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