This is a special post for everyone, since I had originally intended to write this up at the BEGINNING of the MoP expansion, however I am saving it for now since we are probably all getting a little bored with the game.
So all these new terms, I am sure they were quite confusing when we first set foot on Pandaria. What do they actually mean? Of course they are made up but I have found that they reference a lot of Chinese and Japanese linguistics.
So I will try to do my best to reference all the stuffs in chronological order as we are exposed to them (Level 85-90). I will first try to decipher the names, then tell you what I have thought about the names all this time.
Jinyu: The Jinyu are the fish people and it is similar to Japanese word play of “People Fish”, normally we would try to say Yu-jin, or people of the fish, but they turned it around. Yu can also be used in Chinese.
How I see the word Jinyu is through Cantonese, where Jin = Grilled, and Yu = Fish, so grilled/pan seared fish.
Hozen: The most accurate representation for Hozen would be the “Ho” in their name which is formal Chinese for “monkey”, or Hou Zi.
However, I read it as “Ho Zen” or Monkey God.
Mogu: Mogu sounds like “Mongolian” in Chinese, or “Mong Gu”, but Mogu also means Mushroom. So they are mushrooms.
Sha: Sha sounds so….Sha and mysterious, but I see it as the Mandarin word “Sha” or “below”, get it? Cause they’re below ground?
Taran Zhu: This can be a legit Chinese name, but I interpret the words as “He, Lazy, Pig”. Yeah, Zhu is pig.
Yaunghol: It sounds like Mongol. Duh. Yaung can sound like “sheep”, so they aren’t really cows, but Mongolian Sheep Barbarians!
Liu Lang: Y’know, that guy who wandered off with the turtle which became the wandering isle? His name is actually literally “wander”. Touche.
Tushui: Push-water. Mandarin.
Huojin: Fire-people. Mandarin/Japanese bastardization.
Shaohao: Little Monkey. Teehee. (Xiao Hou)
The Four Celestials:
Chiji: Toilet Paper (seriously, it’s pronounced Tsee Jee in Canto).
Niuzao: Cow Run
Yu’lon: Jade Dragon (boring hey?)
Ji-Kun: Tissue. Cantonese.
Lei-Shen: Thunder God. Literally.
Ra-Den: Thunder, Lightning/Electricity. Or sigh…Raiden.
Mogushan: Mushroom Mountain
Did I miss any? Any weird names/terms you’ve encountered that’s been bugging you and you’d like me to haphazardly decipher? Let me know!
Truny the Decipherer
What Pandaria Terms Mean in Asian Languages
How fun! It's good to see that Blizzard actually tried on the naming.
Weren't the mogu supposedly crafted from the earth. A sort of golem. Mushroom wouldn't be that far off of a concept then.. 🙂