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Help Translating wolfwere! 
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Evil Genius
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Post Help Translating wolfwere!
Hi,
I'm facing a big problem here. I need to translate this term in a way that is comprehensible by my player.
We are Italians, and sadly there is no word to translate wolfwere(or jackalwere, or anything-were).
I made some research and I hope someone here could help me find a way to translate it (Even harder since you dont speak Italian, but i'll give you all the info i have so far)
Any help is apreciated!

Werewolf is a word made from 2 words: were (archaic word for Man) and wolf (wolf). In italian this would be translated literally in "Uomo Lupo", which is fine, and is used (even if the term "Licantropo" and "Lupo mannaro" are more common).
Some could think: "Well, just call them "Lupo Uomo". "; Well, it sounds terrible (in front of this abomination the name of chtulhus are way much of a pleasure to hear or to say).
There is a word: Theriomorphism (Teriomorfismo - in italian). This word is used when a god has the ability to take - or simply has - the shape of an animal (like egyptian gods).
Somehow people tand to associate this word with the ability to shapechange(Typical for the werewolf). I thought of using something like Terio-jackal (terio-sciacallo) to describe jackalwere. It sounds good, but in term of significate is actually wrong.
Another word that comes in mind is: anthropomorphous (Antropomorfo). If I use this word it would be something like "Anthropo-Jackal" (Antropo-sciacallo) . I dont like it very much, i find it too long and not very clear.
Another - and maybe the best - option is to take into account the term "Metamorphosis". In this case the italian world would be very similar (metamorfosi) and the word from this union would be: Meta-Lupo (In Games of thrones, the wolves of the stark family are called MetaLupi, even if they are called direwolves in the english version (the D&D canon translation for this word is Lupo Crudele - literally: "Cruel wolf"). Tecnically "Meta-Lupo" is a correct word, a wolf who is capable of metamorph into something else. A "Meta-Lupo" Is also a preistoric breed of wolf, bigger and stronger than the modern ones (SCIENTIFIC NAME: Canis Dirus (Dirus is very close to Dire, and the meaning is also very similar "Dread, cruel, fatal").
Canonically metalupo is a term used to translate "direwolf", but only in GoT.

Let me know what you think about those and what is the best in your opinion.
And if you have any idea about some english or latin word who could fit my needs (as prefix or suffix to the animal name) feel free to suggest them!
Thanks in advance


Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:47 am
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Evil Genius
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Post Re: Help Translating wolfwere!
Considering my Italian doesn't extend farther than the cuisine (too be fair, I used to work in an Italian restaurant) and my proficiency in Spanish is a joke, I do have a suggestion. Instead of playing with the words and trying to make them make some sense to the players, just refer to them as something else. Instead of 'wolfwere' call them 'trickster wolves' or something similar to set them apart from the typically known lycanthrope. Or take a page out of linguistic development and just call them 'wolfweres' and describe them to the players noting obvious differences from werewolves. Same for jackleweres. Or go with another language, especially if your players speak that language (or have more knowledge of it). I named a sword Fangelmere (which is based on the German phrase, Sea of Fire) which sounds awesome. If there are any others from other nations or at least speak other languages, suggest or tell us all what they are called in their native (or secondary) tongues.

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Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:29 am
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Evil Genius
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Post Re: Hard question about translating wolfwere!
This is an interesting dilemma. Let me preface by saying: I don't speak Italian, so my aid will be limited. Now for some additional background on the etymology of lycanthopes and similar creatures in D&D:

In standard english, a Lycanthrope and a Werewolf are two words for the same thing. You are correct that Werewolf derives from "wer" (Old English for "man") and "wulf" ("wolf"). Lycanthrope derives from the Ancient Greek "lykos" (wolf) and "anthrōpos" (human). We already have a conflict in the languages. In english, we are putting "man" before "wolf" in Werewolf, but that is the exact opposite of the Ancient Greek equivalent. Of course, we also adopted Lycanthrope into the English language. And then... and then we get to D&D. The general term "Lycanthrope" in D&D is a classification of monster that includes, but is not limited to, the Werewolf. There are werebears and weretigers and werecrocodiles and... you get the idea. In all cases, the "were" comes at the beginning of the word, followed by the animal the human may become. The Ancient Greek used the general term "therianthrope" for this ("theríon" meaning "wild beast").

A Wolfwere is a bit ridiculous, to me. The key difference between a Wolfwere and a Werewolf is the fact that the shapeshifting happens in reverse. A wolfwere is a wolf that can transform into a human. It even has the hybrid form. From a logical perspective, there is very little difference between the two creatures, but someone decided they couldn't say that this group of werewolves started out as wolves. No, they had to name them something else. But, I digress. When they decided on a name, they looked at the reversed shapeshifting and reversed the root words in Werewolf, swapping "were" and "wolf" to form Wolfwere. The inference being that the prefix is becoming the stem. We can do this in English because our language is an absolute mess of loanwords from other languages and a series of mistakes that were never corrected, resulting in a language comprised of rules from multiple other languages and highly-contextual exceptions to those rules.

Sorry. I started rambling again. My point is this: trying to find a good translation by using the English etymology as your basis might not be the easiest way to do it. If you wanted to, you might be able to reverse "lupo mannaro" to form "mannaro lupo", but I suspect that breaks one or more grammatical rules in Italian. I believe "mannaro" is an adjective derived from "hominārius" in Vulgar Latin, meaning "man", much like the "were" prefix in Werewolf. Overall, though, I agree with Dark Angel: it may be best to ignore the literal translation entirely and name them something else... like they probably should have done when they were designed in the first place.

As an aside, I would be interested in hearing from the French-speaking members here what the translation of Werewolf is, given that D&D also distinguishes the Loup-garou as an entity different from a Werewolf.


Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:34 am
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Post Re: Help Translating wolfwere!
I'm Italian; I usually use the word Licantropo, for the Werewolf, and Uomo Lupo for the Wolfwere, alternatively, use Lupo Umano (Human Wolf) or Metamorfolupo (Metamorphwolf).


Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:57 am
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Post Re: Help Translating wolfwere!
In 4E, the jackalwere got translated simply "sciacallo mannaro". But this doesn't help us much with the wolfwere. :(

Ender wrote:
As an aside, I would be interested in hearing from the French-speaking members here what the translation of Werewolf is, given that D&D also distinguishes the Loup-garou as an entity different from a Werewolf.

Simply "loup-garou". As far as I know, Ravenloft Monster Compendium III and Denizens of Dread were never translated in French. When my players saw the entry in the book, they decided we'd call it a "Lew-Gawuuuuuh" [with mock english accent].

Apropos of nothing, Wolfwere in French is "Muloup" (no idea why).


Last edited by Igor the Henchman on Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:55 am, edited 3 times in total.



Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:22 am
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Post Re: Help Translating wolfwere!
I'm not Italian and will be even more limited there than Dark Angel, though I have eaten at many an Italian restaurant, I have never worked at one. ;)

But consider using the term narrulve, introduced in Gazetteer I, as the Kartakan word for wolfwere. Vaasi is based mainly on Norwegian and/or Danish. Google translate says narr ulve translates literally to "Fool Wolf" or as we might say in English "Trickster wolf".

You could either use the term as is, or translate to Italian, which google says would be something like "Lupo trucco" or "Lupo truffatore" feel free to massage that into something that sounds right to the Italian ear.

Once you find the right adjective for "trickster" you can apply it jackalweres, catweres, etc, making them "trickster jackals" and such.

(Gaz I goes a long way to make the distinction clear between werewolves and wolfweres. As Ender said, it was a pretty silly distinction, but the Kargatane took those lemons and made some fine lemonade. The key part is that the werewolf is man's natural savagery repressed by society trying to escape. The wolfwere is the natural creature of the forest seeing the trappings the foolish humans have put on themselves, and exploiting their "society" as a hunting ground through deception. The wolf within vs. the wolf in sheep's clothing.)

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Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:28 am
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Post Re: Help Translating wolfwere!
Dark Angel wrote:
Considering my .... tongues.


Thank you very much for your hint. Actually Trickster Jackal (or any other animal) is a good hint! Sadly we speak only italian and i'm the only one who speaks english (ehm, more or less.. :mrgreen: ). My friend understand english a bit but they usually need my help to consult the books, to give you an idea.
I thought of using Wolfwere, but I find that it would break the immersion a bit (that's a minor detail, of course).

Ender wrote:
This is an interesting dilemma.... Werewolf.

You are right about "mannaro lupo", mannaro is infact an adjective as you stated. At this point I'm trying to find a way to work on "Trickster Jackal".

Mistmaster wrote:
I'm Italian; I usually use the word Licantropo, for the Werewolf, and Uomo Lupo for the Wolfwere, alternatively, use Lupo Umano (Human Wolf) or Metamorfolupo (Metamorphwolf).

Glad to see i'm not the only Italian around here! :o
I find that Uomo Lupo could be a bit confusing, since as you surely know it's usually used to indicate werewolf. Thanks anyway for the hint, if I cannot came up with something better i'll use it :)

Igor the Henchman wrote:
In 4E, the jackalwere got translated simply "sciacallo mannaro". But this doesn't help us much with the wolfwere. :(
Simply "loup-garou". As far as I know, Ravenloft Monster Compendium III and Denizens of Dread were never translated in French. When my players saw the entry in the book, they decided we'd call it a "Lew-Gawuuuuuh" [with mock english accent].
Apropos of nothing, Wolfwere in French is "Muloup" (no idea why).

Thanks for the info! Sorry to say that this translation is confusing (italian translator usually are quite bad... :roll: ). "Sciacallo Mannaro" Makes me think about a werejeckal more than a Jackalwere. It's interesting how did you and your friend work around the loup garou :lol: .

Gonzoron of the FoS wrote:
I'm not Italian and will be even more limited there than Dark Angel, though I have eaten at many an Italian restaurant, I have never worked at one.....


Thanks for the hints. "Trickster" and "Fool" can be translated into "Ingannatore" (Literally: Deceiver) or "Truffatore" (cheater), or literally "imrbroglione". Between all of those adjectives the one I personally like the most is "Ingannatore", since "Truffatore" is more about a person who steals from other by cheating, and "Imbroglione" is more about a person who lie. All those word are sinonyms, with very little difference, The choice is more about what I like the most to hear.
"Sciacallo ingannatore" could fit the logic behind a jackalwere(or any other animal-were).
To be honest i'd like to have a singular term to refer to this specific race (like the word "Licantropi" for the lycantrophes).
The world "narrulve" would be perfect (it's also canon, and that's a think I like a lot) if it only could be easily adapted for any other animal kind.

In my head there is still a battle between the "ingannatore" and "Meta". Something like "Lupo ingannatore" is more clear, but "Meta-Lupo" is cool.
I guess i'll ask my players and see what they like the most.
Thanks all for you help!
Honestly I did not thought that this topic would've get so many answers!
Thanks again!


Fri Apr 21, 2017 2:10 pm
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Post Re: Help Translating wolfwere!
Why do they need a proper specific italian name indeed? ;) Wolfwere being mysterious and uncommon, some people could call them with different names.

Like the walkers, the roamers, the biters, dead ones, lurkers, ... (all names used in Walking Dead instead of "zombies").

Wolfwere are so rare, it is quite possible people do not know a lot about them, and use different descriptors to talk about them instead of calling them "wolfwere".

So I like what I read here that people would say wolf in human disguise, transformers, cheaters, etc, as suggested.

Most people could also simply confuse them with werewolves and call them that, without understanding they are the reverse.

Or use a world coming from another domain, like this from Verbrek (low Mordentish) : ulf (wolf) + hunta (hunter) => huntawolf ?

Or something a bit mystical, suggesting complete change : daeg (day) + niht (night) + ulf => daegnihtulf ?

Or perhaps : ne (no in Kartakan) + volkove (wolf in Kartakan) => nevolkove or volkovene?

Joël

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Sat Apr 22, 2017 10:56 am
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Evil Genius
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Post Re: Help Translating wolfwere!
Joël of the FoS wrote:
Why do they need a proper specific italian name indeed? ;) Wolfwere being mysterious and uncommon, some people could call them with different names.

Like the walkers, the roamers, the biters, dead ones, lurkers, ... (all names used in Walking Dead instead of "zombies").

Wolfwere are so rare, it is quite possible people do not know a lot about them, and use different descriptors to talk about them instead of calling them "wolfwere".

So I like what I read here that people would say wolf in human disguise, transformers, cheaters, etc, as suggested.

Most people could also simply confuse them with werewolves and call them that, without understanding they are the reverse.

Or use a world coming from another domain, like this from Verbrek (low Mordentish) : ulf (wolf) + hunta (hunter) => huntawolf ?

Or something a bit mystical, suggesting complete change : daeg (day) + niht (night) + ulf => daegnihtulf ?

Or perhaps the best example: ne (no in Kartakan) + volkove (wolf in Kartakan) => nevolkove?

Joël


Thank you!
Where di you find those words?Those are just real word languages transposed to ravenloft?


Sat Apr 22, 2017 11:22 am
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Post Re: Help Translating wolfwere!
Nox wrote:
Thank you!
Where di you find those words?Those are just real word languages transposed to ravenloft?


RL Gazetteers!

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Sat Apr 22, 2017 11:27 am
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