Query about "Ulfserker"

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AxalaraFlame
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Query about "Ulfserker"

Post by AxalaraFlame »

Recently I am updating the translation of Wesnoth mainlines, and find many many questions that was not explained by my predecessors. This is just the first one.

As we all know, dwarves have a strong unit "Ulfserker". However, to translate this unit's name we must know what does its name mean at first. I found that I could not understand this word's formation by any means, nor to pronounce it. My predecessor translated into "双手斧战士", which means "a fighter use two handed-axe". But I suppose it is very inappropriate.

Here is my questions:
1. How to pronounce this word by International Phonetic Alphabet?
2. How is this word formed and what does it mean?
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Re: Query about "Ulfserker"

Post by Blarumyrran »

It is berserker, with bear/ber- replaced with wolf/ulf-
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Re: Query about "Ulfserker"

Post by HomerJ »

Blarumyrran wrote:It is berserker, with bear/ber- replaced with wolf/ulf-
Really? :lol2: Freaking genius move in my book...


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Re: Query about "Ulfserker"

Post by Drakefriend »

Indeed. Berserkr is (according to one possible etymology) a "bear-shirt", wearing a bear fur to give himself the strength. They were semilegendary viking warriors who went into a nigh invincible battle rage, but were uncontrollable in it.
Ulfr means wolf, as an weaker totem beast (though the historic term seems to be ulfhedr for them.
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AxalaraFlame
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Re: Query about "Ulfserker"

Post by AxalaraFlame »

Ok, so "Ulf-" means "wolf", gotcha :wink: . Then what does that "-serker" mean?
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Re: Query about "Ulfserker"

Post by Dixie »

Drakefriend wrote:Indeed. Berserkr is (according to one possible etymology) a "bear-shirt", wearing a bear fur to give himself the strength. They were semilegendary viking warriors who went into a nigh invincible battle rage, but were uncontrollable in it.
Ulfr means wolf, as an weaker totem beast (though the historic term seems to be ulfhedr for them.
Well if you read a bit between the lines, I guess one possible interpretation for -serker is "shirt". Although in Wesnoth, it's more the historical reference than the real meaning that's valued. I mean, do ulfs really wear wolf hides? I doubt it, although I haven't specifically verified; hence translating their name to "wolf-shirt" might be weird. Think of the fearsome frenzied, raging viking warriors fighting with battleaxes, that's pretty much the inspiration for ulfs (AFAIK). Maybe you could translate it to something like "frenzied-wolf" or more strangthforwardly "frenzied-warrior". I don't know, think it over a bit. Literal translations are usually poor ones.
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Re: Query about "Ulfserker"

Post by lipk »

Trying to understanding the cultural background of what you're trying to translate is wise, but it's simply hopeless to preserve all these references while you're transferring it into an other language. Just think out something which sounds good in Chinese and also characterizes these guys well. For example, the Hungarian names have nothing to do with these totem animals either - the Ulfserker is something like "Dwarvish Rager" and the Berserker is like "Insane Dwarf".

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Re: Query about "Ulfserker"

Post by TheScribe »

Dixie wrote:I mean, do ulfs really wear wolf hides?
They don't in Wesnoth, just look at their profile picture or their sprite, they're bare-backed. On the other hand, an actual Ulfserker from Norse culture did in fact wear a wolf skin.
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Re: Query about "Ulfserker"

Post by AxalaraFlame »

I got it. So "-serker" means "shirt", right? Hmmm... :? I did not find any clues in the dict. How did you know it?

Whatever, I plan to translate it into "无畏战士" now, which means "fearless warriors". Does that sound better?
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Re: Query about "Ulfserker"

Post by Crendgrim »

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berserker#Etymology
No idea how valid that is, though.
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Re: Query about "Ulfserker"

Post by TheScribe »

AxalaraFlame wrote:I got it. So "-serker" means "shirt", right? Hmmm... :? I did not find any clues in the dict. How did you know it?

Whatever, I plan to translate it into "无畏战士" now, which means "fearless warriors". Does that sound better?
As for how I know it, I studied Norse culture and mythology. (along with a good amount of other cultures)

That sounds good.
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Re: Query about "Ulfserker"

Post by Kamamura »

I pronounce it Uffff - seee - grrrr
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Re: Query about "Ulfserker"

Post by SkyOne »

AxalaraFlame wrote:I plan to translate it into "无畏战士" now, which means "fearless warriors". Does that sound better?
Well, a fearless warrior sounds more a braver for me than what he is although English is totally my second language.
According to the unit description, Ulfserker doesn't feel not only fear, but also pain. So like Dixie mentioned, using the word of frenzy is more appropriate for me.

Anyway, you cannot ask it on Chinese Forum here?: http://www.wesnoth.cn/
I guess you can get a better Chinese name there more than asking it here.
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Re: Query about "Ulfserker"

Post by TheScribe »

SkyOne wrote:So like Dixie mentioned, using the word of frenzy is more appropriate for me.
Crazed would also work. Probably doesn't fit as well though...
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Re: Query about "Ulfserker"

Post by taptap »

I don't know a word in Chinese, but isn't it sometimes better not to translate but to take the sounds and introduce the concept? Khalifate names do much better in Arabic than with generic "Khalifate archer, Khalifate swordsman, Khalifate mounted archer" description. For Berserker I find http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E7%8B%82% ... 0%E5%A3%AB - why not emulate them?
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