She's Japanese, you see, and has magic powers over shadow and darkness.
May 3, 2010 10:45 PM   Subscribe

Short and sweet: what's the best way to translate "girl of darkness" to Japanese as if it were someone's formal title? I need it romanized, not in katakana or hiragana. Thanks.

If you're feeling generous, you could tell me how to translate "lady of darkness," "girl of shadows," and "lady of shadows" as well, just to give me some options.
posted by Caduceus to Writing & Language (8 answers total)
Here's my translation:

Yami no ko (girl of darkness)
Yami no onna (lady of Darkness)
Kage no ko (girl of shadows)
Kage no onna (lady of shadows)

YMMV. I don't watch much anime.
posted by dydecker at 1:57 AM on May 4, 2010

Yami no onna means "woman of the night" in the sense of a streetwalker, from 1940s and 1950s Japan. It will imply a prostitute today.
posted by vincele at 2:43 AM on May 4, 2010

Kurasa no onna might work if the phrase works literally. (Kurasa from kurai 暗い) Yoru no onna and yami no x definitely imply prostitute.
posted by vincele at 2:46 AM on May 4, 2010

Yeah, "yami no onna" apparently parses out to streetwalker.

My favorite so far is Kage no Ko, "Shadow Girl," and there's some precedent for it, given the "kage onna" or "shadow woman" that shows up in an old ghost story by 18th century writer Toriyama Sekien in his Konjaku Hyakki Shui (second link is English, scroll down to find a mention of kage onna).
posted by pts at 7:25 AM on May 4, 2010

Why ko instead of shoujo?
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:44 AM on May 4, 2010

Thank you, all. I think I like Kage no ko the best, too, but I'm also curious as to why ko instead of shoujo, if anyone can explain.
posted by Caduceus at 9:34 AM on May 4, 2010

Shojo sounds old-fashioned (it came into popular use in the Taisho period) and connotes "maiden." Ko is used in contemporary Japanese for generic "girl." Ko sounds better than onna to me if your woman is under 40. Another vote for kage no ko.

Random thought about yami: on its own it's a great word for "darkness" or "underworld." It's when you combine it with other words that it connotes something sleazy or shady-- "yami'ichi (black markets)" or "yami no onna."
posted by vincele at 10:35 AM on May 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

How out there do you want it?

ankoku -
暗黒 (あんこく) (adj-na,n,adj-no) darkness; (P);

hime -
姫 (ひめ) (n) (1) princess; young lady of noble birth; (n-suf,n) (2) girl; (pref) (3) small & lovely; (P);
otome -
乙女 (おとめ) (n) young lady; little girl; virgin; maiden; daughter;

More titulear than 'ko'.

ko -
子 (こ) (n,n-suf) (1) child; (2) young (animal); (3) young woman; young geisha; (4) offshoot; (5) interest; (6) (abbr) new shares; (7) (arch) bird egg; (n-suf) (8) (after a noun or -masu stem) -er (often of young women); (P);

Kodansha's Communicative English-Japanese Dictionary gives 'fujin' as roughly 'Lady' in the U.K. sense of 'Lady GaGa' - "gaga fujin". EDICT gives:

fujin -
夫人 (ふじん) (n) (1) wife; Mrs; madam; (n) (2) (arch) wife of a nobleman (aristocrat, etc.); (n) (3) (arch) consort of the emperor; (P);

kifujin -
貴婦人 (きふじん) (n) lady;
貴腐人 (きふじん) (n) (sl) a woman who is very enthusiastic about comics featuring male homoeroticism;

Myself, going for a bit of formal/nobility/little bit special, I wold go for 'ankoku no hime' for something like 'princess of darkness' (or the kage no hime for 'of shadows').

There are actually some google hists for ankoku no shoujo (暗黒の少女).
posted by zengargoyle at 12:56 PM on May 4, 2010

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