Sfant Umbra began as a secret mercenary business within the depths of the Aht Urhgan Empire. With the rise and fall of business it slowly faded from memory. That is, until a descendant of the creator happened across some old parchments one day...
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 Racial Naming Conventions

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Omaria Emir (Comandant Rosu)
Omaria Emir (Comandant Rosu)

Posts : 470
Join date : 2009-05-24

PostSubject: Racial Naming Conventions   Tue May 26, 2009 6:59 pm

Copied with permission. Original post and Commentary by Ameline

These columns were originally published for the Vana'diel Tribune and were for some time also accessible from The Children of Altana main page. The professor is a bit quirky, so bear with him. ^^;

They are valuable resources for naming characters and maintaining the spirit and consistency of the world of Vana'diel. I plan to add editor's notes to these entries to highlight aspects of convention the dear professor might have missed. Please peruse and enjoy~

- Phin/Amé


Good morning. Is everybody ready?

Since this is the first article in the series, I thought I'd start out by introducing myself.

My name is Eman-Ritan, though many of my students call me "Professor Eman." I am an anthropologist, meaning I study the different races of Vana'diel, as well as their ways and customs. I'm sure you are curious about my age, but I'm afraid that I can't tell you that. I can tell you that I have been doing research since well before any of you were born.

Introductions being finished, let's get down to business.

"Anthropology" sounds like something very difficult, doesn't it? Well, it is. However, these articles are called "Just for Fun," not "A Doctoral Dissertation in the Naming Customs of the Races of Vana'diel," so we're going to tone it down a little bit and keep it light so that you young people can continue your other pursuits, like adventuring. I promise not to bore you to death.

Names of the Elvaan

Our first lecture will be a simple introduction to the names of the Elvaan.

As you know, the Elvaan are a rather tall race and are known for their prominent pointed ears. In my youth, I often wished (secretly, of course) that I was as stylish and as--what do you young kids say now? --"groovy" as the Elvaan.

What types of names come to mind when someone mentions the Elvaan?

Very common names for males include "Cyranuce," "Aurege," and "Raminel." "Monberaux" and "Civerion" are also very classy names, don't you think?

They have a certain refinement to them, very high class. These names sound well suited to beings made of gossamer. Why is that?

The Elvaan are known for their swordsmanship and other skills in battle. Elvaan culture considers having one's exploits woven into an epic poem to be among the greatest of honors, so it is no surprise that Elvaan give their children names that would fit nicely in such an epic.

But what about the women?

Take, for example, the names of some of my friends, such as "Lutia," "Catalia" and "Nenne." "Leaute" and "Esca" are also typical names for Elvaan females. These are all names of my girlfriends, but that's another story.

A very large percentage of Elvaan women are beautiful with well-defined features. Why is this?

"Unadorned" and "strong" are the ideas that these names are meant to honor and communicate. Or, at least, this is the theory I'm looking into.

So the names that Elvaan give to their daughters tend to be shorter and easier to say that those given to sons. Sharp and clear names really fit, don't you think? Just a single name tells us a lot about the unique background and characteristics of the Elvaan.

That's all for this time. See you here next time. Stay well!

EDITOR'S NOTE: Regarding the affectionate or familiar version of Elvaan men's names: commonly, the longer names are used in a short, typically duosyllabic or trisyllabic form for familiar or familial usage—evidence of this is found in several Vana'diel Tribune articles such as 'The Women of Vana'diel' and 'Joseaneaut's Mission'. For example, the name 'Cyranuce' become 'Cyra', Joseaneaut becomes 'Josea' or Verathiel becomes 'Vera'.

Names of the Humes and the Galka

How are you, dear readers? It's already time for another installment of "Just for Fun."

In this, our second lecture, we will be discussing the names of the Humes and the Galka, both of whom are found in Bastok.

Can anyone tell me which race is the most populous in Vana'diel?

That's right! It's the Humes. While Humes are most common in Bastok, they can be found pretty much everywhere. I think that's one of the things that make them Humes. Adventurers are sure to meet Humes wherever they go.

Hume names come in as wide a variety as the places Humes choose to live. Are you beginning to see a pattern here?

How about some examples? For male Humes, "Carmelo" and "Arawn" are typical, but so are names like "Naji" and "Piotr." For females, "Hilda," "Rin," "Brigid," and "Tami" are excellent examples.

Don't you find it interesting that, unlike the other races, Hume names have no special rules that they follow? But maybe that, too, can be considered a rule.

This doesn't apply just to names, though. Hume bodies seem to have a similar variety to them.

Humes possess no special traits like the Elvaan and their prodigious sword skills, or the rather magical leanings you find among us Tarutaru. On the other hand, there is nothing that a Hume can't learn to do. Humes are well balanced both in their natural ability and in what they can learn.

Next, then, is the Galka. Like the Humes, the Galka are found primarily in Bastok.

I spent some time doing research in Bastok. I was always worried that I was going to be trampled by some Galka who didn't even notice me. But what I really want to know is this: What on earth do they eat to grow so big.

When I was a student, I would have killed to have strong arms like a Galka. In fact, I almost did kill myself lifting weights. Alas, it was to no avail; my arms never attained such grand proportions. I'm still a bit jealous.

Ah. Excuse me. I seem to have strayed off topic. Back to naming...

I'd like to begin with Galka real names. The first that come to mind are "Gelzerio" and "Balgamirob." And "Dalzakk." These are noble names comprised of strong sounds. Maybe their names are a part of their strength?

In days long past, the Galka had their own language. I think that Galka names preserve some of the sounds of that language.

On the other hand, there are many Galka who have names like "Bright Moon" and "Gray Wolf," names that have no connection to their cultural history.

This is an artifact of Humes calling Galka by names that Humes can pronounce. Not all Galka are willing to abide by this. I, myself, find the hume-given names to have a certain romantic quality to them. It's rather "groovy," I think.

So, what do you think? See you next time. Stay well.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Regarding the Humes and their ethnic names. Typically, names fall into one of three Earth categories for Hume names: European, Arabic and Japanese. European Hume names tend to reflect the conventions of England, Germany, Italy and Russia in particular—try to avoid using French liguistic flavour when naming your Hume. An excellent website to use for looking up ethnic Earth names is the following: http://www.behindthename.com/.

Names of the Tarutaru and the Mithra

Hello. This is Professor Emanritan again. How are you? Are you adventurers out there participating in the Conquest? Huh? You're spending all your time making things at the guild? That's good, too.

Today's lesson on names will be our last lesson. What a pity! Our final article, then, will be on the names of the Tarutaru and the Mithra that they share Windurst with.

I myself am from Windurst.... Surrounded by nature and with such clear air! What a wonderful place.

Though it has suffered some awful wars, with the help of Tarutaru magic and the cooperation of the Mithra, Windurst is recovering. Even now, the city is a beautiful center of education and development that any country would be proud to call its own.

Doesn't that sound nice?

Let's start with Tarutaru male names: "Aram-Param," "Baren-Moren," and of course we can't forget "Emanritan."

As you have noticed, the last part of a Tarutaru man's name rhymes with the first. It has been said that this is how ancient spells of the Tarutaru worked.

By the way, my name has no relation to any spells. My parents told me that they gave me a name that fit the moment. They wouldn't tell me any more about it...

Back to the subject at hand, let's have a look at Tarutaru female names. I think that "Finene," "Chomomo," and "Kerutoto" are all good examples.

As you can see from the examples of "nene," "toto," and "momo," the last two syllables of the name are the same. This syllable is not just assigned randomly.

Surprisingly, the names are based on the orientation of the child in relation to the famous Star Tree at the time of birth. All rather mystical, don't you think?

This ancient practice shows how much the Tarutaru have come to revere the Star Tree.

Perhaps this changes the way you see the Tarutaru.

While I'd love to continue talking about the Tarutaru, I think it's time to move on to our final subject, the names of the Mithra.

The Mithra are a very clever race, making them excellent hunters. But what are their names like?

Examples include "An Shanaa," "Hanaa Punaa," and "Fo Mocorho."

Because Mithra are called by their first and last names, their names tend to be slightly longer than those of the Tarutaru.

While out hunting, they call each other by only the first part of the name, "An," "Hanaa," and "Fo" would be used in the examples given. In fact, they seem to do this whenever they are closing in on something or in a tense situation.

One might surmise that, if their names were as long and elegant as those of Elvaan men, they'd bite their tongues and whatever they were chasing would slip away. But I wouldn't go so far as to say that for fear of offending my Elvaan friends.

Well, I'm afraid that's all. I hate to finish so soon, but this is the end of the series. Until we meet again, stay well!
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