Update: After much head scratching, I think “calm” is a mistake on the marketing team’s part. Listening to the CV, the name sounds like “Karum” and not like how a Japanese speaker would say “calm”. A quick google search revealed that “Karam” is an actual Arabic name meaning “generous”. This would be more inline with the naming convention in the series. So… I’ll go with “Karam” since this is most likely the intent.
Katakana is always a struggle. In fiction it’s always difficult to tell the mangaka’s intent because there are so many homophones and often times the mangaka just makes up a name for a person, place, or thing based on how it sounds. With regards to “Sabaku no Harem”, it appears that the mangaka’s intent is Prince “Calm” instead of Prince Kallum. When I started the series I was wavering between Kallum and “Karum”, but there’s now an official twitter account for the series called “Calm Harem”, which is a possible translation of “カルム”. So from now on, I will translate as “Prince Calm”. The name makes me wince because it’s too on-the-nose, but this is nothing new because most of the time character names are on-the-nose in manga and anime.
4 thoughts on “Sabaku Main Character Name Correction”
But how about no? I mean, we understand how this works, the Japanese love to use English words in their own way. You could add a note explaining that “Kallum” means “Calm” but to really translate the name now would be weird. Think of Mehleil, for example. Does that one have a translation as well? Can’t we just let Calm be Kallum and roll with it? It just doesn’t feel the same…
I fully agree!
Just place a note and don’t change the name.
Or that time when some Japanese decided to officially translate Sigurd to “Ziglud”. I’m in favor of just ignoring it and doing what makes sense for us.
No problem! We get it. And I don’t think you have to change now, Kuroneko-san. Keep up with Kallum!
P.S.: If I could pick up my favorite name, I’d go for “Karam”, the arabic one. It makes more sense to me. I prefer “Generous” than “Calm”… But, ok! It’s not up to me!