Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Only for viewing, Nov 23, 2021.
I'm pretty sure some game used "Clucky" before.
I don't know the history of this character at all, but was it really written as クッキー in any Japanese games? Because that is literally "cookie" in Japanese. Hell, even if it wasn't ever written in katakana and only appeared in English in the Japanese games as "cucky" I would still suspect they just misspelled "cookie" since "cucky" looks like it's pronounced "koo-kkee" in romaji, whereas "cookie" looks like it would be pronounced "koh-kee-eh" to a Japanese person unskilled at English. The misspelling of English words due to the application of romaji spelling rules is surprisingly common in Japan - you'd think no one had ever heard of a dictionary.
It certainly wouldn't be based on the sound a chicken makes, since chickens don't cluck in Japanese. In fact, I've never met anyone in Japan who is aware of a word for the sound a hen makes. They only know the rooster crow which sounds like "koh-keh-koh-koh."
The choice of "Cucky" from クッキー makes sense, given the context. Check out pp 8-9 of the original Japanese manual here to see all of the animal names in katakana.
Basically, they all end in ッキー "cky".
All of the names are of course playing off of Flicky, who is a classic 1984 Sega game character.
OK, great. The name is definitely pronounced "cookie." I don't know if any of those names ever showed up all in one place written in romaji, but if they did and were all spelled as they are here then you're probably right.
Regardless, any Western discomfort with the name is due to a misunderstanding of how it was meant to be pronounced.
Here's another instance (from 1994's Sega TV Game Genga Gallery Artbook) when they were named:
Anyways, I'm cool with the name change. Even back in the early 2000s people made fun of it, so I don't see the harm in changing it.
I just really want any rewrite or retcon to be established BEFORE publishing a compendium of any sort. Not during.
Edits ≠ a collection or gathering of knowledge, and do not belong in such.
If there is any factual evidence that it was ever "Clucky", then it stays. Again, I'm fine with any name change, that's okay. Call him "Bob" for all I care. However, if there isn't any evidence, then it's an error.
That's great! This time, it's "Kookie," hmmm?
Lots of romaji-English which Westerners would mispronounce there.
"Wookie" looks like the Star Wars species, but it's pronounced "ookie" in Japanese.
Tookie = "toe-kee."
Ricky = "ree-kee"
Picky = "pee-kee"
Pocky = "poe-kee"
And Dr. Ivo Robotnik is pronounced... "Doctor Eggman" LOL. So maybe there isn't even supposed to be direct correlation between the English and Japanese. One is the English name, and the other is the Japanese name.
Actually, that looks like "Kookle" with an L not an I.
EDIT: Oh actually, maybe that was a typo.
Yes, the book this is from (Sega TV Game Genga Gallery) is a bilingual book. The bottom names are not meant to be romaji, but English.
Nice spotting there. Definitely a typo.
Some of the romanizations in the Genga Gallery book are a bit strange and don't match the Japanese ("Tookie" is quite different from the Japanese, which is closer to "Tocky" or "Tokie"). Of course, these are all just the creations of some random translator, so they don't hold some definitive weight or anything.
If we throw out the rule "must end in '-cky'" (which was intended to match Flicky), possible romanizations (in terms of the first vowel sound) are something like this:
So... Kookie is OK for me.
It's honestly not worth worrying over. Whatever it is in Japanese (let's say it's "クッキー"), that's the correct pronunciation in Japan. How it's written in romanji doesn't really matter. Writing any Japanese word in alphabetic characters is just an arbitrary way of allowing foreigners to read it, but it isn't anything official nor is it representative of an authentic pronunciation. Even within Japan there are different systems of romanization which will spell things differently. It doesn't make one or the other wrong, just as it doesn't make one or the other right.
Cookie or Kookie are both fine, since they approximate the correct pronunciation. Cucky is a poor choice, since to Western eyes, it appears to rhyme with "lucky" (despite there not being any "uh" sound in the Japanese language.
The reason I as a translator might want to avoid Cookie is because it has a concrete meaning attached, whereas the Japanese names are just made-up words (despite some of them, like クッキー, being homonyms). The English speaker who hears "Cookie" might not be sure if that's how it sounds in Japanese or if that's what the meaning is in Japanese. This is also probably why the Genga Gallery translator used "Lookie" instead of "Rookie".
According to Game Apologist, according to Channel Pup, the name "Clucky" was used in Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games or Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. Very innacurate source but that's what it is.
So I guess people are pronouncing it to rhyme with 'lucky' - that's definitely nothing like how it sounds in Japanese. Kookie would have been a better romanization but I think we're beyond that at this point
To be fair, クッキー has the concrete meaning of "cookie" in Japanese. It's gairaigo (loan word) which is part of everyday vocabulary. So that's the first thing a Japanese person would think of when they see the name written in Japanese.
Of course, but in this case I'd say it's not referring to the food.
It's like if someone made up these names in English: sashi, soshi, sushi
It would be weird to translate them into Japanese as: サシ、ソシ、寿司
Well, translations are one thing. But just considering the character's name in its native language...if a game was made in English with a character named "Sushi," wouldn't you think of sushi when you saw the name? So why wouldn't a Japanese person think of cookies when they see the word クッキー?
It's the context that it's presented in. Sure, if it's in isolation, we might think the original creator intended to illicit the meaning of a cookie. But when it's within the context of a dozen other ッキー made-up names, it would be strange for the creator to suddenly want to associate one with a food. We're talking Japanese here, the language with a million homonyms. In this case, I'd say the creator was just going through and making ッキー names that sound nice, and one just happened to be a homonym with a food.
But this is really translation 101: If possible, avoid eliciting a meaning that wasn't intended in the original language. As always, the puzzle is "What was intended?"
"Kookie" has a more made-up feel like the original Japanese, while "Cookie" is too connected with the food, and there's no indication that was the intention.
But we can agree that "Cucky" doesn't work because the average English speaker will pronounce it as rhyming with "lucky."
You're right, it's impossible to know what was intended, but since this isn't Dragon Ball, it probably wasn't the food. Unlike most of the names on the list, クッキー actually is a Japanese word, and only has the one meaning, but in this case it isn't necessarily supposed to bring the food to mind. It's just a name, no different someone with the English name Cookie.
I personally think whoever chose "Clucky" did the right thing. It holds with the ッキー pattern while also sounding like a properly cute name for a chicken character. It required an understanding of English beyond that of whoever originally created the character, but that's fine.
I'm reminded of a kind of beer they have here in Japan which features various animals on the can under the moniker "Lucky ___" such as Lucky Dog, Lucky Cat, Lucky Mouse, Lucky Tiger etc. A year ago or so they released a red ale and called it Lucky Chicken, and I remember thinking that if such a beer had been released in an English-speaking country, they would have put a "c" in front of the "Lucky" to make it more...chicken-y.
I'll stick calling it cucky because that's funny and keeps it in my memory instead of just being "oooo there's the flickies and... the chicken, the pig..."
Lol this Chicken has had like 6 different names, not even Sega gives a rats ass about him.
Separate names with a comma.