Lung Dragons and hanzi

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Lung Dragons and hanzi

Postby Ashtagon » Sun Jun 11, 2017 9:58 pm



Is anyone able to fill the missing gaps?
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Re: Lung Dragons and hanzi

Postby Big Mac » Mon Jun 12, 2017 12:54 pm

Oh, you added Cantonese and Japanese. Nice!

There are a lot of other Asian countries in that real-world area. I know that China has been pretty dominant, so I can imagine that Cantonese might be pretty dominant. But are there any other nations that Oriental Adventures has borrowed ideas from? Might people want to see the names of the Lung Dragons in additional Asian languages?

Would any of this be appropriate for Mahasarpa? Or should I be looking for Cambodian names for Lung Dragons?
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Re: Lung Dragons and hanzi

Postby Ashtagon » Mon Jun 12, 2017 1:18 pm

I'm basically using wiktionary to get the translation stuff done. I recall reading somewhere that at the time these dragons were 'named', Wade-Giles was the standard romanisation scheme for Chinese then in use, although these days pinyin has replaced it as the standard. Cantonese is the largest dialect/language in southern China, and widespread both in Hong Kong and the worldwide Chinese diaspora.

Hanzi were also in widespread use in both Vietnam and Korea, but not Cambodia. As such, proper translations would not be readily available for the Khmer language (the Khmer script is part of a family of writing systems which ultimately originate in southern India). I'm not entirely sure lung dragons really fit the mythos of Mahasarpa, unless going for a kitchen-sink approach.
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Re: Lung Dragons and hanzi

Postby Zeromaru X » Mon Jun 12, 2017 2:29 pm

I know the japanese earth dragon name:

Wade: Ti-lung
Pinyin: Dìlóng 地龍
Cantonese: ???
Japanase: Chiryū
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Re: Lung Dragons and hanzi

Postby Ashtagon » Mon Jun 12, 2017 4:44 pm

Zeromaru X wrote:I know the japanese earth dragon name:

Wade: Ti-lung
Pinyin: Dìlóng 地龍
Cantonese: ???
Japanase: Chiryū


That's what I thought it would be too, except that I've been working with the assumption that the guys who wrote it all up originally knew enough to get the Wade-Giles transcription correct. And W-G has "ti", not "li".

fwiw, these dragons were first published in Dragon #24, for Original D&D. That article lists t'ien, shen, li, pan, wang, a yu lung dragons. No hanzi were used in that article, though, so it's no better a source that the Oriental Adventures hardcovers (either of them). That said, it wouldn't be the worst TSR editing error if it is an editing error.
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Re: Lung Dragons and hanzi

Postby Big Mac » Mon Jun 12, 2017 5:34 pm

Ashtagon wrote:
Zeromaru X wrote:I know the japanese earth dragon name:

Wade: Ti-lung
Pinyin: Dìlóng 地龍
Cantonese: ???
Japanase: Chiryū


That's what I thought it would be too, except that I've been working with the assumption that the guys who wrote it all up originally knew enough to get the Wade-Giles transcription correct. And W-G has "ti", not "li".


:? I didn't see "li" in what Zeromaru X posted. What do you mean?

Ashtagon wrote:fwiw, these dragons were first published in Dragon #24, for Original D&D. That article lists t'ien, shen, li, pan, wang, a yu lung dragons. No hanzi were used in that article, though, so it's no better a source that the Oriental Adventures hardcovers (either of them). That said, it wouldn't be the worst TSR editing error if it is an editing error.


Nice.

Do we have evidence of any Lung Dragons appearing in Classic D&D (B/X, BECMI, RC etc), 2nd Edition AD&D, 4th Edition and 5th Edition?

Are the same eight types used for every ruleset, or did the D&D designers add and remove any Lung Dragons?
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Re: Lung Dragons and hanzi

Postby Zeromaru X » Mon Jun 12, 2017 7:48 pm

From my experience, there are no lung dragons in 4e.
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Re: Lung Dragons and hanzi

Postby Thorf » Tue Jun 13, 2017 2:28 am

Finding this all a bit confusing. First, "lung dragons"? So "dragon dragons"? I'm sure this name was created to replace "oriental". That's fine, but they could have chosen a better phrase.

Looking into this a bit more, it seems they may have been referred to as this in the original source back in 1989, Oriental Adventures. In any case, leaving that aside...

The other thing I'm confused at is Lung Wang, which as far as I know should be Dragon King. Wang is 王, and of course this is the one entry that would make sense to have a different word order, too.

Pan Lung is likely 蟠竜〔バンリュウ〕.
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Re: Lung Dragons and hanzi

Postby ripvanwormer » Tue Jun 13, 2017 3:45 am

Thorf wrote:Finding this all a bit confusing. First, "lung dragons"? So "dragon dragons"? I'm sure this name was created to replace "oriental". That's fine, but they could have chosen a better phrase.


It's no different than "chai tea" or "naan bread." It's not uncommon in English to use the foreign names for things alongside their English names for the sake of clarity. While chai simply means tea, in English it has become the term for a specific kind of tea. Trying to find logic in English can be a futile pursuit, but in this case the reasoning should be clear.

They were called oriental dragons in the first edition Fiend Folio (1980), first edition Oriental Adventures (1985), and second edition Monstrous Compendium: Forgotten Realms Appendix (1989).

In the Pathfinder RPG they're called imperial dragons. The imperial dragons include:

Dilung (forest dragon)
Jiaolung (sea dragon)
Tienlung (sky dragon)
Lungwang (sovereign dragon)
Futsanglung (underworld dragon)
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Re: Lung Dragons and hanzi

Postby Big Mac » Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:17 am

Zeromaru X wrote:From my experience, there are no lung dragons in 4e.


Thanks Zero. If anyone would know, I would expect it to be you!
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Re: Lung Dragons and hanzi

Postby Ashtagon » Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:42 am

I'm tending towards believing that li lung is a transcription error by people who didn't speak Chinese and lacked suitable materials to double-check (hey, it was the 70s when this critter first appeared in Dragon magazine). And once it got written in, the error was perpetuated through literally decades.

"lung wang" probably refers to the dragon kings - four dragons which each inhabited a specific "sea" (north - Lake Baikal, east - East China Sea, south - South China Sea, west - Lake Qinghai).

It seems wikipedia comes to the rescue once again with its Chinese dragons article, listing hanzi for those in teh rulebooks and many more. The New World Encyclopaedia also has an article.

It may be interesting to revisit the design and taxonomy of these creatures in game rules terms, so that they tie more closely to the source material. The lung wangs should more properly be treated as a set of four unique dragons, rather than a species, and the oriental dragon answer to Bahamut/Tiamat would be Huanglung, the yellow dragon (has "yellow" already been taken by one of the chromatic dragons?).
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