Jon_Lincicum at stream.com Jon_Lincicum at stream.com
Fri Dec 9 13:10:49 PST 2005

>Pardon a noob for interjecting, but as the premise is that the stories
>contained in the Dragaera books are translated into English, if the word 
>a house exists in English, would it not be appropriate to use the English
>After all, we have no idea what the Dragaeran equivalent of "House of the
>Dragon" is.

That's actually a very good point, and one I have been pondering.

(In fact, it influenced my assesement that "Phoenixes" may be correct for 
Dragaera, since this word has never actually been in the text)

I think the answer is complicated by the fact that:

a) Steven Brust the "translator" is trying to preserve a sense of the 
"style" of the language, so a literal translation is not always the best 
one (See Howard's answer). 

The famous example of this is Kruschev's "We will bury you." which is a 
literal translation of a fairly innocuous Russin phrase that means "We 
will outlive you."

b) The alternate translation may be there to convey a subtle change of 
meaning; similar to how "Kilometers" "Miles" "Leagues" et al. are used 
interchangeably in the Paarfi works to "represent the six different forms 
of measurement that were then in use" in the Empire.

Overall, however, I find it very difficult to say that the terms 
"Phoenixes" and "Orcas" (in particular) are /wrong/--even if they don't 
appear in the texts--for exactly the reasons you specified; Hence, my 
suggestion that these are simply acceptable alternate forms.