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There's this Japan-only game called Grimms Notes, and it has 2 characters called "白の女王" and "白き女王". The former is based on the White Queen from Alice in Wonderland, and the latter is an original character. These 2 characters have no relation with each other.

Naturally "白の女王" can be simply translated as "White Queen", but what about "白き女王"? Doesn't that mean "White Queen" too? Can it be translated as something else like, I dunno, "White Monarch"?

2 Answers 2

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白き is an archaic version of 白い (but 白き is used only as an attributive form):

For the difference between 白い女王 and 白の女王, please read:

Therefore, 白き女王 (or its modern equivalent 白い女王) suggests her appearance (skin or dress) is white. On the other hand, 白の女王 sounds closer to "Queen of White"; she is somehow associated with the white color, but she doesn't necessarily appear white.

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  • Well, "白の女王" in the game is the character from Alice in Wonderland. There was an unfinished global localization that translated her name as "White Queen".
    – Mekata
    Commented Nov 22, 2023 at 2:09
  • @Mekata I know, but I was trying to explain how 白の女王 sounds like to Japanese ears. 白の女王 would be a safer translation for White Queen because it can be interpreted in many ways as described in the linked questions.
    – naruto
    Commented Nov 22, 2023 at 2:39
  • What do you call the White Queen in chess? That's what White Queen in Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland is referring to. Wouldn't that be 白の女王, for the queen that belongs to the white side. Yes, it's the color of the piece, but....
    – A.Ellett
    Commented Nov 22, 2023 at 2:42
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    @A.Ellett It's 白クイーン or 白クイーン.
    – naruto
    Commented Nov 22, 2023 at 2:44
  • Thank you and Interesting! On Wiki for Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass, they refer to the Queens as 白の女王 and 赤の女王. Are those standard translations for Through the Looking Glass?
    – A.Ellett
    Commented Nov 22, 2023 at 2:51
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Wow. This is beautiful use of language.

Yes, both mean White Queen.

You could also say 白い女王 for White Queen. An older variant of 白い is 白き. So they're mixing older useage for the original character, and 白の for the Alice in Wonderland version.

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  • Since both "白の女王" and "白き女王" mean White Queen, would it be fine to translate "女王" to something else, like "monarch" or "empress"? In the case of "白き女王", I mean.
    – Mekata
    Commented Nov 22, 2023 at 2:20
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    @Mekata Perhaps going with a different word for Queen. So, you could call one The White Queen (for Alice and Wonderland) and the other perhaps something like Regina the White. It's a hard distinction to translate. But monarch looses the notion of female, which would be unfortunate.
    – A.Ellett
    Commented Nov 22, 2023 at 2:26
  • @Mekata Also, given that the game has Grimm in it's name, you'd want to keep that fairy tale aspect to the naming. "Monarch" doesn't sound much like a fairy-tale character. "Queen"... well, fairy-tales are replete with queens. Perhaps Snow Queen, which is also a specific cruel, fairy tale queen, but as in Snow White, snow connotes a color. Or, you could use other words such as blond/blonde, but that usually suggests hair color much more than White Queen has anything to do with the real color of the Queen.
    – A.Ellett
    Commented Nov 22, 2023 at 2:29
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    @Mekata - If you have to translate it, how about something like Queen Blanche?
    – aguijonazo
    Commented Nov 22, 2023 at 2:57
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    @Mekata Ah, so you need to translate this back into English? Then 白の女王 has to be White Queen because it's originally White Queen, so you have to come up with something different for 白き女王. I agree with aguijonazo. Queen Alba might be another option.
    – naruto
    Commented Nov 22, 2023 at 3:24

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