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In the recent show Shogun (S01EP02), set in the early 1600s, an Englishman explains to a Japanese lord that there a two different sects of Christianity (Protestant and Catholic) that are essentially at war.

The Japanese lord counters with "いずれもデウスが神だと信じている" (officially translated as "But you both believe Jesus is God?"). I've never heard デウス before to refer to Jesus, only イエス. What's going on here, and would the average modern Japanese person understand デウス?

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    Deus means God in Latin. "Jesus" is most likely an adaptation in the translation, and I don't think the average Japanese person knows this word. Commented Mar 6 at 16:01
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    @GuiImamura: Comments are not for answers.
    – istrasci
    Commented Mar 6 at 16:51
  • @istrasci Noted, thank you. Should I delete my comments, as they are irrelevant now? Commented Mar 6 at 17:07
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    Japanese Wikipedia explains how missionaries around the 16th century ended up with デウス as the primary word to refer to the Christian God. They thought 神 was not suitable because Japanese mythology has millions of kami. The word デウス itself is generally not known to Japanese speakers today, but it can be inferred when used in contexts like "いずれもデウスが神だと信じている".
    – naruto
    Commented Mar 7 at 3:13
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    @chausies I think Gui Imamura's answer is sufficient and mine is just supplementary :)
    – naruto
    Commented Mar 7 at 10:06

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Deus means God in Latin. "Jesus" is most likely an adaptation in the translation, and I don't think the average Japanese person knows this word.

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    FWIW, and speaking as a professional translator, I think the English translation of that Japanese line is shit: 1) it does not convey the meaning of the original statement, and 2) it produces a target text that is internally incorrect (strictly speaking, Jesus is not "God", at least not in the way stated by the translation). Commented Mar 6 at 18:45
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    キリシタンの用語としてのデウス で,この意味ではそれなりに知られていると思います.
    – Yosh
    Commented Mar 6 at 23:34
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    "Deus" is Latin, but it's also the Portuguese word for "god".
    – Earthliŋ
    Commented Mar 7 at 11:06

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