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In the video game Recettear, you can buy a book with the title 仲良し姉妹の冒険記. The item description says the following:

世界中を旅しているという姉妹に密着した, ノンフィクション作品。ドラゴンに食べられそうになったりと,結構大変な事になってます。

The book's translated title is "The Tale of the Two Sisters." The "translated" description reads as follows:

A nonfiction work about two sisters and their travels. Shouldn't this have been released sooner?...

I believe the book is a reference to the "prequel" Chantelise, which I assume is about the two sisters of the book.

In that game, the sisters have been cursed for 5 years and are looking for the witch that cast the curse, embarking on a journey and travelling around the world.

Here's a world map from the prequel Chantelise:

enter image description here

As you can see, this isn't literally the "entire world", but only one region of the world.

Is there any way to translate this description of a book while preserving the meaning of the original sentence that they haven't traveled everywhere?

Like in the medieval ages, people in Europe knew about Asia and Africa, but if you've traveled the whole of Europe, you could say that you've traveled the world. Does the same apply to 世界(中)?

The game's universe too is sort of on a medieval/Renaissance level. They have got typewriters, printed books, phonograph etc.


I'm trying to keep them from walking all around the world, twice over. Or is it possible, based upon the Japanese description of the book, that the two sisters might not have traveled the world before the events of the book?


Or do I have the translation wrong and the writer of the book has traveled the world and wrote down the story of these sisters?

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    Welcome to stackchange! Are you trying to translate something into English from Japanese or vice versa? If you know what you want to say, but not how to express it in English, try ell.stackexchange.com. It might help to give a short explanation where you got this from, or what you need this for (eg. one would express it differently in English if it were for, say, a historical play). – blutorange Apr 4 '15 at 20:02
  • At least the original sentence has no implication that "they haven't traveled everywhere". It simply says "the sisters who travels around the world". Or a little more literally, "the sisters who are known for traveling around the world". – isayamag Apr 6 '15 at 3:06
  • I don't know what the book is about. Does it take place in a medieval setting? Perhaps this question should be whether the Japanese word 世界 could possibly be limited to Europe or the known world in an appropriate context, or if it necessarily refers to entire earth? – blutorange Apr 6 '15 at 7:47
  • @isayamag Wait... "the sisters who are known for traveling around the world"? So the sisters may have not traveled the world before the events of the book? – Malady Apr 6 '15 at 12:24
  • I did some edits to your question. Does it match what you would like to ask about? – blutorange Apr 6 '15 at 15:02
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新明解国語辞典 第五版:

 せかい【世界】

① 人間が住んでいたり 行って見たり することが出来る、すべての所。〔狭義では、地球上に存在するすべての国家・住民社会の全体を指す〕

「世界[一]{いち}・世界記録・世界保健機関・第三世界」

② そのものと その同類で形作っている、なんらかの秩序が有ると考えられる集まり。

「若者の世界〔=仲間〕/魚の世界/学問の世界〔=学問の領域内〕

Sense ② is interesting because it parallels the English word:

the animal / plant / insect world; the world of fashion; stars from the sporting and artistic worlds

The relevant sense here, however, is ①. As the example 第三世界 illustrates, 世界 does not necessarily refer to the entire earth. More examples from a historical context:

ヨーロッパ世界 、地中海世界、西方世界

"European" world, mediterranean world, western world

Under normal circumstances, 世界 by itself would refer to the whole world these days. In the context of the game Chantelise, and especially as the developers saw it fit to call it "world" map, it's entirely possible that's what they meant by 世界中. It's the entire in-game world.

In English, you could express this as ""travel around the world", "journey through the world", or perhaps just a simple: "travel the world". And this might be obvious, but "travelling around the world" does not imply one has been literally everwhere, only that one has been to many places over the world.


The following is a short description of what the book is about:

世界中を旅しているという姉妹に密着した, ノンフィクシヨン作品。

Judging only from this, it leaves open both possibilities: (a) the protagonists begin their journey at, or after, the beginning of the book, which then tells the story of their journey; (b) the protagonists have already been travelling the world and the book tells another episode of one of their journeys.

Given the context, possibility (a) appears to be the case. There's no need for them to go on their journey twice.

  • Good use of 新明解国語辞典. – Avery Apr 8 '15 at 22:47

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