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duchy-of-geoff-d5.gifThis is an excerpt from the Greyhawk map, intended for use in my oriental-influenced rpg. It uses a mixture of Japanese and Chinese sensibilities, so the use of both Kanji (Chinese idiograms) and Japanese script is appropriate.

 I am no scholar of these languages, though I have an interest. So please excuse any howling words that I have inadvertantly created. Since this is a translation of the Greyhawk map, I had to work with the existing words. For the names that used general real-world objects I tried to use Kanji that seemed to be close in meaning. Where there are several words together, however, it may well have come out to be something else. Oops.

When it came to the words that were just fantasy made-up names I decided to translate them phonetically. Originally I did this in Hiragana (ひらがな) because it is a beautiful looking script. Trouble is, in this script the words might be taken to actually mean something, and the lord only knows what I might be saying accidentally. So then I changed to Katakana (かたかな), the script that is predominantly used in Japanese to denote loan or imported words. In this way the words “translated” into Japanese are identified as rubbish, foreign words that are meant to be pronounced and not to be interpreted as anything meaningful, or offensive. I hope.

This area, identified in Greyhawk was the Grand Duchy of Geoff, is in fact an administrative prefecture of the distant central government. The more correct pronunciation is Jiwa. Each hex is 50 miles from side to side.