Zelda fans debate how to abbreviate The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom in Japanese

Nintendo finally revealed the title of the upcoming The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sequel in their latest Nintendo Direct on September 13. The game will be called The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and it is scheduled to release on May 12, 2023. While excellent news, players in Japan have been left with a dilemma. How are they going to abbreviate the title in Japanese?

In Japanese, it’s common to abbreviate long titles by pairing two beats of two together (each beat being a consonant + a short vowel sound or just a short vowel sound). Take ドラゴンクエスト (Dragon Quest) for example. Those Japanese characters written in the English alphabet would look like Doragon Kuesuto, and fans have shortened this to ドラクエ or “do ra ku e.”

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s subtitle (written in Japanese as Buresu obu za Wairudo) is often shortened to “bu re wa i.” If you apply this same logic to The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (Tiaazu obu za Kingudamu), you get “ti a ki n.” However, it looks like many Zelda fans aren’t so keen on that abbreviation.

One of these players is Peco who is known for their stylish The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild gameplay videos. Fearing that “ti a ki n” might stick, they’ve been posting other suggestions to social media such as “ti a a zu,” “ti a da mu,” “kin gu da mu,” and “kin da mu.” They even threw out the idea of just saying the subtitle really fast instead of abbreviating it.

Tweet Translation:
“ti a da mu” feels like the safest choice. Definitely better than “ti a kin.”
Tweet Translation:
The correct answer is ‘ti a zu obu kin gu da mu (spoken quickly)’ without abbreviating.

But Peco isn’t the only person trying to resist “ti a kin.” Some are worried that the abbreviation sounds too similar to the popular Japanese YouTuber Hikakin. When searching on Twitter, you can even see tweets saying, “ティアキンTV (ti a kin TV),” a clever bit of wordplay that sounds like Hikakin TV, the name of Hikakin’s YouTube channel. And with some thinking it simply doesn’t sound Zelda-like, there are a variety of reasons some gamers are resisting “ti a kin.”

It definitely has the same kind of ring to as Hikakin or Anakin, who have no connection to The Legend of Zelda, so at this point maybe it’s only natural that it seems out of place.

With that said, there doesn’t seem to be other viable candidates. Some are even saying shortening Tears of the Kingdom to “TotK” makes it seem like TikTok. Right now, “ti a kin” is like that guy nobody wants to win the election but who is running unopposed.

Maybe when the game finally comes out and everyone starts playing, we’ll see “ti a kin” become the accepted abbreviation in Japanese. But for now, the debate rages on.

Video games often have codenames when in development, so it would be interesting to hear what they’ve been calling The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom during the development process. In the end, people are free to call it whatever they want. There isn’t a right or wrong answer. But at least we have this debate to amuse ourselves until the game comes out.

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is coming to the Nintendo Switch on May 12, 2023.

Written by. Nick Mosier based on the original Japanese article (original article’s publication date: 2022-09-14 12:13 JST)