Zelda Windwaker: What are the island names in Japanese? [JPN vs ENG]

My friends over at Source Gaming are doing a special Zelda week (February 22nd through March 1st) to celebrate the upcoming release of Breath of the Wild on the Switch.

They have written various articles already, from interviews with known Zelda speedrunners to discussing what new Zelda content should be in a hypothetical Smash Bros Switch game.

As such, I decided to spend today on a Zelda related comparison: the islands of Windwaker! We’ll take a look at how the localization team (for the North American version) tackled island names, and what they were originally in Japanese. I suggest some alternate names for them based on the literal translation, or on other factors of the island along with the translation, but by no means claim them to be superior to the official localization in anyway. It is purely for educational purposes, and is not intended to demean the hard work in anyway.

I go in general order from the top left of the sea chart, moving right for each row. However, I pair some island types together (such as the fairy islands). I also place similar names next to each other for easier explanation. As such you may find islands that appear later on the chart showing up earlier if it is relevant to one of the earlier islands.

great_sea_map_tww

Note on images: All pictures are courtesy of the Zelda Wiki. I do not claim them as my own.

Format:

North American localized name

(Original Japanese name) Very literal translation / Possible alternate name(s)


Forsaken Fortress

魔獣島 Demon Beast Island / Isle of Demons

So one thing you’ll notice as we go along is that the NoA version finds colorful ways to get around the more straightforward Japanese names.

This is the first example of such. So very, very literally, the three characters in the Japanese name mean “evil, beast, and island.” It certainly sounds strange in English to say “Demon Beast Island” or “Evil Beast Island,” with perhaps “Isle of Evil Beasts” sounding a bit better (but still a bit of a mouthful). You will notice a lot of my own suggestions have “Isle of” since it carries a somewhat more mystical quality to it, so I went with “Isle of Demons.” But even then, they’re not exactly demons… but perhaps it is a way to fit that mystery of the unknown into the title.

Though, most of the NoA titles never do the “Isle of” format, likely due to the wordiness. That, and it may make it seem it is an island where something resides, rather than the island itself.

I love the title they chose in the end, though. “Forsaken Fortress” has all the implications of a forsaken place (be it full of demons, beasts, or other forsaken creatures). It is one of the few titles that “Isle/Island” did not make it into the end title, either, which is interesting.

The “Star” Islands

Below are the four islands with the  (star) character used in them in Japanese. Each of the islands after Star Island resembles a real life constellation. More on that can be read about here.

Despite that, NoA went with names that do not reference these constellations as directly, possibly to stick with the Japanese naming convention. Some of the other European languages did, however, resulting in a variety of results.

Star Island

星島 Star Island / Lone Star Island, Starfish Isle

 This is a straightforward one in both languages. The two characters are “star” and “island,” making this a one to one translation.

I listed some alternative ideas for fun. Lone Star would make sense in the context of the other ‘star’ islands (see below), or “starfish” in the context of the sea. But the second one may imply that starfish live on it, rather than it being shaped like a starfish. A starfish is called such because it is shaped like a star anyway, so becomes a needless redundancy.

In the end they went with the direct translation, and it works fine.

Star Belt Archipelago

三連星島 Three-stranded Star Islands / Tristar Archipelago, Astral Belt Archipelago, Hunter’s Isles

This one always seems odd at first. You have Star Island, Five-Star, and Seven-Star, yet this one is “Star Belt Archipelago” instead.

But it makes sense with the Japanese and constellation reference in mind. The islands make up the constellation of Orion (see below), and the “star belt” refers to the three that make up “Orion’s belt” specifically.

The Japanese characters say “three stranded” (stranded as in strung together, not being left alone some place), and can be in reference to a “three-stranded belt.”

Then it was just a matter of applying archipelago (a group of islands) to get this name. They did not specify the number (three), but make up for it with simply “star belt” (with the player able to see the three, though its more obvious from a bird’s eye view).

My alternative names are not as good. The first is just a way to keep a reference to “three,” and the second uses “Astral” just to add to a more “mystical” sound. A third references the constellation, but ignores the original naming conventions that were used.

The fact NoA kept the “belt” in there should be hints to the player enough, so there are not too many problems with having done so.

Five-Star Isles

五星島 Five-Star Isles / Star-Crowned Isles, Star-Studded Isles, Vain-Star Isles

The next of the constellation set up. The Japanese name is exactly what they translated it as: “Five-Star Isles.” They do mean five stars literally, and not in a “rating” sense, of course.

Most of my alternate names come in reference to Cassiopeia (the constellation it resembles). She was known for being a beautiful, yet vain, Queen. With that in mind, the alternative names I provide suggest some sense of either royalty or vanity. “Star-Crowned” or “Star-Studded” in reference to royal crowns and jewels, and “Vain-Star” for exactly that –the stars depict someone who is just as vain. It helps that the general “W” shape resembles a crown with the stars as jewels.

 

Seven-Star Isles

七星島 Seven-Star Isles / Astral Dipper Isles

The last of the constellation islands. Like with the “Five-Star” isles, this is the same way, with seven instead of five.

An easy constellation to spot, this one resembles the “Big Dipper.” It was surprisingly hard to come up with many alternates, with “Astral Dipper” being a little too close to the original constellation (as you may notice that original constellation names are still omitted, likely to keep away the “real-world” names, despite being visible in the sky in-game too).

So when you look back through the “star” island names, you can see why they likely came out as they did.

The “Fairy” Islands.

Below are the five 妖精 (fairy) islands found in the game. Most of them are exact translations, so I only really comment on the last of the five.

The above is a picture of the “Thorned” one specifically, but the rest resemble it without the additional northern island. Note the heart shape. The tip of the heart points in the direction opposite of its name (i.e. the North Fairy Island’s pointed tip points south).

North, West, East, South Fairy Island

北・西・東・南・トゲの妖精島 North, West, East, South Fairy Island / Heart Isle(s)

The only suggestion I make here is that, while Fairy Island is indeed what it says in Japanese, if they wanted to make a more “explorer” sort of game, perhaps aim to make these “Heart Isles” instead. That way the fact there is a fairy on one would be somewhat of a surprise.

But! One must realize that in the game itself, the fishmen are the ones who mark Link’s chart after he sails into what is otherwise unexplored territory. As such, the names appear after the place has likely been explored in some fashion. With that in mind, Fairy Island(s) makes perfect sense.

Thorned Fairy Island

トゲの妖精島Spiked Fairy Island / Unicorn Isle

Thorned was always an interesting name pick for me on this one (and even now, my spell check keeps saying that it isn’t a word).

Toge (トゲ) means something “sharp” like a thorn, prickle, or splinter. The implication seems to be a small embedded object. “Spiked” may sound too rough, and “Splinter” like it is a nuisance. Thorn(ed) does carry a more negative implication as well (“a thorn in my side”), but this does refer to the island itself.

I suggested some more “fairy tale” names, such as “Unicorn.” Of course the island is shaped like a thorned heart and not a unicorn, which may cause some confusion alone!

As such, I think what they ended up going with was perfectly fine.

Gale Island

風の島 Wind Island / Isle of [the] Winds

I feel like this was a missed opportunity. Considering the game is Windwaker, and the “Wind Temple” is featured on this island, perhaps writing “Isle of the Winds” would have been a good choice.

“Wind Island” sounds nowhere near as good, though, so would have to use the “Isle of” convention. In the end they went with “Gale Island” which is certainly better than Wind Island.

Perhaps they did not want it to be confused with Windfall Island (just south of it)? Likewise, it is not plot relevant beyond one dungeon, so perhaps felt something that shares the title of the game would be wasted on such a place.

Crescent Moon Island

月島 Moon Island / Crescent Island

I’m amazed they kept “Moon” in the title, as “Crescent Island” may have been enough. However, in doing so, they keep the reference to the moon directly.

The Japanese one went straight for “Moon Island” as you can see! That may have been interesting if the tides changed how much of the island is visible to reflect the moon’s own status. But I don’t think that’s the case here.

Overlook Island

高台の島 Elevated Island / Watchman Island, Sentry Island, Outlook Island

Located in the far top-right corner of the Great Sea, the island resembles a lookout point. The Japanese says “Elevated” (likely in reference to having the high ground), so NoA went with “Overlook.”

Other possible names would be “Watchman” or “Sentry” island which convey similar meanings. Though, that sounds more like someone must oversee things like an obligation, where as “Overlook” has a more voluntary sound to it. It better conveys a meaning that anyone passing by could take a gander outward (or inward) toward the sea.

I suggest “Outlook” as well, but that may get too confused with “Outset,” another island in the game located on nearly the opposite side of the sea (though, on the other hand, maybe more fitting with that in mind, too).

On a side note: I quite like the German name here (Isla Rah-Bunzla) with its theorized Rapunzel reference, due to the high castle-like towers.

The ##-eyed Reefs.

There are six of these “eye-reefs” in the game, each with a different amount of isles within them that determine the amount of “eyes.” The Japanese version characterizes them with the 目 (eye) character. The names are the same for the most part, but there are some notes to see.

The above is a picture of “Cyclops Reef” or “One-Eyed Island” in Japanese. The rest have dice-dot-patterns on them.

Cyclops/Two/Three/Four/Five/Six-Eye Reef

一・二・三・四・五・六の目島 One/Two/Three/Four/Five/Six-Eyed Island

These are straightforward. The number of islands in the reef corresponds to the “eye” number given. In Japanese they are still called “Island,” so I like the NoA choice to go with “Reef” instead as it gives a better image of what they are. I offer no alternates here, though the reefs do resemble the number patterns on a six-sided die, which may have been an interesting motif to pursue.

I really like the use of “Cyclops” rather than “One-Eyed” for the first island. Of course, “One-Eyed” does have a pirate-y feel to it!

Mother & Child Isles

親子島 Mother and Child Islands

A one to one translation and quite fitting considering the fairy who lives there, as well as the large and small island.

It has become a recurring motif, with two rocks in Twilight Princess following the same naming convention. I suggest no alternates.

Spectacle Island

めがね島 Spectacle Island / Isle of Insight

“Glasses Island” is another literal translation, so “Spectacle” definitely sounds better (and less silly). It also is a potential pun for viewing spectacles from there.

I suggest “Isle of Insight” as a fun way to put a pun to the “glasses = wisdom” stereotype. However, this may make it sound like there is a mysterious dungeon of wisdom on the island, when really it is just a place to play mini games.

As such, I think the NoA one sounds fine here.

Windfall Island

タウラ島 Taura Island / Stormbreak Island, Seafarer’s Rest

This one can go many ways thanks to the pun nature in Japanese. If we look at the Japanese, it can mean anything from “Island where Heavy Rain (and such) falls” and “Beach/Seashore Island.” It is written in katakana so can be vague either way. The wiki lists it simply as “Taura” (a direct reading of the name) rather than any meaning that can come out of it. But with the above combined meaning in mind, I came up with:

“Stormbreak Island.” This one implies a place of respite after journeying through “storms.” It has the sort of image of washing up ashore after a shipwreck too, which would fit opening bits of the game. Basically a safe haven of sorts. Indeed, the island never comes under attack either.

“Seafarer’s Rest” is a nice “pirate-y” name for the place that takes away the “surviving” implication but keeps to the “safe haven” implication. It also sounds more like a town name, rather than an island name.

But, of course, NoA went with Windfall –which in itself is a creative name, as “windfall” can mean “unexpected good fortune.” This is a great use of emphasizing how it is a merchant filled town and a place of constant trade to come back to. It also keeps the simple “Island” convention.

Though it is curious that, compared to some older Zelda game town names, it is quite different than its Japanese name (unlike, say, Kakariko Village which was kept directly as its Japanese read).

Pawprint Isle

足形島 Pawprint Island / Four-Fingered Island

A straightforward name in both languages. I offer “Four-Fingered Island” just as a fun alternate, but Pawprint certainly works fine.

Dragon Roost Island

竜の島 Dragon Island / Isle of [the] Dragon(s)

The Japanese can also be “Dragon’s Island” implying its ownership. My suggested name was simply the “Isle of” convention (again! It seems to be fitting for islands that have dungeons on them).

However, what NoA did that I liked that the Japanese did not convey is the fact the Rito (a bird-like tribe) also reside on this island. So, the name “Dragon Roost” has both the Dragon (Valoo as well as the original Japanese title) “Roosting” (at the top of the volcano, but also in reference to the other bird-like Rito that reside there).

When thought about that way, “Dragon Roost” makes sense and is fine, even if it seems odd to newcomers at first.

Flight Control Platform

飛行やぐら Flight Watchtower / Flight Control Tower, Flight Deck

This is one of the few areas without an “isle” or “island” in both Japanese and English. So my alternatives are not that great, because what NoA did was already fine.

“Control Tower” was to emphasize what it is, like what you see at airports. However, this was made of wood and just a few standing up there, where “Control Tower’ may imply a more modern “machine” meaning. I also suggest “Flight Deck” –but that can be confused with other things, such as the surface of an aircraft carrier (which may fit the “out at sea” motif, though).

In the end, NoA’s “Flight Control Platform” is the best way to express it. It has the flight, it has the “control,” and it has the platform (rather than tower or any other sturdier structure) all in the title.

Rock Spire Isle

石渡り島 Stone Ferry Island / Stone Carrier Island, Rockboat Island, Rocksnake Island

So you can see the Japanese title was implying the isle “carries” or “ferries” rocks, like a boat the rocks are riding upon. NoA went with the bird’s eye view, where it resembles a spire (that has rocks strewn across it).

Some alternates as a result are “Stone Carrier Island,” which sort of has that implication. The “Stone Ferry” (literal) translation may work too. Rockboat is another that implies a boat that carries rock. Lastly is “Rocksnake” which can be more a commentary on shape than what it carries.

Rock Spire Isle is fine as it is, as “ascending the spire” (from top view) makes sense when considering the objective of the isle.

Tingle Island

チンクル島 Tingle Island

Not much we can do here! Kooloo-limpah!

The “Triangle” Isles.

These are the three “triangle” islands. They were translated exactly, so the only other names that are applicable would be more imaginative ones.

Above is Eastern Triangle Isle. Like the Fairy Islands, they point to the direction opposite of them.

Eastern/Western/Northern Triangle Isle

東・西・北三角島 East/West/North Triangle Island / Triforce Islands, Isle of Wisdom/Courage/Power

The islands are a one to one translation of the Japanese names.

Really the only fun references you can make are to the Triforce, or the three goddesses. But the direction and triangles already do that, so these are rather redundant.

That, and to keep an air of mystery to them (considering the game’s back story and legends surviving on the wind), they probably would not directly be named after either the goddesses or the Triforce.

Isle of Wisdom/Courage/Power may have worked as they too are more indirect references, but in the end someone would likely name them after triangles and placement rather than to which goddess they represent –again, due to a lack of knowing much about them in the first place!

Fire Mountain

火山島 Volcano Island / Isle of Flames, Isle of Eruption, New Island, Flame Pillar Mountain

Of all the islands, I feel NoA could have been more creative with this one. A volcano is indeed a fire mountain, and that is all this place really is. But considering things like “Wind Island” were made to “Gale Island,” I am surprised this did not get a more creative name. It also lacks the “island” convention.

So some alternates I suggest would be (my favorite ) “Isle of” style of naming, in this case, “Isle of Flames.” It would continue the elemental themes between islands that have dungeons on them. Speculation suggests this island may have featured a potential dungeon that was cut, which would help this out. Of course, that may cause confusion as Dragon Roost Island featured a fire-based dungeon. Still, it is an “Isle of Flames” regardless. “Isle of Eruption” has more “volcano” and less blatant “flames” as an alternative to the alternative.

“New Island” would carry the meaning of a “volcano at sea” (regarding how islands form). A new and very active island in the making may have been a name for it, too.

Lastly, “Flame Pillar Mountain” (a bit of a mouthful) would be a way to expand upon what was simply “Fire Mountain” to sound a bit more “snazzy” (also considering it has a pillar of flame you have to freeze before entering). However, that is not always the objective with naming, and sometimes just telling it as it is can be the best way to go, as they did.

Greatfish Isle

魚の島 Fish Island

Another example of how NoA improved with a more creative name than what Japan had. Even my favored “Isle of” convention here would sound very awkward (“Isle of Fish”).

The localization staff took Jabun into account and named the island accordingly –so that it is “Greatfish Isle” and not just “Fish Island.”

Tower of the Gods

神の塔 Tower of the Gods

Nothing to say here! It is what it is.

Needle Rock Isle

針岩の島 Pointed Rock Island / Rockhorn Island, Stone Pillar Island

The original Japanese has “sharp/needle” and “rock” (though more specifically boulder/large rock). So NoA’s name is right in line with that.

“Rockhorn” or “Stone Pillar Island” are two other fun ways to go about saying that, though “Stone Pillar” does not convey the “sharpness” like “needle” does. Likewise, “Rockhorn” has horn, which, while pointed, is thick at the base. A needle meanwhile is thin all the way through, and so their name is the best name here.

Islet of Steel

鉄の島 Iron Island / Ironclad Isle

 This is the only time NoA went with the “Isle of” (or “Islet of” in this case) style that I personally like a lot. It works well too, as “Iron Island” (or Isle of Iron) would sound odd. The Japanese character specifically is for “iron,” though can also be “metal” (though less often used for the general metal meaning).

To keep iron rather than steel, I suggest “Ironclad Isle” which gives the “fort” feeling to it too, but really I quite like what NoA did.

Stone Watcher Island

巨顔石島 Giant Face Stone Island / Stone-Faced Island, Stone Giant’s Island

In Japanese, this island is named after the head-shaped boulder you see sitting at the top in the image above. NoA referenced it being a “watcher” (in terms of its position) rather than being “stone-faced” –but it is rather creative as “watching” implies eyes, and hence, a face (or so we hope).

It also has Old Man Hoho on it, which adds to the “watcher” motif.

Some alternate names for the island, when keeping the emphasis on it being a stone-face/head rather than watching, are “Stone-Faced Island” and “Stone Giant’s Island.”

The first may imply the whole island is stone-faced, however, so does not work too well. “Stone Giant’s Island” may work better, though has a possessive so may imply that this big stone owns it. The “Giant” implies both head and a more spiritual sense that there is a “guardian” or “watcher” to the island as a whole.

“Stone Watcher” however does carry similar meanings in itself, and was quite a nice decision in the end.

Private Oasis

ダレの島 Whose Island

“Whose Island” can also be “Someone’s Island” in Japanese. NoA gets around this with the more creative “Private Oasis.” The Oasis has the sort of “area of respite” feel to it as some of my alternate names for Windfall did, and drops the “island” name ends too. It really sticks out in that sense.

I suggest no alternates for this one! Though thought of “Cabana Isle” at one point for the “resort-y” feel, even if the cabin is not exactly a cabana.

Bomb Island

バクダン島 Bomb Island / Boom Isle

It is a one to one translation from Japanese to English. It’s clear the intent was the shape of the island, as well as what you can do on it (destroying boulders with said bombs). One suggested alternative is “Boom Isle,” implying what it can do rather than what it is.

But that is unnecessary, really, and the end result is fine.

Bird’s Peak Rock

高鳥岩の島 High Bird Rock Island / Nest Peak Rock/Isle, Stone Talon Isle

The Japanese title basically says “High, Bird, Rock, Island.” Interestingly, there is no “island” in the NoA title here and has a possessive in it. They did not use roost again, likely to avoid confusion with Dragon Roost.

So the name they went with emphasizes that the peak of the rock belongs to a bird. Some alternatives I suggest are “Nest Peak Rock” which takes away the possessive but keeps it to a bird indirectly.

A more colorful one is “Stone Talon Isle.” Though the emphasis on height and nest is gone, the “Stone Talon” remarks on the shape of the place from bird’s eye view, while keeping bird indirectly through “talon.”

Diamond Steppe Island

ひし形段の島 Rhombus-Shaped Step Island / Precious Isle

 The Japanese title has a pun of diamond (rhombus)-shaped and “secret” island. Combined, I suggested an alternate would be “Precious Isle” which implies a precious stone (i.e. a diamond) as well as a secret to be guarded, in a sense.

Of course the island is named “diamond” due to its shape and not the stone, exactly, and the above does not describe the “steppe” which is important when you look at the island and Link’s objective on it. There are several different elevations to traverse, so it was an important factor to keep in.

As a result the title, though a little long, works fine as NoA chose it.

Shark Island

さめ島 Shark Island

Not much to say here for either language!

Ice Ring Isle

氷山島 Ice Mountain Island / Frozen Shore/Glacier, Isle of Ice, Ring of Ice

In Japanese this one is “Ice Mountain Island” though there does not really seem to be a clear “mountain” (as one would normally know it) here. Instead we have a more draconic head, if anything.

So NoA went with “Ice Ring Isle” to instead remark upon the general shape of the place itself. Oddly, they had kept “Fire Mountain” as it was.

To keep with the motif of my alternate names for the “Fire Mountain,” I wrote in “Isle of Ice” (for the simplest contrast to the “Isle of Fire.”)

However, “Ring of Ice” on its own may work fine without “isle/island” at the end to keep the “stand-out” nature of the place itself.

I also suggest “Frozen Shore” to contrast with their pick of “Fire Mountain,” just as simple while conveying what it is. “Glacier” or even “Iceberg Ring” may have been a viable alternate in reference to the sea, too.

All in all, I feel NoA could have been more creative with this one!

Forest Haven

森の島 Forest Island / Isle of Trees, Isle of Green, Isle of Nature

NoA chooses a better name than the simple “Forest Island” (Or “Isle of Forest”) with “Forest Haven” which implies sanctuary (for the denizens) as well as for the trees. It carries a nice “nature” feel to it as a result.

My alternatives were simply more in line with the literal, “Isle of Trees/Green/Nature” if they wanted to stick with keeping “isle/island” in it. But really, Forest Haven was a good choice.

Cliff Plateau Isles

とび岩の島 Stepping Stone Island / Hopper’s Island

So we had Diamond Steppe already, so it is likely why they did not call this “Stone Steppe” or anything similar. The Japanese is clearly “Stepping Stone” (implying ascension).

Instead, Cliff Plateau is what NoA went with, which is slightly different. My suggestions are “Hopper’s Island,” which would be a fun reference to “Island Hopping.” However, cliffs and plateaus better convey something that can be “climbed” and so in the end is a better choice.

Horseshoe Island

てい鉄形の島 Horseshoe Island / Horseshoe Gulf

A one to one translation between languages.

I suggest Horsehoe Gulf as a pun on the fact Link gets to play golf on it, but otherwise there is not much else to do with this one!

Outset Island

プロロ島 Puroro Island [Prologue Island]

Puroro is a shortening of “Prologue” in Japanese. It forms both an exotic sounding village as well as a “this is where the journey begins” sort of feeling.

Outset, as NoA put it, is a great pun in itself. It is quite “outset” from a lot of the hustle and bustle of the sea, near the southwest corner. Yet, it is also where Link begins his journey, and “sets out” from.

It’s a great name for sure!

Headstone Island

大地の島 Earth Island / Isle of Earth

Unlike “Gale Island,” NoA took a different approach here. Rather than reference the earth, they instead go with the head-shaped boulder that blocks passage into the temple on the island.

It was a little strange to me at first, but it also makes sense because “Gale Island” may be a reference to the statue there that is causing a strong gale (to push Link away), rather than just the Japanese island name.

And if it is the fishmen naming these things, they probably weren’t aware of the temple that lay below!

“Isle of Earth” is my simple way to reference the element/temple that lays within, like how “Gale Island” could have been “Isle of Winds.”

Angular Isles

カクカク島 Angular Isles / Square Square Isle, Cube Isle

Kakukaku (what it says in Japanese) has a funny meaning to it, as it can mean “angle angles” or “square squares” or even “so and so.” As such, I suggest the more Mario-game sounding name, “Square Square Isle.” It is quite angular indeed!

Another alternate is “Cube Isle” in reference to the three dimension nature of it, as well as the fact the game debuted on Gameube. In funny trivia, it seems a lot of the European languages opted to do just that!

Boating Course

船レース場 Boat Race Area / Boat Race Place

The final area at the far southeast corner of the sea. Like the “Flight Control Platform,” it is not an island. The Japanese is simply “Boat Race Area,” so NoA made it flow better with “Boating Course.”

I suggest “Boat Race Place” for the fun rhyme (and yet again sounds like another Mario-game level), but it is not entirely accurate as your boat is not really “racing” anyone there (in the essence of how one would recognize a race, anyway).

Conclusion

So after taking a look, we can see NoA stuck to the original meanings for the most part (and sometimes too much, such as Fire Mountain) and found creative ways to expand upon others (Forsaken Fortress, Stone Watcher, etc).

One would have to keep space limitations in mind (though some still were lengthy and a bit of a mouthful, such as Diamond Steppe Island), as well as whether they were aware of context or not. Sometimes these games are translated with no access to the game itself, so something like Horseshoe Isle also being a place where you play a golf-like mini game (and hence missing the chance to do “Horseshoe Gulf”) would have gone unnoticed. This factor must be taken into account as well!

As for island naming, who even names them? Is it the fishmen who mark your chart? A common consensus among seafarers? That may be worth taking into consideration for why some things are named one way and other things named another.

All in all, I’m very happy with NoA’s names. I suggest you browse the Zelda wiki which shows you the names in other European languages, as some went about their own way of doing things too (such as how some of them suggested Cube Island for Angular Isles as well).


And that’s that! I hope you learned something new through reading all this, and got to gain a better understanding, appreciation, and general outlook into possible ways NoA went about naming these islands.

I’m very curious to how some of my readers would have gone about naming some of these places with the original meaning and island function in mind. So please feel free to list some in the comments below! : )

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2 thoughts on “Zelda Windwaker: What are the island names in Japanese? [JPN vs ENG]

  1. The japanese name for Outset Island, I must say, is quite clever! Apparently, Tingle is so self-explanatory that his own island retains its name in the US release!

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