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  1. #1
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    Race Naming Conventions

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    Elezen
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    Both the Wildwood and Duskwight Elezen are proud clans from a proud race. The forenames and surnames used by them have changed little since the time when they first crossed into Eorzea from the north. However, over the ages, due to bad blood between the two tribes, the surnames once commonly used by both, have been claimed by one side or the other. Now, you will find that while the structures and spellings of the names are extremely similar, and they follow the same phonetic rules, a Duskwight and a Wildwood Elezen will never have the same last name.

    The spelling and phonetic rules are extremely similar to those of French, and while there are no set-in-stone guidelines for male or female names, there are some distinguishing features.

    Female

    Female names tend to end in “ne,” “ette,” or “elle” or on extended vowels like “ie”, and be shorter than the male names.

    Tivionne
    Elviane

    Jainelette
    Saulette

    Etoinelle
    Pimelle

    Jannie
    Ceaulie

    Male

    Male names are longer, and will end in x, such as ‘loix’ (pronounced ‘lo-ah’) or ‘aux’ (pronaounced ‘oh’), or end in a silent t, such as ‘mont’ (pronounced ‘moan’) or geant (pronounced ‘john’).

    Raitmeaux
    Mourechaux
    Nogeloix
    Padilloux

    Vairemont
    Carrilaut
    Aurifort
    Bertennant

    One will also notice that some of the Elezen names appear familiar to those of the Hyur.

    Louis vs Louisoix
    Eugene vs Eugenaire
    Arthur vs Arthurioux

    Gwen vs Gwenolie
    Hilda vs Hildie

    There are Eorzean historians who believe that these similarities in names may be proof that the two races are of similar origin─’open-minded’ Hyuran historians claiming the Elezen are a bastard race spun off from the Hyurs (and not the other way around). Elezen historians, on the other hand, simply deny any blood relation whatsoever.
    (30)
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  2. #2
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    Hyur Naming Conventions

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    Hyur – Midlanders
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    Hyuran first names are remarkably similar to Anglo Saxon, Celtic, and Briton names that appeared in medieval (pre-17thth century) Europe.

    Last names are usually based off of professions, or locations of where they or their families lived. They may also represent a person’s outward features (i.e. brown hair leading to the surname ‘browne’)

    Male

    Eddard Baker
    Petyr Stone
    Belmont Miller

    Female

    Isolde Stark
    Hester Skinner
    Joyse Browne

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    Hyur – Highlanders
    ---------------------------

    Highlander first names are remarkably similar to medieval European names that have Germanic or Normandic roots.

    As the Highlanders are a warring race, their last names tend to sound more...violent, as they will often adopt the colorful nicknames they have earned during battle.

    Male

    Aethlwold Hunter
    Hunfrid Longblade
    Lewenhart Boarsblood

    Female

    Sigberta Strong
    Orieldis Blacke
    Bergard Thorne

    Fun Fact: Some Midlanders like to joke that because Highlander names have a very Roegadyn feel to them (in addition to highlanders being very large and muscular), that the clan is somehow “less Hyuran.” Many an alehouse brawl has broken out as a result of a Midlander in his cups uttering such quips as ‘Your mother was a Sea Wolf ’ in the presence of a Highlander. Needless to say, most of these quarrels do not end well for the instigator.
    (46)
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  3. #3
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    Miqo'te Naming Conventions

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    Miqo’te - Seekers of the Sun
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    Male

    Most males have simple, one or two syllable names. The extra aitches we see in names such as “Bhee,” “Kuzh,” and “Pahsh” represent a slight hissing/spitting sound that is made when the name is pronounced by the cat-like Miqo’te. Many of the other races in Eorzea cannot accurately reproduce this sound, so the aitches end up going silent when read (Bee, Kooz, Pash).

    The first name is always proceeded by a letter representing their tribe. In the mass exodus which occurred during the Fifth Umbral Era, 26 Seeker of the Sun tribes crossed the seas (which had frozen solid as a result of the Calamity) to Eorzea in search of food and warmer climates. The names of these tribes contained many sounds which were difficult to represent with the existing Eorzean alphabet; but the fact that there were the same exact number of tribes as letters in the Eorzean alphabet was taken as a sign that they were destined to make the new realm their home, and so assigned each tribe with a letter/sound that was closest to its name. Over time, this resulted in the changing of the pronunciation to more closely resemble the pronunciation of the Eorzean letter than that of the original word.

    The tribe names are originally based on traditional beastkin, scalekin, or cloudkin totems, which are said to protect the tribe.

    A: Antelope (pronunciation: short Ah)
    B: Boar (short Bee)
    C: Coeurl (short Ka)
    D: Dodo (short Deh)
    E: Eft (short Eh)
    F: Bear (short F)
    G: Gryphon (short, hard Goo)
    H: Gigantoad (short Hah)
    I: Buffalo (short Ee)
    J: Jackal (short Jah)
    K: Hipparion (short Koo)
    L: Viper (short Lee)
    M: Marmot (short Meh)
    N: Aldgoat (short N)
    O: Mole (short Oh)
    P: Basilisk (short Peh)
    Q: Puk (short Key)
    R: Raptor (short Ruh)
    S: Zu (short Soo)
    T: Condor (short Tuh)
    U: Drake (Ooh)
    V: Vulture (short Vah)
    W: Wolf (whort Wah)
    X: Lynx (short She)
    Y: Jaguar (short Yah)
    Z: Ziz (short Zoh)

    Males do not take family names, as they are each considered the ‘origins’ of new families. In place of a family name, they are given a title that denotes their tribe, and their position within it. For a male Seeker of the Sun, there are only two positions available—breeding males (nunh – pronounced ‘noon’) and all others (tia – pronounced ‘tea-ah’). All males are born as tia. At any time in their lives, a tia can challenge the tribe nunh to battle. If the tia is victorious, he takes the nunh’s place as tribe breeding male (until he is challenged and defeated), and the nunh becomes a tia once again (if he survives the ordeal). This is done to ensure that the tribe’s offspring are of the finest stock. Depending on its size, a tribe may have multiple nunh (a ratio of one nunh per ten to fifty females is average).

    There is only one other way a tia can become a nunh, and that is to leave his tribe, and start his own. This, of course, requires several females to accomplish, and most female Seekers of the Sun are rarely impressed by a male who cannot defeat a nunh.

    Nunh status does not equate to leadership within a tribe, and in fact, very few nunh ever become leaders.

    Pronunciation-wise, other than the tribe pronunciations listed above, names follow common English phonics. Though followed by an apostrophe, the tribe sound is usually flows into the name.

    O’raha would be pronounced “o-RA-ha” not “OH. raha”

    - O’raha Tia
    - O’bhen Tia
    - U’odh Nunh
    - K’tyaka Nunh

    Female

    A female first name will always begin with the letter representing her tribe, followed by an apostrophe, and then her given name. Her last name is the first name of the tribe’s breeding male who sired her.

    R'Sushmo Rhiki

    Sushmo of the Raptors, sired by R’rhiki Nunh (breeding male of the Raptors)

    The apostrophe pronunciation rule applies here, as well.
    The first name Y’shtola would be pronounced “yash-TOE-lah” not “ya. shtoe-lah”

    - N’bolata Raha
    - A’zumyn Bhen
    - H’amneko Odh
    - J’nangho Tyaka

    In colloquial speech amongst close friends and companions, sometimes the tribe letter will be dropped from the first name.

    F’lhammin -> Lhammin

    ------------------------------------------
    Miqo’te – Keepers of the Moon
    ------------------------------------------

    Female

    Unlike the Seekers of the Sun, the Keepers of the Moon is a highly matriarchal society, with family names passed down from the mother, not the father. It is said that some of these surnames have survived since the First Astral Era.

    The Keepers of the Moon lead more solitary lives, rarely forming communities of more than two or three families. Therefore, a tribal letter is not assigned to the names.

    The matriarchal strength is further displayed by the fact that female first names are short, one/two syllable constructions that closely resemble names used by male Seekers of the Sun.

    Unpronounced aitches are also present in the names.

    - Okhi Nbolo
    - Cemi Jinjahl
    - Gota Jaab
    - Sizha Epocan

    Male

    More evidence of how important the mother is to the Keepers of the Moon can be seen when looking at the names given to males. In addition to taking the mother’s surname, males also take the mother’s forename, adding a suffix (separated by an apostrophe) to the end to designate the order in which they were born.

    First son: 'a
    Second son: 'to
    Third son: 'li
    Fourth son: 'sae
    Fifth son: 'ra
    Sixth son: 'ir
    Seventh son: 'wo
    Eighth son: 'ya
    Ninth son: 'zi
    Tenth son: 'tan

    - Okhi’a Nbolo
    - Cemi’to Jinjahl
    - Gota’li Jaab
    - Sizha’sae Epocan

    Though there are ten suffixes listed above, rarely do even the largest Keeper of the Moon families have more than two or three sons. This is not by choice. Nature merely sees to it that more females are born to this race.
    (62)
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  4. #4
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    Lalafell Naming Conventions

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    Lalafell - Plainsfolk
    ---------------------------

    Both Plainsfolk and Dunsefolk Lalafell names are ruled by rhythm, repetition, and rhyming (as well as a little alliteration). Syllable count also plays a large part. There are four unique sets of rules, and these rules are rarely deviated from. Once the rules are learned, one will be able to discern a Lalafell’s clan and gender by simply looking at a name.

    The Lalafellin language (used by the clans before they arrived in Eorzea) originally only possessed five distinct vowels: a e i o u. The pronunciations are as follows:

    a (“ah” as in arm)
    e (“eh” as in bet)
    i (“ee” as in beet)
    o (“oh” as in home)
    u (“ooh” as in dude).

    Surnames are only surnames in placement, as they are not taken from the mother or father and are unique to the individual.

    Male

    1. The phoneme pattern used is AB - CB
    2. The A and C phonemes do not have to rhyme.
    3. The A, B, and C phonemes are usually limited to one or two syllables.

    - Zorido Manarido
    - Kopel Yorpel
    - Alka Zolka
    - Waguda Mabaguda

    Fun Fact: In everyday speech, Plainsfolk males will usually always use their full names, rarely ever breaking them down into solely first or last.

    Female

    1. The phoneme pattern used is ABB - AB.
    2. The A and B phonemes are always one syllable, and most often a single consonant paired with a single vowel, or simply a single vowel.

    - Mimomo Mimo
    - Tokiki Toki
    - Ulala Ula
    - Honmeme Honme

    ---------------------------
    Lalafell - Dunesfolk
    ---------------------------

    Male

    1. The phoneme pattern used is AAB - CCB
    2. The A and C phonemes are 1 syllable, the B phoneme 2.
    3. The A and C phonemes may rhyme, but do not have to.
    4. Syllables are most often a single consonant paired with a single vowel, or simply a single vowel.

    - Jajariku Nanariku (rhyming)
    - Momomena Lolomena (rhyming)
    - Nunulupa Tatalupa (non-rhyming)
    - Fafajoni Kukujoni (non-rhyming)

    There are rare cases when the B phoneme will ‘seemingly’ have one syllable such as Zozonan or Nanalai. The ‘n’ and ‘i’ here are, in fact, the remnants of sounds that were once paired with a Lalafellin vowel that, over time, has disappeared from speech, and therefore become silent in names.

    Female

    1. The phoneme pattern used is AAB - AB
    2. The A and B phonemes are 1 syllable (with the A phoneme always repeated in the forename).
    3. Syllables are most often a single consonant paired with a single vowel, or simply a single vowel.

    - Jajano Jano
    - Kokobi Kobi
    - Yayamo Yamo
    - Chuchumu Chumu

    Fun Fact: Members of the Ul'dah and Sil'dih royal families also bear the names of their respective sultanates.

    - Nanamo Ul Namo
    - Lalawefu Sil Tatawefu
    (40)
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  5. #5
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    Roegadyn Naming Conventions

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    Roegadyn - Sea Wolves
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    At a glance, Sea Wolf names can oft appear like an amalgam of seemingly random letters, pounded out by a starved monkey chained to a thrift store typewriter.

    Ah, but that is where you are mistaken! There actually is a pattern!

    Male

    Sea Wolf names are actually all formed from two words taken from the ancient Roegadyn language that the race's ancestors spoke before they came to Eorzea. For example, Ahldskyf is a combination of Ahld (meaning 'old') and Skyf (meaning ‘ship’). Rostnsthal is a combination of Rostn (rusty) and Sthal (steel). Pronunciation of the names can be a bit easier after splitting the name into its two parts: Ahld + skyf (read "ald-skeeff").

    - Greintoum (grein + toum = bronze dream)
    - Mytemyrgan (myte + myrgan = middle morning)
    - Ahtmhas (aht + mhas = eight scars)

    Fun Fact: The word Roegadyn actually means ‘people of the rain’: roega being a distorted form of the word ‘roegan’ (rain) and ‘dyn’ (people), as the weather in northern islands from which they hail fluctuates from thick fog to torrential downpours...and that’s when it’s too warm for snow.

    Female

    Female first names follow the same rules as male first names, except that the second word used in the names is almost always one of the following:

    - Swys (Sister) -> Aermswys (Poor Sister)
    - Thota (Daughter) -> Klynthota (Small Daughter)
    - Wyda (Willow) -> Dyrstwyda (Thirsty Willow)
    - Geim (Jewel) -> Rhotgeim (Red Jewel)
    - Wyb (Woman) -> Merlwyb (Sea Woman)
    - Rael (Doe) -> Doesrael (Two Does)
    - Lona (Gatherer) -> Styrnlona (Star Gatherer)
    - Bhyda (Bride) -> Blyssbryda (Blossom Bride)

    Surnames

    Sea Wolf last names can appear even more imposing, but in fact, they follow rules similar to the first names. A last name simply takes the father's name and adds either Syn (meaning 'son') or Wyn (meaning 'daughter'). For example, Limsa Lominsa Admiral, Merlwyb Bloefhiswyn could be broken down like this:

    Merl (sea) + wyb (woman)
    Bloe (blue) + fhis (fish) + wyn (daughter)

    In other words, "Sea Wife, daughter of Blue Fish"

    Both ‘thota’ and ‘wyn’ translate as ‘daughter’; however, the use of wyn is exclusive to last names. You will never see it used in a first name (such as Klynwyn), as you will never see a last name that uses thota (such as Bloefhisthota).

    Click here for a list of known Roegadyn words.

    The term “known” is used here because many Roegadyn words have been forgotten after generations of disuse, with only popular terms being passed down through names. Every so often, however, a new (or should I say old) word is rediscovered in an ancient tome and added to the list for further generations to use (or ignore).

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    Roegadyn - Hellsguard
    --------------------------------

    You will find the "old language" used in a lot of Sea Wolf names, as the Sea Wolves tend to adhere to the ancient traditions and customs the northern islands from which they hail. The Hellsguard, on the other hand, are more prone to adapt to their surroundings, and often choose to 'translate' their names from the old language to modern Eorzean. That said, the lines between the two clans aren't set in stone, and you will find some Hellsguard have chosen to use the old language in their names, and some Sea Wolves have given themselves "translated" names.

    Male

    Male names are formed from two words (usually a descriptor and a noun), and tend to draw heavily from nature, whether it be vegetable or animal, inanimate or animate, abstract or concrete.

    Tall Mountain
    Spinning Blade
    Anonymous Moose
    Still River
    Bloody Catapult

    Female

    Female Hellsguard names follow the same rules as those for male names. In addition, there are no restrictions on the second word (as exist in Sea Wolf forenames). The only real difference between male and female Hellsguard names is that the latter tend to include plant imagery (though there are many which do not). On the other hand, the use of trees, flowers, etc. is not exclusive to female names, as there are also many male names which incorporate them.

    Blue Lily
    Weeping Orchid
    Diving Sparrow
    Silent Moss

    Surnames

    Highly independent in nature, Hellsguard despise being defined by the actions of anyone but themselves, and therefore those who leave their mountain homes for the city-states of Eorzea, will often completely drop their family names, choosing only to be referred to by their first.

    Pronunciation

    When pronouncing Sea Wolf names, you can, for the most part, follow the rules of English. There are, however, some exceptions:

    Vowels:

    AE: Somewhere between the 'e' in 'egg' and the 'ai' in 'air' depending on the consonant that follows it
    Aerg (ambitious) would be pronounced like 'airg'
    Aent (duck) would be closer to 'ent' (rhymes with 'sent')

    Aergaent (ambitious duck)

    Y: A long 'e' such as the 'ea' in 'eat' or the first 'e' in 'Steve'
    Alyr (alder) would be pronounced 'ah-leer'
    Blyss (blossom) would be pronounced like 'bleece' (rhymes with 'fleece')

    Alyrblyss (alder blossom)

    OE: An 'ooh' sound such as the 'ue' in 'blue' and the 'oo' in 'I pity the foo'
    Broen (brown) would be pronounced 'broon' (like 'broom')
    Loef (leaf) would be 'loof' (rhymes with 'goof')

    Broenloef (brown leaf)

    Consonants:

    PF: Closer to an ‘f’ than a ‘p’
    Pfym (five) would be 'fim' (rhymes with 'slim')
    Skapf (sheep) would be 'skaff' (rhymes with 'staff')

    Pfymskapf (five sheep)

    TH: More like a hard 't' than a soft 'th'
    Thosin (grey) would be 'toe-sin'
    Sthal (steel) would be 'stall'

    Thosinsthal (grey steel)

    W: Somewhere in-between a ‘w’ and a ‘v’: nowhere as hard as the ‘v’ in ‘villain,’ but with a little more zing than the ‘w’ is ‘west’ (and nothing like how Chekov pronounces ‘vessels’ in Star Trek IV)
    Wyzn (white) would sound like 'vee-zin'
    Wilf (wolf) would sound like 'vilf' (rhymes with 'filth')

    Wyznwilf (white wolf)

    G: Almost always hard (like the 'g' in 'guilt' but not the 'g' in 'page')
    The 'gin' in Swygyn (silent) would be NOT be pronounced like the drink 'gin' but like the 'gin' in 'begin'
    Agat (amber) would be 'ah-got'

    Swygynagat (silent amber)

    J: A 'y' sound like in 'year' and 'yummy'
    Jungh (young) would be pronounced 'yoong'

    H: When paired with a vowel (before or after), almost always silent
    Smhid (smith) would be pronounced 'smid' (rhymes with 'kid')

    Junghsmhid (young smith)
    (29)
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  6. #6
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    Au Ra Naming Conventions

    Before I start, I’d like to bring up an oft-forgotten feature implemented at the release of A Realm Reborn—the Character Creation name generator. The name generator is a great way to see some example of both fore- and surnames that follow the naming conventions for the race & clan you have chosen. There are anywhere from five to ten thousand combinations available in the generator’s database, and I’d highly recommend using the feature if you’re serious about choosing a name that feels authentic.

    The Auri naming conventions (as a whole) are similar to those of the Hyur, in that, instead of creating a new language for the race (as was done with the Miqo'te) or taking and tweaking a rule set for an existing Earth language (as was done with the Elezen) or a doing a little bit of both (as was done with the Roegadyn), we decided to use existing Earth names (almost) as-is. I say (almost), because we have taken some liberties with spellings to ensure that some possibly offensive letter combinations are avoided.

    So, which Earth languages are we borrowing names from? Well, as most of you have already figured out, the Raen (Yugiri’s clan) borrows their names from Japanese. The second clan—the Xaela—take theirs from Mongolian. However, as is the case with Hyuran names, we have chosen to use names/spellings that slightly different than their modern equivalents. We’ll touch more on that in the detailed descriptions of each clan’s rules.


    The Raen
    Auri creation myth tells of a Dawn Father and a Dusk Mother from whom all Au Ra are descended. The Raen believe their veins to run thick with the blood of the former─their brilliant white scales and iron wills serving as proof of this divine lineage.

    Unlike their sister clan, the Xaela, who bloody the land with endless tribal conflict, the Raen have embraced a life of tranquility and solitude, long abandoning the nomadic lifestyle of their ancestors to settle the deep valleys of Othard's mountainous eastern reaches. Only on rare occasions will one emerge from the valley mists to seek adventure in realms afar.
    (From the Character Creation screen)

    If Raen names are based on Japanese names, does this mean that you can name your Auri warrior after your favorite anime character? Of course! You’ve always been able to do that. Does this mean that you can name your Auri warrior after your favorite anime character and still be within the boundaries of Raen naming conventions? Prrrrrrobably not—the main reason being because the names used in a lot of modern manga/anime are just that: modern. The names that we’ve decided to go with for Final Fantasy XIV, are based off of ones that were prevalent between the 16th and 18th centuries. The Miku in Miku Hatsune? That wasn’t around in the 17th century, so (unfortunately), it isn’t name a Raen family would consider for their daughter, no matter how green/cyan her hair.

    Old Japanese names had meaning, and because of that, so do Raen names. Hozan is from 宝山, meaning “treasure mountain.” Yugiri is from 夕霧, meaning “evening mist.” So, simply taking some Japanese phonemes and combining them is not an option.

    So, what type of meanings do typical male Raen names have? Here are a few examples:

    ウンザン(雲山)Unzan (lit. cloud mountain)
    カイエン(海燕)Kaien (lit. sea swallow -> storm petrel)
    イッセ(一畝)Isse (lit. an ancient distance measuring approx. 30 steps)
    ギョウセイ(暁星)Gyosei (lit. the dawn star)
    フウゲツ(風月)Fugetsu (lit. wind moon -> a beautiful scene in nature)
    For the most part, they have a strong link to things in nature which are believed to be strong, agile, or even uncontrollable. Farmers and fishers will take the names one step further and implement some form of their profession as well, 荒海 Kokai (lit. rough seas) being an example of this.

    Now on to female forenames. Many female names are based off of plants, weather, birds, or the seasons─words that represent beauty and kindness in the Doman society. Here a few examples:

    アジサイ(紫陽花)Ajisai (lit. Hydrangea)
    イザヨイ(十六夜)Izayoi (lit. 16th night -> the 16/17th night of the 8th moon)
    クモキリ(雲切)Kumokiri (lit. cloud cutter -> a type of orchid)
    コハル(小春)Koharu (lit. small spring -> an Indian summer)
    It goes without saying that the rules stated above are not set in stone. While it is not common, it is not entirely unheard of for a female Raen to have a name that might represent a powerful storm, or for a male to have a name that means “beautiful rose.”

    Just as is the case with most of the other races, the Raen also have surnames (family names). Unlike their Auri ancestors who employed clan names as surnames, the now-clanless Raen have adopted a more complex practice. Families of the warrior class (and generally the ruling class) are the only people “allowed” surnames in Doma, and they will often take surnames that displayed their battle prowess or position within an army.

    Some examples of this are as follows:

    ブヘン(武辺)Buhen (lit. fight valiantly in battle)
    ユヅカ(弓束)Yuzuka (lit. bow bundle -> quiver)
    グンジ(軍侍)Gunji (lit. army samurai/warrior -> soldier)
    ヤツルギ(八剣)Yatsurugi (lit. eight blades)
    オビナタ(帯刀)Obinata (lit. blades on waist -> carrying two blades meant one was a warrior)
    Though the names are not recognized by the ruling class, families of the merchant and peasant classes will still give themselves surnames as to make their everyday lives easier─the names reflecting their professions.

    Some examples are:
    モトカワ(原皮) → 猟師や革細工職人など
    Motokawa (lit. origin skin) Used by hunters and tanners
    ヌシヤ(塗師屋) → 漆器職人や漆器商人など
    Nushiya (lit. paint master store) Used by lacquer painters and sellers of lacquered goods
    ナエウリ(苗売)→ 農民や苗を売る商人など
    Naeuri (lit. seedling seller) Used by farmers and sellers of seedlings
    カサヌイ(笠縫) → 笠を作る職人など
    Kasanui (lit. umbrella weaver) Used by umbrella makers
    トリオイ(鳥追) → 農民や猟師など
    Torioi (lit. bird chaser) Used by farmers and hunters
    Now for the kicker.
    Many of you who are aware of Japanese names, know that the surname is usually written before the forename (think Watanabe Ken in Japan vs. Ken Watanabe in the U.S.). What then, is the case with the Raen? In Doma, name order is as follows:

    ヤツルギ(八剣)家のユキ(雪)
    Yatsurugi no Yuki -> Yuki of the Yatsurugi family
    Surname X + no + Forename Y -> Y of the X family
    (‘no’ being the Raen (and hey, also Japanese) word for ‘of’)

    However. Domans, knowing that the majority of races in Eorzea place their given names before their surnames, will follow the Eorzean order while visiting the realm. So Yuki Yatsurugi would be the common rendition of the Doman name.

    What about spellings!?

    For FFXIV, we have decided to use the Hepburn method of Romanizing Japanese. The Auri names you see in the game, as well as any other words based on Japanese (ninja actions, items from the Far East, etc.) will be spelled using the Hepburn rules. What are those rules? You can find them easily on that fantabulous set of tubes known as the Internets. Just pop in “Hepburn Romaji” and let your browser of choice do the rest.

    For those of you who want to go really hardcore, you can also follow our in-game rules for dealing with the ‘U’ following an ‘O’.

    Let’s take 宝山 (Hozan) from before.
    The Japanese can be broken down into 4 phonemes ほうざん or HO, U, ZA, and N.
    Why not write the name Houzan, then?
    While that is one acceptable way of Romanizing the word, it’s not the method we’ve chosen for XIV.
    We’ve chosen to omit the ‘u’ so that someone without knowledge of the Japanese language can pronounce the word in a manner that is close to the original Japanese pronunciation. In English, the ‘ou’ vowel combination is most of the time pronounced like ‘OW’ (as in ‘out’ or ‘ouch’). The う (U) in Japanese, when following an ‘O’ sound, instead extends the long vowel. In this case the short HO, becomes a slightly longer HO (like ‘hoe’). Removing the ‘u’ from Houzan and making it simply ‘Hozan’ creates a spelling that, when read by someone who doesn’t know about that magical Japanese ‘u,’ will sound similar to the Japanese pronunciation (Hoe-zan, instead of How-zan). Yes, this method is not without its flaws (that slight difference between a long ‘O’ and an extended long ‘O’ is lost), but it’s the one we’ve maintained since XI days, and have found that (for the most part) it works well.

    We also will not be using hyphens or apostrophes in Raen names. This (as always) does not mean that you cannot use them if you wish, but know that in-game NPC names will go without them. Neither will we be using macrons (vowels with horizontal lines over them), because they don’t exist in our in-game font set. Acute users will notice that some in-game items from the Far East will have hyphens in them. Hyphens are used very rarely and only when a compound word that consists the first word ending and the second word beginning in a vowel (for example 脛当 sune-ate = lit. shin-guard). However, as many of you may have already noticed, hyphens are unfortunately not allowed in player names (for reasons only our programmers know).

    OMG!
    If that’s how you feel right now, you’re probably not alone. The rules for Raen names are pretty much guaranteed to confound anyone who hasn’t a very deep grasp of the Japanese language. It will be easy for most players to find words that might work, but the problem that will plague most will ultimately be “does it have that “olde” feeling.” This will take some work. Using the Net to find both forenames and surnames that were definitely used in the 16th to 18th centuries is a good start.

    The Xaela
    Auri creation myth tells of a Dawn Father and a Dusk Mother from whom all Au Ra are descended. The Xaela believe their veins to run thick with the blood of the latter─their lustrous black scales and fiery wills serving as proof of this divine lineage.

    Unlike their sister clan, the Raen, who lead solitary lives hidden behind the savage peaks of Othard's eastern reaches, the Xaela are free spirits who roam the vast western steppe in close-knit tribes hunting, gathering, and warring as their ancestors have for countless generations.
    (From the Character Creation screen)

    As was mentioned earlier, Xaela names are based on Mongolian names/words used in the 15th century (give or take a few centuries). Lists of ancient Mongolian names can also be found on the Internet for those not versed in ancient Mongolian history (I’m guessing that’s a lot). To give you an idea of what we mean, here are a few male and female forenames already added to the FFXIV name database:

    • Male:
      Ambagai
      Chiledu
      Tagadhur
      Khudus
      Ozbeg
    • Female:
      Khojin
      Mide
      Alun
      Dagasi
      Ogul

    Unlike Raen names, where the spellings are pretty much fixed, and there are no real variations for a single name, individual Xaela names come with multiple spellings, all of them acceptable. The Xaela, being nomadic, live lives that are one part solitary (when traveling as a clan) and one part community (when they interact with other clans they come across in their migrations). Because of this, similar names are used throughout the Othardian steppe, but they often feature slightly different spellings due to evolving separately in isolated clans. Also a factor is that, until recently, writing was almost non-existent amongst the tribes─written language simply not a necessity in the nomadic lifestyle.

    The male names Jagadai, Chaghadai, and Tsagaday are all, essentially, the same name. However, in Othard (and FFXIV) they are considered unique.

    While the Raen abandoned the method of using clan names as their surnames when they abandoned the nomadic lifestyle of their ancestors, the Xaela continue the tradition. This means that, for the most part, Xaela surnames are the names of one of 51 existing clans. The following is a list of the clan names and a quick blurb describing the clan. The words used in tribe names are, for the most part, original words based loosely on 15th to 17th century Mongolian spellings.

    AdarkimThe largest of the Xaela tribes. While not the most skilled at battle, they overwhelm with numbers, taking losses in stride, knowing that a future victory over a weaker tribe will replenish their ranks.
    AnguraA small tribe which keeps mainly to the mountainous region of northeastern Othard. The glare reflected by the everlasting glaciers upon which they travel has rendered this tribe's skin color a deep rusty tone.
    ArulaqA tribe thought lost 200 years ago, only recently discovered once again living in a secluded valley in the mountainous north.
    AvagnarThough defeated and absorbed by the Adarkim, several of the proud tribe's members still secretly use its ancestral name, knowing that it could mean death if they are discovered.
    BaironA middle-sized tribe of the southern deserts and masters of survival in the driest of climes, the Bairon are all trained from a very young age to collect and drink their own bodily fluids, allowing them the ability to venture deep into places no other tribe will.
    BayaqudA tribe of the steppe’s western edges. Women from the Bayaqud tribe will traditionally take several husbands, as did the tribe's founding matron 2000 years ago.
    BolirA small tribe that earns its living by collecting the dung of the beastkin herds which roam the steppes. The dung is dried, turned into charcoal in temporary kilns, and sold to other tribes.
    BorlaaqA tribe of all women. While breeding with men from other tribes is allowed, if a male is born into the tribe, he is given up within a year of birth.
    BudugaAn all-male tribe which only increases its ranks through battle and kidnapping.
    DalamiqOne of only a few Xaela tribes which has abandoned the nomadic lifestyle and built a small village on an islet in the middle of a two-malm-wide span of the great inner river. It is said they once worshipped the now-fallen lesser moon.
    IriqA tribe that follows the Borlaaq, taking on any male children given up by the female warriors and raising them as their own.
    JhungidThe second largest Xaela tribe. Mortal enemies with the Kharlu, the Jungid will spend the greater part of the year subjugating smaller tribes to swell their own ranks in preparation for an annual battle with the Kharlu--the winner gaining control over a large part of the eastern coastlands.
    KharluThe third largest Xaela tribe. Mortal enemies with the Jungid, the Kharlu will spend the greater part of the year subjugating smaller tribes to swell their own ranks in preparation for an annual battle with the Jungid--the winner gaining control over a large part of the eastern coastlands.
    KhatayinA tribe which largely remains unseen, hunting goats in the mountains for nine moons of the year. The remaining three are spent at the foot of the great north range, where they survive off the dried meat they stocked.
    MalqirA western steppe tribe characterized by its unique leader-choosing ritual which, instead of the usual test of brawn, is a game of Kharaqiq--a chess-like game played on a circular board divided into three rings.
    MankhadA costal tribe which fights with blow-darts made from bones dipped in the poison of the pufferfish. So practiced with the pipes are the tribe, that they can disable a target from 200 paces.
    MierqidA desert tribe which, over the course of a year, travels between over a hundred secret buried caches of supplies restocked with each annual visit.
    NoykinMaster trainers of the wild horses which populate the majority of steppe. It is said that the horsewives of the Noykin can break any beast if given but a week.
    OlkundSelective breeding has seen the average height of the central steppe-dwelling Olkund tribe males reach over two and a half yalms. The females, for whatever reason, remain of an average height.
    DazkarHousehold duties such as cooking, cleaning, and childrearing are handled by the males of the Dazkar who, other than when on the move, rarely ever leave their family's yurts. Female Dazkar are tasked with hunting, and are known across the steppe as being some of the most accurate archers in the realm.
    OronirAll members of the Oronir tribe believe themselves to be direct descendants of Azim, the tribe's god of the sun.
    OroqThe Oroq create sleds made of reeds dipped in horse fat to help move their possessions and young children about the inner grasslands.
    QerelThe warriors of this tribe all wear complete suits of armor crafted from the bones of steppe tigers which they kill with their own hands upon their coming of age.
    TorgudThis desert tribe does not wear any clothes, choosing instead to cover their bodies almost entirely in a white paint created from mud, lime, and bone meal. The paint helps to reflect the relentless desert sun.
    TumetThe children of the Tumet, upon seeing their tenth summer, are tied to a sacred tree while the remainder of the tribe packs up and moves to their next location. Those children who manage to break free from their bonds and catch up with the tribe at that next location, are given a name and allowed into the tribe.
    UgundWhen members of this tribe die, their heads are removed from their bodies and placed in a jar of fermented goat milk. Once the liquid has been drunk by the head (in other words, evaporated), the head is then buried under an anthill so that the tiny workers can carry the spirit to the afterlife. The journey is thought to be a terrible one, the road filled with ghosts of the damned, so ensuring the spirit is drunk helps ease the journey.
    UyagirOne of a handful of Xaela tribes which have given up the nomadic lifestyle. The Uyagir reside in a system of limestone caves on the northern edge of the southern deserts which are believed to have been dug by a race of giant oliphant-like beetles which were placed on the land by the gods to punish the elder tribes that had grown too greedy.
    DhoroAn elusive tribe that avoids contact with most other tribes. Lookouts are posted all about their camps with orders to flee given the moment an outsider is spotted.
    OrbenA tribe that rides up and down the great inner river on boats woven from reeds and reinforced with scales from their own skin.
    EjinnA river tribe that chooses to swim from place to place rather than walk or take boats. It is said that members of the Ejinn can hold their breaths for up to a quarter bell, and will often migrate while almost completely submerged in order to avoid contact with hostile tribes.
    DotharlAn extremely violent tribe with members who revel in massacre and are taught from a young age not to fear death. While they are quick to attack other tribes, mortality rates are high, ensuring that their numbers never grow too high.
    HotgoA tribe recently massacred by the Dotharl. The only members surviving are those who left the tribe to travel on their own and were not present during the killing. The Hotgo were known for their vibrant face paints which members would constantly change depending on their current mood.
    SagahlA tribe which sees all beastkin as equals with man, therefore refuses to eat or use them as beasts of burden. As a result, the diet of the Sagahl mainly consists of steppe shrubs and vilekin.
    KahkolA tribe made up of orphans and refugees from tribes defeated or destroyed. Many choose to combine the name of their old tribe with Kahkol.
    KhaUnlike most of the Xaela, the Kha live on the fringes of the Xaela lands, actively seeking contact with non Auri peoples, introducing many aspects of those cultures into their own.
    MolA small tribe of devout worshippers of the elder gods, the Mol will consult with their deities (via a shaman conduit) before making any tribe-related decisions, from the direction of their next migration, to the beasts they will hunt each day for food.
    GesiThe Gesi are masters of the slingspear, a mid-sized javelin carved from mammoth bone which, instead of being thrown by hand, is flung with a leather sling to improve range, speed, and killing power.
    KagonThe Kagon are a nocturnal desert tribe who worship Nhaama, goddess of the moon and mortal enemy of Azim, god of the sun. Instructed by their goddess that to step into the sun is to succumb to the evil of Azim, they spend the daylight hours in their tents, only emerging to hunt and migrate at night. The result is an uncharacteristically pale skin for a group of people living in an almost eternally fair-weather locale.
    GoroThe Goro believe horses to be perfect beings, and each male and female, upon their coming of age, is married to a horse of the opposite sex. Reproductive mates are chosen by lots.
    GharlBefore each migration, the Gharl will fill a sacred urn with the soil of the place they just camped. This soil is then dumped upon arriving at the next location. This tradition has been carried out for thousands of years, leading people to believe that most the steppe is now all of one soil.
    DataqThe Dataq cover quite possibly the most area in their migrations, for they rarely stop in one area for longer than a few bells. Sleeping is all done in the saddle, and tents are only used when the rains are heavy and unbearable.
    HaraginThe legends of this coastal tribe tell of a group of their ancestors who crafted a giant ship and sailed out across the endless eastern ocean. The explorers are said to have returned with tales of a terrible island covered in massive grey monoliths and inhabited by fire-breathing steel demons.
    UraThis mountain-dwelling tribe is one of the few which instead of hunting, mine the precious ores of the peaks and trade them with the steppe tribes for food.
    MoksA tribe invisible for the fact that its members are spread out across many different tribes (unbeknownst to those tribes). Communication between its members is done on the rare occasion when two tribes meet, through an ancient set of hand signals only recognizable by those who know what they are looking for.
    GeneqIn addition to the standard language used by most of the Xaela in cross-tribe communication, the Geneq employ a complex system of whistles and clicks which resemble the cloud- and wavekin of the steppe.
    HoroTo those who live the meager lifestyles of the steppedwellers, being overweight is a symbol of affluence and power. To appear heavier than one in their station, the members of Horo will drink copious amounts of water to bloat their bellies.
    HimaaFor reasons unknown, one out of every three pregnancies amongst the Himaa result in twins. As a result, over half the tribe's members have a doppelganger. This can prove an advantage during attacks, as it confuses the enemy into believing the dead have risen.
    MalaguldOne of the only tribes that accepts people of the Raen--those that have been exiled, or those who have fled persecution--into their circle.
    UrumetThis desert tribe has the queer custom of travelling with their elders carried upon their shoulders. It is believed that in the flat desert, this gives the tribe the advantage of being able to see farther.
    QalliAlso known as the songbirds of the steppe, the Qalli communicate through song, attaching a melody to their words to further add emotion to the meaning.
    QestirThis tribe refuses to speak, believing that all words are lies, and that a man's actions are the purest form of communication.
    The Othardian steppe is a vast region, therefore, every so often, one may come across a Xaela with a surname that is not found on the list of 51. This may mean that they are from a clan that was recently destroyed or absorbed. It may mean that they are of a new tribe that was formed by members leaving another. It may mean they are of a tribe that remained hidden in the northern mountains.
    - Fernehalwes
    (166)
    Gildrein - Community Team