Godzilla: King of the Monsters in Chinese

In Chineseby Gwilym James

This blog is part of the Skritter Movie Posters in Chinese series.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters (released as Godzilla II: King of the Monsters in some markets) is the 2019 sequel to the recent reboot in the franchise, which now consists of 34 movies!

In Mandarin, there are 2 different ways in which Mainland China and Taiwan translate Godzilla, but you can see that they look very similar, and are most probably loan words from the English and Japanese respectively.

哥斯拉 gē sī lā (Godzilla in China)

哥吉拉 gē jí lā (Godzilla in Taiwan)

Godzilla in China

Looking at this, my guess is that the Mainland one is a direct translation from the English, whereas the Taiwanese one, which has much more linguistic ties with Japan, is borrowing the translation from the Japanese. The name Godzilla is a romanization of the original Japanese name Gojira—which is a combination of two Japanese words: gorira (ゴリラ), “gorilla”, and kujira (クジラ), “whale”. The word alludes to the size, power and aquatic origin of Godzilla.

Now for the movies tagline: King of the Monsters.

怪兽之王 [怪獸之王] guàishòu zhī wáng.

  • 怪兽 [怪獸] Guàishòu is monster
  • 之 zhī is a formal way to say the possessive particle 的 de.
  • 王 wáng is king

so literally “The Monsters’ King”

What do you think about the recent movies? How do they compare to the 1998 blockbuster?

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