We don't always like being nonplussed

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Flail it Yourself: Aerith or Aeris?

I've got an announcement in a little bit, but let's start off the day with one of the great nerd debates of our time. Or possibly 1998.
This, once again courtesy of Wikipedia's page, is "Su." We talked last week about how Fu is technically also Hu, and Su also shares its destiny with another sound when used in foreign loanwords.

As the title implies, Su is the go-to kana for the Th-sound, which is what creates the confusion between whether the name was supposed to be "Aerith" or "Aeris." (That's also why Cloud makes a reference to "...phiros" in his Final Fantasy Tactics cameo- the translators didn't catch that he was referring to Sephiroth.)

Modern versions have gone to Aerith because that's what Japanese media has traditionally used. (Japanese romanizations are handy sometimes, but also not infallible due to the Engrish Factor, as witnessed by the name of FFIV's hero being called "Cecil Hervey" in some Japanese sources.)

So, which version is "right?" Well, first you'd have to decide what "right" is. The current official spelling in both languages is "Aerith," so that's as close to correct as you can get. If you prefer Aeris, it's not like you're making it up either: that was the official spelling back in `97. But in this case, the game itself is probably the worst possible authority on what the name should be, because it was a pretty lousy translation ("This guy are sick.") I lean towards Aerith but hey, whatever floats your boat.

Later, we announce something entirely new!


  1. I always say Aeris because to me Aerith sounds like you're saying it with a lisp. Just my own preference. Seeing it spelled Aerith has never bothered me, though.

  2. I've always preferred 'Aeris' as well for the same reasons, still as long as no one corrects me, I don't care what anyone calls her.