So I'm reading this page and I come across this phrase: 特記戦力の１. Now one translation has it as "number one in strength". A better translation of that translation would be: "number one war potential". That may make sense if the kana was read left to right. But traditionally, especially in that format, kana is read from right to left. Also, "number one" from my experience would have been "ichiban (一番)". So my best translation of the RAW is "one of the war potentials". But I wanted to make sure I was reading/translating that right.
So am I right?
For those wondering, 特記戦力 = special war/fighting potential. 特記 = tokki = special. 戦力 = senryoku = war/fighting potential.
First of all, ignore the Manga Stream translation. The の character can mean several things, but when placed immediately after a noun, it's a modifier indicating "possession" and/or signalling apposition. In other words, there are two ways to read that phrase:
1. "Tokki senryoku, the 1."
2. "The 1 of tokki senryoku."
Clearly, neither of the two makes sense when translated to English, so it becomes "number one" (as in literally, the numeral "one"), or "the first." I would personally translate it as "special war power number one" or "the first special war power." It's not "potential" in my opinion, as "senzaiteki" (潜在的) is the phrase for "potential" or "[something] latent." BadKarma calls it "special asset," which is also accurate as "senryoku" (戦力) is "military strength" or "war power." Also, "tokki" (特記) isn't just "special," it's more like "special account/chronicle."
I suppose Kubo didn't want to use "ichiban" (一番) as it can be an adverb meaning "most" or "-est."
So 1 of the tokki senryoku is wrong?
Given that he used the actual numeral, I'd say it's wrong.
一つの特記戦力 ("hitotsu no tokki senryoku") would be "one of the special war powers." In chapter four hundred and ninety, Ichigo is referred to as "one of the five..." Notice the characters used in the original Japanese version of the same chapter. ５つの”特記戦力”の内の１つ
The literal reading would be: "One of out of five of 'special war powers'..."
１つ - "hitotsu."
５つ - "itsutsu."
Ahhhhh. sou ka.
I see. But now your post makes this not as simple. So it's either: "the first war potential" or "the number one war potential" or "war potential number one". All 3 mean something different. Either Zaraki is the first ever war potential. Or he's the ichiban no chikara of the war potentials. Or he's just simply No.1 on a list.
Also, Google Translate translates senryoku as war/fighting potential. So by default, that likelihood of that translation being wrong is high
It's true, Bach/Royd doesn't clarify what the labeling means, it's just a classification. I would say "the first war power" and "war power number one" are essentially the same thing, with "number one war power" suggesting Kenpachi's the strongest/most important of the bunch.
As it stands, not only did Bach/Royd not elaborate on what he meant, but the "war power" term itself is still undefined.
It's also worth observing that in one of the chapters - the first chapter the 'special war potential' was ever mentioned, I think - BadKarma did make a translator's note about their translating, observing it's difficult to identify the correct nuance when you don't really know what Kubo has in mind and that they might revisit their translation of the phrase one day when Kubo's finally revealed what a 'special war potential' really is.
Just curious if you meant this?
It is one of those phrases that mean different things depending on the context.