Guidelines:Terminology

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Overview
Terminology is the means by which articles on Zelda Wiki are named. Most articles are derived from official terms.

Overview

All terms respect the series order.

What constitutes a term

Where Mainspace articles
What Two ways that terms can be found through in-game dialogue are:
  • If a word is surrounded by differently-colored text in any officially licensed media
  • If a word is capitalized, particularly in a titular sense or as a proper noun, in any officially licensed media

Note that capitalization at the start of sentences and colored text surrounding longer phrases (including grammatical articles) and clauses do not make for good terms and should be avoided.

Why Terms are important in deciding what to name an article and how to refer to the subject across the site, and dialogue from characters is one of the most effective ways to find terminology. These conditions help to ensure consistency in terminology, and they help to avoid using fan-made names.

Formatting terms

Where Sitewide
What When used outside of citations, all terms should be capitalized in title case. For instance, the Master Sword is always meant to be formatted as Master Sword and not Master sword or master Sword. This applies to simple words that are also terms, such as Tree.

After a full term has been used at least once in a paragraph, terms may be condensed into shorter phrases such as referring to the Temple of Time as the Temple, or the Master Sword as the Sword. If multiple Swords are mentioned in a paragraph, it is better to use the full name for the Master Sword instead.
Why This is a stylistic choice that also helps to identify and link to terms.

Knowing which term to use

Where Mainspace articles
What Terms are associated with the games they come from, and shouldn't be applied as though they come from other games. In short, terms that come from Tears of the Kingdom belong to Tears of the Kingdom's contexts, and terms from Ocarina of Time belong to Ocarina of Time's contexts. This especially applies for when storing terms through the Term/Store template.

When you are writing about Tears of the Kingdom and want to use a term for something that is in both Ocarina of Time and Tears of the Kingdom, be sure to only use the term that appears in Tears of the Kingdom.

This also applies for games and their remakes. For instance, Ocarina of Time and Ocarina of Time 3D overlap, but some contexts are specific to one or the other. When both apply, terminology from the remake (Ocarina of Time 3D) is used.
Why Careful use of terminology helps to keep things consistent and coherent for readers. People who have only played Tears of the Kingdom are not likely to recognize a different term that is used in Ocarina of Time and vice-versa.

Two or more terms from the same game

Where Mainspace articles
What A priority list is provided below to discern which terms should be used first in descending order. If nothing is available in a Priority 1 tier, Priority 2 should be checked and so on until the list is exhausted. In this order, names always take priority over titles.
Why Sometimes multiple subjects have multiple names in the same game. These names don't supersede each other, but it helps to have a priority list to figure out which term to use consistently and also to store in the Term/Store template so that the right term can be called to other pages.

Characters, Enemies, and Bosses

  • Priority 1:
  • Priority 2:
  • Priority 3:
  • Priority 4:

Locations and Dungeons

  • Priority 1:
  • Priority 2:
  • Priority 3:
  • Priority 4:

Items and Objects

  • Priority 1:
  • Priority 2:
  • Priority 3:

Terms taken from guides

Where Mainspace articles
What Terminology follows the canon policy, so terminology from outside the main material (such as those from a licensed guide for a video game) apply only when the previous options have been exhausted.
Why People are more likely to have played a game than to own the guide. See the Supplementary Canon guidelines for more information.

Using terminology to name articles

Where Mainspace articles
What Names of articles should almost always be the singular form of a term. Where applicable, the lead sentence of a page should be the plural form if more than one of the subject exists and the subject is not a character or a boss. In some cases, like the Links article, the plural form is unavoidable.

The terminology from the latest (main series) title is used to determine what is known as the "series term", which is used as the name of the article, and is used when a term needs to be borrowed for another game. While remakes count as their own entries in the main series, ports of a main series title do not affect the ordering and don't specifically impact the series term (for example, games added to the Nintendo Switch Online service do not change anything).

If no name from the latest main series title is available, the series order should be followed until an applicable term is reached. This term should not be stated as applying to any games other than what is cited for it, however. It should also be noted in the lede whenever a term is unavailable for a given entry in the series.
Why Many of the features on Zelda Wiki are built around the singular terminology. Plural redirects are made for people who search for the plural form by mistake.

Partial versions of terms

Where Mainspace articles
What Partial omissions of terms (for instance, when characters say "the Ceremony" in reference to the Wing Ceremony), should not be taken as alternatives or replacements of the whole terms they belong to.

However, if by following this hierarchy a partial version of a term places higher than a more complete name (such as "Graveyard" and "Kakariko Village Graveyard"), these are treated as two separate terms.

If a term is represented through a partial omission in the same contexts but higher canonicity (such as the location where Syrup is based in The Minish Cap being known as Syrup the Witch's Hut in-game, though in Encyclopedia it is referred only as the Witch's Hut), the original name should remain unchanged.
Why Though the name from Encyclopedia would normally take precedence in the final sentence, the in-game term is used instead because this is interpreted as a partial omission of a greater and equivalent term.

What to do if no terms exist

Where Mainspace articles
What Once all available American English sources for a given entry have been searched, terms can be borrowed from other games in the series by following the previous methods. It is important to note that if a term is missing from a game like Tears of the Kingdom but is available from Ocarina of Time instead, it should never be misrepresented as coming from Tears of the Kingdom and should never be stored for Tears of the Kingdom (the title missing an available term).

If there are no terms available in any other entries in American English, you can instead refer to other language canons for terminology instead. British English canon should be checked, and if no results are found for that, the Japanese canon can be checked. Following this, terms from any other language are viable to be borrowed. However, when borrowing a name from alternate canons, the Name template must be used to specify this fact in the lede of the article. This method is inherently incompatible with any other names from American English, so this method (and the associated template) should not be used if an American English name is available in any other context. See this section for more details about finding terms in other languages.

Internal names can be used only if the previous solutions have been exhausted, and should also be denoted with the Name template. Your best judgment should apply for how an internal name can be read, though it should not deviate much beyond adding the appropriate punctuation for legibility. Because internal names are not specifically any one language, they should not be adapted to match any related English terminology. Although they may use romanizations of Japanese or English words, they are not names in those languages and shouldn't be treated as such. For instance, though the Tooreroof Ruin article uses the internal name for the Ascend ability, which derives Tooreroof from トーレルーフ (Tōrerūfu) (the Japanese name for Ascend), it should not be adapted as the Japanese term nor the American English term.

Before resorting to internal names, please consider whether an article for the subject is truly necessary.
Why Zelda Wiki is primarily focused on the American English canon, and so our terminology reflects this. However, some leeway is given when coverage is impossible using American English sources.

Nomenclature

The Nomenclature section is where all foreign terms or names of a subject and their meanings are recorded with the Nomenclature template. The etymology behind the American English name of a subject may be placed above the Nomenclature template, though all other languages must have their etymologies and meanings stored within the Translations pages with the Translation/Store template. In order to preserve the accuracy of these stored names and terms, the Translations pages are locked to only allow approved access by policy.

Finding terms in other languages

Where Mainspace articles
What Equivalents to English terms can be considered as terms in other languages.
Why Because American English has its own linguistic rules and quirks, the term conditions outlined on this guideline may not graft perfectly in other languages. For instance, Romance languages tend to not capitalize things as freely as American English, so comparative context can be used to discern what the equivalent for a term is.

Terminology unique to Japanese

Names written in Katakana are permissible as terms even if they do not have equivalents in English. Katakana is a writing system in Japanese that is most commonly used to represent names and foreign words, as the Japanese language does not inherently have a means of capitalization as English does. Katakana is also used for onomatopoeias or to emphasize text in a robotic manner, which is often paralleled as FULL CAPITAL LETTERS in English, to represent synthetic or otherwise unnatural speech. Because of this, text written in Katakana for the purpose of relaying sound effects or text written exclusively in Katakana cannot be used for terminology unless other factors such as colorization can distinguish names from the rest of the text.

Terminology in The Goddess Collection

The Goddess Collection (composed of Hyrule Historia, Art & Artifacts, and Encyclopedia) are treated as equivalent to the games they cover and so should be treated as iterations of each represented game as of their respective release dates (January 29, 2013, February 21, 2017, and June 19, 2018). In these cases where books in The Goddess Collection are released after their games that they cover, names and terms should be derived from the latest applicable book (in order of Encyclopedia, then Art & Artifacts, then Hyrule Historia). If a remake of a game is released after any of these books, the names from the remake take precedence. For instance, Hyrule Historia was released in 2013 and so its names take precedence over the in-game names from Majora's Mask, which was released in 2000. Names from the 2015 remake, Majora's Mask 3D, take precedence over Hyrule Historia. However, names from 2018's Encyclopedia take precedence over those given in Majora's Mask 3D.

Being intra-canon material, books from The Goddess Collection represent the canon of each game they cover, and therefore all names and terms derived from them are representative of each game's canon. However, in-game names are not rendered non-canon by terms and names given in The Goddess Collection. Instead, the names and terms from The Goddess Collection are given precedence and in-game names that contradict these are treated as "also known as". In cases where contradicting names arise, only the names from the latest applicable source should be stored in Template:Term/Store. Other terms should be set as redirects with the Synonym template.

As books from The Goddess Collection are of a higher level of canon than guides and secondary material such as manuals, names and terms derived from the latter sources are considered non-canon if they are not represented in-game. To differentiate these non-canon names, they should be placed in a subsection to the Nomenclature section titled Other Names (see Guardhouse). As these names are still official, they should still exist as redirects with the Synonym template.