I personally find the new names unattractive and forced.
There is a commonality within FFXI that tends to make sense and from what I can tell was devised to promote an easy means of reiteration into the Japanese Language.
Galka for instance contains the letter "L" which is absent from the Japanese alphabet but it does allow for the easy pronunciation of Garuka with Japanese consonants.
Hyur, Elezen, Lalafell, Roegadyn and Miqo'te do not seem to have any sense of linguistic individuality among them at all. To me it feels like the race names were chosen without any thought of the ethnicity or culture behind the actual race. It is almost amusing how fantastic they are in pronunciation. I feel sorry for the Japanese to be honest.
In FFXI the preconceived recognition of each race was taken in account. Hume resembling Humans and Elvaan resembling... Elves. The rest of course being originally devised races understandably have no recognizable similarity with past Fantasy based ethnicity. However.. they vary enough to make it easy to stratify each race easily. Mithra for instance being a female race, starts with the Mi consonant, which is common with Japanese female names. Galka follows the same principle. TaruTaru follows the Japanese tendency to repeat nouns when describing something "cute" or personifying an object.
Hyur...? Elezen...? If you are going to go that far out with reinterpretations of those two race names, you might as well have dropped the slight reference all together. Why not just make them as obtuse as Roegadyns?
I won't even venture into place names which has equally failed to define a recognizable similarity with each culture. Its as if they just made up names for every place and they converted them into Romanian.
Edited, Feb 25th 2010 5:56am by patient
Hate to burst your bubble but Mithra is a Zorostrian Divinity, it's actually an Avestan word, that existed long, long before Final Fantasy came into being.
Galka, is polish for "Lump" and is a surname. So no, they were not cleverly constructed names to fit anything, perhaps cleverly used. Certainly, Galka are rather lumpish.
If you feel sorry for the Japanese you misunderstand how their language works. Feel sorry for yourself, for you like many others are so incomprehensibly overwhelmed by a collection of letters that seem "out of place" to you and therefore they are "inconceivable, difficult to pronounce and lacking in individuality."
These are the races in Japanese, each one of those little characters ALWAYS produces the same sound - period. Someone might say something fast or with an accent, but those sounds always read the same. The Japanese will have no problem pronouncing these race names.
I would venture to say that the new race names not only have their own sense of individual identity, they fit well as a cohesive set, words that could have originated from a single language or similar languages, which would make sense in the context of the world. As well they appear to be mostly constructed, as opposed to ripped from other sources like names such as mentioned above.
I just noticed an interesting oversight, as I was reading everyone post about Hyur and thinking everyone had already just started shortening, on the Japanese site it's Hyuran, not Hyur, both in kana and in English.
Either way analyzing these, Hyur and Hyuran both seem suitable titles for the humans of this world, no less so than Hume. Elezen still pays its homage to the El root of Elf and Elvaan, and it has a sense of distinction about it, while being a bit less forceful at the end than Elvaan is, I tend to have a sense that we will see some changes to how races behave, be they minor it seems appropriate unless the Elvaan are once again stuck up knights living steeped in tradition.
Miqo'te is perfectly appropriate, based on your own justification "Mi" is a feminine character, not only that "Miko" is a female name entirely. For starters Mithra and Miqo'te are not female only races, even if we can only play as females, even so there is certainly a feminine note to Miqo'te with the rising innotation from "Mi" followed by the aspirated "ko."
Roegadyn is forceful and masculine in pronunciation, in fact I would say it is more forceful than Galka.
It's all opinion, and your opinion is not invalid, but your facts and apparent understanding of the plight of the Japanese player are.