This Final Fantasy Abbreviation Might Surprise You

Everybody knows that the "proper" abbreviation for Final Fantasy is "FF", right? Nope!

Recently, a website managed by the Japan Game Users Association asked over 300 Japanese gamers from teenage to 40-something about how they abbreviate Final Fantasy.

Over 70 per cent (70.7 per cent to be exact) shorten Final Fantasy to "FF". However, 17 per cent said Final Fantasy (ファイナルファンタジー or Fainaru Fantajii) is abbreviated as "Fai Fan" (ファイファン). And 12.3 per cent of those polled said both were acceptable. What, you say!

This is key: There's a pattern to how things are usually shortened in Japanese. You grab a few of the characters from the beginning of each word and then put them together. So, in Japan Dragon Quest (ドラゴンクエスト or Doragon Kuesuto) is usually shortened to "Dorakue" (ドラクエ), Romancing SaGa is "Romasaga" (ロマサガ) and "Square Enix" is "Sukueni" (スクエニ). See the pattern?

What's more, since many people in Japan are looking at the words "Final Fantasy" from a Japanese linguistic perspective, they might not naturally think to shorten the first two English letters. Instead, they'd naturally shorten the first two Japanese sounds in "Fainaru Fantajii" (ファイナルファンタジー), which are "Fai Fan" (ファイファン). That follows the typical pattern in Japanese for abbreviations and actually might be more "proper" in Japanese.

And that's why, by this logic, turning Final Fantasy into "Fai Fan" makes sense to around 30 per cent of those polled.

あなたの『ファイナルファンタジー』の略し方は? [Inside]


    So the point of this article was to point out that Japan speaks a different language?

      What's worse is that this is a 20 year old story.

      Those crazy Japanese, what will they do next? Mix up their Bs and Vs?

      Brian Ashcraft needs to justify his paycheque somehow.

        Everything in Japan is abbreviated by using the first few letters/sound = First Kitchen is "FA-KIN"hahaha get it *cough*... Mcdonalds is "MAC" or "MACUDO" anyway old news. Maybe he should become an English teacher?

      I think it was more to show that Brian doesn't speak ours. This kind of thing is called a "portmanteau". It's not a Japan specific thing.

    Well FF is the proper abbreviation, insofar as final fantasy is the proper name. If you call the game ファイナルファンタジー then it doesn't appear as logical.

      If you took the first two katakana out of context it would look like "HaHa".

        It'd be "fuafua" meaning fluffy. Fluffy fantasy 7. Could work

          That would either be an amazing game... or a very disturbing one...

    So 70% abbreviate as FF, but it's not the proper abbreviation? I fail to see how you came to that conclusion.

      I think the emphasis was on not everybody agreeing with it being the proper abbreviation based on the poll. But its a rather pointless article

      Last edited 19/07/13 10:37 am

      100% agreed. Just because there's alternatives, does not make the most commonly used term less "proper".

      Also, just because there's some generalised rules, such as Japan preferring the use of portmanteaus (combination/shortening of two words in to one) for abbreviations, does not mean that abbreviations that do not use this rule are im"proper".

      A good example of this in English - "went" is proper, "goed" is not, even though this follows the general rule for past-tense.

    Mozilla would prefer you to use Fx (with that capitalisation) as the abbreviation for Firefox ( but I don't often see that happening.

    I say we go with FiFa. Im sure there wont be any confusion.

    When Kotaku dies, this shit is what we'll have to remember it by.

    ... and “Square Enix” is “Sukueni” (スクエニ). See the pattern? Do people still call it Squeenix or am I the only one?

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