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I found this online, and I'm not really sure how it can be translated to english.

灵 = spirit

术 = technique/surgery

So I think it would either be spirit technique, or spirit surgery, but neither makes sense in terms of games.

I doubt it is AP/Magic power, because that's 魔术 and not 灵术.

  • It's correct that they means "spirit" and "technique", which basically means a technique associated with spirit, but...of what kind? Spiritism? Mediumship? – Alex Feb 5 '15 at 21:53
  • What game are you playing? – Pedroski Feb 5 '15 at 22:34
  • Is it more spirit related or ghost related? – Henry HO Feb 6 '15 at 3:55
  • Are you having difficulty understanding the meaning of the Chinese word, or finding proper English translation, or both? – NS.X. Feb 6 '15 at 8:39
  • Magic in such place should translate as 魔法(mófǎ), 魔术 means tricks that performed by magician FYI. – ChaoYang Feb 6 '15 at 12:10
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Without knowing the full context, my best guess is that 灵术 means spirit magic.

When translating, especially between unrelated languages like English and Chinese, there is often a lack of one-to-one correspondence between words. This is why when you look in a dictionary for the English definition of 术, you get multiple options like technique/surgery. However, when this character is paired with others, it can also take on the meaning of magic. This works the other way around too; when you try to translate magic to Chinese, you get multiple options as well, like 魔术 (magic as in magicians) or 魔法 (magic as in Harry Potter).

You probably won't find "灵术" in a dictionary. Since your context is video games, it's most likely that this is a constructed word for a specific type of magic, which usually have the "X术" form. To demonstrate, here are some other "X术" words that are specific types of magic:

  • 妖术, lit. "supernatural magic", often translated as "sorcery"
  • 巫术, lit. "witch magic", translated as "witchcraft" or "black magic"
  • 通灵术, lit. "communicate with spirits magic", sometimes translated as "necromancy". Note that "ouija board" in Chinese is 通灵板.
  • 仙术, lit. "divine magic", translated as "theurgy"

Interestingly, there are many "X术" words that have nothing to do with magic, such as 医术 (medicine) and 武术 (martial arts). This goes back to traditional Chinese culture, especially Taoism where there is no clear distinction between the natural and supernatural, and that many physical phenomena also have supernatural links, like the concept of qi.

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I think 术 here means manoeuvre or skills. And 灵 could either mean spiritual or infernal (because, you know, after something dies, its spirit wanders to infernal world).

So basically it's a skill or manoeuvre that consumes, rely on, operate on, or related to spiritual power/entity or nether world.

I'm not a native English speaker, so you'd have to find the appropriate English word for that yourself.

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Interesting question. can OP give more specific details.

I will answer this question from another angle, I think the OP is talking about HP and MP.

Here are examples of what other games would use.
火影忍者 Naruto: chakra 查克拉
英雄聯盟 LoL/ DOTA/ most RPG games: mana 瑪那

On the other hand, if OP is talking about spirit technique, then yes, that would be an appropriate translation

Example: Naruto Ninjutsu would be translated as 忍術
仙法・磁遁螺旋丸 -> Sage Art: Magnet Release Spiralling Sphere
風遁・螺旋手裏剣 -> Wind Style: Rasen Shuriken
You can see how the translation slightly differs from the original, but it sounds much smoother and is localized.

The phrase 法 and 術 literally can both mean technique and can be used in many ways

Another way to translate it would be to use "stance" Ex: 吸星大法 Essence Absorbing Stance

I think OP just wants to make it sound cool, my advice is this, any type of localization would sound awkward, but if the medium (video game) makes it look cool, then everyone will like it either way. The pokemon move for pikachu's thunderbolt is actually a poor translation of the japanese version's 10 thousand bolt.
But if we use it in context, and categorize the attack based on weak to strong: thunder shock -> thunderbolt -> thunder. Then the translation would feel good.

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just a magic associated with spirit,you can consider it as AP/magic

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