Jump to content

Welcome to Obsidian Forum Community
Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more. If you already have an account, login here - otherwise create an account for free today!
Photo

Constructed Languages and Intuitive *~ Culture Feels ~*


  • Please log in to reply
111 replies to this topic

#41
Sensuki

Sensuki

    Subway Apathist of the Obsidian Order

  • Members
  • 9965 posts
  • Location:Australia
  • Steam:STEAM_0:1:1229809
  • Pillars of Eternity Silver Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

:w00t:

 

woo!

 

It would be a cool idea to provide some naming schemes for character creation for the different conlangs. Kind of the the D&D 3E and 4E books provided a few sample names of each race etc

 

Dunno whether this is something you've already covered in the campaign almanac or manual or something (or even in-game in the character creation name screen).

 

Since my first character will probably be a black supremacist vailian chick with a pimpin' feather hat, I'd like to have an appropriate name :)


Edited by Sensuki, 17 June 2013 - 03:21 PM.

  • eimatshya likes this

#42
J.E. Sawyer

J.E. Sawyer

    Project Director

  • Developers+
  • 2995 posts
  • Location:Santa Ana, California

fair enough, but on a larger scale, isn't that a battle that you can't really win? you make something sound right for english readers => now the french (or whoever else) start to read funny things because now it has some meaning in their language :D

 

 

of course, i'm aware you are making this game for english speakers primarly, so it's not a big deal i guess

 

True.  Vailian probably runs the biggest risk of this, especially since it's a cased language (most contemporary Romance languages are not).  I already had a native Italian speaker call me out on the Darcozzi Paladini (an ancient order of palace guards from the Grand Empire of Vailia).  "Hey buddy, who named that, some backwater farmer?!"


  • Lysen and lolaldanee like this

#43
Tsuga C

Tsuga C

    (6) Magician

  • Members
  • 646 posts
  • Location:Michigan, USA
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

I already had a native Italian speaker call me out on the Darcozzi Paladini (an ancient order of palace guards from the Grand Empire of Vailia).  "Hey buddy, who named that, some backwater farmer?!"


Toes: there are millions of them for stepping on, both unintentionally and deliberately.  Go get 'em, Sawyer!   :cat:


  • Amentep and lolaldanee like this

#44
eimatshya

eimatshya

    The Obsidian Order's Assigner of Ergativity

  • Members
  • 296 posts
  • Location:Malaysia
  • Pillars of Eternity Silver Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer

I have no problem with your approach to spelling (that is, using the orthographic conventions of the language inspiring each conlang for flavor purposes). It's not the way I would do it, but it's not my game, so do what you think is best to convey the feeling you're trying to capture.

 

I would like some sort of pronunciation guide, however, as my knowledge of Irish spelling rules, which are complicated and full of exceptions, is moderate at best, and my understanding of Italian orthography is even worse. I do like to know how the author intends for me to pronounce a word.

 

Thanks for putting so much thought into your conlangs, Josh. Most fantasy writers seem to just throw a bunch of weird sounding words out there without any sort of systematicity (which always torpedoes my immersion in the fantasy world). 


  • Hormalakh likes this

#45
Lephys

Lephys

    Punsmith of the Obsidian Order

  • Members
  • 7245 posts
  • Location:The Punforge
  • Pillars of Eternity Silver Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
Maybe just a glossary (including all the main proper names of people, places, and objects in the world) in the manual wouldn't be too much trouble, and would provide a nice little bit of "for those who need to know...", :)

#46
Shoeless Joe Jackson

Shoeless Joe Jackson

    Barefoot Fanatic of the Obsidian Order

  • Members
  • 46 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Silver Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer

As an Irish man, I fully support the idea. Bring on the incomprehensible words. :grin:

 

When I read update 53 I was wondering how you'd managed to make Cean GĂșla from woman of blood but it definitely has the right ring to it which is what you're looking for really so well done.


Edited by Shoeless Joe Jackson, 17 June 2013 - 05:31 PM.


#47
Eiphel

Eiphel

    (3) Conjurer

  • Members
  • 107 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer

 

How will we even know how the words are supposed to be pronounced? Unless they are verbalized in-game wont it be as always, the players will come up with whatever sounds right in their heads.

 

That's what I expect, but I wanted to find out how much players care about their expected pronunciation matching the "real" pronunciation (for whatever that is worth).  My assumption was that players don't really care as long as they don't stumble over the words while reading them, but it's a baseless assumption.

 

 

Personally, I find it FAR more immersive if the languages are not all designed to be intuitively pronounced correctly. That's not the case for a selection of real languages. If every language in P:E is intuitively pronounced correctly by English speakers, that just makes them seem more artificial for all sharing the same pronunciation features. I'm far more interested in a range of languages whose orthographic features and phonetic features do not all correspond in the same way.

 

Also I care a lot about rich and well developed languages in general; it's one of my favourite things.


  • Sheikh likes this

#48
curryinahurry

curryinahurry

    (6) Magician

  • Members
  • 618 posts
  • Location:In Transit
  • Pillars of Eternity Silver Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
  • Deadfire Silver Backer
  • Fig Backer

It seems that since the player character will be new to the land, that would allow for moments in which locals could provide pronunciation tips whether by transcribed journal entries or by asides in dialog like, "you'll want to head over to the town of X; the locals pronounce it..."  As long as some hints are provided, I think most players will be fine with their mental approximations of the words being spelled out in front of them.  

 

The only note of caution would likely be for words that might appear in VO dialog or narrative which might be pronounced in a markedly different manner than their spelling.  For those words, there should be some consideration for making sure player expectation roughly conforms to VO execution.


  • Lephys likes this

#49
Sacred_Path

Sacred_Path

    (9) Sorcerer

  • Members
  • 1328 posts
  • Location:Germany
  • Pillars of Eternity Silver Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

When you see something written in Irish, there's little doubt what language you're looking at, but the pronunciation will quite often not be "right" in your head.  As it applies to the languages, names, etc. in Project Eternity, how much do you care about the intuitive pronunciation of our conlangs?


I couldn't care less. You're going with invented languages, they might as well be counter-intuitive and/or complete gibberish. I don't think I'll conjure up the energy to memorize the rules of even the more "intuitive" languages in P:E; there's simply no compelling reason for that (i.e. the medium doesn't lend itself to that).

I'm also 90% sure that in conversation, both online and IRL, people talking about P:E will substitute their own words for in-game terms; i.e. that watchamacallit-banshee you've shown us, I'm confident that people will simply refer to them as banshees. Same for ogres, fire giants, dwarves and dragons ("wurms").

edit: btw, we know there will be a limited amount of VA in P:E. Make sure that a lot of those lines contain conlang words, or else it's going to be really artificial and immersion breaking.

Edited by Sacred_Path, 17 June 2013 - 10:38 PM.


#50
Sabotin

Sabotin

    (4) Theurgist

  • Members
  • 365 posts
  • Location:Slovenia

Personally, I wouldn't bother making words visually closer to what they sound. More often than not when something like this comes up, my own rendition sounds better to me than the actual one, i.e. it's subjective if the word is not encountered spoken.

 

Generally speaking, I think context is important, too. English is not my native language, so it might be different for others, but when I read a paragraph in English, I'm in "English reading mode", so to speak, meaning that I'll read everything like I think it would sound in English. However, when there's multiple instances of fantasy (foreign?) words, I start reading those differently. Sometimes I even read an English word wrong before I notice its meaning...

 

Going for this what would work for me would be that the foreign words are in italics, just so that my brain pays attention and doesn't just steamroll over these words.

 

About the VO I have just one concern. I think it would be a good idea if when you first hear some word that wildly differs in pronunciation it would also be first encountered in that same VO, preventing  the player from already having their own version in their heads and then subsequently thinking about it every time they see/hear it.

 

One thing I'd also like to see is the use of loanwords in common dialogue, specially in areas where cultures come in contact with each other.


  • Sedrefilos likes this

#51
Lysen

Lysen

    (4) Theurgist

  • Members
  • 348 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Silver Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

 

fair enough, but on a larger scale, isn't that a battle that you can't really win? you make something sound right for english readers => now the french (or whoever else) start to read funny things because now it has some meaning in their language :D

 

 

of course, i'm aware you are making this game for english speakers primarly, so it's not a big deal i guess

 

True.  Vailian probably runs the biggest risk of this, especially since it's a cased language (most contemporary Romance languages are not).  I already had a native Italian speaker call me out on the Darcozzi Paladini (an ancient order of palace guards from the Grand Empire of Vailia).  "Hey buddy, who named that, some backwater farmer?!"

 

 

Hopefully there will be no Russian inspired languages and I will be able to avoid any WTF moments like in Alpha Protocol (where I couldn't even read what was written in supposedly Cyrillic script).



#52
Nonek

Nonek

    Not of the Obsidian Order

  • Members
  • 3040 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Silver Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

Always enjoy looking up and learning new things, so i'm all for this. Had the opportunity a few years ago to attend a recital of Beowulf in the original old English performed by an RSC veteran, it was absolutely captivating, even though I admit that I had professor Tolkiens translation open on my knee. Think it might be an especially interesting route for the Chanter to take, finding purer Glenfathan translations of the more modern saga poems.

 

Edit: Recently played through Icewind Dale 2, and had my liitle one interested in Latin, simply because he wanted to know what the spellcasters were saying. Now that's what you call educational. Next up Total War, and all the Sun Tzu qoutes.


Edited by Nonek, 18 June 2013 - 03:29 AM.

  • Tsuga C likes this

#53
Infinitron

Infinitron

    Arch-Mage

  • Members
  • 2074 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer

This also reminds me of the "Tempos, not Tempus" thing from the Icewind Dale: Heart of Winter expansion. Was that your idea, Josh?



#54
Mico Selva

Mico Selva

    (2) Evoker

  • Members
  • 63 posts
  • Location:Outside Reality
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

I believe the best solution would be pronunciation guide section somewhere in the manual, or in a separate booklet/file (like the Sigil slang guide in Polish release of Planescape: Torment). This way, people who care about such things could read up on it, while the others would be able to ignore the matter.



#55
Amentep

Amentep

    Forum Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 5220 posts
  • Location:Fawcett City
  • Pillars of Eternity Silver Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
  • Lords of the Eastern Reach Backer
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer

As long as we don't get names like Z'dgyv-qylix, which is all but unpronounceable by individuals possessing human vocal anatomy

 

zeh-<click>DIG-eve <brief pause> gill-ex would be my wild stab in the dark.  Hmmm, wrote fark instead, not sure what that means.

 

Ultimately with regards to the constructed language, I think as long as the terminology doesn't go overboard (as in the old Planescape setting warning of going overboard with cant slang) so that the context is understood I'm okay.  I don't worry about pronunciation that much personally (one of my first jobs involved calling people's names out - you kind of get over mispronouncing things quickly).


  • mcmanusaur likes this

#56
TrashMan

TrashMan

    Holy Avenger of the Obsidian Order

  • Members
  • 1523 posts
  • Location:Nabeshins afro
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer

That's what I like about my languge. No fuss with pronaunciation.

 

I don't have to think about it because it's written exactly like it's pronounced. If you can write it you can read it, if you can read it you can write it.

 

More fictional languages could go that route.



#57
TrashMan

TrashMan

    Holy Avenger of the Obsidian Order

  • Members
  • 1523 posts
  • Location:Nabeshins afro
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer

As long as we don't get names like Z'dgyv-qylix, which is all but unpronounceable by individuals possessing human vocal anatomy

 

Fun fact: Any human being can pronounce any syllable or word used by any other human. Even those aboridgini sounds.

 

It takes some vocal gymnastics abnd lots of practice to get your troat and tounge to learn it.



#58
Brasidas

Brasidas

    (1) Prestidigitator

  • Members
  • 18 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

As a result of dyslexia, I sound out words very poorly. "Normally" spelled words and unusually spelled words make no difference to me.

 

The sound of these words define many of my associations with the setting. As a result, I would hungrily listen to short pronunciation clips in an in game encyclopedia. I would greedily listen for cleverly placed barks and shouts. This is because the flavor of Project Eternity sounds so delicious.



#59
Nonek

Nonek

    Not of the Obsidian Order

  • Members
  • 3040 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Silver Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

Might it be possible to have a companion who spoke one of the more tongue twisting of languages, and your intellect and guesswork allow you to slowly gain an understanding of his tongue, like with the Dabu in Sigil? Might be a good way of integrating the learning into the game, and make pronunciation and such a more organic thing. The translation scenes with Fell were brilliant role playing to my mind, and equally they might be keen on learning some of the younger languages.

 

Might be a touch too awkward to design such a character (with such a focus on linguistics) however.



#60
Merlkir

Merlkir

    (5) Thaumaturgist

  • Members
  • 412 posts
  • Location:Czech Republic
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer

All this makes me very happy.

 

- About pronunciation being un/intuitive - I think it could be a cool way to distinguish some of the more alien cultures - maybe the human languages are more or less intuitive, but suddenly! the player hears an elven name pronounced and it's quite unintuitive. Oh, that's right, they're quite different to humans!

 

- About the fact we're reading it transcribed in latin script anyway - it's the old Tolkien "old timey translator" trick - we're simply being fed an approximate translation of all the languages. The differences we see now are perhaps not at all what the actual languages sound like, it's the translator giving it his best effort to make their respective relationships obvious by relating them to languages we know.

 

Names in language X are pronounced differently than we (mostly English speakers) would assume from the transcription? Well, in the analogue of language X, names are also pronounced differently to the way they're written down in the common tongue Y (whatever that is). And that difference of language X pronunciation to the Y transcription is kind of similar to the way Irish names are pronounced compared to being written down in the latin alphabet.






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users