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J.E. Sawyer

Constructed Languages and Intuitive *~ Culture Feels ~*

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You're calling my language artificial?

No history? No background?

 

That is just..insulting. My country has a long and rich history.

 

http://mylanguages.org/croatian_alphabet.php

 

 

Altough it's not 100% clean

 

That are 2-3 words that are written exctly the same but pronounced just a bit different and mean different things.

 

 

Like "luk" - if the "u" is short it means "onion". If its long it means "bow" (as in bow and arrow), or "arch".

 

Also "kosa" - with a short "o" it means "hair", with a long it can mean "scythe".

Edited by TrashMan
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* YOU ARE A WRONGULARITY FROM WHICH NO RIGHT CAN ESCAPE! *

Chuck Norris was wrong once - He thought HE made a mistake!

 

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I don't think it matters to the majority as long as they look like "fantasy world languages."  In my case, too, I cannot even discern a Celtic language from another.  When I read a translation of War and Peace many years ago, the sheer number of Russian names overwhelmed me till I found the number of the main characters were not so many.  Also, if you are familiar with logograms such as Chinese, you can tell the meaning by seeing them even when you have no idea about how they are pronounced at all (This may be hard to grasp if you are only familiar with phonogram languages, though).  So, as long as the team don't spam too many proper nouns in a dialogue, this will stay as an issue for voice actors rather than for the players (and the majority of the dialogues won't be voice recorded).  Personally, I don't regard even Bean Sí is an issue, as long as the team put how they are supposed to be pronounced/mean in lore part, which would be a help for translators, too.*  Italicizing is a good enough indication that the words are "foreign", I think.

 

*  In this way, they can choose how they translate.  Tolkien is said to encourage translators to focus on meaning in the context of the target language rather than pronunciation (e.g. "woman of the Sidhe" over "Banshee" for Bean Sí) as someone pointed out.

 

 




Oh, and as in the Italian example, it certainly is a good idea to have a native speaker / reader of the base languages have a look at the outcome to avoid silly sounding words or such with unintended meaning ;)

 

In the case of the Darcozzi Paladini, that would never make sense in any of the source romance languages because it's exhibiting characteristics of a cased language.  Vailian, unlike Italian, French, or Occitan, is cased.  If we used prepositions and articles to represent those relationships (especially to the extent that Italian does), it actually comes across as too Earth-like, IMO.  Consuagli asegia seems "Romance-y", but consiglio dell'assedio looks unmistakably Italian.

 

Guess it can't be helped then since it's rooted in the grammar, different from the case of Bean Sí, where simply a word "bean" coincidently looks like a familiar English word with a different meaning, which can be solved independently.  Once a problem has been dug enough to make it the matter of the perspective, that of the majority matters most (Native Italian speaker players < Native English speaker players + Players employing English as their second language).  I like that Obsidian are trying to make role-playing games as they are or let the players simulate the perspectives of their characters.  However, the team cannot ignore players' perspective, at the same time.  Some PnP RPGs are too demanding or rely too much on the knowledge of the players to grab the interest of the majority.  I like their way of "game-mastering" not to scare off the majority while exploring possible depth in role-playing.

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I'm very happy to see how this topic is addressed :D As for approaching the intended pronounciation with an "anglification" of the written representation: Don't do that please. The only situation I can imagine where the look of the words presented in the initial posting could be a problem, is if there are spoken passages without subtitles or clues in text before/after that situation/in the journal to link complicated words to their written representation.

Oh, and as in the Italian example, it certainly is a good idea to have a native speaker / reader of the base languages have a look at the outcome to avoid silly sounding words or such with unintended meaning ;)

 

 

Rostere: Hm, Stockholm, computer linguistics... Would you happen to know a professor Volk? :)

 

I've seen the name, but I don't know him in person.


"Well, overkill is my middle name. And my last name. And all of my other names as well!"

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For my part, the effort is appreciated but I won't be paying as much attention as required to fully appreciate the work done.

 

It is a bit painful how the languages, names and locations are often completely half assed butcheries.

Take names off a historic map and change a few letters, names likewise, use a couple of latin words and the fantasy world is all set.

 

So raising the bar is more than welcome, even if it's not taken to Tolkien level of madness.

Just having the names and places have a feel to them is good, anything further is even better.

 

Pronunciation. Not too important to me.

If there's a reasonably non-crazy way to work in pronunciation guides in game, that'd be great though.

And yeah, if something sounds stupid when spoken as in english, then it'd be best to either change that or work it into an in-game joke.

But if I say something wrong in my mind when reading game text, and it doesn't matter that I do, it doesn't matter to me that I do.

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:D We do need a temple of cave prostitutes in PE now. Yes.

As long as there aren't any amateur-stitutes, or -- *gasp* -- NOVICE-stitutes... u_u


Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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It's not complication for complication's sake - The fact is that natural languages with universally clean phonetic spelling are near nonexistent. Such a language is obviously artificial and bespeaks no history or background for its culture. It's a complete flavour vacuum.

This is just plain silly: They're not near-nonexistent, they're the vast majority of the world's languages. Most languages have only started to be written very recently, or are small enough that there's no literary tradition for them (and thus no historical inertia to preserve archaic spellings) and thus transcriptions change freely along with the language. And there are still many languages alive today that have never been written at all, and almost every language that has ever existed was never written.

 

Furthermore when you're talking conlangs, unless you're doing an alternate history conlang (which is a perfectly valid thing to do), the romanization is a transcription, not the native writing form of the language, if the language has native writing at all. As I said before, it makes zero sense for transcriptions to reflect the history of the language's pronunciation.

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A fair point. I wouldn't mind seeing a culture who didn't have any use for the written word, instead relying on mnemonic techniques and perhaps sorcerous methods, such as benign necromancy for the purposes of historical recollections. To see the functionally illiterate as equally intelligent in many ways as their better read brethren, that would be refreshingly original.

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Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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A fair point. I wouldn't mind seeing a culture who didn't have any use for the written word, instead relying on mnemonic techniques and perhaps sorcerous methods, such as benign necromancy for the purposes of historical recollections. To see the functionally illiterate as equally intelligent in many ways as their better read brethren, that would be refreshingly original.

Indeed, little makes me happier than seeing a pre-literacy culture done well (and little makes me more disappointed than seeing them lazily painted with Big Dumb Cavemen tropes).

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I just had to say that I really liked the

*~ Culture Feels ~*

flourish in the thread title. :biggrin:

 

 

As to the question...I'm a big Star Trek fan, but I never wondered how to pronounce "table" in Klingon, or the languages in Tolkien, or whatever. It is a nice touch when a fictional world has such things, because it often makes that world seem more culturally believable (that there would be more than one language, or ancient languages). But I don't care if I can't pronounce it in my head. As long as the language bits feel consistent and not just some random gobbly-goo to make something seem exotic, but obviously had no real thought put into it.

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“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts

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As long as every other word isn't a Lovecraftian tongue-twister full of consonants and apostrophes then I couldn't care less.


sonsofgygax.JPG

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it's 5 pages so tldr and i dont know if someone sugested it already, but you could put some pronounciation hints in the manual. taking german as an example: sch is heavy s. but even if you dont explain how it is and let us think what we want, so long as it doesnt look like gibberish and we can make heads and tails of the words its all good.

is it pronounced gif or jif? and does it really matter? after all both indicate the same thing and everyone knows it. it's that kind of thing in the end


The words freedom and liberty, are diminishing the true meaning of the abstract concept they try to explain. The true nature of freedom is such, that the human mind is unable to comprehend it, so we make a cage and name it freedom in order to give a tangible meaning to what we dont understand, just as our ancestors made gods like Thor or Zeus to explain thunder.

 

-Teknoman2-

What? You thought it was a quote from some well known wise guy from the past?

 

Stupidity leads to willful ignorance - willful ignorance leads to hope - hope leads to sex - and that is how a new generation of fools is born!


We are hardcore role players... When we go to bed with a girl, we roll a D20 to see if we hit the target and a D6 to see how much penetration damage we did.

 

Modern democracy is: the sheep voting for which dog will be the shepherd's right hand.

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 That said, a language where Latinate pronunciation doesn't apply neatly will likely feel very foreign to a majority of the audience, but this isn't a bad thing if that's the desired effect.

I desire this effect, that is all.

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Oh, and as in the Italian example, it certainly is a good idea to have a native speaker / reader of the base languages have a look at the outcome to avoid silly sounding words or such with unintended meaning ;)

 

If we used prepositions and articles to represent those relationships (especially to the extent that Italian does), it actually comes across as too Earth-like, IMO.

that's the point i disagree with, i'd prefere real italian to something constructed any day of the week - the only problem i see with that is that you probably shouldn't mix together several languages if you were to use real ones, and had to go for italian or french only

but this boils down to a matter of taste mostly, so i don't think there's any real chance to convice you there ;)

Edited by lolaldanee

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How did I miss this thread? this is way cool. I don't have to get it right btw, as long as any voice actors will.


Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
---
Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

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It doesn't have to be intuitive. Avoid the "weird looking" words like you've done (bean to cean). Try to incorporate as many of the words into the voice acting as possible. Some other words can have pronounciation guides. Try to limit the number of conlang words used overall (because then P:E becomes a technical treatise on conlangs).

 

A few unintuitive words will not bother most people. When I was younger I would mispronounce most english words like melee (mee-lee), pause (pa-oo-sey), etc. As I grew up and heard the words pronounced, I fixed my pronounciation in my head and now I can't believe that I used to mispronounce those words. As you create more P:E games, the unintuitive words will lessen and people will develop a knack for how to pronounce the words.

Edited by Hormalakh

My blog is where I'm keeping a record of all of my suggestions and bug mentions.

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/  UPDATED 9/26/2014

My DXdiag:

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/2014/08/beta-begins-v257.html

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A few unintuitive words will not bother most people. When I was younger I would mispronounce most english words like melee (mee-lee), pause (pa-oo-sey), etc. As I grew up and heard the words pronounced, I fixed my pronounciation in my head and now I can't believe that I used to mispronounce those words. As you create more P:E games, the unintuitive words will lessen and people will develop a knack for how to pronounce the words.

Heh... what's funny is, even after decades of English, you occasionally stop and think, "Man... what the hell's up with that word? If I didn't have its pronunciation drilled into my brain, I wouldn't even come anywhere CLOSE to pronouncing it properly, based on its spelling!"

 

Amusing link-example time!:

 

http://www.usingenglish.com/forum/pronunciation-phonetics/40273-english-crazy-language.html


Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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The words that I often see people claiming to have unintuitive pronunciation seem no less intuitive to me than others, so I'm not sure how to answer. I very quickly recognize languages and intuit the pronunciation even if I don't understand of a word of it. This includes conlangs when they are obviously inspired by specific real-world languages.

 

I can't imagine pronouncing Guenhwyvar any other way, and Dair Bhriste looks to me like this.


10RfE.gif

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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?!"

I might be late to comment, but I'll just point out that this is a non-issue. Situations like this plague modern languages. Did you know that the Polish word for cat (kot) is German for **** (Kot)?


[ The Vault ] [ The Wasteland Wiki ] [ Pillars of Eternity Wiki ] [ Tyranny Wiki ]


 


My, that's a whole lot of wikis!


Why, thank you, I love them.

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Oh yes. The hilarity of German-Slavic homophones. German for "road turn" is "whore" in Czech, Polish and probably other Slavic languages. Polish word for "to look for" is a popular Czech variation of "to copulate".


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I don't have any problem with Darcozzi paladins, though I can see why a native Italian speaker could find it silly sounding due to associations. At least they're not Fantozzi paladini!

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Hey Josh, cool thread!

Have you considered how your work is going to end up during translation into the other supported languages? It'd be a pity if you put a lot of work into it and then it will be lost in translation.

 

 

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?!"

 

 

Regarding the newest update, I'm not really sure what to do with the name of the 'Wicht' monster either as a german native speaker. The german translation can be seen here, it means quite literary little fellow.

I understand that its cool to use words from different languages in order to make things feel more exotic, and thats fine in the english version. However, I feel like its often a problem if you play the translated game in the corresponding language, as the translators usually just stick with the names that already are in the native language.

Another german word that serves as a good example for this is "Zweihänder", which in some games gets used for a special two-handed sword, while its just the translation of 'two-handed sword'.

 

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In Dutch a wicht is a fairly archaic term used for a child (usually a girl) who gets into trouble a lot. A good kind troublemaker.

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Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
---
Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

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