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Koth

Difficult to pronounce Names / Places / Races distracting

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Personally I many of the names of characters / races / places (proper nouns) difficult to pronounce, and for me I find this really distracting.

 

I really want to take my time with this game and read every single piece of lore I can get my (figurative) hands on. After installing the beta and playing for a few hours I'm loving my time in Eora. But every time I hit a "Bîaŵacs", "Clîaban Rilag", "Edér", "Cean Gŵla", "Brîshalgwin", "Rauatai", "Jxamitl" etc I find myself doing a double take as the inner OCD in me finds a need to properly pronounce the name in my head so that I can place that name in context with the story and continue reading the sentance / paragraph. I find myself re-reading the same sentance 3 or 4 times just to get the pronouncation correct. The names are either difficult to pronounce or just feel... I guess... Awkward for lack of a better word?

 

It might just be me, i've heard some people say that they don't care how complex a name is, a rose by any other name would smell as sweet etc, but for me, I find it to be a mental stumbling block. Every time I hit one its like tripping over, picking myself back up and continuing. Maybe I should just over my grammatical / linguisitc OCD?

 

I'm sure that this will get easier as time goes on, as I start to piece together the lore of Eora, but it was just something I just wanted to raise as a question. So let me ask this:

 

Is it important for you to be able to pronounce proper nouns in a story / game? Do you find such words distracting from the story? I don't want these to sound like loaded questions. They're not, I just want to hear other's opinions on the subject.

 

Cheers,

 

Koth.

 

PS. I really didn't want this post to come across as negative, I love the work you're doing Obsidian, and I'm loving the beta so far, yes there are bugs, but I'm confident you'll have it all sorted by release. Keep up the great work!

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Anyone have any input here? Or am I alone in my OCD bubble?

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I agree. In particular, the red-headed bard in the inn (can't remember her name) spouts a lot of historical exposition at you, but there's so many different place names, nationalities, roles and titles that it's very difficult to digest. Granted, it may be easier to understand if you play the game from the start, but it did seem to be going a little overboard with the made-up words.

 

At one point, if you ask her what a particular word means, she says something like, 'it's basically a knight'. Well, great. If we're going to have made-up titles, it's a bit lazy to define them by reference to things we already have names for.

Edited by Simon280586

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BREAKING NEWS: Fantasy RPG names are F***ing bullsh** the developers made up while drunk. More at 11.


"The Courier was the worst of all of them. The worst by far. When he died the first time, he must have met the devil, and then killed him."

 

 

Is your mom hot? It may explain why guys were following her ?

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Yes, I have an input.

 

Let me find a thread for you ...

 

http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/63958-constructed-languages-and-intuitive-culture-feels/?hl=orthography

 

Have a read of that

 

Great post, thanks for the link. Hits the nail on the head there. But one of JS's quotes got to me a little:

 

"... If players read about the Vailian consuagli asegia (siege councils), they may not get the stress "right" or hit every consonant cluster correctly in their heads, but they probably won't stumble over the words."

 

The problem is, that in this case I do stumble over the words, often. One every now and then is fine, but the game to me seems littered with them. It just makes the pace of reading much slower for me, which may be its intended purpose for all I know, to get people to slow down and read the dialog.

 

But on the other hand if the reader has difficulty pronouncing a word they tend to become desensitised to it, it basically just becomes a placeholder in the mind for "oh that name I can't say that has something to do with those Norse barbarian type dudes", and in doing so is it easy to become desensitized to the surrounding context as well? I'm not sure...

 

Anyway thanks for the link, will dive through the rest of the comments on that post to get a better idea of what others think.

 

Cheers,

 

K.

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I agree. In particular, the red-headed bard in the inn (can't remember her name) spouts a lot of historical exposition at you, but there's so many different place names, nationalities, roles and titles that it's very difficult to digest. Granted, it may be easier to understand if you play the game from the start, but it did seem to be going a little overboard with the made-up words.

 

At one point, if you ask her what a particular word means, she says something like, 'it's basically a knight'. Well, great. If we're going to have made-up titles, it's a bit lazy to define them by reference to things we already have names for.

 

 

A lot of things are "basically a knight". Samurai were basically knights. Ritterbruder were basically knights. Jomsvikings were basically knights. Varangians were basically knights. Kataphraktoi were basically knights. The bard was courteous enough to relate the local vernacular into something a foreigner might understand.

 

 

You can't have a deeply fleshed-out world without it containing languages. Tolkien couldn't have created Middle Earth unless he also included the languages, history and culture that went along with it's peoples and kingdoms. A lot of this stuff is already partially explained in posts by devs and the couple books you can find ingame. The lingo being thrown out in Dyrford is like Breton being spoken in France. The people who live in the cities don't know it much better than you do, and you're coming in cold. It's pretty close to what it's like being in a country where you don't really speak the language. Lots of 'Wie bitte?' You can't be a 'stranger in a strange land' without that experience.

 

Anyway, in the beta you're being dumped in with virtually no exposition or info, so of course it's a little obtuse, but those languages are as necessary to building a solid organic world as not having nations and kingdoms based on race(Orc Town, Elf Land, etc) .

Edited by Panteleimon

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But since they use a few of the same sounds with the same weird spelling and accents and so on. And they seem.. more or less completely made up.. And they don't keep strictly to a particular set of romanisation that should be familiar to english-speakers, and so on. It would really surprise me if they didn't introduce the words with voice-acting early on in the game. Brîshalgwin, for example. Is it Brae-shalg-hwenn, or is it Bree-shalg-win? No way to tell until you hear the local language. Brisslagwen! Bressleggen! Could be practically anything.


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But every time I hit a "Bîaŵacs", "Clîaban Rilag", "Edér", "Cean Gŵla", "Brîshalgwin", "Rauatai", "Jxamitl" 

 

Translations:

 

Bîaŵacs = Bruce

Clîaban Rilag = Jimmy

Edér = Ed

Cean Gŵla = John

Brîshalgwin = Billy

Rauatai = Ron

Jxamitl = Matt

Edited by vril

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My hope is that they release a pronunciation guide either in the manual or campaign almanac to assist with this issue. It would be a fun read too.

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I like the names. Especially as there's some real linguistics behind them; they're not just completely made up by piling diphthongs one after the other, even if they're not quite complete conlangs. Don't mind the pronunciation difficulties.

 

(But then I am something of a language nerd.)

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Personally I many of the names of characters / races / places (proper nouns) difficult to pronounce, and for me I find this really distracting.

I tend to agree and the problem I have with it is the following.

 

Obsidian is trying to create an entirely new world and part of a world are, of course, the languages. However, also part of the world is the character we play, who is supposed to feel at home there. But we as players do not if can't pronounce half of the stuff that is said to us.

 

How am I supposed to role-play a character without completely breaking immersion every few minutes when I encounter a ton of names I can't even pronounce but the character is actually supposed to be familiar with?

 

Another problem are NPCs - it's way easier to remember NPCs and put them into context if we can associate a name with them. And names are remembered via sound, not spelling. If I can't pronounce a name, chances are I won't remember it for long, either.

 

And let's be honest - there's a ton of really good fantasy worlds out there that managed to create great immersion without inventing words most people can't even pronounce properly. So yeah, I certainly could do with less made-up fantasy names I can't pronounce...

 

Kinda reminds me of a chart that's been floating around for ages: 

FJyVEKg.png

 

Simple, yet incredibly accurate.

Edited by war:head
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Let it be paved or unseen
May I be hindered by a thousand stones
Still onward I'd crawl down on my knees.

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This always seems to be issue for the english speaking crowd. 8)

 

But yeah I guess the solution is to include a guide, if people really find it irritating.

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Personally I many of the names of characters / races / places (proper nouns) difficult to pronounce, and for me I find this really distracting.

I tend to agree and the problem I have with it is the following.

 

Obsidian is trying to create an entirely new world and part of a world are, of course, the languages. However, also part of the world is the character we play, who is supposed to feel at home there. But we as players do not if can't pronounce half of the stuff that is said to us.

 

How am I supposed to role-play a character without completely breaking immersion every few minutes when I encounter a ton of names I can't even pronounce but the character is actually supposed to be familiar with?

 

Another problem are NPCs - it's way easier to remember NPCs and put them into context if we can associate a name with them. And names are remembered via sound, not spelling. If I can't pronounce a name, chances are I won't remember it for long, either.

 

And let's be honest - there's a ton of really good fantasy worlds out there that managed to create great immersion without inventing words most people can't even pronounce properly. So yeah, I certainly could do with less made-up fantasy names I can't pronounce...

 

 

 

Uh, your character DOESN'T come from this area. Eir Glanfath is not a national background you can choose, and in the demos they've run, you're introduced as a new arrival to the area. You're on an entirely new continent. People here don't speak the same language as they did back home. They don't even all speak the same languages. What a shock.

 

 

 

 

 

This always seems to be issue for the english speaking crowd. 8)

 

But yeah I guess the solution is to include a guide, if people really find it irritating.

 

I believe this is often a large part of the issue.

Edited by Panteleimon

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Personally I many of the names of characters / races / places (proper nouns) difficult to pronounce, and for me I find this really distracting.

I tend to agree and the problem I have with it is the following.

 

Obsidian is trying to create an entirely new world and part of a world are, of course, the languages. However, also part of the world is the character we play, who is supposed to feel at home there. But we as players do not if can't pronounce half of the stuff that is said to us.

 

...it's not entirely without any foundation, though. They've said a few times that names and places are placed in a world inspired by middle-European names and cultures.

 

For example, "biawacs", or bivuakk maybe, likely sounds familiar to a lot of people in Europe. Because this word comes from some sort of german offshoot of a word that means "byguard". Or maybe "border guard" or scout, if you're reaching a bit. ... makes sense when we see the use it has it the game, no?


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I butcher them into spanish spelling and be done with them. Familiarity with them comes with use. They are new, therefore confusing. Once you get used, it's ok.

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Once you get used, it's ok.

THAT TAKES TOO LONG! I'm bored already! Fetch me more ants I can burn with a magnifying glass this instant!

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The injustice must end! Sign the petition and Free the Krug!

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Personally I many of the names of characters / races / places (proper nouns) difficult to pronounce, and for me I find this really distracting.

I tend to agree and the problem I have with it is the following.

 

Obsidian is trying to create an entirely new world and part of a world are, of course, the languages. However, also part of the world is the character we play, who is supposed to feel at home there. But we as players do not if can't pronounce half of the stuff that is said to us.

 

How am I supposed to role-play a character without completely breaking immersion every few minutes when I encounter a ton of names I can't even pronounce but the character is actually supposed to be familiar with?

 

Another problem are NPCs - it's way easier to remember NPCs and put them into context if we can associate a name with them. And names are remembered via sound, not spelling. If I can't pronounce a name, chances are I won't remember it for long, either.

 

And let's be honest - there's a ton of really good fantasy worlds out there that managed to create great immersion without inventing words most people can't even pronounce properly. So yeah, I certainly could do with less made-up fantasy names I can't pronounce...

 

 

 

Uh, your character DOESN'T come from this area. Eir Glanfath is not a national background you can choose, and in the demos they've run, you're introduced as a new arrival to the area. You're on an entirely new continent. People here don't speak the same language as they did back home. They don't even all speak the same languages. What a shock.

I haven't read that much about the setting and basic story (I'm waiting for the actual game to do that) but from what I remember, the Eastern Reach (continent in the game) is basically land colonized by the people we can chose as the origin for the character.

One would assume that former colonies still roughly speak about the same language the colonizing regions do(native folk not included of course) and as such are familiar to a character coming from, say, Aedyr. 

 

But maybe all this will make more sense once I dive into the lore.

Edited by war:head

There is a road that I must travel
Let it be paved or unseen
May I be hindered by a thousand stones
Still onward I'd crawl down on my knees.

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I haven't read that much about the setting and basic story (I'm waiting for the actual game to do that) but from what I remember, the Eastern Reach (continent in the game) is basically land colonized by the people we can chose as the origin for the character.

One would assume that former colonies still roughly speak about the same language the colonizing regions do(native folk not included of course) and as such are familiar to a character coming from, say, Aedyr. 

 

But maybe all this will make more sense once I dive into the lore.

 

 

The Dutch colonized South Africa, and they ended up as white Africans speaking a new language, Afrikaans, in no time. The British colonized Rhodesia and they ended up with a very divergent dialect in no time.

 

Regardless, the NATIVES of Eir Glanfath are the ones who speak Cornish/Irish. The colonists are just picking up the lingo as they come into contact with them. I doubt the Dyrwoodan city dwellers are much more informed of the natives' language than you are. The Vailians down south speak Vailian(Occitan/French/Italian), just like Colombians speak Spanish. A branch off the Old Vailian tree.

 

It all fits pretty naturally, given what information we have available so far. Can't wait for that almanac.

Edited by Panteleimon

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Also alot of the stuff is named in Eir Glanfathan, like a lot of things in American are named from Native American words. 

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I haven't read that much about the setting and basic story (I'm waiting for the actual game to do that) but from what I remember, the Eastern Reach (continent in the game) is basically land colonized by the people we can chose as the origin for the character.

One would assume that former colonies still roughly speak about the same language the colonizing regions do(native folk not included of course) and as such are familiar to a character coming from, say, Aedyr. 

 

But maybe all this will make more sense once I dive into the lore.

 

 

The Dutch colonized South Africa, and they ended up as white Africans speaking a new language, Afrikaans, in no time. The British colonized Rhodesia and they ended up with a very divergent dialect in no time.

 

Regardless, the NATIVES of Eir Glanfath are the ones who speak Cornish/Irish. The colonists are just picking up the lingo as they come into contact with them. I doubt the Dyrwoodan city dwellers are much more informed of the natives' language than you are. The Vailians down south speak Vailian(Occitan/French/Italian), just like Colombians speak Spanish. A branch off the Old Vailian tree.

 

It all fits pretty naturally, given what information we have available so far. Can't wait for that almanac.

 

 

You do have a point here. It'll all probably make more sense once we're able to actually start the game at the beginning and get more of a feel for the 'new world'.


There is a road that I must travel
Let it be paved or unseen
May I be hindered by a thousand stones
Still onward I'd crawl down on my knees.

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I don't have problem with most of the weird terms.

Biggest exception: Kith!

Why would people use that instead of People or some other common world describing your own ingroup of "civilized races"?

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