llamaenterhear
Username: Password:

Author Topic: Languages  (Read 10599 times)

0 Members and 1 Lonely Barbarian are spying on this topic.

Offline Ria Hawk

  • Wacko Strolenite
  • Moderator
  • Emperor
  • ****
  • Posts: 2979
  • Demented Author Chick
  • Awards Lifeforms Guild Item Guild NPC Guild Elite Item Guild Lifeforms Guild Elite Elite NPC Guild
    • KnightHawk
    • Awards
Languages
« on: October 13, 2002, 12:41:10 PM »
There are many languages in Antasia, and I mentioned all of them in the Race descriptions.  I listed the languages an average member of a particular race can speak, but that in no way defines the languages a character can speak.  Dialects and derivatives of certain languages use that language's alphabet.
    Centauri - the language of the centaurs; uses its own alphabet
       Common - as the name implies, the most common language spoken in Antasia; more or less the equivalent of English; uses its own alphabet
       Draconic - an arcane language; the origin of Gob and Drow; used in old texts and magic books, but generally connected with dark magic; uses its own alphabet
                    Drow - the language of the drow; a derivative of Draconic
       Dwarven - the language of the dwarves; a very extreme dialect of Common
       Fae - an arcane language; the origin of Sylvan; uses its own alphabet; used in many old texts and magic books
       Elfin - the language of the elves; uses its own alphabet
       Gnomish - the language of the gnomes; a dialect of Sylvan
       Gob - the language of the goblins; a derivative of Draconic
       Jellicle - the language of the cat-kin; an extreme dialect of Sylvan
       Spectrali - the language of the spectrals; a dialect of Elfin
       Sylvan - the language of the forest; spoken by many of the forest-dwellers; a derivative of Fae
       Undercommon - the common language of the subterranean races; an extreme dialect of Common
    [/list]
    Sometimes angels fall from grace, and sometimes heroes die.

    Regina Raptorum, Benevolent Mad Scientist, Writer of Psychos, Guild Mistress of Esoteric Lore, Losers' Club Alumna, and Authentic Wacko

    Offline sniperspy

    • Emperor
    • ****
    • Posts: 1412
      • Awards
    Languages
    « Reply #1 on: May 01, 2003, 11:35:34 PM »
    That many languages will cause a problem like the one we have here on Earth. We cannot understand each other
    Bow down to the almighty ruler of your pitiful existance!

    Offline Ria Hawk

    • Wacko Strolenite
    • Moderator
    • Emperor
    • ****
    • Posts: 2979
    • Demented Author Chick
    • Awards Lifeforms Guild Item Guild NPC Guild Elite Item Guild Lifeforms Guild Elite Elite NPC Guild
      • KnightHawk
      • Awards
    Languages
    « Reply #2 on: May 01, 2003, 11:39:35 PM »
    I'm afraid it may be an unavoidable problem.  Not everyone gets along.  Frankly, they're probably lucky to have Common.  Anyway, since some of the racial languages are dialects of other languages, one could probably make themself understood for basic matters.
    Sometimes angels fall from grace, and sometimes heroes die.

    Regina Raptorum, Benevolent Mad Scientist, Writer of Psychos, Guild Mistress of Esoteric Lore, Losers' Club Alumna, and Authentic Wacko

    Offline MoonHunter

    • Waunderer
    • Emperor
    • ****
    • Posts: 3510
    • Awards Article Guild Systems Guild Society Guild Locations Guild Questor Item Guild
      • Awards
    Why Common
    « Reply #3 on: May 04, 2003, 07:00:14 AM »
    Why have a common tongue, that is specifically a common tongue? It is so a D&D convention, like 100 copper, 10 silver, 1 gold exchange rate that never occured in history.  

    There was never really a "common" on Earth.  English came close, as it was the language created when Norman Knights tried to pick up Saxon wenches.  This pidgon tongue became a real national language.  There is a tribal language in Africa that has no native speakers (all killed off) but is still spoken because it is a tongue that many people knew.  (Sorry, don't remember the name... some offshoot of Bantu).

    If you are going to have a common tongue, where did it come from? Is it a mismash like English, so everyone speaks it at a limited level using their own language as a basis?  Did it belong to a people long dead, "Latin" is that way.  What was the language it came from (English came from Norman French/German and Saxon Celtic tongues)?  Did some conqueror come down, beat the crap out of everyone and say, "you will now speak this." The English did that in India, and it actually helped the country as more people could actually speak to each other.  

    In any multilanguage situation, nobody is going to speak the common language with the same fluancy as their native tongue.  There will be odd words and concepts that won't translate well.  I have found giving each language "a foible" or five, you can give people a feel for the native language people speak.  

    For example: A russian says Friend or Torvavitch all the time, goes Da and Nyett for yes and no, and has short stucco responses. (Russian is a very direct language).  Compare that to a Yiddish speaker, speaking English.  The responses will be musical, with lots of hand gestures and "oys" "throat clearings", and odd words thrown in.  Think about how the Klingons talk in Star Trek. The tone and the wording shows you they are Klingons.  Are these all sterotypical? A bit. But they emphasise the point.  You know what that person's native language is.  Unless the person has been highly educated they will speak the language oddly (And many Japanese who think they know verbal English at a high fluency come to America or Canada and find out that that is not quite true).  

    Assign a Foible or five to each langauge.  Enforce it in play.  Watch it make your languages come alive.
    MoonHunter
    Sage, Gamer, Mystic, Wit
    "The road less traveled is less traveled for a reason."
    "The world needs dreamers to give it a soul."
    "And it needs realists to keep it alive."
    Authentic Strolenite ®©

    Offline sniperspy

    • Emperor
    • ****
    • Posts: 1412
      • Awards
    Languages
    « Reply #4 on: May 04, 2003, 01:03:10 PM »
    Well, I do believe a common language is necassary. It helps players to understand people without spending hours on learning the language. I believe the easiest form of Common would be a mixture of all languages currently spoken. That way, everyone is on the same playing feild in learning it, and also already have the basics down.
    Bow down to the almighty ruler of your pitiful existance!

    Offline Ria Hawk

    • Wacko Strolenite
    • Moderator
    • Emperor
    • ****
    • Posts: 2979
    • Demented Author Chick
    • Awards Lifeforms Guild Item Guild NPC Guild Elite Item Guild Lifeforms Guild Elite Elite NPC Guild
      • KnightHawk
      • Awards
    Languages
    « Reply #5 on: May 04, 2003, 06:47:16 PM »
    That was pretty much my thinking when I did this.  I am open to suggestions; that's why I put this up here.  This is my first attempt at creating a world, so I know it's not what it porbably should be.  But if someone wants to work out stuff about the languages, go right ahead.
    Sometimes angels fall from grace, and sometimes heroes die.

    Regina Raptorum, Benevolent Mad Scientist, Writer of Psychos, Guild Mistress of Esoteric Lore, Losers' Club Alumna, and Authentic Wacko

    Offline sniperspy

    • Emperor
    • ****
    • Posts: 1412
      • Awards
    Languages
    « Reply #6 on: May 05, 2003, 07:53:29 PM »
    well, you have 13 languages including common and undercommon.
    About how many species are there in this world? That could help with determining language preferences.
    Bow down to the almighty ruler of your pitiful existance!

    Offline Ria Hawk

    • Wacko Strolenite
    • Moderator
    • Emperor
    • ****
    • Posts: 2979
    • Demented Author Chick
    • Awards Lifeforms Guild Item Guild NPC Guild Elite Item Guild Lifeforms Guild Elite Elite NPC Guild
      • KnightHawk
      • Awards
    Languages
    « Reply #7 on: May 05, 2003, 10:19:44 PM »
    Well, the sentient, speaking races are the humans, halflings, gnomes, elves, drow, centaurs, faeries, cat-kin, goblins, and spectrals.  See the races thread for more information.  The gnomes and halflings are probably related races, as are the drow and elves.  I really haven't thought it out much more beyond that.  Then there are probably creatures that live in the Great Waste south of the Forgotten Mountains (I'm playing with the ideas of sphinxes or something similar), and God only knows what lives in the Nomansland north of Sail Pass (which didn't make it onto the map I posted).  East of the Likani River, Elven is probably the dominant language, with Sylvan close behind.  Slyvan would be dominant in areas like the Silverwood.  ...It occurs to me that I need to get more posted on the geography and work out racial territories before I go any farther.  I'll get back to you.
    Sometimes angels fall from grace, and sometimes heroes die.

    Regina Raptorum, Benevolent Mad Scientist, Writer of Psychos, Guild Mistress of Esoteric Lore, Losers' Club Alumna, and Authentic Wacko

    Offline sniperspy

    • Emperor
    • ****
    • Posts: 1412
      • Awards
    Languages
    « Reply #8 on: May 06, 2003, 06:20:13 PM »
    you have more languages than there are species here. Therefor, the dominant species must be seperated in themselves. If the geography works out, thats fine. 11 or so regions of the world would work perfectly.
    (If your putting sphinxes in the wasteland, I suggest some roc's as well. Sphinxes are the one creature immune to these giant birds!)
    Bow down to the almighty ruler of your pitiful existance!

    Offline Ria Hawk

    • Wacko Strolenite
    • Moderator
    • Emperor
    • ****
    • Posts: 2979
    • Demented Author Chick
    • Awards Lifeforms Guild Item Guild NPC Guild Elite Item Guild Lifeforms Guild Elite Elite NPC Guild
      • KnightHawk
      • Awards
    Languages
    « Reply #9 on: May 06, 2003, 10:44:19 PM »
    Some languages are no longer in use, like the arcane languages, and I figured that there would be some racial languages in addition to common and undercommon.  I'm really making this up as I go along, so some of my stuff may not make sense.
    Sometimes angels fall from grace, and sometimes heroes die.

    Regina Raptorum, Benevolent Mad Scientist, Writer of Psychos, Guild Mistress of Esoteric Lore, Losers' Club Alumna, and Authentic Wacko

    Offline sniperspy

    • Emperor
    • ****
    • Posts: 1412
      • Awards
    Languages
    « Reply #10 on: May 07, 2003, 07:49:29 PM »
    ok, that works. The languages do seem to fit as they are, so it should be fine!
    Bow down to the almighty ruler of your pitiful existance!

    Offline Cat

    • Apprentice
    • *
    • Posts: 20
      • Awards
    Languages
    « Reply #11 on: September 10, 2003, 03:48:55 PM »
    You could have a "trade" language that is mostly sign language.  That way, there would be a way for all races to communicate withou trying to "learn" a language unless they are questing together.  Besides, even the ancient people of Earth had a "trade" language.
    "I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell..."

    Offline Ylorea

    • Knight
    • ***
    • Posts: 332
      • http://www.home.zonnet.nl/ylorea
      • Awards
    Languages
    « Reply #12 on: September 11, 2003, 01:46:37 AM »
    I have to say that I general I do agree with Sniperspy that extra languages cause problems, however I do not agree that there should be a common tongue.
    Personaly I use the languages acording to the D&D material, but this is because I started developing my world before I got my hands on the kingdoms of Kalamar Playershandbook.

    In Kalamar, there are different human subraces and each of them speaks their own language. Now in the world I am developing, this would actualy be very logical, as the world is very sepperated into different parts.

    We often take it for granted that we can speak to other people, but then again in school I was thought how to speak german, french and english (besides the mandatory dutch we speak in my country) This means I will have to travel over three hundred miles before I get to a place where I do not understand the native tongue...

    However in a medieval time, often if people traveled only twenty miles, they could end up in a place where they would not understand each other. I can still see the remenants of that in the country I live in...

    In the end, it is your world, so it is your choice. If you want to stick to the reality of old, I think you will have to go for more languages as races with most humans speaking probably a local tongue and a common or merchant or trade language. The difference between their local and the merchant language would be that you can explain pretty much everything in your local language, but in the common tongue you are much more limited.
    You can not explain things like love and very detailed things, but you have all the vocabularie you need to trade goods, negotiate a passage, but not negotiate a peace treaty.

    Well these are just my thoughts and do remember, it is your world, so it is your choice...

    Ylorea
    ______________________________________
    The answer is 42, but does anybody know the question?

    Please feel free to visit Teolin. (Simply press the "www" button)

    Offline Ria Hawk

    • Wacko Strolenite
    • Moderator
    • Emperor
    • ****
    • Posts: 2979
    • Demented Author Chick
    • Awards Lifeforms Guild Item Guild NPC Guild Elite Item Guild Lifeforms Guild Elite Elite NPC Guild
      • KnightHawk
      • Awards
    Languages
    « Reply #13 on: September 11, 2003, 09:10:38 AM »
    I understand that in real life or in a realistic story, there would probably be a lot more regional dialects/languages.  But I'm primarily concerned with what will be playable.  Making enough languages that it would be realistic seems like it would complicate things unneccessarily.  Of course, if you want to use this world, feel free to alter anything so that it fits your style of play.
    Sometimes angels fall from grace, and sometimes heroes die.

    Regina Raptorum, Benevolent Mad Scientist, Writer of Psychos, Guild Mistress of Esoteric Lore, Losers' Club Alumna, and Authentic Wacko

    Offline manfred

    • His Manic Majesty, blesseth by Mathom
    • Emperor
    • ****
    • Posts: 2462
    • Awards Systems Guild Society Guild Locations Guild Questor Item Guild Lifeforms Guild
      • Awards
    Languages
    « Reply #14 on: September 12, 2003, 02:51:41 AM »
    "Trade language" is an interesting and very real idea.

    If there are numerous wandering groups, or indeed tribes 'on the roads', a way to communicate must be present (unless they simply draw their weapons and charge...).  If that abstract 'Common' is not available... useful.


    So, what could it tell you?

    - obviously, "Will exchange this for that."
    - "Want more." or "Not enough."
    - "I agree to the deal" must be (probably with shaking hands or equivalent)
    - "Low quality, not much worth" maybe?
    - some indication of danger, maybe a general one, or more specified (bandits, road broken, etc.)

    ...needs more, and perhaps a thread of its own.
    Do not correct me, I know I am wrong.

    Offline Ylorea

    • Knight
    • ***
    • Posts: 332
      • http://www.home.zonnet.nl/ylorea
      • Awards
    Languages
    « Reply #15 on: September 12, 2003, 05:32:59 AM »
    Quote from: "Ria Hawk"
    But I'm primarily concerned with what will be playable.  Making enough languages that it would be realistic seems like it would complicate things unneccessarily.


    Wheter or not a multitude of languages is playable, depends very much on two factors:
    - How flexible are your players.
    - How far do they travel.

    If I look at the kalamar setting, the merchant tongue there is rather a complete language, much more a language of its own as the trade language I would assume to exist and as indicated by Manfred. However, by having a merchant tongue that is usualy spoken by at least a couple of people in a village, the adventurers will always be able to make themself understood and get what they want.
    They just might have to throw in a couple of extra nickles to hire a translator for a couple of hours.

    ------------------
    Next I would like to appologize, as I may have raised the suggestion that I would want to steer you into a certain derection, probably for instance by mentioning what I would do.
    I hope that you understand that I was merly trying to put my ideas onto the board and may have been hampared by my sometimes not very strong grasp on the American language.

    Yours, Ylorea
    ______________________________________
    The answer is 42, but does anybody know the question?

    Please feel free to visit Teolin. (Simply press the "www" button)

    Jaz

    • Guest
    Languages
    « Reply #16 on: November 09, 2003, 12:08:05 AM »
    Remember, linguistic commonality is a function of how much people travel. In a medieval setting, people didn't travel much. However, PROBABLY (and I am just making this assumption based on what little I do know), people from one end of England, if transported to the other overnight, could function in a medieval setting. Keep in mind, however, that the medieval world presented by D&D has a much higher literacy rate, esp. among the people the adventuring party will be moving among. Add to that the potential for magical travel, and the concept of a basic trading cant, and you have a very high probability that a language like common would exist. Now, keep in mind, you wouldn't be able to discuss concepts like what I just did on there, but it would serve as basic communication, and it would probably be fairly versatile, as far as it goes.

    Offline Ylorea

    • Knight
    • ***
    • Posts: 332
      • http://www.home.zonnet.nl/ylorea
      • Awards
    Languages
    « Reply #17 on: November 10, 2003, 10:43:06 AM »
    What one should also realize is that most people compare the D&D setting to a medieval time frame, where they think about the early years of that era.
    If you think about the AD&D setting as presented by TSR, this is true, however comming to terms with the third edition Dungeons and Dragons as described by WotC, you are looking at the late middle-ages.... where literacy was much more common. Now of course not all commoners would be able to read and write, but literacy was not entirely uncommon anymore.

    Yours,

    Ylorea
    ______________________________________
    The answer is 42, but does anybody know the question?

    Please feel free to visit Teolin. (Simply press the "www" button)

    fahad2004_@hotmail.com

    • Guest
    واحد ل&
    « Reply #18 on: April 02, 2004, 01:22:55 AM »
    واحد ليمون والثاني مجنون

    Offline CaptainPenguin

    • Bastardo!
    • Squirrel Strolenati
    • Emperor
    • *
    • Posts: 5869
    • Awards Questor Hall of Heroes 10
      • Awards
    Languages
    « Reply #19 on: April 02, 2004, 08:13:40 AM »
    Arabic!
    Currently Reading: "Kafka On The Shore" by Haruki Murakami

    Currently Listening To: "Piece Of Time" by Atheist

    Dryst

    • Guest
    Languages
    « Reply #20 on: May 09, 2004, 12:39:05 AM »
    Is there actually a written out version of any of the D&D languages?  Preferably Draconic . . .

    Offline Fiona

    • Apprentice
    • *
    • Posts: 19
      • Awards
    Languages
    « Reply #21 on: June 29, 2004, 09:57:14 AM »
    I always choose to have a lot of different languages. Of course there are several countries who speak the same language (or a dialect of it), but I still ahve a lot of different countries have different languages. My players cannot converse with a lot of people, which always make it a lot more fun!
    I do put in an occasional guard or inn keeper that can speak "common" however, or someone that speaks a language they know but very lousy.

    It's a lot of work to also yourself learn those laguages so that you don't have to rummage around all the time when one of your npcs wants to say something....

    Offline EchoMirage

    • Caffeinated Alcoholic Blood
    • Strolenati
    • Emperor
    • *
    • Posts: 1728
    • Medice cura te ipsum
    • Awards Item Guild Lifeforms Guild Master Questor Golden Creator NPC Guild Elite Questor
      • Awards
    a different approach
    « Reply #22 on: June 29, 2004, 12:55:37 PM »
    you should look at it from the opposite direction - when players don't understand it is fun - much easier for them to get into trouble, and certainly a better possibility for intrigue: the translator/guide leads them somewhere, and then, vanishes into the night ... and they are stranded, unable to call even for help.
    Moreso, obscure documents in foreign languages that have to be brought to a sage in the Forgotten Mountains behind the River-no-one-knows-its-location will not exist if all you have is 11 languages total.
    It is also good if you don't want the players to know what an NPC says even if they spy upon him...they don't understand! Why does a thieves guild have to make up a secret language? They use a forgotten one... People awakened from suspended animation, resurrected heroes of old, even forgotten gods will speak obscure languages adding much to the challenge.

    For example, in my campaign, the Empire of Lyra uses the standard Lyran in everyday use, but it has evolved from Akaran the sages and wizards still use (kind of latin), while the nobles speak Sartum, a mixture of Lyran and Elven to distinguish themselves from commoners, and several ancient kingdoms whose remains can be found on Lyran ground used the Old Code, a language of a truly different makeup.

    No common language may even foil mind-reading attempts, if the foreigners not only speak, but also think in wildly different patterns.
    So, language barriers are a thing to exploit rather than fear, dear Ria Hawk. think about it...
    "Captain, the buttocks are moving from the pink into the red and purple spectrum! We cannot maintain this rate of spanking any longer!"

    Authentic Strolenite (though spanked) (C) (R)

    Offline CaptainPenguin

    • Bastardo!
    • Squirrel Strolenati
    • Emperor
    • *
    • Posts: 5869
    • Awards Questor Hall of Heroes 10
      • Awards
    Languages
    « Reply #23 on: June 29, 2004, 06:37:26 PM »
    Yeah! I love language barriers. It's so much fun to make the players feel like they're being discussed behind their backs.
    Currently Reading: "Kafka On The Shore" by Haruki Murakami

    Currently Listening To: "Piece Of Time" by Atheist

    Offline Fiona

    • Apprentice
    • *
    • Posts: 19
      • Awards
    Languages
    « Reply #24 on: July 08, 2004, 06:41:34 AM »
    Ha! Or right in their faces! I remember a Japanese tourist (long story) PC that started to learn more and more "common". He had to sit and listen to every single person asking the rest of the group why that man was dressed in a dress like common womenfolk.  :D

    Also playing with customs together with language is fun. A translator tells them how to do something but in such rotten language that it's completely open for interpretation and can go wrong in so many ways! I once had my dwarves based on an Ikea store and while their host was introducing "Bertha" they were asking if his wife was well. He was introducing to them the fine masterpiece that was his table... hehe... And that is just a small small example.  :twisted: