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RPR Archive Tips/Advice Articles: Different In-Game Languages/Communication Resource

Discussion in 'Role Playing Resource Archive' started by SephyCloneNo15, Apr 1, 2006.

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  1. SephyCloneNo15

    SephyCloneNo15 Jedi Knight star 5

    Apr 9, 2005
    Alright, I've seen a lot about creating more unique characters around here, but they don't seem to touch much on dialogue, specifically vocabulary. Most RP dialogue I've seen around here reads like either Coruscanti or Tatooine Basic because that's about the extent of what we see in the movies. I'm as guilty of this as anyone. I'm playing an Onderonian Mandalorian and a Refugee District born-and-bred Nosaurian, both of whom speak like Tatooine natives with a little more of those Star Wars curses I love so much. That said, this resource will be a learning experience for me as well as you, and I would encourage input from others (I'm looking at you Sith I-5 with your Jawa-speaking expertise)

    1. How so I use different languages in an RP?

    The most effective method that I've seen is to sprinkle your dialogue and thought with phrases or words of the non-Basic/English language. Altough I've seen it done to a reasonable effect to put the majority of dialogue in the other language and include a translation in () or some other way of setting it apart.

    Another method, albeit, one that avoids the fun of using foreign words, is the ones used in comic books in which a character who does not speak Basic will speak <Like This> to indicate that what you're reading is a translation. This would probably be best for a Wookie character or any others whose speech does not fit human writing conventions.

    2. Let's get to some different languages:

    First Mando'a, the language of the Mandalorians. [link=]Here[/link]'s a list of Mando'a Words and phrases.

    Huttese is (I think) the second most common language in the Star Wars universe, next to Basic. Although I'm a bit confused by their inclusion of translations of Earth locations like France and English, I found [link=]this[/link] to be a useful resource.

    Shyriiwook, the language of the Wookies, is a series of growls and barks. I have no idea why it is on the front page of Wookiepedia's article on language, but here's a link to the Wookiepedia's rather abbreviated Shyriiwook article: [link=]Shyriiwook[/link]

    That's all I could find for now, although I'll be checking back and updating periodically, but like I said, I'd appreciate some extra input.
  2. Detonating-Rabbit

    Detonating-Rabbit Jedi Knight star 5

    May 23, 2003
    To continue the trend...

    3. The use of Language in Character Development

    Okay, so we have seen some examples from the films of how language and dialogue can be used in character development. As Sephy has stated, role players like ourselves have little to go with by way of dialogue or vocabluary. As it is difficult when writing to convey the fact that a character may have an accent when they speak, some of you may wish to insert mannerisms into a character's speech (to emphasize an accent, say) in order to set them apart from other players' characters.

    Mannerisms or quirks within a character's speech pattern does much to establish the fact that they are different from your stereotypical Coruscanti or Tatooine native. It actually assists greatly in your character's development. Case and point would be Jedi Master Yoda, who had his own distinct dialogue which, coupled with the actual sound of his voice, set him apart greatly from the other Jedi within the film.

    For another example, I developed a Balosar character recently who had a distinct way of speaking himself. It helped to set him apart from other characters, and assisted to establish him as a semi-educated lowlife. A snippet of dialogue for this character is as follows:
    "Heh, jus' what can I do for you, eh?" Sherrik asked, his voice a low growl. "You see somethin' you like, pretties?"
    As you can see, the English (or Basic) is fragmented, and works concurrently with the descriptive sound of his voice to develop an image of the character. Obviously, this aides in the overall characterisation, and will help to give your character greater depth. :)
  3. SephyCloneNo15

    SephyCloneNo15 Jedi Knight star 5

    Apr 9, 2005
    Good point, Rabbit.

    Another linguistic quirk I thought of: Gands

    I really oughta RP a Gand someday because of their quirky dialogue. In Gand society, all but the most accomplished of Gands refer to themselves in the 3rd person.

    >1 major accomplishment: The Gand refers to himself/herself simply as "Gand"
    1 major accomplishment: The Gand will refer to itself by its family surname. For example, Ooryl Qyrgg would refer to himself as "Qyrgg" if not for the fact that...
    2 major accomplishments: The Gand will pick a first name for itself and use that in reference to itself. Ooryl Qyrgg will hence-forth call himself "Ooryl".
    3+ major accomplishments: The Gand has earned the right to use 1st person pronouns such as "I" and "Me"

    Also, if a Gand does something reprehensible, it will "demote" itself. When Ooryl ****s up, he ceases to refer to himself as "Ooryl" and goes back to "Qyrgg" until he re-earns his name.
  4. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Aug 14, 2002
    This is where I go for my [link=]Jawa-ese[/link]. I would be lost without him, although before I found this site, when I was portraying the jawa Detective Hardcastle in From Ryloth With Love, one of my friends had provided a list of jawa words from somewhere.
  5. YoungAngus

    YoungAngus Jedi Youngling star 5

    May 7, 2005
    J/C, do Bothans have any native language? If so what is it and where can I find translations.

    Hey...this resource joint is preety cool. [face_dancing]
  6. Detonating-Rabbit

    Detonating-Rabbit Jedi Knight star 5

    May 23, 2003
    Hello, YoungAngus. :)

    The Bothan native language is Bothese, but I'm afraid that I don't know of any examples...My suggestion would be that, if you are trying to develop the typical Bothan (and by saying "typical" I am in no way saying stereotypical; all Bothans intrigue me because they can be incredibly complex), perhaps aim for dialogue that is regal or aristocratic. It is in this simplicity that it is very easy to establish a Bothan as an "elite" social figure. :)

    Just think of what Sai-Mera_Saa did with his Bothan in SW4...

    But, naturally, that's only applicable if you're developing your Bothan that way. Good luck. :)
  7. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Aug 14, 2002
    If we are to be a resource, and by implication, newbies will be coming in here as well as seasoned RPF-ers, I would recommend we name game titles in full, rather than abbreviated.
  8. Detonating-Rabbit

    Detonating-Rabbit Jedi Knight star 5

    May 23, 2003
    I agree, actually. :)
    By SW4 I meant The Star Wars 4: Riot of Passage, a game that lasted 6 or so months before finally succumbing. I was the finest game (for my purposes) that I have seen, and was managed by the brilliant, innovative Sai-Mera_Saa. And, Sephy, I like the idea behind this thread. Questions of language can be fully elaborated to encompass character development, which can be very helpful indeed! :D
  9. Darth_Joesha

    Darth_Joesha Jedi Master star 4

    Apr 22, 2004
    Very useful! Thank you.

    Is it me or does Huttesse look alot like Japanese?
  10. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Aug 14, 2002
    It's you.
  11. Mitth_Fisto

    Mitth_Fisto Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Sep 29, 2005
    That's a great resources in here, I'll go ahead and add my knowledge to the kettle. I have a book that has translations for alot of Ewok (About three-four small pages)if anyone needs any help just PM me.

    And it also had a little bit of Bocci so also if anyone wants to season their language a little with the traveling language:cool:
  12. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Aug 14, 2002
    Alien language first aid kit - based on the words I normally seek from the Jawa language page, this is my idea of the words we would be most likely to need in an RPG, and suggest this as a format, so players can drop into this thread for their answers in one place

    Curse word!
    Call to arms
    Source link

    [b]LANGUAGE - - - JAWA-ESE[/b]
    [b]Hello[/b] [i]M?um m?alloo[/i]
    [b]Goodbye[/b] [i]Ubanya[/i]
    [b]Yes[/b] [i]Ibana[/i]
    [b]No[/b] [i]Nyeta[/i]
    [b]Thank you[/b] [i]taa baa[/i]
    [b]Curse word![/b] [i]Shootogawa[/i]
    [b]Go[/b] [i]Ashuna[/i]
    [b]Stop[/b] [i]Sabioto[/i]
    [b]Call to arms[/b] [i]Utinni![/i]
    [b]Source link[/b]

    Disclaimer: My jawas were a bit on the bossy side, I now realise. [face_tongue]

    [b]LANGUAGE - - - WOOKIEE[/b]
    [b]Hello[/b] [i]Wyaaaaaaa[/i]
    [b]Goodbye[/b] [i]Youw[/i]
    [b]Yes[/b] [i]uma[/i]
    [b]No[/b] [i]muawa[/i]
    [b]Thank you[/b] [i]ur oh[/i]
    [b]Curse word![/b] n/a
    [b]Go[/b] [i]awa[/i]
    [b]Stop[/b] n/a
    [b]Call to arms[/b] n/a
    [b]Source link[/b]
  13. pashatemur

    pashatemur Jedi Master star 4

    Jun 21, 2004
    I developed two languages; one for the Schmi and Anakin which I've named purposely as a misnomer, Tatooinese (pronounced Tatuieisei) - slightly arabic sounding launguage with smatterings of romance languages throw in and another for the system of Ursa which is to have a vaguely nordic/russian sound over-all.

    In characterization by language, I think about the basic over-all sound I want and how it will by association impress the readers. I then build a basic set of cluster sounds by looking at basic parts of speech and common words, draw relationship either opposites or root origins and build from there.



    I ? A
    It - Li
    To make ? fareara
    Future ? Hrura
    To need ? sora
    Your - Darne


    "A li hrura farea!" - Literally - I it future will make! or I will make the future.

    Ah, di muori! No bida, ng? dile fald lo a magdetha darne ? Shushura! A n?kalthanis g?lo. A hulbra, hulbra, di?muori! - Ah beloved! Our child, how long were you going to wait to tell your husband? Be calm! I?m not angry. I am joyful, joyful, beloved!


    Sudeg - Thank you
    Wir - we
    op - up
    Weg - way
  14. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Aug 14, 2002
    pash', very very, nice work there.
  15. Darth_Vaders_cousin

    Darth_Vaders_cousin Jedi Knight star 5

    Nov 12, 2004
    Below are the two pages I use for my SW Languages, mostly Mando'a and Huttese. Though they may not be as comprehensive, they do contain enough words for me to drop one in from time to time, especially curse words.

    First off, [link=]Wermo's Guide[/link] Awsome site centering on the basics of many languages, including Huttese, Jawaese, Ewokese, and a section of her various languages that you may come across.

    Secondly, the [link=]Wookiepedia[/link] Which contains a very comprehensive list of Mando'a and other languages, From Basic to Vong.

  16. Marna_Veign

    Marna_Veign Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jan 31, 2002
    When I started up one of my Role Play games, I wanted to have a unique language for the non-player characters played by me to use that my players would be able to figure it out. Since I wanted to have one that would cover everything those people would say, and the only language I know that well is English, I created my own language. I can't remember what I called it right now, but it is fairly simple to create.

    Basically, what I do is mix up the letters in the words in a certain, predictable way. It doesn't work very well with smaller words, so I did my best to keep 3 letter and smaller out of the language. That caused a little challenge trying to word things without those smaller words. I'll use 'father' for example one, with numbers indicating the letter order:

    First, I took the word as it is


    Then, I reverse the letters.


    Then, basically split the letters in pairs and swap them. This may be easier to demonstrate than describe.


    That is how I created it, but another way to do the same thing is to just take the word, put the first 2 letters, go back to the begining of the word, put the next 2 in front of it, and so forth until the word is done. It is just a little different for words with odd amounts of letters like crash.




    With some words, I combined them together at my whim. Death pill(a capsule to comitt suicide that was used once in the game) became llpi thead. When I saw it was essentially 'll pit head', I burst into laughter. So, I combined those words as if they are one, and it was lilhpatde. Instead of referring to the Force, it was life energy with this culture, which switched around is gyeren feli. I had a bunch of fun with this language. And when I played one of the people from that culture in a different game, I sometimes put in her word for things, but most often, just posted with her leaving out smaller words in her speach. She was fun to play.

    Just thought I'd put in that when using a different language besides Basic, it is fun to create your own language. If anyone wants to use this language for any reason, for a game or a character, feel free. If you want any clarification about this language, I'll gladly answer any PM's sent about it.
  17. Marna_Veign

    Marna_Veign Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jan 31, 2002
    I have been searching for the name of the people who used my invented language and finally found it. It's the K'pathan language from my old Star Chaser, E.S.5 game from some time ago. Thought I'd add that in.
  18. Rilwen_Shadowflame

    Rilwen_Shadowflame Jedi Master star 6

    Mar 27, 2005
    This is just a tip for the people who communicate differently by way of written accents. Please, be careful. Either provide translation or make sure it can be understood.
    "'Ey, What y' doin' 'ere?" is a good example.
    Huttstyle "Hhhhhhhhheeeeeeeellllloooooooooo ttttttttthhhhhhhhheeeeeeeeerrrrrrreeeeee." is a bad example(and yes, I have actually seen this used. It's ok in very limited doses.).
  19. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Aug 14, 2002
    This is not an attack on anyone, but I would say, when I baby-sit a character during a player's vacation time, it can be extra strain if it's a character that mangles the English language, because not only do I have to think of actions and speech for characters extraneous to my own (which can be a problem when I have created too many npcs somewhere), but then have to translate that speech into whatever format the original player used, so as to maintain the characterisation level.

    This should, I feel, be taken into account when creating a character who speeks non-Basic.
  20. Darth_Vaders_cousin

    Darth_Vaders_cousin Jedi Knight star 5

    Nov 12, 2004
    *Notes that Sithy was staring at during that last post*

    I completely understand Sithy. That's why I like to give all of my Non of Partial Basic speakers a way of translating, so that if anyone else plays them, they don't have to follow my language quirks.
  21. NaboosPrincess

    NaboosPrincess Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    May 14, 2001
    Upping for future reference!
  22. LightWarden

    LightWarden Jedi Master star 4

    Oct 11, 2001
    Some interesting things:
    -There are many species physically incapable of speaking Basic without serious surgery. Wookiees and Gamorreans are two such species. Hutts are not, and can speak Basic if they feel the need or want to (though many think their associates should just learn Huttese, and Huttese allows them to cheat with their base-8 counting system). Please do research to find out if your character is incapable of speaking Basic, thank you.

    -The Binary computer language that's spoken by droids and other machinery is very, very, very fast. It is capable of communicating mathematical and technical information at a very high speed (approximately 100 times as fast as normal speech, according to the Saga Edition Rulebook). So for example, a droid could describe the exact location and a physical description of everything within a 15 m x 15 m square in the time it takes for a person to say "Hello" or some other short bit of information. However, Binary isn't very good with nontechnical things such as art, emotion, philosophy and the Force, so the droid probably couldn't say "this person looks unhappy", but merely describe the way the subject's facial features are positioned and such. Furthermore, though droids can communicate at lightning speed, they can only communicate that quickly with other machines, it's too fast for humans to understand. If a human does understand Binary, the droid has to slow down and speak very, very, very slowly in order to be understood.

    -Jawas likewise seem to have difficulty speaking any language but their own. Additionally, since their Jawa language is tied to their pheromones (which is part of what gives them that unique Jawa smell), other species can't understand the Jawa language. So Jawas have a simplified version of their language that people on Tatooine refer to as Jawa Trade Language, used for dealing with other people.

    -Likewise, it seems that Shyriiwook language of the Wookiees is pretty much impossible for the standard humanoids to reproduce (just as Wookiees can't vocalize Basic). It also seems to be kind of difficult to understand, even if you understand Shyriiwook. For example, sources seem to indicate that Han usually has a pretty good idea of what Wookiees are saying, but doesn't understand it exactly. The only time I've ever seen a Wookiee's speech to a non-Wookiee translated in brackets (and in a version that Han himself thought he might be able to reproduce) was that of a Wookiee with a speech impediment.

    -Just because you understand a Species' language, doesn't mean you understand it always. For example, the Wookiees have a dialect called Xaczik used by Wookiees from the Wartaki Islands, but it was different enough from standard Shyriiwook that they could use it for exchanging secret information during the Imperial occupation without anyone finding out.

    Make of these what you will.
  23. SephyCloneNo15

    SephyCloneNo15 Jedi Knight star 5

    Apr 9, 2005
    IIRC, in the beginning of The Paradsise Snare, Han seems to understand Dewlanna perfectly (her speech was italicized though, not bracketed. Make of that what you will), and I'm pretty sure she had no speech impediment. The only real difficulty he had was translating their word for Force, probably mostly because he didn't have much of a concept of the Force...
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