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View Poll Results: Which race's language do you want to create first?
Night Elves - Darnassian 31 29.25%
Blood Elves - Thalassian 10 9.43%
Trolls - Zandali 18 16.98%
Elementals - Kalimag 3 2.83%
Orc - Orcish 18 16.98%
Titans (Earthen/Mechagnome/etc) - Titanic 8 7.55%
Dwarves - Dwarven 7 6.60%
Draenei - Eredun (Both corrupted and uncorrupted) 5 4.72%
Dragons - Draconic 4 3.77%
Tauren - Taur-ahe 2 1.89%
Voters: 106. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 09-13-2011, 01:49 AM
Cantus Cantus is offline

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Default SoL Public Works, Project One: Linguistics

For quite awhile now I've been pondering ways to get the community more involved. There are some ideas in the pipeline that are massive and need a lot of discussion before they're launched, others that simply take skills/time that we need to distribute, however there some that are fairly easy to work on now. So, without further ado, the following is the first of many community projects that will be introduced over time.

Project One: Warcraft Linguistics

Right now there are many questions about the languages used in Azeroth. From Gutterspeak to Darnassian and beyond, we see repeated phrases that give us hints at the living world we all want to inhabit. This project is about making that world breath a little easier. Simply put, we are going to take the known words and create an entire dialect out of them. The community can vote on which one they want to explore first, but the hope is that this will span the breadth of the universe. Think of it as a community version of Tolkien's Qenya. If we want to go the extra mile, we can even create the symbols of the alphabet, but that's up to you guys. Most importantly though, this isn't just some little fanwank project, the point of this is to hand it out to the WoW community as a whole and show our own worth. If it's good enough, you never know, we may be adding to the series itself.

So, to start, what race should get our first treatment?
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Old 09-13-2011, 01:51 AM
Magistrix Verdande Magistrix Verdande is offline

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I should probably add, as the RPG's were made non-canon, Zandalari and Gutterspeech were made non-canon alongside them. The in-game languages of the Darkspear and the Forsaken are now called "troll" and "forsaken" <_<
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Elves are wonderful. They provoke wonder.
Elves are marvellous. They cause marvels.
Elves are fantastic. They create fantasies.
Elves are glamorous. They project glamour.
Elves are enchanting. They weave enchantment.
Elves are terrific. They beget terror.

The thing about words is that meanings can twist just like a snake, and if you want to find snakes look for them behind words that have changed their meaning.

No one ever said elves are nice.
Elves are bad.
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Old 09-13-2011, 01:51 AM
Omacron Omacron is offline


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I'd say go with an old language from an old race which has, if not many examples, many derivative languages. I'd say Zandali, which probably is related to Darnassian, Thalassian and Nazja, or Titan, which is probably related to Dwarven, Gnomish, Common, Dragon, Vrykul and a host of other languages.
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Old 09-13-2011, 01:52 AM
Magistrix Verdande Magistrix Verdande is offline

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Personally, I feel Kalimag is old, interesting and currently relevant to World of Warcraft.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry Pratchett
Elves are wonderful. They provoke wonder.
Elves are marvellous. They cause marvels.
Elves are fantastic. They create fantasies.
Elves are glamorous. They project glamour.
Elves are enchanting. They weave enchantment.
Elves are terrific. They beget terror.

The thing about words is that meanings can twist just like a snake, and if you want to find snakes look for them behind words that have changed their meaning.

No one ever said elves are nice.
Elves are bad.
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Old 09-13-2011, 01:57 AM
Omacron Omacron is offline


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Originally Posted by Magistrix Verdande View Post
Personally, I feel Kalimag is old, interesting and currently relevant to World of Warcraft.
Does it have any derivative languages, or an extensive in-game vocabulary to build on?


EDIT: Personally, I'd go with Zandali/"Troll". The RPG claims it's largely syllabic, which I'm guessing means it's an agglutinative language. I myself have studied Japanese and I know a good deal of our members speak Finnish, another agglutinative language, and it'd be a good idea to steer clear of creating this fan-language based on extant Indo-European tongues and grammatical rules.
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Old 09-13-2011, 02:02 AM
Magistrix Verdande Magistrix Verdande is offline

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Ough, tough question. The only example I can think of right now, is the inscription on the Frostmourne altar from WC3.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry Pratchett
Elves are wonderful. They provoke wonder.
Elves are marvellous. They cause marvels.
Elves are fantastic. They create fantasies.
Elves are glamorous. They project glamour.
Elves are enchanting. They weave enchantment.
Elves are terrific. They beget terror.

The thing about words is that meanings can twist just like a snake, and if you want to find snakes look for them behind words that have changed their meaning.

No one ever said elves are nice.
Elves are bad.
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  #7  
Old 09-13-2011, 03:01 AM
Shadowsong Shadowsong is offline

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Quote:
I'd say go with an old language from an old race which has, if not many examples, many derivative languages. I'd say Zandali, which probably is related to Darnassian, Thalassian and Nazja, or Titan, which is probably related to Dwarven, Gnomish, Common, Dragon, Vrykul and a host of other languages.
Just gonna throw in that Titan and the language that the Kaldorei used may relate some how which would then could link a lot of those languages in some form.
Quote:
This is truly incredible. The hieroglyphs are undoubtedly titan, but the markings below it...

Some of these characters resemble ancient Kaldorei writings. And you say the antechamber was covered in hieroglyphs?
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Old 09-13-2011, 04:01 AM
AndyJP AndyJP is offline

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My vote goes to Darnassian. It can be assumed that Thalassian and Nazja are similar. I think it is a better option than a Troll language because (as far as I know) we don't have a time frame for how long the Night Elves have been separated from Trolls, but we know that Thalassian and Nazja are less than 10,000 years old. The languages appear similar in appearance and seem to share some words, so I think Darnassian would be a great starting point.

Although something like Troll or Orcish might be more interesting since the Elven languages are probably just going to sound like Sindarin.
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Old 09-13-2011, 05:34 AM
Mandrabel Mandrabel is offline

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We're going to want to go with a language that has the most used words by NPCs. None of the stuff that players say in their race's language is even close to cannon/real (in game real, that is), so we need to base our exploration of this process on something with the biggest base. This is probably going to end up being Darnassian, Thalassian, or Orcish, since these are the three languages we hear the most unique, translatable phrases from.
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Old 09-13-2011, 07:45 AM
Cemotucu Cemotucu is offline

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Totally vote for Darnassian. I'ts so beautiful.
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Old 09-13-2011, 08:13 AM
Philostrate Philostrate is offline

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I am a fan of world building and often do it as a hobby. Before I can name locations on a fictional map I always create the language of the society that lives in that region----and before that I make notes on the evolution of that language. So let us make a few notes first on

1. A handful of notes on Kalimag and Titan.
2. A handful of notes on Early Zandali (I assume the Troll language in change started as this and has likely changed over 20 or 16 thousand years and this earlier one needs to have more words similar to Darnassian as the elves will come from the troll heritage.)
3. Then finally lets work on Darnassian as an indepth language.


And a handful of notes is simple. I will start the ball rolling here---just brainstorming....Cantus is the leader on this project I take it:


Kalimag:
**First a few basic notes:
-Let's exclude the Kalimag dialects for this exercise (we can revisit them in the future)
-Elemental language and used by creatures that do not have mouths and tongues at throats---well not in the same why mortals do. Therefore the spounds here must be made through some sort of telepathy or by using the energies of their body. Like a fire elemental using searing sounds, water using bubbling sounds, air using windy noises, and earth using pounding sounds (Would could say these are the various dialects).

Here is what WoW lists in their language randomizer programs; these words give us a feel for the sounding of the language:

One-letter words A, G, K, O, T, U

Two-letter words Gi, Ka, Ko, Ma, Os, Ra, Ta, Tu

Three-letter words Dor, Dra, Fel, Gun, Kan, Kir, Nuk, Rok, Sto, Tas, Tor, Von

Four-letter words Brom, Drae, Fmer, Guto, Kras, Krin, Mahn, Reth, Toro, Zoln, Shin, Tols

Five-letter words Bromo, Draek, Fmerk, Fraht, Gatin, Kranu, Krast, Roath, Shone, Talsa, Torin, Zoern

Six-letter words Ben'nig, Drat
ir, Drinor, Fel'tes, For'kin, Korsul, Suz'ahn, Tadrom, Ter'ran, Toka'an

Seven-letter words Chokgan, Dak'kaun, Dorvrem, Fanroke, Fiilrok, Kel'shae, Kis'tean, Koaresh, Tchor'ah, Telsrah, Ven'tiro, Zela'von

Eight-letter words Aasrugel, Desh'noka, Gi'azol'em, Gi'frazsh, Kilagrin, Krast'ven, Nuk'tra'te, Os'retiak, Quin'mahk, Roc'grare, Rohh'krah, Shodru'ga, Taegoson, Ties'alla

Nine-letter words Ahn'torunt, Brud'remek, Dor'dra'tor, Draemierr, Gatin'roth, Gesh'throm, Mastrosum, Tae'gel'kir, Thukad'aaz, Zoln'nakaz

Ten-letter words Aer'rohgmar, Borg'helmak, Caus'tearic, Dalgo'nizha, Huut'vactah, Ignan'kitch, Jolpat'krim, Kraus'ghosa, Mok'tavaler, Torrath'unt, Tzench'drah, Vendo're'mik

Eleven-letter words Bach'usiv'hal, Danal'korang, Derr'moran'ki, Kawee'fe'more, Kis'an'tadrom, Korsukgrare, Moor'tosav'ak, Moth'keretch, Nash'lokan'ar, Peng'yaas'ahn, Sunep'kosach, Thloy'martok

Twelve-letter words Golgo'nishver, Tagha'senchal


So now, lets make a list of basic words using the above as general guides---and I will operate on the notion that elementals will tend have words that refer back to the elements like saying the sky is the "high wind" or cave is the "earth's mouth" or saying the verb for running is " blazing water":

land: ter'sach ("ter" coming from the word "terran" which the RPGs state is related to "earth")

sea: hyaq'drak ("hy" and "dra" come from "Hydraxian" and "aq" coming from "Aquan" which in the RPGs refers to water.)

sky: ak'aura ("ak" is a reference "al'Akir" as I assume his name has not roots in the word for sky and "aura" comes from "Auran" which is in the RPGs has a connection to wind. The word I will make up for "high" consists of "ak" as well because I think the term for sky should be rooted to the word for "high".)

high: kirak (See, now one could say that word "sky" means something like "high wind")

low: rahzolm (I am connecting "zahz" to the name of the earth elemental "Therazane" who prefers to dwell in the low places of the earth and then "olm" is a reference to Deepholm...I am thinking that "holm" could be rooted in Kalimag though "Deep" was later added by the mortals in legends.)

sun: ak'ignaech (Because this is a celestial thing I am using "ak" again to indicate this is something high up and then "igna" refers back to "Ignan" which the RPGs say is related to the word for "fire")

star: akal'shvi (I am using "ak" here again as "high" AND you see "kal" because I am planting the roots for the Darnassian language in which the word "kaldorei" means "children of the stars"---therefore, "kal" have something to do with the stars.)

moon: shva'igun (I am planting more lingual roots here. "Shva" is related to the tauren word for the moon "Mu'sha" and "un" later contributes to the word for "Elune" for the night elves. And then "ig" refers to the term for fire---since the moon is bright like fire---you get that I don't need to explain everything.)

day: tolsrah (I just made this one up....I am sure I could connect it to the "tol'vir" or something.)

night: shva'itera (Roughly meaning "land of the moon" by my use of "shva'i" for moon and "tera" for land.)

light: gol'igno (naturally "ign" refers to fire)

dark: raqun'ig (A mesh of "aqu" for water and "ig" for fire meaning roughly "water on fire" or "water over fire" meaning that darkness coming when the light for fires are doused---but something like water.)

fire: igna (reference to "ignan" which is given in the RPGs as the fire elemental's dialect)

water: aquax (reference to "aquan" and "Hydraxian")

air: aur ("aur" is a reference to "Auran"---the term in the RPGs)

wind: al'aur (reference to Al'Akir and "Auran")

magic: tarrkash (setting up future roots with the "arrka" which can evolve into "arcane")

Few: for'i (just a random word)

Many: fass'i (another random word)


VERBS (I will give these words softer sounds to end in)

to do: "ma" (in foreign langauges the term for "to do" can have broad meaning so I looked at what was being said in Kalimag in-game and found that "ma" appeared the most so it seem fitting here.)

to create: jinna (I was thinking about the word "generate" then I thought about the "djinni" air elementals----maybe there can be a connection---run with it)

to see: zoern (I randomly took this for the words in Blizz's list of random ones.)

to touch: agrinn (Another random one)



I would not worry about syntax and grammer for these languages right now, we can come back them after getting to Darnassian. And I don't think you guys need to write down explanations for every word. I am just showing you my process. And if you find soimething wrong with a term then replace it with an alternative.

Ok, sombody use this pattern see if you can create a basic Titan.

After that we can assemble a basic early Zandali then go all out on Darnassian.

And of course, all of this is subject to Cantus' approval as he leads this project.
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:22 AM
Omacron Omacron is offline


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Originally Posted by Mandrabel View Post
We're going to want to go with a language that has the most used words by NPCs. None of the stuff that players say in their race's language is even close to cannon/real (in game real, that is), so we need to base our exploration of this process on something with the biggest base. This is probably going to end up being Darnassian, Thalassian, or Orcish, since these are the three languages we hear the most unique, translatable phrases from.
We see plenty of Zandali phrases in-game, considering how many goddamn troll dungeons we've had.
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Philostrate View Post
And of course, all of this is subject to Cantus' approval as he leads this project.
Your enthusiasm is impressive and refreshing. As to my approval...it's a community vote at this point. Once we get into the specifics of the language where designing symbols, grammar, inflection, etc. that's when the experts need to step up (you seem to have qualified yourself as one). Me, I'm just here to manage things so everyone stays happy and on-topic (though knowing SoL that's herculean in and of itself).
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Old 09-13-2011, 11:09 AM
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Go go, Zandali!

or

I hope we be doin' Zandali, mon.
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Old 09-13-2011, 12:27 PM
Philostrate Philostrate is offline

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cantus View Post
Your enthusiasm is impressive and refreshing. As to my approval...it's a community vote at this point. Once we get into the specifics of the language where designing symbols, grammar, inflection, etc. that's when the experts need to step up (you seem to have qualified yourself as one). Me, I'm just here to manage things so everyone stays happy and on-topic (though knowing SoL that's herculean in and of itself).
OH! *excitement* Making a the alphabets or logographs or syllabery!!!

But yeah if we develop some simple bits of the Titan and Kalimag vocabs and translations then do the early Troll....then we will be able to do modern Zandali and Darnassian whilke building on the base of the languages they emerged from.
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Old 09-13-2011, 01:21 PM
AndyJP AndyJP is offline

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I change my vote to Orcish, I think it would be funner. Troll/Zandali would also be great. I disagree that Zandali should be used as a starter for Darnassian, it could be as far removed from Zandali as English is to cave man speak (with all the rock puns and such.) The language could have also changed dramatically from the time the dark trolls got all sexified.
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Old 09-13-2011, 01:25 PM
Philostrate Philostrate is offline

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Originally Posted by AndyJP View Post
I change my vote to Orcish, I think it would be funner. Troll/Zandali would also be great. I disagree that Zandali should be used as a starter for Darnassian, it could be as far removed from Zandali as English is to cave man speak (with all the rock puns and such.) The language could have also changed dramatically from the time the dark trolls got all sexified.
That is why I call the lauguage rooted to the Darnassian language "Early Zandali" I am thinking of it as a hybrid of Darnassian and Zandali. Then we can say "You see, that is where this Darnassian and this Troll term came from."
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Old 09-13-2011, 01:39 PM
Philostrate Philostrate is offline

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I think we should use Darnassian first as there are more materials for it and I think that we should start with an easier one first. The elves seem to get a lot of treatment in the novels and such. Furthermore, you can go from Darnassian to Thalassian and Nazja with ease.
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Old 09-13-2011, 02:17 PM
Omacron Omacron is offline


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Originally Posted by Philostrate View Post
That is why I call the lauguage rooted to the Darnassian language "Early Zandali" I am thinking of it as a hybrid of Darnassian and Zandali. Then we can say "You see, that is where this Darnassian and this Troll term came from."
I've gotta disagree with you there, Philo. I'm 99% sure that the language spoken at the time of the twin empires and Aqir wars is, if not identical to modern Zandali, intelligible to a modern speaker. Troll tablets from the ancient Gurubashi empire in STV and Tanaris are read by normal trolls just fine. It's probably like the case of ancient and modern Greek, not identical but surprisingly similar. Plus, if Troll truly is agglutinative you'd be surprised how resistant to change it can be.
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Old 09-13-2011, 02:31 PM
Ashenmoon Ashenmoon is offline

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Oh, what an interesting initiative. I'll pester it with three thoughts:



First, personally, I find it simplistic to accept that, say, all trolls speak zandali. Perhaps it can be argued that, in a world where there are several intelligent species, each species will naturally band together for a common tongue against everyone else. And, true, it can be noted that languages'll likely change less once writing is established - whenever that was for the trolls. (Edit: Omacron makes a good point. Languages don't always change enormously. Gosh, recently I've learned there are proper names of places near I live with names that can be traced (with some good will) into the Bronze age, perhaps beyond. But, to let the flow of my original post continue...)

But - they say the Indo-European language was broken up into its different groups some four, five thousand years ago. Since then, it's evolved into everything 'tween Bengali to Portuguese. English is just a big hodgepodge of interim languages. Zandali's supposed to've originated, what? Twenty thousand years past?

So, I just wanted to put in a word in favour of at least considering the sheer natural diversity and complexity and interdependency of languages. I'd rather see a dozen trollish languages, some more and some less similar to the other than just one, but I'll take the one over none any day! Obviously, one has to start somewhere - Darnassian, I'd say, as it's benefited from immortal and (I think) literate speakers - but the more informed and aware, the better.



Second, I'm a big proponent of, ah purity. Part of the beauty of Tolkien's works - not that I've studied it particularly - is that you just know it's all original work. The world they belong to is self-contained. No pseudo-Latin of the sort that fantasy just seems to attract like flies to a corpse. Terra, hydra, aqua - for example - are all easily recognized Latin.

That can, of course, be subverted, or used for one's advantage. Perhaps Latin really is the mother of all languages, regardless of what universe we're in. Maybe the titans spoke it. Scott Bakker - author, great - uses it in his sometimes obviously, ah, topical books to hand out exactly enough meaning combined with that lovely sense of the arcane to get his point across.

Point being, again, to raise the issue. One can't take it to the extreme, of course, since one'd then pretty soon run into renaming proper names of things - Elune? Imaginative, Blizz. Omacron makes a splendid point with his funny word - agglutinative? Cool - that non-Indo-European languages are a good place to look.



Third, just to take it to the extreme, which I think I did a while ago, but whatever... I question even the use of English as a base in the world. That is to say, I saw no option for "Man-language" in the poll. For the purist approach I so amuse myself with nurturing, the options I see are:

1) saying English is what we storytellers translate a select language (Common might be the first guess, but rather, I'd say whatever Man-language's spoken in Stormwind) into to have something to relate to and to associate stuff correctly. Addis Ababa sounds cool and foreign, but to all the Ethiopians out there it simply means "New Flower". ("Ny Blomma" in Swedish; but us all accepting English as the lingua franca, yeah.) Different authors deal with it differently - Hobb, for instance, serves it up nice and Englishly familiar, while others opt for the cultural experience of not having a clue what anything means.

2) saying English is actually the language spoken by some particular group. Perhaps Latin can, then, be claimed as an actual historic language in Azeroth - indeed, it should be, I'll then say, and a reasoning should be built about it. The dwarves become the Scots and so on.

1) Is way cooler and demands much more work. It also raises the interesting question what things really are named. I mean, I doubt the High Elves sailed over the high seas, founded a cool-sounding kingdom (Quel'thalas - look, it even has one of the weird fantasy apostrophes!) and then decided to name their capital in English.)



To conclude, I think there're endless things to debate and clarify. I think it's awesome to try'n channel SoL's collective energies into something enduring, but I'd like to see a firmer base and clearer, ah, mission statement, if I was to get involved m'self. (Beyond writing sillily long posts like these.)

While it's certainly possible to construct a language out of the blue, I don't doubt there are as many opinions and agendas on SoL as there are users. If you - Cantus, and everyone else - plan to follow this up with future projects in the same series, I think it will eventually be worthwhile to spend some time just figuring out - or, spelling out - what you're aiming for in the big picture. It might help putting out clear guidelines now to avoid confusion and disappointment later. Certainly, one shouldn't set things in stone; but one could define a current standpoint, and let discussions branch out from that.

Last edited by Ashenmoon; 09-13-2011 at 02:42 PM..
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Old 09-13-2011, 02:41 PM
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I was walking back from classes when I had a thought about whether or not individual troll subspecies or even tribes should have variants of Zandali (Amani-Zandali, Gurubashi-Zandali, etc) and I remembered: the Zandalar tribe still maintains a heavy amount of influence in troll culture, and every six years ALL trolls meet on Zuldazar, and have been doing so fr thousands of years. It's likely that this yearly meeting helps keep the troll language the same, either because of a conscious effort by the Zandalari priesthood/government to put forth a "correct" language, or simply because they don't have enough opportunity to have their languages drift apart all that much.

I mean, logically such a situation would produce a "proper" language of the elite and then a thousand vernaculars, much like real world Latin and Romance languages, but that's not reflected in the game world. Every troll is shown to speak the same language and there is, at best, only a bit of difference in slang from tribe to tribe. Zandali seems to be a remarkably resilient language.
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Old 09-13-2011, 06:19 PM
Philostrate Philostrate is offline

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You raise a good point Omacron. I forgot about all those quests when you have to read the troll tablets. And that tidbit about the annual Zandalar meeting makes sense. I can still see that there are likely different dialects between the Amani, Gurubashi, Sand trolls, Dun Morogh ice trolls, Drakkari ice trolls, and dark trolls. The stronger the dialect can be dependent on their level of isolation from the other tribes.

But yeah...if the language was the same the whole time...and the night elves were originally dark trolls....trolls that spoke Zandali back then...then....how do we explain how Darnassian is so....different than Zandali?

And I agree with Ashenmoon and triple agreed with him on the purity aspect.
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Old 09-13-2011, 06:51 PM
Krakhed Krakhed is offline

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Darnassian would be different because they don't meet with the other trolls maybe?
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Old 09-13-2011, 06:58 PM
Nimbosa Nimbosa is offline

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Originally Posted by Ashenmoon View Post
1) saying English is what we storytellers translate a select language (Common might be the first guess, but rather, I'd say whatever Man-language's spoken in Stormwind) into to have something to relate to and to associate stuff correctly. Addis Ababa sounds cool and foreign, but to all the Ethiopians out there it simply means "New Flower". ("Ny Blomma" in Swedish; but us all accepting English as the lingua franca, yeah.) Different authors deal with it differently - Hobb, for instance, serves it up nice and Englishly familiar, while others opt for the cultural experience of not having a clue what anything means.

2) saying English is actually the language spoken by some particular group. Perhaps Latin can, then, be claimed as an actual historic language in Azeroth - indeed, it should be, I'll then say, and a reasoning should be built about it. The dwarves become the Scots and so on.

1) Is way cooler and demands much more work. It also raises the interesting question what things really are named. I mean, I doubt the High Elves sailed over the high seas, founded a cool-sounding kingdom (Quel'thalas - look, it even has one of the weird fantasy apostrophes!) and then decided to name their capital in English.)
i vote for 1).

elven last names: whisperwind, sunstrider, brightwing. all words in english, which is fine - if english belonged solely to the elves. but it doesn't: we have stormwind and lightbringer from the humans. and "wind" is also a part of the last name "whisperwind", and i know there's a blood elf somewhere whose name is "dawnbringer". so if these words are pronounced the same, and mean the same things, then it stands to reason those words came from the same root language. we'd have to take into account that darnassian and common both have english influences - where english could be a language that is no longer spoken, but it still had to have come from somewhere, and it has to be a place that every language that uses it would have come into contact with it. we would have to take these words and stuff them into titan or something, and i don't want to do that.

besides, as you said, 1) is cooler. maybe stormwind in common is really "aes-" something, coming from the titan word for storm. maybe silvermoon is "(silver)-lun". it would certainly make the languages sound cooler and would avoid the question: if silvermoon really does mean silver moon, why is that the only instance where the elves used "moon" for that rock in the sky, and everywhere else they used "elune" or some variant?
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Old 09-13-2011, 07:08 PM
DarkAngel DarkAngel is offline

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Consider this: ideographic systems, such as those used for Chinese and Mayan, are independent of the language itself. For example, many Chinese dialects are unintelligable to each other. Under normal circumstances, that would make them seperate languages. However, they usually get lumped together as a single "language" because they all use the same writing. Cantonese and Mandarin have very different spoken forms, but the written form is essentially interchangable. Thus, it is entirely possible that our Troll could be reading 10k+ year-old tablets. The spoken form could've changed massively, but the ancient glyphs would still be readable.

As a side note, I belive Tolkien's Sindarin was based on Old English, while Quenya was based on an obscure tongue from a remote region of Finland. Sadly, it is now down to something like five speakers. Ol' John Ronald Ruel was a genious. As a child, this man confounded his parents by inventing new languages.

Anyone know what was Klingon based on? That would be the obvious starting point for Orcish. Speaking of which, all made-up languages suffer from the same problem: tiny vocabularies. Usually, the only words are those needed to say the lines. Klingoni, for example, lacks a word for the color green simply because it never came up. You have to ask yourselves if you're willing to go the extra mile and do this right.

@Nimbosa: I think certain names are just automatically translated so the player gets the assocoiation.
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