Tearing Down Language Barriers in MMO Games

captain planet
As gamers from all over the globe become connected, a need to cater to a global audience is going to arise for developers. Big name studios can afford to release a game with multiple language versions, but the subscription model is going out of fashion. Free-to-play MMOs are a hot topic in the industry, and in order to keep overhead cost as low as possible, a cheap alternative to herding playerbases into regional servers will become necessary.

 

Google Translate API for Games

While playing an online shooter, I noticed the server had language translation in the chat. Now, I knew this wasn't a feature built into the game by the developers, so I did some searching and I discovered that it was simply a server-side plugin, utilising the Google Translate API. Any server can run it, letting gamers from around the world understand one another's smack talk just a little better. The translations aren't 100% perfect, and I think someone invited me to marry his sister's donkey, but the technology is always improving!

 

While searching for current MMORPGs that have language translation, I found an interesting forum thread. The original poster noted that in an early Everquest server, language barriers created tension between players from different regions. Another forum user responded:

 

Seriously, just go learn another language if you want to play with people who don't speak English. Servers are usually seperated by region anyway, so you really only need to know the languages spoken in your particular region.

 

Developers seem to feel the same way, so barriers are erected where communities should be built instead. One notable example of an MMORPG bridging the gap is Final Fantasy XI, which has an auto-translating function for their Japanese and English speaking players. Players can also select a large list of common phrases from a menu and send it to the chat.

 

Most Gamers Speak English?

Iron Realms games are populated with gamers from many different countries, but English is the widely accepted "official" language in the game, even by bilingual players. In fact, there are no official game rules against speaking other languages, as help files such as Language Rules only mention obscene, offensive and out-of-character language. It is entirely possible, however, that languages other than English are considered inconsistent with the roleplay universe. In Achaea, for example, a player speaks "Achaean" as their main language - and a help file for speaking "Middle (Archaic) Achaean" exists, which teaches players how to properly speak in Ye Olde English.

 

Of course, languages other than English can be found throughout Achaea; role play events where a ritual calls for chanting in Latin, for example. Some Houses, such as the Ashura and Mojushai, even have member ranks in East Asian languages. Some organizations within the game have chosen to invent new languages, inspired by real-life regional dialects, which is becoming the preferred method.

 

What's your opinion? Should game developers take the steps to close the gaps between gamers of different nationalities, and will the region-specific server continue to prove successful? Share your comments below!

 

Author: Alex Carlson

Editor: Tony Celentano

Comments

RP

Something similar to Google translate would still leave intensive RP virtually impossible. 

especially with the way emotes work

this

++this

I'm not sure about 'virtually impossible' but I can see awkward and slightly amusing working especially if the person using the translator cannot read English at all (rather than using it as a sanity check on their own translation).

I think that it could be hilarious, really. But still better than nothing.

Ever use an auto translate on other games?

I never have.

nor have i 

ever

me neither.

No

Nopers

Never.

 

no

no

Funny english is funny.

mhm

mhm

mhm

mhm

Exactly.  However, this is not a comic strip and hilarious is not the environment we want.

This is a true statement.

 

or is it?

Hilarious?  This is not a comic strip, but the game where adequate communication is essential for its full immersion and enjoyment.

Better not to play than play with an autotranslator.

Sometimes not better.

I'm more worried for the Translation Engine which would have to account for spelling errors and such. It seems like a very intensive and high-cost setup if it were to run without lag.

I think it would be too much trouble / will need a lot of effort to be close to accurate.

right on

okie dokie! Translate that!

Though I'm not sure it'd be worth the trade-off :/

agreed

yep

yep

Seconded.

Tres

Possibly. Not sure.

si

que bueno, mi gusta!

orale!

mucho gusta with gusto!

aye

aye

Perhaps intensive RP but I think that it would add to the ability for others to play the game. 

true

still true

Perhaps intensive RP but I think that it would add to the ability for others to play the game. 

would just be too odd.

True.

True.

make things rather hilarious, though. Heh heh. Not that I'm suggesting it.

Translators, best source of unintentional comedy.

I agree with this sentiment!

Frustrating too.

But it would still be nice for somebody to be able to simply speak and have it automatically translated for them.

It would.

I disagree.  That translation software could be limited be limited to actual spoken languages to allow for Latin or user-created languages to provide tonal RP possibilities.  There is also an RP option built in with learned languages, which could be expanded upon more easily than implementing a translation API.  In fact, I've rarely found a use for the in-game languages (granted I'm a bit of a lone wolf at the moment).  But they make more sense than using some other real world language, especially since an eavesdropper could simply use Google Translate to decipher any supposedly secret conversations.  Sure, they could also learn the in game language, but that keeps it in-character.

Latin? Heck no.

All the IRE games I've played use languages like Latin/French.

Agreed. It would have to be far more accurate than what we have now.

But hilarious. :{P

Would be interesting.

if translators were built in to translate to others

That would just cause unwanted latency issues.

not something I ever want to see

Lag

I honestly think that would give the games more lag than they could ever handle, seeing as most of them can barely handle 'Arena Events' or wars without lagging everyone to death. It's a good idea, but not very practical.

The offset of the lag wouldn't be worth it I don't think

Could be offset to a different server, but they wouldn't.

if it is so easy, why aren't there add ons?

 

who would translate the translations?

Could someone translate this for me?

I love to play in English and I do mudding to practice my English as well. Learning English is a very good thing of mudding. No localization please, everybody should learn English, if  the vision of an a unted world is truelt putdur,

Since it's the most practical solution to break the language barrier. And 'should' being  a suggestion, not a right.

 

agree

double agree

?habla espanol?

si

si por que?

Nod

Agreed.

Ditto. English as the buffering medium between language barriers. Why not?

something wrong must have happened to my laptop.

In my opinion everybody should learn English. It is a language very easy to learn. Moreover, I think that humankind should share at least one langage. This would create a more educated vision of who we are and may help in bridging cross cultural gaps.

I live in a Non-English-Speaking country, and I learned English by playing videogames. Where I live, kids do not learn English anymore because of videogames localization, and this is egregiously bad.

Please IRE do not screw on this one. It would really make no sense at all.

Heh, I learned english by playing videogames too

That, and Cartoon Network

I hear this sort of thing from so many people, it kinda cheers me up. War, famine, disease, natural disasters, all sorts of bad crap happens in the world, but we can unite over colourful animations and text-ponies! :D

Heh

I find that quite heartening.

^ This

So to achieve world peace all we need is <strike>love</strike> text ponies?

 

P.S. I know strikethrough doesn't work.

:)

I love the positive in this statement.

me

I do too!

Same, its funny really

Me too.

Kind of makes you wonder too. 

That's hilarious.

HEar quite a few people say that's how they learnt to speak English. Always fun to hear. :P

national geographic and discovery channel for me.

language is always good, allows for one to work in more area's and open more doors. I'm sad my Highschool never offered another forgien language outside spanish for me to learn (I would prefer to learn German than spanish). Local serveres are good at times granted, but can be impratical as well.

Wouldn't it be fun if everyone spoke in Yoda english?

No.

No.

That's awesome. I just had the thought that there might be MUD's in Spanish, Russian, and Chinese only and maybe I should go on them to learn some of those languages! Thanks for the idea!

if these did exist, but I don't know if I'd be brave enough to speak up! For those who used them to learn English did you know some English before jumping in?

probably a bit. hard not to know a bit of Engrish nowadays.

I'm with Shibumi on this one, along with the others, a lot of the translation software that is available isn't up to par with what would be needed to make the games as immersive as they are. IMHO IRE should hold off on doing so, if ever, for a program that will actually work as close to 100% as possible before investing their time and money into it.

I agree

 

I agree with that

me

me too I agree as well

ya

me too

I agree. particularly with IRE being text based.

I agree!

... waiting for a piece of software that works anywhere near 100%? Particularly for something as complex as linquistics? That's... hillarious. See ya in a century... we may be at 70% by then...

One, you won't see me in a century. Two, it won't take that long, given what has been accomplished in the last 100 years. The practical personal computer hasn't even been with us for 40 years yet.

and even then, i'm not 100% convinced that IRE should invest heavily into it. there's a lot more stuff that needs improvement.

Yay for gibberish!

Best Language Ever!

I like constructed languages. Make an Esperanto IRE MUD.

I agree

fun stuff!

^

^

ya

I like this thought

hrm

indeed!

Yes

Forsooth!

Pfff. We're all nerds here, right? Make it in Lojban!

...I were a nerd. I'd make a better player, and my character would be stronger. I have been doing 20 years of martial arts, and I am better at bashing in RL that in teh MUD. I am still working on my telepathic abilities in RL, tough ;-)

Maybe I should get the laser from TRON and teleport myself into Sapience directly.

talk about true immersion, lol, that would be amazing to be transported directly into the mud.  although i think text dreams are about as close sadly as i'm going to get to doing that.

Nerd powers are mean.

or

TlhIN'an!

Good idea!

I'd play that.

 

I would love to see better support for those for whom English is difficult.

I think it's neat having translators in games. I've only played one that had this, but I didn't get to see it in action since the community was small and really spread out along the game world.

 

The idea of having translations for roleplay oriented games though could lessen the immersion if the translations were poor.

For games that don't focus on RP, built-in translators sound like a great idea. Their aim is to reach as many players as possible to make as much money as possible. But for a game like Achaea where you are submersed in another world, seeing an OOC language being spoken can utterly ruin the RP.

I absolutely agree with this sentiment. Machine translators are clunky and a bad translation would ruin immersion.

:)

:)

Text is not just the medium of Achaea but also its art-form. There's a difference between more poetic creative writing, and stark technical language. Works of fiction or poetry require not just a translator, but someone with the skill at writing to do them justice in their new language. Automatic translation tools are incapable of that.

For fun I ran one of the more commonly displayed weather messages through google translate into another language, and back again into English. Here's what popped out.

English: The bright sun shines down, blanketing you with its life-giving warmth.

Spanish: The bright sun shines, covering you with your life, giving warmth.

Chinese: Bright sunshine down, enveloped its life-giving warmth.

French: The sun is shining, you inerting with its invigorating warmth.

Arabic: The bright sun shines down, covered you with the warmth of life, its bid.
German: The sun shines bright, arc you with his life-giving warmth.

Thats... beyond dreadful. I understand why english is the most common language in games (Its the easiest to learn by far. Or so I hear.) But theses Translations are just plain rediculous. That is really just dreadful. Now if the translations where 100% accurate both ways, I'd have no issue with translators, but Gah! My eyes!

I'ts actually one of the hardest languages to learn.

ya

english, russian and something else

Wouldn't spanish, french and english (perhaps chinease) be more accurate.

Those translations are pretty rough, since no language really totally syncs with another, I'd say it'd be nearly impossible to make an immersive RP environment via translation

I disagree with this. English is about the absolute hardest language to learn for non-english speakers. 

i'm convinced its the hardest language to learn for even some native english speakers!  just listening to some people try to talk intelligently can be excrutiating

English is quite hard to learn, even for native users. So many regional ways of using the language, missing inflections, and non-verbal additions to a conversation.

 

MUDding helped me improve my own english and respect for the written word.

Compared to another language like, say, Chinese? A slight change in pitch or a split-second extension of a single syllable can change the word entirely, instead of just the tone of the sentence. For some, that's a simple barrier to overcome, but others not so much. Personally, I find English easier than other languages, though that's not to say others are difficult. I think it's really a matter of how hard people try at it, as well as the differences between one's native language and the one they intend to learn.

1010% ^

lol

So true

ya

so very true

LOL Engrish.

^.^

^.^

That's google for ya.

:) with you

I'm always amazed to find how many non-primarily English speakers play on IRE

 

Amazed and impressed at their grasp of the language as it's reasonably rare that I guess before I'm told.

Could be good or bad depending on how will things translate into other languages.

would be amusing

/agree

For about ten minutes. Then it'd get annoying.

 

Great article.

Ce n'est pas une translator.

Approve.

In a large number of countries, particularly European ones, english is being taught to students as a second language as early as elementary school, so that by the time they graduate from high school, or that countries equivilent, they will be fluent, or at least proficient, in english. In many of these schools, it is not just a popular option, but actually a requirement. On the other hand, there will always be people who want to game, but dont speak english. It would be extremely difficult to get a reliable translator for a game like Achaea, because so much of what is spoken is actually slang and not proper english. To any translator, it wouldn't compute correctly and the translation would come out completely garbled. If someone developed a translator that was reasonably effective at avoiding this, then I think it would be a great thing to install. However, for the time being, I think the best choice is simply to learn english.

IRE muds definitely helps your vocabulary,reading and writing in English!

Ooooh yes. I've learned some words I wouldn't have found elsewhere. I was playing Runescape before, helped improving reading, but now, I have to write news posts now and then, MKO is definitely helping me !

I learned lots of big words when I started playing in my eeeeearly teen years, scintilla, obfuscate, etc. I definitely have to agree with ya on this. :D

Cool, but can't be good enough for anything meaningful.

 

credit

As the biggest language in the world, it only makes sense that they translate all IRE games into swedish! :)

Heh

Heh

:D

Bork bork bork!

hahaha

lollers etc

In Lusternia, a lot of guilds and organizations have embraced non-English languages and integrated it into their RP. For example, the Spiritsingers have Gaelic/Manx, the village of Delport is decidedly French, and the Blacktalon have even developed a language of their own (crow tongue). Language is can be a very nice RP tool.

I used to think I was - well I am in terms of my country - pretty well off when it came to English. Then I played a M.U.D. Yeah, then I felt stupid. o.o

I remember a few times I used weird 'pushing-it' colloquialisms like shanghied and queried and I thought you were calling me on it so I had to make up some RPBS to cover myself. Then I found out you didn't speak the english as a primary and it was like "hrm, maybe you just DIDN'T know what I was saying. " Although you could have knocked me over with a spoon when I found out. So... you've come a long way? Cause I couldn't tell.

What's wrong with English ? Its not because its dreadfully hard to learn the language, and by using it everyday you improve yourself in it, want a hard language to learn ? Then try learning Danish, then we can talk about a hard language to learn, it takes around 18 years to more or less learn it.

Ha, danish is easy as hell. You want a hard language? Try pashto

lol @ captain planet picture...

Hm. I'm not so sure about translators and such for Achaea..

Yeah, the captain planet thing is win.

I'd rather have an inbuilt dictionary. Rightclick an English word and add Translate to the options, so you can get the translation in your predefined language.

Good idea!

meeting people  from different countries in Achaea. And not speaking fluent English can be rp'ed as not speaking "Achaean" very well!

Unless you are role-playing a Catholic priest, you would not be doing a ritual in Latin.

 

The Mojushai and Ashura do not have ranks in East Asian languages.

 

The Mojushai and Ashura have ranks in Achaean (a language spoken in-game that is largely based on English from the real world). Kohai and Daijin are (presumably) Ashtani names.. not East Asian.

 

Somewhere in the course of the article, I feel the writer became inconcistent between in-character and out-of-character context.

 

 

P.S. it is proper in Japanese to place titles after a name.. Isis Daijin, Ignika Sensei, etc... not this Kohai What'sherface nonesense.

In a Japanese school sports club, such as a baseball team, the kōhai are usually expected to perform various menial tasks for the senpai including washing clothes and cleaning. 

In Japanese martial arts, the term senpai generally refers to the highest ranked student in a club who is not yet a black belt. They are expected to assist the sensei with younger or less experienced students.

Sounds oddly like the Kohai, Sempai and Sensei ranks in the Ashura.

maybe everyone should just switch to kanji

At least the system seems to support both American English and British English.  Seems like it was developed with British English because most of the descriptions are spelled that way.

 

It could work with the right system...

but how effective is it? Not sure if the current translation tools can suffice for most MMOs.

 

But a server-translated chat feature(even if the translation is of 'limited' standard) will definitely be very useful in say, an online board-game server; where players can discuss and review moves after a match.

 

Compare this to trying to Role-play in RP-enforced MUDs with translated text... hmmm

Good article but how would one get an accurate translation some of the names and places that don't exist outside of the game.

Some of the words are quite specialised too. Those are good for increasing your vocabulary but must be tricky for non native speakers.

Current translations are too imperfect. I prefer to make mistakes myself, than have some program make me say something which I did not mean, or what could even be insulting or rude. And you can't use a translator as an excuse, since that would be OOC.

Not sure if a translator is currently required in Iron Realm games as most people already use what they want to use and as stated it show the majority are using English.

;D

;D

There's no need for translators.  All the important people use English already anyway.

I disagree. Lots of important people speak French, and not English at all.

are very underused

Agreed

credit

its nice

I'm learning it

Mr. Mihali, TEAR DOWN THAT BARRIER

heh, who are you supposed to be, again?! you're reminding me of a movie!

Admittedly, a lot of English native speakers use English that is way worse than that of a dedicated second language learner, but having everything someone says run through something like Google's language mangler would just kill my gaming experience.

Indeed.  Translators are pretty mediocre when it comes to proper grammar and coherence, which makes sense considering how sentence structure varies from language to language.  That being said, I like the concept of conversing with players from around the world despite the typical barrier from differing languages. 

My english has significantly improved from the interactive novel that is Achaea. I never realised it's ok to use Latin and other languages in rituals :o So lets roll!

But that means everyone learning Latin - Which could be fun!

 

qui tacit, placet. caudex.

That would be fun!

Haha! You just said "caudex".

Some of the vocabulary used in room descriptions... my English has improved  and it's my native language!

I would not enjoy having to speak Latin. :P

Its okay, there's no-one alive who'd know if you were pronouncing it wrong...

Almost everyone who lives in the country of the Vatican would know if you were pronouncing Latin wrong. :)

I seriously doubt any of them play MUD's. You're safe.

I would not enjoy having to speak Latin. :P

I think it would be fun and interesting to create a new language one involving body language, verbal expressions, and gestures as a form of communicating what needs to be said...

 

Id love translator, great article srsly.

English is spoken by many people these days.  Hell, I had a few German classes in High school (das ist gut)  but most people start learning English very young.  If you cannot speak the language find a MUD or MMO in your region I feel.

I personally dislike it when people speak other languages in Achaea, it's so immersion-breaking to have somebody say something is kawaii

Someone said that? D:

I don't think it's really needed to be honest. I am very aware when a novice pops in whose first language isn't English and make extra effort to help them out. I also really like meeting people of different nationalities and would hate it if they were somewhere else ;(

agreed.

The translator sounds like a very helpful tool for people who don't speak English. It wouldn't be perfect, but it would mostly help

People can use them to learn new languages. I know Imperian helped Ziat to learn english better.

 

You are kind of forced to learn it.

Unfortunately, in effect, it just wouldn't work. We're all thinking about the translation of X to English, and english to X, but then you'll get translaters with combinations like Spanish to Danish, English, Chinese, or any other combination of those. Take into account how many languages there are and their knack for getting the words right but not the message, and truly detailed RP, as can be managed with one language, becomes impossible, no matter how good translators get. Until translators get an AI sufficient enough to decide what combination of words have the same deeper meanings as a phrase in another language--which even we Humans can't always pull off, as evidence by multiple translations for countless books to try to get it 'right,'--it'll only serve to diminish RP quality. Whether quantity or quality is more important is another matter entirely, but I'd prefer the current situation myself. Oh, and thanks, you, yes, you, for slogging through my post!

I'd hate to have to depend on a translator to make any sense in-game. What  a horrendous thought.

English would prevent scaring off newbies.

A little difference in language spices things up. Too much makes it unpalatable

Had 2 novices so far that speak in primarily Arabic, and there are a couple arabic speakers that I know in Lusternia as well. I think the most fun is speaking to each other normally, making some bookbinders get angry at there being a language they don't understand in game. Mean but fun heh

arabic, huh?

I know a few people who does not have English as their first language, but got better through playing IRE MUD games!

^

^

While understanding that english is the most common language for MUDs, I think a translator type setup would be a wonderful thing. Especially for tapping into a whole group of potential players who are not fluent in English.

 

I hate it when people say learn English! Its one of my bigger peeves, especially when English isn't even the language spoken by most people in the world. I think speakers of the english language should try to learn another language before spouting off that irritating phrase. Then they can see it is not so easy to do and maybe they would give a little more respect for those who have learned the language.

 

Anyways, IRE being able to somehow use some sort of translator would be a great way to open up the door for more players, especially those who may know some english but are not fluent and are nervous to try a MUD that is full on english.

 

They can look of it in potential profits, while we the players can look at it as more players to add to our community which is split among several games already!

 

I like the whole translation idea, while not perfect in an RP sense where it could cause some problems with RP. I am sure kinks could be ironed out.

 

I know in Lusternia we are not allowed to speak in any other language than English period and can get docked RP points not to mention orgs flip out stating insanity if someone uses something other than english on its aether (again making those who are not completely fluent seem outcast and less likely to stay or play). I like how Achaea at least gives the chance to learn Olde English in a sense. That is cool!

Mah

I agree with you about English people learning other languages. However, translators are crap as to now. And English is a pretty straightforward language. Come on, I say to people to learn English, and I am not English at all. I see its potential.

Many might disagree on many points, but I'm glad you left this comment.

I do not feel that this is something IRE should be focusing on at this point in time. There are many other things they could and should be focusing on!

De Engrish

Hmm

I wonder if there are muds in different languages with big playerbases :o

yes

There are muds in other languages with huge playerbases, portugese and spanish are the ones I have come across. I remember seeing like 300 players on when I happened to log into one a long time back. I just had no idea what to do to get started (I couldn't even remember the word for help in spanish or portugese hehe)

+1

It's something like 'ayuda' I believe.

Automated translators are unreliable. I have danish friends who I occasionally try to converse with on there facebook wall using a translator. The amount of times my posts have been incoherrent or offensive out witgh the posts that were correctly translated.

 

I agree they can be amusing at times

Huh. I still wonder how effective these APIs are

Maybe playing games with someone who speaks danish could help me learn danish

I want to learn Japanese at some point!

Maybe we can help one another?

it's better to learn english. Although Achaea has enriched my vocabulary, I learned most from books, tv and music. Most of our learning materials are in english, it would be hard to learn science and math in Tagalog.

I agree.

hrm

interesting

Most people who can't read the language in a MUD aren't going to be getting much out of it. You can't enjoy pretty much any of the player made content (with regards to designs), combat gets confusing, quests (especially language-specific ones) are nigh impossible. Without visuals, communication being only restricted to a medium you don't understand, I can't really see people playing the MUD. At the same time, as has been mentioned, accurate language translation is incredibly complex. It's probably better to just focus on the market you do get and make it as good a game as possible. Then if you can grow the company big, that's when you can hire an actual translation team to get all that sutff done.

 

can always build a big dictionary in the game, maybe add popular phrases to auto translate

Good idea.

+1

Bravo!

is a comment

so is this

Translation tech isn't quite up to par for the kind of roleplay that's encouraged in IRE games, and because American culture doesn't place much value or emphasis on learning other languages, English will always be prevalent in American games.

We all know how "well" these translations works in general.. 

This reminds me of some games where all the skills or spells are in another language. So in the end players are using two languages in-game. (and yes, they still do RP)

Never played such a game.

It would definantly work to increase the amount of players for relativly unpopular mmo's.

 

In the case of lusternia, since there is an in character language for many races, it could be rped that they are just not very good at speaking the main language of lusternia - hilarious misunderstandings ensue!

Yay

It is captain planet!

I think that it would be a good idea for Developers to close the gaps if it's possible.  Seeing as how the technology is there and all they need to do is implement it, there is really no excuse for not doing it.

 

However, I would agree that in a game where auto-translation is not implemented that if a player want's to complain about another language, they should stop being lazy and learn the language.

 

Auto-translation is a nice perk to any game and it also makes the game more enjoyable by adding a larger player base that can work together in completing world events and the such....

 

The other side of this is that in the real world countries have to work together to solve world issues and language is a common barrier so with that said you could really lean either way....in a text game mayeb auto-translation would take away from some of the fun, in a traditional WOW or EQ or something like that maybe it wouldn't hurt.

Wow, I was going to comment, but this pretty much sums up the arguments I was going to make.

One aspect of my job covers localization and the technology isn't there. Word and phrase translation, especially without context or human sanity checks, is not the same as actual localization. Especially for video games, where text strings are used/stored in a variety of places, it can actually be a very exhaustive process. Using an automated process will result in a game riddled with phrases like the infamous "All your base" - or worse, as that example actually had HUMAN translators behind it.

 

For a fun example to demonstrate automated translations, check out: http://translationparty.com/

Play with that a bit, especially using local phrases, and see what I mean about the technology kinda sucking. :)

Not that that's anything new really. I tried running a very simple phrase from Achaea through Google Translate and it came out utterly garbled. Big problem in this respect is also terms in the game world, things we take for granted like sovereigns as the world's currency, or things like the months of the year. Not only would IRE have to integrate translation tech into their games, they'd also have to preload it with a ton of common words and phrases that either don't exist in real life, or have a completely different meaning from those given to them in the game's context.

As for English being easier to learn, perhaps superficially it is, the grammar isn't overly complicated, especially not to anyone with a background in Indo-European languages. After all, thanks to Hollywood and pop music there's a lot of exposure, the same goes for games and the fact that quite a few scientific works are published only in English. I studied Japenese in the Netherlands and all the available dictionaries there were Japanese/English or English/Japanese. There may be more people speaking Spanish, Portugese or Chinese than English but those languages are simply less prolific in the global cultural setting.

Spelling English is a different matter though, and that's what text games are all about. 'No' and 'know' are pronounced similarly but spelt wildly differently, and that's just one example. The spelling inconsistencies are what put a lot of a people off learning English.

I'd hate to tell people to learn English but, at the end of the day, that is what it boils down to. Unless you learn English, and learn a decent amount of it, you're not going to have a lot of fun in a text-based game, simple as that. Garbled, incomprehensible translations only serve to frustrate and lose track of what's going on. Even if you think a poor translation is fine as long as it gets the gist, I'm sure anyone would get frustrated staring for hours on end at text that looks as though it was written by a six-year-old, even if the gist's there.

stuff

Love the captain planet picture. 

you and me both! brings back memories, heh

so many people who speak English as a secondary language speak it better than me anyway! I don't relish the thought of engrish, must admit.

!

Let our powers combine!

Go

Cards!

Free credit.

good read

!

Earth!

:)

good read, but really interesting. 

comment

 

lol

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Fire

<3

Heart

Was the lamest power.

Some have figured it out by running simple phrases through automated translators already: they're good for maybe some expressions and for words. But largely, I can tell you as someone who speaks multiple langauges and teaches languages, they don't work.  Achaea has such a rich way of expression that is specific. We understand references to things that do not exist in the real world and then, being a group  of people who communicate with one another, we turn those things into slang and common speech. All languages do this. Translators on their best day only recognize grammatically correct dictionary loaded expressions - can you see where we'd have big problems? 

 

Here's an exampe  "Ink me"  isn't going to translate easily (ink isn't a verb in all languages) even if it is a common thing to say in English in general when referring to tattoos. "I mogged" is going to give translators a fit - you -might- find transmogrify in languages but the Achaean slang 'mog' won't be.  These are two basic basic examples of how English and Achaean culture have created a form of English that is specific to adventurers in the game.  "ink me" would get by to most native anglphones, but "I mogged" will have people from Australia to Alberta scratching their heads - and they're native speakers. 

 

Don't get me wrong, I wish everyone could play IRE games without English being a barrier. I've been hooked since I started playing and I think it's an amazing place that a lot of people have worked hard to make possible for players. But, public translation software isn't anywhere near advanced enough (and won't be soon) to make it possible. So, I guess for now, we'll all be speaking 'Common'. 

we all are forced into speaking and thinking in another type of language. Take for example:

 

My soul is having difficulty with its connecttion to this land, Ill try again next month.

Translation: You're Internet connection is crap and you're giving up to play Xbox til tomorrow.

 

Soul aeon.

Translation: Lag monster.

 

Dealing with enemy harassment with Divine intervention.

Translation: Issued someone

I agree that this kind of thing would greatly limit communicaiton ability. I don't think it is possible with current technology.

I think ir is neat that it incorperates little bits of other languages and cultures.  I think for example in lusternia delport  (a village) speaks friench?

Are there financial resources available for that?

meaning?

I really think it's fine the way it is.

erm

Yeah

Since the beginning of gaming, I think there's always been a desire to play against other players remotely.  Nowadays it's taken for granted with XBox Live and PSN.  This is actually why I started playing Achaea.  There weren't too many ways to play against other players remotely, and Achaea offered that.  It sounds ridiculous these days, but seeing my friends on Achaea through text playing a game was mindblowing to me.  

Bridging the gap to make a game world wide on one server would be a spectacular feat.  To say you're the best in the world at something is extremely appealing.

 

One of my favorite and first Achaean moments:

"Juan enters from the west."

And stuff

I think you could rp decently while learning a language if you had a basic idea of it. I don't think a goggle like translator thing would be useful at all though.

 

I still think that translation could lead to large pockets of people without access to 'traditional' MMO games participating in text-based gaming on a larger scale. The internet speeds and hardware requirements to enjoy a text game (outside top tier combat in the IRE games) are way lower than they are to keep up with graphics intensive gaming. 

google translate doesn't get anywhere near the needed level of translation

yes

yes

yep

uh huh

I'm for keeping it in English, there are many other things for divines to be doing than translating into Russian, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, French, German, Italian and Greek, which would be what would be needed to tear down the language barriers, since most auto-translaters make mediocre results.

yep, not like IRE can't try to do a game entirely targetted to a different language and culture.

Well, I don't really have time to learn another language right now. Hopefully it sticks with english.

my wife always says there is a big difference between English and American :-)

There's definitely a difference.

an additional letter here and there, yes.

yah

yesh

non

naw

yes

yes

when I saw captain planet in the picture instead of your stock IRE playerwork. Just saying

Definitely.

Keep it english please!