Ravenloft: Prisoners of the Mist

Public (OOC) => Setting and Lore Discussion => Topic started by: Tarnation! on January 16, 2019, 05:38:44 AM

Title: Elven and other dialects...
Post by: Tarnation! on January 16, 2019, 05:38:44 AM
There's been some discussion in the Discord regarding elven dialects. That is, Sithican and Elven: supposedly, a speaker of one can speak or understand the other.
The language tags, however, are separate. So it's my understanding that if you don't have the right tag, you do not speak or understand the language. Similarly, someone's tried to claim they understood Xanalress because they spoke Elven, and the languages have similarities.

Image that was shown by another player:
(https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/166590338536964096/535006527824592896/images2.jpg)

Furthermore, there's the misunderstanding that, for example, a Darkonese-speaking person can understand Latin, implying they are the same language. A more prominent clarification about this (and the fact that PotM uses real-world placeholder languages) would be welcome.

Only looking for a DM ruling here, since it's been going back and forth.
Title: Re: Elven and other dialects...
Post by: becat on January 16, 2019, 05:42:41 AM
https://www.nwnravenloft.com/forum/index.php?topic=42891.msg545410#msg545410

https://www.nwnravenloft.com/forum/index.php?topic=37430.msg582699#msg582699

These are the reference links to the forum that have been used in the discussion.
Title: Re: Elven and other dialects...
Post by: Nemesis 24 on January 16, 2019, 05:46:20 AM
This goes on a bit further.  The discussion postulated that Darkonese elven going under the tag of [Elf] such as elven from FR also allowed understanding.  More so, the statement was made that all elven languages are also compatible as well, regardless of tags used.

There was also further discussion regarding Gothic Earth languages being compatible with Ravenloft languages - gaelic to Tepestanic, Latin to Darkonian.  This has been ruled on before, but a voice of authority is unfortunately required.
Title: Re: Elven and other dialects...
Post by: emptyanima on January 16, 2019, 05:53:53 AM
RL languages not being the same as Ravenloft languages that has been clarified since before the tags were introduced. So that’s less retconned and more corrected. Admittedly, this should be posted somewhere clearly, but it’s not new.

Here’s an example of the team confirming this. This should probably be added to the Gothic Earth section of the rules.
https://www.nwnravenloft.com/forum/index.php?topic=23133.msg278671#msg278671
Title: Re: Elven and other dialects...
Post by: MAB77 on January 16, 2019, 06:05:46 AM
I confirm what emptyanima says. The official rules on language are as follow:

All speakers of any elven dialects can understand any other elven dialect if spoken slowly. So yes, a Dragonlance Silvanesti can understand a Forgotten Realm Drow and vice versa even if they have never seen one another previously.

While Ravenloft languages are represented using real world analogs, they are NOT the same languages. A romanian speaking Gothic Earth character would not understand Balok. A Tepestani or Forfarian would never understand Gaellic. French and English speaking characters would not understand High/Low Mordentish etc.
Title: Re: Elven and other dialects...
Post by: Silas Rotleaf on January 16, 2019, 10:08:57 AM
I’ve always treated it as you can kind of role play the character who speaks one dialect struggles to understand what the character who speaks another dialect is saying. There’s role play opportunity if you work with the lost in translation aspect such a scenario presents. Like maybe your Faerunian sun elf can pick out a few words of what a Sithican elf is saying but you know, overall both elves aren’t gonna get each other 100%. That’s a function of how similar the languages are.

Like how Gothic Earth French and High Mordentish might have similarities in structure but they aren’t identical.
This is kind of along the same lines as what MAB said about both characters speaking slowly and enunciating clearly.
Title: Re: Elven and other dialects...
Post by: Nemesis 24 on January 16, 2019, 10:22:31 AM
Actually Silas, there is NO similarity whatsoever between Mordentish and Gothic Earth French, regardless of the words used.  Its an odd one to wrap the head around, but despite the use of french in portraying Mordentish, no Gothic Earth language is supposed to have any connection at all to any language used in Ravenloft.  Its weird, but it is by ruling required to have a suspension of disbelief.
Title: Re: Elven and other dialects...
Post by: Arawn on January 16, 2019, 10:23:19 AM
I’ve always treated it as you can kind of role play the character who speaks one dialect struggles to understand what the character who speaks another dialect is saying. There’s role play opportunity if you work with the lost in translation aspect such a scenario presents. Like maybe your Faerunian sun elf can pick out a few words of what a Sithican elf is saying but you know, overall both elves aren’t gonna get each other 100%. That’s a function of how similar the languages are.

Like how Gothic Earth French and High Mordentish might have similarities in structure but they aren’t identical.
This is kind of along the same lines as what MAB said about both characters speaking slowly and enunciating clearly.

No. That’s cheesing, and is a rulebreak.
Title: Re: Elven and other dialects...
Post by: Silas Rotleaf on January 16, 2019, 10:33:00 AM
So you’d rather there be 0% overlap to be  on the safe side.
That makes sense too.

Main instance I can think of like that is how somebody who speaks modern English would have a hard struggle figuring out what a speaker of Middle English is saying and vice verse, kind of?
Title: Re: Elven and other dialects...
Post by: Arawn on January 16, 2019, 10:46:06 AM
So you’d rather there be 0% overlap to be  on the safe side.
That makes sense too.

Main instance I can think of like that is how somebody who speaks modern English would have a hard struggle figuring out what a speaker of Middle English is saying and vice verse, kind of?

No. They are not actually similar. Core languages are represented for our purposes by RL languages, but the RL languages in reality do not bear even a slight resemblance to the language they represent. I understand that this seems odd from an RP perspective, but that’s how it has to be.
Title: Re: Elven and other dialects...
Post by: Silas Rotleaf on January 16, 2019, 10:53:10 AM
So when there’s a language prefix being used... would we be okay treating it as movie subtitles? OOC you as the audience get what is being said but IC the player characters as your actors who aren’t knowing whichever spoken language are going to register it as gibberish, yes?
Title: Re: Elven and other dialects...
Post by: Arawn on January 16, 2019, 10:57:21 AM
So when there’s a language prefix being used... would we be okay treating it as movie subtitles? OOC you as the audience get what is being said but IC the player characters as your actors who aren’t knowing whichever spoken language are going to register it as gibberish, yes?

That’s the point, yes.
Title: Re: Elven and other dialects...
Post by: Lucadia on January 16, 2019, 11:23:58 AM
I do not understand why this is being a allowed that if you choose one type of elven from any seting your suddenly a allowed access to understand and speak to any other elf in the multiverse. Sounds like standarized second common. They developed as different cultures. That be like playing on the same campaign who took one region language but needs to do 0 learning on another and can speak to any human  in any other region.  Vedui and E'roess sound nothing alike.

Id like to see this ruling in the books that all elven is the same and why its being made pointless for language slots to learn various dialects. Its fairly insulting and sounds disrespectul to rp nor leaving it unique As if picking a region language humans do. I rather pcs have take the effort to learn a dialect then saying yep I can speak any elf in the world.
Title: Re: Elven and other dialects...
Post by: Arawn on January 16, 2019, 11:37:44 AM
I do not understand why this is being a allowed that if you choose one type of elven from any seting your suddenly a allowed access to understand and speak to any other elf in the multiverse. Sounds like standarized second common. They developed as different cultures. That be like playing on the same campaign who took one region language but needs to do 0 learning on another and can speak to any human  in any other region.  Vedui and E'roess sound nothing alike.

Id like to see this ruling in the books that all elven is the same and why its being made pointless for language slots to learn various dialects. Its fairly insulting and sounds disrespectul to rp nor leaving it unique As if picking a region language humans do. I rather pcs have take the effort to learn a dialect then saying yep I can speak any elf in the world.

Because they are the same language. Sithicans are descended from Krynnish Qualinesti, and since we know that Darkonese and Sithican elves can communicate, we know all dialects of Elvish spoken in the Demiplane are almost certainly the same language. Remember that most D&D settings (Forgotten Realms, Dragonlance, etc) are considered to be part of the same "multiverse"; you have gods and heroes who actively cross from one to another (and, of course, the Demiplane there lurking). That all dialects of Elvish are related is no different than versions of Common being the same. Saying it's insulting or disrespectful is melodramatic and unhelpful.
Title: Re: Elven and other dialects...
Post by: Lucadia on January 16, 2019, 11:57:36 AM
They are regional dialects. Thats like saying balok is the same language as the next neighboring country and you should be fluent in it. Add in that Krynn likes separate its self even in cosmotolgy and its actively very hard to get a character in or off that setting without the use of a spelljammer since planewalking does not work. Though I consider you to be unhelpful in this debate as its basicly "dm said its same language" then why do we have half a dozen elven tags for language system if it does not matter which one you learn. Feels pretty cheesy that its just second common.

and Sithican elves are Silvanesti stock. who are descended from the elder wild elves before the clans broke apart. >>Even the Silvanesti and Qualanesti have a hard time understanding dialects without effort and words that do not match and all they did was move regions.
Title: Re: Elven and other dialects...
Post by: TheGrinningHound on January 16, 2019, 12:08:24 PM
Can we clarify this too? Not sure it was the clearest example.

Quote
So yes, a Dragonlance Silvanesti can understand a Forgotten Realm Drow and vice versa even if they have never seen one another previously.

That's just if they're both trying to speak Elven, right? I'm pretty sure Drow is its own separate language, and has distinct barriers.


Edit: Better luck next time.  8)
Title: Re: Elven and other dialects...
Post by: FinalHeaven on January 16, 2019, 12:09:28 PM
So just a quick clarification, does this mean that if you understand Elven you also understand Xanalress?  I haven't brushed up on my Forgotten Realms lore for some time so I don't know how linked the two languages are in that setting.

EDIT: Hound bamboozled me.
Title: Re: Elven and other dialects...
Post by: Destinysdesire on January 16, 2019, 12:11:53 PM
Can we clarify this too? Not sure it was the clearest example.

Quote
So yes, a Dragonlance Silvanesti can understand a Forgotten Realm Drow and vice versa even if they have never seen one another previously.

That's just if they're both trying to speak Elven, right? I'm pretty sure Drow is its own separate language, and has distinct barriers.

Drow speak their own language that was made after they moved into the Underdark, the language is often referred to as Xanalress. Honestly no, it would be its own separate language that cannot be generally translated by elves without training in Xanalress as it was made by the first drow to stop followers of Shevarash and such from spying on them and finding out their plans, over the years it grew and moved to three different technical drow forms. More info here:

https://forgottenrealms.fandom.com/wiki/Drow_language
Title: Re: Elven and other dialects...
Post by: Arawn on January 16, 2019, 12:14:47 PM
Remember, there are drow in more settings than Forgotten Realms, although your source is accurate as far as it goes.
Title: Re: Elven and other dialects...
Post by: Destinysdesire on January 16, 2019, 12:17:47 PM
Remember, there are drow in more settings than Forgotten Realms, although your source is accurate as far as it goes.

Oh I agree Arawn, I just don't agree that Elven and Drow are interchangeable. Unlike all the elven dialects.
Title: Re: Elven and other dialects...
Post by: Arawn on January 16, 2019, 12:21:32 PM
and Sithican elves are Silvanesti stock. who are descended from the elder wild elves before the clans broke apart.

You're right, by the way, that they're Silvanesti, not Qualinesti; that got updated with Domains of Dread. Either way, the point's the same--they're all closely related and mutually intelligible, and that's not something we intend to change.
Title: Re: Elven and other dialects...
Post by: a peasant and his pitchfork on January 16, 2019, 12:31:28 PM
Pretty niche but does this all apply to Athasian elves as well? I’d assume yes for matters of convenience but they’re not particularly similar/related to elves from other settings as far as I can tell so I can’t see why they’d speak the same elven in a domain that’s cut off from other planes.
Title: Re: Elven and other dialects...
Post by: zDark Shadowz on January 16, 2019, 01:48:02 PM
Origin divergence explains the understandable dialects easy enough if all elves originated from the Feywild in D&D in general.

As for Athas it looks like elves may've originated from outside of Athas, only source I can find is they sailed to Athas from 'across the sea.' They had an origin point that wasn't Athas and is otherwise unspecified?

If you can find if they came from the Feywild originally somewhere, then sure, they could understand other elven languages to a degree.

Otherwise, they will know a language that had its own origin that's not the 'Elf' language in Ravenloft and probably shouldn't take 'Elf' as a known language.
Title: Re: Elven and other dialects...
Post by: modderpunk on January 16, 2019, 02:32:00 PM
Athas used to be a more green place, similar to the worlds of other settings. Likwewise the races used to be more like their counterparts from other setting. Dwarfs used to have hair and beards for instance. With this in mind it does not seems strange the athas elfs speak the same language as all other elves
Title: Re: Elven and other dialects...
Post by: MAB77 on January 16, 2019, 02:53:30 PM
Beside managing all possible exceptions from every existing settings quickly becomes tedious. For the sake of simplicity a line needs to be drawn somewhere, and this line is that we use the Ravenloft setting's rules over all others. It is easier to manage when the rules are kept simple.

So it is what it is. Athasian elf, Qualinesti, Sithican, Drow, Tolkien Elves, etc. They can all slowly converse together.
Title: Re: Elven and other dialects...
Post by: Silas Rotleaf on January 16, 2019, 02:56:19 PM
Oh and would a core native who isn’t an elf but speaks one of these Ravenloft elven dialects fairly fluently... be able to with work and effort come to understand those other variants of elven (as the character gets more exposed to said dialects)?
Title: Re: Elven and other dialects...
Post by: Jeebs on January 16, 2019, 03:09:44 PM
I have very mixed feelings about this. I distinctly remember seeing somewhere that elves from the Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms settings had their own very distinct and separate languages, much like Lucadia said. However after quite a bit of digging, I can't seem to find any reference to that. I know that in the Elven Nations trilogy of DL books, Kagonesti and Silvanesti can communicate, but that's because the story was set so far back in Krynn's history that the various elven dialects hadn't evolved yet. So while I really find it very odd that just by virtue of speaking any one dialect of elven you can understand any other dialect, I'm forced to concede that I can't find anything to contradict that assertion and respect the ruling.

Last night when we were discussing it on Discord, I had compared the various dialects of the elvish language to being much like different Latin-based language. Because they have the same root, many of the words and the grammar is similar but they are still very much different languages of their own. For example, someone who speaks French might be able to understand a few words and sentence fragments from a Spanish speaker and they might be able to communicate on a very basic level but having a real conversation of any kind isn't going to be easy if it's even possible. Now I'm finding out it's more like American English and British English where other than a few colloquialisms and pronunciations, it is basically the exact same language. I can live with that, but it just seems weird to even have different dialects of elvish in that case, rather than just one all-encompassing [Elf] tag.
Title: Re: Elven and other dialects...
Post by: FinalHeaven on January 16, 2019, 03:11:51 PM
Oh and would a core native who isn’t an elf but speaks one of these Ravenloft elven dialects fairly fluently... be able to with work and effort come to understand those other variants of elven (as the character gets more exposed to said dialects)?

I believe a post earlier in the thread explained that if you speak "Elven" you understand all of the Elven dialects.  Race is irrelevant.  But, perhaps further clarity here but be helpful.
Title: Re: Elven and other dialects...
Post by: Destinysdesire on January 16, 2019, 03:14:57 PM
Oh and would a core native who isn’t an elf but speaks one of these Ravenloft elven dialects fairly fluently... be able to with work and effort come to understand those other variants of elven (as the character gets more exposed to said dialects)?

I believe a post earlier in the thread explained that if you speak "Elven" you understand all of the Elven dialects.  Race is irrelevant.  But, perhaps further clarity here but be helpful.

I think a non elf would struggle a bit more to catch the dialectical differences, but he would generally still understand the very basics of it all.
Title: Re: Elven and other dialects...
Post by: FinalHeaven on January 16, 2019, 03:15:39 PM
Here it is:

All speakers of any elven dialects can understand any other elven dialect if spoken slowly. So yes, a Dragonlance Silvanesti can understand a Forgotten Realm Drow and vice versa even if they have never seen one another previously.
Title: Re: Elven and other dialects...
Post by: Euniana on January 17, 2019, 02:28:11 AM
I find it rather jarring that it's insisted that Common isn't English and that languages aren't really their representations despite the evidence in front of your eyes suggesting otherwise, especially when you get into language-centric RP. For example, people use wordplay or confuse homonyms in ways that simply don't make sense if the language isn't English (or whatever). One recent instance is that a character confused the ball in Port with a ball game. There's really no other way that makes sense as it's a quirk unique to English. In language RP, people are going to notice that words like dame, madame, doamnă, domina, etc all sound like they are variants of the same etymon. Either people have to ignore these things staring them in the face, or they have to abandon details, which takes a lot of fun out of language RP.

There's also the fact that the structure and features of a language are inextricably tied to its history and affect what people do with said language. English turned out the way it did because of the way Anglo-Saxon interacted with Brythonic/Old Norse/Norman French/etc, followed by England's history of mercantilism and colonialism. The historical changes to English shifted how people wrote literature. Rhyming, for example, makes little sense in languages without the right kind of syllable structure. In Chinese languages, it is so easy for words to accidentally rhyme that Chinese literary tradition places much stricter rules on what is considered rhyming, formalized via rime dictionaries that adhere to archaic pronunciations. In Japanese, there being at most 5 x 2 ways that a word-final syllable can end, rhyming is so trivial that it's essentially nonexistent. These examples are meant to illustrate that language is a complicated thing that resists the simplistic fantasy cliché of slapping on often-butchered real-world representations while claiming that they're only there for flavour. Not to mention it really is quite insulting for people of those cultures to have their languages appropriated to provide a veneer of exoticism.

There's the drastic option of just avoiding the gratuitous use of 'flavour' real-life language representations and ruling that Common and English are the same thing, but that's just not possible at this point.

Like I've said to people on Discord, people will always have different opinions on how to handle languages. What I would like to see is a non-disruptive approach to this contention that some people have -- i.e. to keep things lax and inclusive and let everyone do as they always have, within reason. The language system is by design extensible, so people who feel that strongly about keeping languages unintelligible to others are free to populate a separate tag. They should also be free to RP that their characters either cannot understand or will not bother to make an effort to understand languages that other players have assumed or DMs have ruled to be mutually intelligible. Unless people get OOC disruptive in insisting that they must understand your language, or that you must understand theirs, I don't see a compelling reason to insist on DMs putting down their foot or players trying to police other players.
Title: Re: Elven and other dialects...
Post by: Arawn on January 17, 2019, 02:38:31 AM
We’re aware of the idiosyncrasies; this debate has been had and had again over the many years the server has operated. We introduced the language system in part to be stricter about language, not laxer, as the abuses we observed demanded it. You’re welcome to disagree and to voice your disagreement, but this is and remains a rule.
Title: Re: Elven and other dialects...
Post by: Fungal Artillery on January 17, 2019, 09:08:45 AM
What about other racial languages?

For example: Faerunian orcish, Tolkien orcish and Draenorian orcish (Warcraft).
Or dwarvish of the same worlds.

Is it cheesing that I took the D&D Orcish [Orc] for my Warcraft half-orc when there was no other options?

These are kind of different languages, do they understand eachother at all?
Title: Re: Elven and other dialects...
Post by: Iridni Ren on January 17, 2019, 10:04:21 AM
I find it rather jarring that it's insisted that Common isn't English and that languages aren't really their representations despite the evidence in front of your eyes suggesting otherwise, especially when you get into language-centric RP. For example, people use wordplay or confuse homonyms in ways that simply don't make sense if the language isn't English (or whatever). One recent instance is that a character confused the ball in Port with a ball game. There's really no other way that makes sense as it's a quirk unique to English. In language RP, people are going to notice that words like dame, madame, doamnă, domina, etc all sound like they are variants of the same etymon. Either people have to ignore these things staring them in the face, or they have to abandon details, which takes a lot of fun out of language RP.

There's also the fact that the structure and features of a language are inextricably tied to its history and affect what people do with said language. English turned out the way it did because of the way Anglo-Saxon interacted with Brythonic/Old Norse/Norman French/etc, followed by England's history of mercantilism and colonialism. The historical changes to English shifted how people wrote literature. Rhyming, for example, makes little sense in languages without the right kind of syllable structure. In Chinese languages, it is so easy for words to accidentally rhyme that Chinese literary tradition places much stricter rules on what is considered rhyming, formalized via rime dictionaries that adhere to archaic pronunciations. In Japanese, there being at most 5 x 2 ways that a word-final syllable can end, rhyming is so trivial that it's essentially nonexistent. These examples are meant to illustrate that language is a complicated thing that resists the simplistic fantasy cliché of slapping on often-butchered real-world representations while claiming that they're only there for flavour. Not to mention it really is quite insulting for people of those cultures to have their languages appropriated to provide a veneer of exoticism.

There's the drastic option of just avoiding the gratuitous use of 'flavour' real-life language representations and ruling that Common and English are the same thing, but that's just not possible at this point.

Like I've said to people on Discord, people will always have different opinions on how to handle languages. What I would like to see is a non-disruptive approach to this contention that some people have -- i.e. to keep things lax and inclusive and let everyone do as they always have, within reason. The language system is by design extensible, so people who feel that strongly about keeping languages unintelligible to others are free to populate a separate tag. They should also be free to RP that their characters either cannot understand or will not bother to make an effort to understand languages that other players have assumed or DMs have ruled to be mutually intelligible. Unless people get OOC disruptive in insisting that they must understand your language, or that you must understand theirs, I don't see a compelling reason to insist on DMs putting down their foot or players trying to police other players.

The OP did ask for a DM ruling :)

As to some of your other points, I think some of them carry the explanation for the other: "language is a complicated thing that resists the simplistic fantasy cliché."

Clearly, language is an important subject for you that you have strong feelings about. But the same is true for virtually everything that has to be abstracted and simplified to make a playable game. An expert on medieval combat is likely to cringe at how NWN represents that. Or going beyond language, someone who knows 15th to 16th Century France may find all sorts of problems with how Dementlieu is supposed to be equivalent. Vlad the Impaler actually lost against the Turks and was reported to have been cut into several pieces.

Hence, the need for saying these things are not one-to-one but for "flavour." Creating a universe from whole cloth is a rather daunting prospect.

As far as language RP, it's inevitable IMO we will be guilty of cheesing from time to time. In your "ball game" example, would anyone in Ravenloft have the concept of a "ball game"? The dictionary says the first known use of "ball game" was 1760, so...perhaps, but I would argue that the sense of it as a dance would be far more common at least until the 1900s.

IMO much of how this works in practice is context: Are you RPing with players who are being laid back and having some light fun while dungeoning? Or is the scene intense with heavy immersion? In the latter, probably not the time to break out the corny pun that relies on 21st century word meanings.

When a DM is asked to rule explicitly, however, the DM has little choice but to enforce the official rule.
Title: Re: Elven and other dialects...
Post by: ZSRunner on February 13, 2019, 01:43:45 PM
Not that my input matters much here, but I like to think of it in terms of languages in the real word.  Different dialects exist across continents.  I speak english fluently, but I have trouble understanding a heavy scottish or british dialect, especially when said speaker has a heavy accent.  Furthermore, I would expect that anyone who is fluent in latin would be able to pick up small pieces of french, english, spanish, and so forth.  Latin is the basis from which much of those languages are derived. 

In character, I assume that my PC can understand other elven dialects, dwarven dialects, and so on.  How easily those dialects are understood comes down to the clarity of speech of the character she is speaking with.  This can be said for the common tongue as well.  Characters who speak with a slur or accent can sometimes be missunderstood because their version of the common language is slightly harder to understand.

Consider this.  In the Midwestern region of the U.S. the term water fountain is commonly used to describe a devise designed to deliver water for drinking.  However, if you live in Illinois and travel up to Wisconsin, you might hear it called a bubbler.  I experience this when my wife and I started dating.  While we only lived about 150 miles apart, there were still different slang terms even within our relatively small region.
Title: Re: Elven and other dialects...
Post by: King Pickle on February 14, 2019, 12:01:52 PM
Now hold on now. Since English presents common in our game, I assume that English word with multiple meanings, such as "ball", will also have the similar multiple meanings in common, or whatever language tag we are using. Otherwise everything is just going to get really confusing.

Also off topic: There has always been ball games (as in games, played with a ball) all around the globe as long as history goes and longer. Vikings played with a ball as did the the Romans, Mongols, Aztecs...
You need better dictionary Iridni (and larger font plz). Try wikipedia and type in Calcio Fiorentino.
Title: Re: Elven and other dialects...
Post by: Iridni Ren on February 14, 2019, 12:36:07 PM
None of the groups you mention spoke English, King Pickle.

Ancient Latin isn't my forte, but it appears from Google translate, the Romans would have said sphera, for example.

As I said, it is inevitable we will "cheese" from time to time regarding language because the language we use is informed by the milieu in which we live. We don't live in any of the milieux represented in game.  I try not to worry overmuch about the small details and focus more on the big picture.


Title: Re: Elven and other dialects...
Post by: King Pickle on February 14, 2019, 12:49:18 PM
None of the groups you mention spoke English, King Pickle.

Um... So what? We are using English. As Common or what tag have you. Therefore a ball is a ball is a ball.
Title: Re: Elven and other dialects...
Post by: Iridni Ren on February 14, 2019, 01:12:45 PM
In English, the first known use of "ball game" was not until 1760. It doesn't matter whether the Romans, Aztecs, etc. had ball games. They didn't refer to them as such...and a pun that relies on the English double meaning of "ball" for dance, and "ball game" doesn't work, if we assume Common represents English pre 1760 or so. The etymological dictionary you malign does not deny the existence of sport before 1760, only the phrase on which the pun relies.

Now, having said all that, I don't care. In point of fact, I was responding to this by Euniana:

Quote
people use wordplay or confuse homonyms in ways that simply don't make sense if the language isn't English (or whatever)

The wordplay doesn't make sense...unless the language is supposed to be modern or contemporay English. That's the only language the majority of us are fluent enough in to express ourselves with such virtuosity. But doing so inevitably leads to anachronisms and other cheesing.

It can't be avoided.
Title: Re: Elven and other dialects...
Post by: King Pickle on February 14, 2019, 01:48:11 PM
...I am extremely confused at what your point is Iridni, but that may just be because English is not my first language.

I can assure you though that words for "ball" and "game" do exist  in every language of our planet and they are often used together as a name for many forms of ball games.
Now you may referring to some specific "Ball Game", I don't know. But I can't see how mentioning a ball game as a general concept that has been in every culture in various forms since beginning of time, is in any way poor roleplay.

We use English. Mostly modern English. I don't think making word play or buns is in any way poor form. WE CAN ASSUME that the bun works in our fictive language just as it does in English.




...Also there are far more earlier mentions of ball games in English history. (You really need to start using wikipedia.)

Edit: Kanttleikr translates LITERALLY as ball game, k thnx bai.
Title: Re: Elven and other dialects...
Post by: Iridni Ren on February 14, 2019, 02:10:12 PM
Let's just leave it here.