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Author Topic: Learning Luktar and Balok...  (Read 41798 times)

EO

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Learning Luktar and Balok...
« on: January 19, 2007, 05:50:15 PM »
Lately there has been a trend among outlander players to learn balok or luktar and to speak and understand it fairly well for some odd reason.

I'd like to remind everyone that learning such languages would be about impossible for outlanders as it would mean natives would be teaching them and natives tend to be xenophobic as hell. There are no books to balok or luktar either likely since most are illiterate. I consider it cheesing myself to give your character that ability without roleplaying it out IC (with a DM perhaps) only to understand what native players say.

You don't learn a language on the fly like that. Anyone who speaks more than one language will know this. You don't just learn Spanish or Japanese or English on your own by listening to people either, that is about impossible (alright, maybe your character has 20 int and is a master linguist). Just to speak a broken version of a language takes a while..I'm sure all our ESL players know what I mean, I'm ESL myself.

I'm not targetting anyone, but this is a concern a few native character players have brought up to me and I feel it's necessary to remind everyone of what the setting is like and that no, there are no "Learning Balok for Dummies" guides or Balok 101 classes offered in Barovia. Things such as "[Broken Balok] I speak broken balok" are fairly ridiculous and it seems people do it just to give their character more power.

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Re: Learning Luktar and Balok...
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2007, 05:52:35 PM »
hmm...maybe a language tool would be in order. I'd dismissed it in the past, but I've seen it in use before, and it might be useful to avoid this sort of thing....plus rebels could plan stuff in Luktar, etc., which would be really cool  :mrgreen:

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EO

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Re: Learning Luktar and Balok...
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2007, 05:54:14 PM »
I'd agree on a language tool. It'd be nifty.

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Re: Learning Luktar and Balok...
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2007, 06:05:00 PM »
Yea, I noticed this too... had a Halfling reply to me in "broken Balok" when I asked what a child was doing outside after sundown, and to get inside the Inn. 

"[Broken Balok] Not... child..."

Have also had folk reply to me in "broken Luktar" when old Zeteny is making fun at folks with other Gundarakites.  [broken Luktar] Stop... or I will... tell guards you... are all rebels... They are... looking for rebels..."

I mean, I know it's frustrating not speaking a language... but just suddenly knowing a broken version of a difficult language is really cheesy...
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Heretic

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Re: Learning Luktar and Balok...
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2007, 06:10:02 PM »
If you got 10 intelligence and are speaking 5 languages like a scholar, ask yourself ''Should I?"

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Re: Learning Luktar and Balok...
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2007, 06:20:45 PM »
I'd love to see a language tool. 

With the increase in native role play, such a tool would minimize metagaming and cheesing. 

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Re: Learning Luktar and Balok...
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2007, 06:31:29 PM »
at the same time in PnP, on creation, you get additional languages based on your int modifier... and SOME of us have actually been around long enough to start picking up the language
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Re: Learning Luktar and Balok...
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2007, 06:36:08 PM »
Yea, I noticed this too... had a Halfling reply to me in "broken Balok" when I asked what a child was doing outside after sundown, and to get inside the Inn. 

"[Broken Balok] Not... child..."

The halfling mentioned isn't outlander ;)

But I must admit, you caught me a bit off guard - I suddenly couldn't remember what languages she'd know... and it has been bugging me ever since.. -.-;; lol.. Therefore I used the rather pathetic "broken-balok"-thing... hehe.. sorry 'bout that..
« Last Edit: January 19, 2007, 06:41:48 PM by Ophelia712 »

Iconoclast

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Re: Learning Luktar and Balok...
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2007, 06:38:08 PM »
Lets say you have an outlander who serves in the guard for quite a number of years -ic-.  Since he is among the native population, there is a context supporting him learning at least some of the language.  I can imagine a dm then granting the language tool in that event.

The pc might learn balok in this example, but would not know lutkar.  

Vice Versa, an outlander who becomes a rebel in the Gundarakite's struggle for independence, might eventually have the context needed to support them learning lutkar. 

These can be some of the rp incentives for having pcs more entrenched in the local setting.

A language tool would be one means for regulating which pcs should know what language.  

« Last Edit: January 19, 2007, 06:40:49 PM by Iconoclast »

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Re: Learning Luktar and Balok...
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2007, 06:42:02 PM »
You don't pick up a language, honestly. You might pickup a few words, but learning it? No way you could pick up the grammar, syntax, structure of a second language merely by hearing it..unless you got like 20 int and are really dedicated to jolt down sentences, compare them.

Learning it through someone willing to teach it is another story and as Icon said, it could happen IC for some players (I would assume an outlander guard willing to learn could ask for a teacher or just force someone into it). But that's something that should happen IC, not simply assuming you know imho.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2007, 06:45:05 PM by EO »

Ophelia712

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Re: Learning Luktar and Balok...
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2007, 06:44:44 PM »
Well.. wouldnt it be possible to learn it, if you really wanted to learn it..? I think it would actually.. it would take a while and a lot of hard work... but.. it should be possible... not unheard of... o.o

Iconoclastic - you're a teacher too I think, what do you say? I have to think a bit more and consult some of my lingua-books before I can be certain.. ^^

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Re: Learning Luktar and Balok...
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2007, 06:56:08 PM »
Ironically enough, my M.S. was in Language Education. 

Since most outlanders are past their developmental stage where they pick up language easily (as a pre-teen child in early adoloscence can), they would need a mixture of a few things; a tutor, and years of being entrenched in the language.  To complicate this even more, since the native Barovian or Gundarakite will not know the native language of the outlander, the tutor will have an even harder time. 


If your tutor speaks both the target language and the native language of the learner, then the going is easier.

I mentored ESL students from Taiwan who had been studying academic Englilsh since primary school.  They could speak enough English to order food at a restaraunt or to manage simple expressions and light conversation, but to be able to articulate themselves on a more abstract level in their second language was always a daunting challenge to them in our classes together. 

Adults have a terrible time learning a second language.  They almost never master it, even the most intelligent. 


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Re: Learning Luktar and Balok...
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2007, 06:58:52 PM »
Quote
You don't pick up a language, honestly. You might pickup a few words, but learning it? No way you could pick up the grammar, syntax, structure of a second language merely by hearing it..unless you got like 20 int and are really dedicated to jolt down sentences, compare them.

Learning it through someone willing to teach it is another story and as Icon said, it could happen IC for some players (I would assume an outlander guard willing to learn could ask for a teacher or just force someone into it). But that's something that should happen IC, not simply assuming you know imho.

Let me give you an example:

My father immigrated Canada, Quebec 22 years ago; he has an Universitary degree in Electrical engeneering; his main language is spanish, he came to Canada when he was 32 years young.

When ariving as an immigrant, integration is hard; he had to do all kind of sh*t jobs to send my mother and myself back in the homeland (Chile) some $$ to pay for substenance and eventually brought us over.

He worked tossing the newspaper, worked in sprinkler's heavy sweat shops all of that, without speaking ONE word of French nor english, eventually after 2 years, he picked up a few words and with body language and ''Yes or no or ''job language'' managed to make himself understood in regards of his ''Work'', however, never enough to carry a conversation with a French Canadian EVEN less with their complicated "Slang".

Now time has passed, he is able to carry a certain level of conversation, took him perhaps 10 more years to being able to carry a conversation with someone; he never did take courses, he did later once he had to re-do his engeneering degree, in all to the point: 22 years in Montreal and STILL has very broken french.

Now, I know this isn't a RL and its a game, but it gives you an idea, if you can picture an inclusive society such as Canada that it can take an individual 20 years to manage broken sentences, imagine what in a reclusive, xenophobic, society such as Barovia where social interaction with local populace is prone to being scarce.


Quote
Adults have a terrible time learning a second language.  They almost never master it, even the most intelligent.


Very true. When I got to Canada at the age of 9, took me perhaps 6 months and I was out pwnin' little "Québecois" at Soccer and dodgeball, hells even hockey... :lol: all of that, with good french...

Picked up english later with school and while visiting Toronto (English) as I have family there, then took on University and took Italian courses, easy due my Latin background, 3 semesters of italian, its the language I struggle the most with, despite 3 years of study and some ....italian ragazze "modern friends".  :lol:
« Last Edit: January 19, 2007, 07:07:52 PM by Eraldur »

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Re: Learning Luktar and Balok...
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2007, 07:15:25 PM »
i'll use myself for example with dragrin she cant speak balok perfectly granted but she does have rp to back up the learning with local PC's that are more friendly to her then most

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Re: Learning Luktar and Balok...
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2007, 07:19:04 PM »
And... then ... there is the US Military's "Defense Language Institute" ..... where in 54 weeks of full immersion training in a language, they can take one who is never heard a language before to a full "local accent" speaker who even dreams in the langauge.  (And if you think I'm full of shit, you need to ask my brother speaks Czech as a result of this method).

I roleplay a claim to knowing Luktar - since my 3 months real life hiatus was explained in game by being in Krezk and being under the spiritual care of the religious at the Krezk morninglord temple.   It is not unrealistic that a Morninglord religious one would not have an opportunity to learn the language - since in Krezk and the other western villages services may sometimes be held in the language.   

For Balok, if my character hears someone speaking it,  I roll an INT and see if I can make out a few words.  Again, not unrealistic.  I am not a native spanish speaker - but when I hear the mexicans arguing at the gas station, and one of them uses strong vocal inflections and says something about "madre" and "puta" - I know enough words in the language to know someone called someone's mother a bitch.

So therefore, while I think that not every player would be speaking balok or luktar, that does not necessarily mean that the language is the exclusive use of native characters and outlanders are prohibited or somehow incapable of learning it.


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Re: Learning Luktar and Balok...
« Reply #15 on: January 19, 2007, 07:21:30 PM »
Dunno, my char after I think 8 years and some ... rudimentary lessons with HolyRage's char Marilena, only understands very very few words and can speak way less... Yes, she can give a balor greeting, grunt a yes, or say a no... and catch up a few very used words, like guard, outlanders, etc...

Never thought that this is cheesy... *Shrugs*

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Re: Learning Luktar and Balok...
« Reply #16 on: January 19, 2007, 07:25:22 PM »
Quote
So therefore, while I think that not every player would be speaking balok or luktar, that does not necessarily mean that the language is the exclusive use of native characters and outlanders are prohibited or somehow incapable of learning it.

The issue is this: I can justify anything through Roleplay and there should be limitations or a certain control to which that holds true.

I can roll a character tomorrow that has lived amongst linguistic scholars in Krezk and have him speak all of the languages of the Core, even.

Where do we draw the line?

The language tool would come to regulate that and control that to some extent, those taking the necessary means to learn a language through RP will be rewarded with the "leaning token" of a language. 8 intelligence character learning another language, hardly. Scholars with some inteligence and enough wisdom to retain said teachings, maybe.

I am glad to see these discussions pop, as to me, they are signs of what I always wanted PoTM to be about : Native play vs Outlander and dynamics. This case its a system for Outlanders adjusting to native PC'S, which is great.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2007, 07:28:55 PM by Eraldur »

Crule

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Re: Learning Luktar and Balok...
« Reply #17 on: January 19, 2007, 07:34:31 PM »
If a language tool is what is required so that the few that feel "cheesed" by characters speaking in "forbideen tongues" are appeased, then fine ... implement it.  However, care must be taken that those that can present a valid reason for learning a tongue either by back story or some other reason can be accomodated and it's not simply "you're not local, eat it!"

I think a language tool might a good thing.

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Re: Learning Luktar and Balok...
« Reply #18 on: January 19, 2007, 07:40:00 PM »
EO mon calisse d'criss de tabernak de chummy du bonyeu de saint-ciboire du père. M'a t'y crisser une volée a Crule, sera pas long.

'Swing la bacaisse dans le fond de la boîte a bois, mouehehee.


---------

The above is known as 'jouale' slang french canadian. A french speaking person, from france could not understand this, only those who are 'local' to said slang could.

I can guarantee you, if I applied the same stretch of slang to in game and Emoted [Heavy Balok Slang] you couldn't understand a word, and I am just referring to the 'voiced' part of the language, the rest comes with body language and cultural signs.



Edit: I visit Chinatown often, as often as some people who visit Vallaki to shop for their needs, do I understand chineese? hell no...lol...

Can I understand their symbols? Uhhhh..



Uhhh..


« Last Edit: January 19, 2007, 07:50:58 PM by Eraldur »

Crule

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Re: Learning Luktar and Balok...
« Reply #19 on: January 19, 2007, 09:01:52 PM »
Free Translation.Com offers a humorous translation:

Quote
EO my calisse d'criss of tabernak of chummy of the bonyeu of holy ciborium of the father.  Has me you there to screech a steering wheel has Crule, will be not long. 

'Swing the bacaisse in the bottom of the can has drinks, mouehehee. 


hmm.. Holy Ciborium of the Father....      even with the slang, some words do come out - hince the way I RP some knowledge of balok would be legit..... roll an [int] and try to piece together certain words.

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Re: Learning Luktar and Balok...
« Reply #20 on: January 19, 2007, 10:13:43 PM »
Eradur mon calisse de chien sale de batard vas tu y sacrer la paix a Crule?   :mrgreen:


Born and raised in Quebec i knew very little of english, Yes, no, toaster until i met my very amarican husband who can Tabarnak in a broken russian. with a bit of yes no toaster and parking we managed and fell in love, now im slowly losing my french like a good little immigrant that i am lol no really took me 3 years of immersion to learn a GREAT english

most swears in quebecois are religious symbol, would make your ears steams Crule im afraid.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2007, 10:15:41 PM by Nefensis »

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Re: Learning Luktar and Balok...
« Reply #21 on: January 19, 2007, 10:21:19 PM »
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most swears in quebecois are religious symbol, would make your ears steams Crule im afraid.

Already explained Crule in depth.  :lol:

Then I told him about the cultural background of said curses. Language goes beyond "verbal", beyond "body" language, it is something that is carried and understood through history, "symbols" and the likes, so for instance, you may catch a word in that stretch of cursing I showcased earlier, but you wouldn't be able to understand what it really means when those words are put together.

Its why, I would be skeptical on characters "learning" at ease in a society such as Barovia, where people would rarely share something with an Outlander, where all you would pick up (Not for all) wouldbe strangely odd hand gestures, "Chineese" like language completely alien to which you are used to.

« Last Edit: January 19, 2007, 10:23:04 PM by Eraldur »

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Re: Learning Luktar and Balok...
« Reply #22 on: January 19, 2007, 10:23:53 PM »
Would love to find a way to roleplay learning a language though...

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Re: Learning Luktar and Balok...
« Reply #23 on: January 19, 2007, 10:28:51 PM »
Would love to find a way to roleplay learning a language though...

Ive rped teaching someone to read, that was interresting..

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Re: Learning Luktar and Balok...
« Reply #24 on: January 20, 2007, 02:45:40 AM »
Would love to find a way to roleplay learning a language though...

Ive rped teaching someone to read, that was interresting..

Same here, actually.  :D

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