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Old June 7th, 2019, 03:32 PM
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Default 'Alien' Communication

Communication with 'Alien' races, i.e. Aslan, Vargr, and what not, is a big stumbling block for me.

Do they speak ganglic? Can their mouths make the sounds required, or are they stereo-typically accented almost to the point of incomprehensibility?

Do you guys use 'translators'?

They're ALIEN, and thus different. Grunting and pointing is right out for me.

It's CT, and a Game, so I'm trying to make it simple, yet engaging.
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Old June 7th, 2019, 04:38 PM
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Either translators, or the human Travellers can understand their language just fine. Depends on the skill of the human.
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Old June 7th, 2019, 04:58 PM
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I guess they are quite accented, as you say, if not for other things because of diferent thooth (necessary for some human sounds).

In any case, most canon assumes they are able to learn galanglic (as humans are able to learn Trokh ot various Vargr languages).

Nonetheless, MT:V&V, in the reoleplaying examples for Vargr, states clearly that Vargr somtimes bark (mostly as alarm).
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Old June 7th, 2019, 05:37 PM
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The quick means is to use "Engrish." That is, you simply have them mispronounce words, and garble the translation. It's sort of like when you're in a foreign country and a local knows some English but not enough, or the other way around.

They might also use gestures and single words where possible.

Another would be they (and you) make social faux pas with things like gestures.
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Old June 7th, 2019, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Enoki View Post
Another would be they (and you) make social faux pas with things like gestures.
E.g.: from MTS&A, page (Advice to travellers section, refering to Kusyu)

Quote:
Don't show your teeth in public:

Due to their carnivorous nature, Aslan often interpret a toothy smile as a challenge, unless the Aslan is used in dealing with Humans. A unstifled yawn could have similar results.
(bold original)
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Last edited by McPerth; June 7th, 2019 at 11:27 PM.. Reason: typos
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Old June 7th, 2019, 11:25 PM
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My assumption is that any serious negotiations such as contracts, treaties, or trade agreement are going to involve translators on both sides, and written statements triple-checked to make sure that the agreement means the same to both sides.

Given that canines have hearing extending into the ultrasonic, some of their conversations with humans are going to be somewhat hit and miss when it comes to being heard and understood.

I would also assume that the probability of misunderstandings resulting in bloodshed will be reasonably frequent.
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Old June 8th, 2019, 01:35 AM
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I had an alien translation encounter with a cat- Elvis the cat.


I was told this cat could talk, so I arranged to meet him.


Elvis' owner (owned human?) told me to ask Elvis what he wanted.


I asked Elvis if we wanted cat food. He clearly, unmistakably in a high pitched meow voice said yes.


I opend up and presented a dish of food and he started on it.


I asked him if he wanted milk and he said no.


I went ahead and poured the milk and presented a bowl to test the no. Elvis looked at me like I was a moron, and never touched the milk.


I then remembered Turing testing and some of Koko the gorilla's sophisticated responses, including how she liked talking human because 'you can lie real good'.


I asked Elvis what he thought of talking in human, specifically to avoid yes/no responses. I got a whole phrase, I think he literally was trying to answer me but I couldn't make out the words.


I told I didn't understand what he just said. Elvis decided the interview was over, and insisted on being let out.


Could be we are as close to talking to cats as maybe some surgical procedure or breeding talkative linguistic genius/human sound breeds.


But, will they want to talk to us?
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Old June 8th, 2019, 06:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gchuck View Post
Communication with 'Alien' races, i.e. Aslan, Vargr, and what not, is a big stumbling block for me.

Do they speak ganglic? Can their mouths make the sounds required, or are they stereo-typically accented almost to the point of incomprehensibility?

Do you guys use 'translators'?

They're ALIEN, and thus different. Grunting and pointing is right out for me.

It's CT, and a Game, so I'm trying to make it simple, yet engaging.
Depends on what you want. Some alien species may or may not be able to articulate recognisable human speech. In the OTU for example, Hivers are deaf, so they require machine translation.

You could make the speech idiomatic, such as Keith Laumer's Groaci always speaking in infinitives ('To be raising your arms above your head'), or using local words in a patois ('Meesa ...' OK, maybe not that one).

Fun fact: a speaker of sign language (such as ASL or BSL) as their first language chatting on a forum will have noticeably different idiom and grammar to a native English speaker. I had a foot in mouth moment once asking a BSL speaker from Manchester what country he came from.

Machine translation is also good for a laugh. It almost never translates back to the original if you reverse the translation. There was a famous example of an early machine translation experiment starting with 'Out of sight, out of mind' round tripping to 'Invisible idiot.' If you want more fun and games, go through one or two intermediate languages and then back to english.

So, if we start with
Quote:
A lot of Traveller material (post LBB, actually) seems to be written by experienced writers, but it doesn't seem to have been actually written from the perspective of the Referee who is going to have to use the stuff to quickly make an adventure with on Friday evening before the Saturday game session. The original LBB systems worked well in this respect; the Mongoose versions aren't bad, and GURPS at least had the advantage that GURPS was a mature system. But things like T4 and T5 seemed to have a sense of being ideas sounded and read well, but was Marc and the testers actually playing them as a coherent draft in real games?
Translate through to Finnish:
Quote:
Monet matkailijan materiaalit (post LBB, itse asiassa) näyttävät kirjoittaneen kokeneilta kirjoittajilta, mutta se ei näytä olleen oikeastaan kirjoitettu tuomarin näkökulmasta, joka joutuu käyttämään tavaraa nopeasti tekemään seikkailua kanssa perjantai-iltana ennen lauantaista pelitilaisuutta. Alkuperäiset LBB-järjestelmät toimivat hyvin tässä suhteessa; Mongoose-versiot eivät ole huonoja, ja GURPS: lla oli ainakin se etu, että GURPS oli kypsä järjestelmä. T4: n ja T5: n kaltaisilla asioilla tuntui kuitenkin olevan ajatuksia, jotka olivat kuulostaneet ja lukeneet hyvin, mutta oli Marc ja testaajat todella pelaamassa niitä yhtenäisenä luonnoksena todellisissa peleissä?
Now to Scots Gaelic:
Quote:
Tha e coltach gun deach mòran de stuthan luchd-siubhail (post LBB, a sgrìobhadh) le sgrìobhadairean eòlach, ach tha e coltach nach deach a sgrìobhadh a-riamh bho shealladh a ’bhritheamh, a dh’ fheumas an stuth a chleachdadh gu sgiobalta gus dànachd a dhèanamh le oidhche Dhihaoine ro gheama Disathairne. Tha na siostaman tùsail LBB ag obair gu math a thaobh seo; Chan eil na tionndaidhean Mongoose dona, agus co-dhiù bha buannachd aig GURPS gu robh GURPS na shiostam inbheach. Ach, bha coltas ann gun robh rudan mar T4 agus T5 a ’smaoineachadh gu robh iad a’ fuaim agus a ’leughadh gu math, ach an robh Marc agus an luchd-deuchainn a’ cluich gu mòr iad mar dhreach aonaichte ann an geamannan fìor?
Now back to English:
Quote:
It is thought that many travelers' mail (BSL mail) has been written by experienced writers but it appears that it has never been written from the judge's point of view, which must have been used suddenly for the purposes. staring by Friday night before Saturday's game. The original DAB systems are working well in this regard; Mongoose versions are not bad, and whether GURPS benefited from the GURPS becoming an adult system. However, it appeared that objects such as T4 and T5 thought they were sound and read well, but that Mark and the probationers were playing as a finite form in real games. ?
Google Translate is pretty good but you get significant distortion of the original text.

This approach works especially well in play by post or other online games.
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Last edited by nobby-w; June 9th, 2019 at 01:32 PM..
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Old June 8th, 2019, 03:20 PM
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I'll run English text through a German filter, and back again to get some distortion for my alien transmitted messaging.
Things like "Out of sight, out of mind." Don't always make it through well.
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Old June 8th, 2019, 05:18 PM
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I'm told a translation program intended for the USA-USSR hotline was tested with the phrase "the sprit is willing but the flesh is weak", and the English-Russain-English translation came out as "the meat is rotten but the vodka is good".



i've not really thought to much about it, but i've always assumed that all races could understand each other, even if they cant actually pronounce the others speech properly (sort of like Chewbacca in star wars, who speaks his native tongue throughout, is talked to in Basic, and both sides can communicate, although not everyone can understand him).

ive always pictured Vargr as being able to speak Galangic natively, but never thought about if K'Kree or Aslan could.
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