May 31st, 2010

Voodoo Dolly

Foreign Languages in Gaming

Specifically, when an RPG uses a foreign word as part of the game, but doesn't tell you how it is pronounced.  We were playing Scion tonight, and I've a friend who is actually Greek.  We asked him how Arete is pronounced.  (We pronounce it 'arr-A-tey').

He pronounced it:  'R-ah-T'.

I've known some games to be horrible at this, giving us words we've never heard of before, and not telling us how to sound them.  Ars Majica was good, actually, since it told us that Vis and Vim are pronounced 'wees' and 'weem', though I've had players refuse to pronounce them that way because it 'sounds stupid'.  (What, 'viss' and 'vimm' sound any better?)

The one that gets under my skin is 'ninjas', 'katanas', 'samurais', 'bushis', and pretty much any other Japanese word that someone drops an 's' on.  I have had to sometimes remind my players 'no s on the plural'.

So, what's your linguistic catastrophes or discoveries?  :)
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