Place Names

Uru Localization Project

Place Names

Postby Floydman » Wed Aug 17, 2011 11:06 am

On the website it says not to translate place names because they are proper nouns, but since many place names are "translated" from D'ni, they contain some information that is not useful in some other languages.

For example: Teledahn. It is spelled with an "h" so that in English we will know to pronounce it like in "dawn" and not "Dan". In Portuguese, however, an "a" is always pronounced like in "dawn", so the h would be unnecessary and wouldn't exist at all if we were really translating from D'ni.

Would it be acceptable in this instance to write "Teledan" instead of "Teledahn"?
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Re: Place Names

Postby OHB » Wed Aug 17, 2011 12:47 pm

Floydman wrote:On the website it says not to translate place names because they are proper nouns, but since many place names are "translated" from D'ni, they contain some information that is not useful in some other languages.

For example: Teledahn. It is spelled with an "h" so that in English we will know to pronounce it like in "dawn" and not "Dan". In Portuguese, however, an "a" is always pronounced like in "dawn", so the h would be unnecessary and wouldn't exist at all if we were really translating from D'ni.

Would it be acceptable in this instance to write "Teledan" instead of "Teledahn"?


Yes, that's fine. In this case, you're not changing the name. For locations like "The Ferry Terminal" - that isn't a proper name, it's a description - and can be translated completely.
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Re: Place Names

Postby Annabelle » Fri Aug 19, 2011 5:40 am

I'm not sure about that...

Like in french, we pronounce Teledahn like Tele"dan". Whether you put a "h" or not, we don't bother much as the "h" in french are for the most part useless. So to make it like Teledahn as it should be pronounced, we would have to change it to something weirdish like Teledon but again in french "on" isn't pronounced like "on" in english as we make it a voyel that has not equivalent in any other language so we cannot go with the sounding that the D'ni wanted...(and don't be fool here, the D'ni language was invented by American folks so they made the language sounds good in english, not always in other languages).

So we are used in french to pronounce Teledahn not Tele"dawn" but Tele"dan" and that is good enough for us. So I don't think those proper names should be changed in any way for a foreign language reason. The cities of New York and Los Angeles are pronounced in a numerous ways, each language has its own way to pronounced them and yet the names remains unchanged.
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Re: Place Names

Postby OHB » Fri Aug 19, 2011 6:10 am

You raise some interesting points Annabelle. However...

Annabelle wrote:So we are used in french to pronounce Teledahn not Tele"dawn" but Tele"dan" and that is good enough for us.


Annabelle wrote:So I don't think those proper names should be changed in any way for a foreign language reason. The cities of New York and Los Angeles are pronounced in a numerous ways, each language has its own way to pronounced them and yet the names remains unchanged.


This is mostly true. But what about Moscow? Or Tokyo? And countries don't follow either. France, for example :) In all these cases, the English word is a derivative of the original word in the local language, modified to work for English.

I like to think of the outside extremes and work inwards. So what about Japanese? Japanese has an entire alphabet just for writing foreign words. I think it's appropriate for them to write "Gahreesen" as "ガーリーセン". I think it's also important to remember that these are D'ni words, and the written English versions of them are themselves just approximations. Yet, we don't require people to learn to read D'ni in order to know the names of the ages they're visiting. So, what about Spanish? "Garisen" (Ga-Ree-Sen) or "Gahreesen" (Gah-Raay-Sen)?

I tend to think that having an accurate pronunciation over an English spelling is preferred. Anyone else want to weigh in on this?

Imma see if I can get someone from the Guild of Linguists to comment on this.
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Re: Place Names

Postby Leonardo » Fri Aug 19, 2011 7:48 am

I think Translators should keep following one of the two standards that exists for transliterating D'ni words to Latin Characters.
This is not a problem of translation, it's a problem of transliteration. Don't confuse the two things or you are going to create only a very big mess. I think the Old Standard Transliteration is enough well done to be acceptable in all languages that use Latin Characters, there is no need to create a different standard for each language if these languages share the same alphabet.

For languages that don't use the Latin Alphabet, they should create a new standard for transliterating D'ni Characters into their their Alphabet.

So basically I'm saying: keep the proper D'ni names as you find them in english documents if your language uses Latin Alphabet. Try to replicate the Old Standard in your alphabet if your language doesn't use Latin Characters, keeping in mind the phonology of D'ni letters.
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Re: Place Names

Postby kaelisebonrai » Fri Aug 19, 2011 8:06 am

Leonardo wrote:I think Translators should keep following one of the two standards that exists for transliterating D'ni words to Latin Characters.
This is not a problem of translation, it's a problem of transliteration. Don't confuse the two things or you are going to create only a very big mess. I think the Old Standard Transliteration is enough well done to be acceptable in all languages that use Latin Characters, there is no need to create a different standard for each language if these languages share the same alphabet.

For languages that don't use the Latin Alphabet, they should create a new standard for transliterating D'ni Characters into their their Alphabet.

So basically I'm saying: keep the proper D'ni names as you find them in english documents if your language uses Latin Alphabet. Try to replicate the Old Standard in your alphabet if your language doesn't use Latin Characters, keeping in mind the phonology of D'ni letters.


Quoted for Truth. The names are D'ni Standard Transliterations. Not /translations/. They shouldn't change for /any/ language that uses the latin alphabet. if you do change it you're "doing it wrong".
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Re: Place Names

Postby Jutt » Fri Aug 19, 2011 8:10 am

There is one other issue with transliterations to consider, and that is communication between explorers, especially with different nationalities. Since most conversations are held through text chat, it's practical if everyone uses the same spelling for names. So provided a language uses the Latin alphabet, this would be another reason for using the original English transliterations.
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Re: Place Names

Postby Floydman » Fri Aug 19, 2011 9:41 am

First off, I want to say that I understand everyone's objections here. In the end, I could go either way as long as it is a standard. Please allow me, though, to raise a few of my own objections:

Annabelle wrote:The cities of New York and Los Angeles are pronounced in a numerous ways, each language has its own way to pronounced them and yet the names remains unchanged.


In Portuguese, New York is spelled "Novo York" or 'Novo Iorque". If you were to say "New York" though, everyone would know what you were talking about. I believe the same would go for a Portuguese-speaker reading "Teledahn".

Leonardo wrote:I think Translators should keep following one of the two standards that exists for transliterating D'ni words to Latin Characters.


I don't know how these standards were decided upon, but it seems to me that they are extremely biased towards English (which doesn't bother me, since the game is targeted at a mostly American audience). In English, the same letter can sometimes be pronounced many different ways independent of where it is placed in a word. If the game were based in Portuguese, however, instead of English, such a complex system would be completely unnecessary because there are strict rules that govern pronunciation. The only exception I can think of is "x", which is sometimes pronounced like an English "x" and sometimes like an "s".

I believe that what I have just said only applies to the old standard of transliteration, which was used by Cyan to transliterate words like "Teledahn". I believe that the new system would be completely bogus to use in Portuguese since it uses accents and letters like "ç" in a much different way than used in the new system.

Jutt wrote:Since most conversations are held through text chat, it's practical if everyone uses the same spelling for names.


My comment above about New York partially addresses this. Portuguese speakers would easily identify "Teledahn" and "Gahreesen" and English speakers would easily identify "Teledan" and "Garissen". I think the biggest problems might come from translated places like the Concert Hall Foyer The currently suggested translation is "Vestíbulo da Sala de Concertos". That is something that definitely needs to be translated, but I think we would agree that it turns into something very different that couldn't be understood by someone who doesn't speak Portuguese or Spanish.

As a last note, "nh" is the Portuguese equivalent to the Spanish "ñ", so "hn" might be confusing. Also, an "r" that follows a consonant sounds like a "h", so Gahreesen would sound like Gaheesen.
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Re: Place Names

Postby kaelisebonrai » Fri Aug 19, 2011 10:15 am

The issue is that they're not translations - they're for describing d'ni characters using the latin alphabet.

Sort of like romaji re: japanese.

They specifically reference D'ni letter-pronunciations, not english ones. >.>
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Re: Place Names

Postby Floydman » Fri Aug 19, 2011 10:29 am

kaelisebonrai wrote:The issue is that they're not translations - they're for describing d'ni characters using the latin alphabet.

Sort of like romaji re: japanese.

They specifically reference D'ni letter-pronunciations, not english ones. >.>


But I say they're for describing D'ni characters in English specifically, not the Latin alphabet in general. We cannot expect players to learn the New Standard of Transliteration, and the Old Standard is biased towards English, even though it claims to be a transliteration to the Latin alphabet. The Bible, for example, has been translated into both English and Portuguese, but the transliteration of names from the source language to each target language has not been the same (Adam and Adão, Eve and Eva, Joseph and José, Jerusalem and Jerusalém, etc.)

Just because something has been transliterated to the Latin alphabet does not mean that it has been transliterated to all languages that use that alphabet.
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