The English of the EMBER universe and its (alternate) history!

#1
Again, this is something I've mentioned before, but didn't really elaborate on.

I brought up how in certain sci-fi series they came up with words, both technical terms and slang that are in use in the everyday lives of the people in those fictional worlds.

I recently started reading the Hyperion Cantos and in it are the "farcaster" portals, a piece of advanced technology. I said before that a game like Em-8er could use nifty new words, simple compounds that make for cool names for new things (creatures, technology, locations, obscenities, inanimate effing objects) or even portmanteau words to enrich the world and build a memorable narrative.

Therefore, I propose that we enlist the help of non-native speakers of English to give examples of sayings, idioms, slang, technical terms...etc. from their own languages, translated to English, that might help create a differently-evolved English language for an alternate history and future. Given how history unfolded within the game, the influence of certain languages may be more prominent, of course.

And since this IS an alternate history, some words, expressions, sayings that we use today might not have even survived, neither in English nor in other languages, they wouldn't have even be around, since history ran its course differently and cultural changes, international relations and the zeitgeist of every following decade had been different. The evolution of that common tongue could be one aspect that could flesh out the period after the wars, all the way to the exploration of space. It doesn't have to be a litany, just enough to give the players a heads-up for why they'll be hearing and reading somethings that sound weird or unusual from time to time.

It would show how people from all nations of the Earth had merged, before venturing forth into space, using and shaping a common language they influenced with their own, adapting to it and let it seamlessly integrate parts of their own into it.

There could also be certain NPCs, hailing from more remote locations or more isolated factions, communities and star systems, who would speak a strange English. One example I can give to describe what I mean by such a language and what it could even sound like is the kid "George" in Metal Gear Rising Revengeance and the way he speaks, using "English-based creole", according to the games wikia. Of course, it doesn't have to be that, just something that was formed in a similar way, so that it sounds almost completely English a lot of the times, but is not. Not all non-player characters need to talk in this language. That would be too demanding for any writing team and the voice-actors. Some NPCs could speak it to make them more colorful and to show that despite the emergence of a common tongue that enriched itself from their languages and culture, they still retain some parts of their own. All that, without resorting to overdone stereotypical accents and mannerisms/attitudes, while still giving them a bit of flare.

Also, certain names for e.g.: plants may sound a lot less poetic in English, but in another language they may be a lot more evocative, when translated back to English. We could use some of those, from non-native speakers, as well. For example, "Water Lily" (the yellow-flowered plants on the surface of lakes, whole fields of them) doesn't really sound all that good in English. It's kind of boring. In Hungarian, however, the direct translation is "Fairy Veil" or "Nymph Veil", a LOT more evocative! And I rarely prefer the Hungarian version of anything over the English one. But, this is definitely an exception. A little snobbish of me, maybe.

We should collect and compare some of these, if non-native speakers know some off the top of their heads or if native speakers who are well-versed in another language can give examples and then we could use them in-game to name parts of the environment and other stuff.
 
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Pandagnome

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#2
Therefore, I propose that we enlist the help of non-native speakers of English to give examples of sayings, idioms, slang, technical terms...etc. from their own languages, translated to English, that might help create a differently-evolved English language for an alternate history and future. Given how history unfolded within the game, the influence of certain languages may be more prominent, of course.
That would be very cool!

since this IS an alternate history, some words, expressions, sayings that we use today might not have even survived, neither in English nor in other languages, they wouldn't have even be around, since history ran its course differently and cultural changes, international relations and the zeitgeist of every following decade had been different. The evolution of that common tongue could be one aspect that could flesh out the period after the wars, all the way to the exploration of space. It doesn't have to be a litany, just enough to give the players a heads-up for why they'll be hearing and reading somethings that sound weird or unusual from time to time.
Ah yes it is like how we hear lots of changed words in today's world with pronounce and slang words hopefully not as complicated hmm

It would show how people from all nations of the Earth had merged, before venturing forth into space, using and shaping a common language they influenced with their own, adapting to it and let it seamlessly integrate parts of their own into it.
Made me think of different parts of the world as an example accents when you hear someone from lets say the north compared to the south they would say something different subtle pitch and tone.

Could this be noticed in various biomes as the biomes are like different states i'd imagine.

Some NPCs could speak it to make them more colorful and to show that despite the emergence of a common tongue that enriched itself from their languages and culture, they still retain some parts of their own. All that, without resorting to overdone stereotypical accents and mannerisms/attitudes, while still giving them a bit of flare.
I like that :cool:

Also, certain names for e.g.: plants may sound a lot less poetic in English, but in another language they may be a lot more evocative, when translated back to English. We could use some of those, from non-native speakers, as well. For example, "Water Lily" (the yellow-flowered plants on the surface of lakes, whole fields of them) doesn't really sound all that good in English. It's kind of boring. In Hungarian, however, the direct translation is "Fairy Veil" or "Nymph Veil", a LOT more evocative! And I rarely prefer the Hungarian version of anything over the English one. But, this is definitely an exception.
Ah yes could make it stand out too!

We should collect and compare some of these, if non-native speakers know some off the top of their heads or if native speakers who are well-versed in another language can give examples and then we could use them in-game to name parts of the environment and other stuff.
We need to compare certain words if we had a list of the english one's then from there we can let those who speak another language to add the translation of that and even the slang version of it.

We can compile a good collection and get creative!
 
#4
Got an example, already! I recently started watching the videos of German Girl in America. In her latest video she's reacting to "How German Sounds Compared to Other Languages." (<link)

And in the examples the French and Spanish word for airplane is "Avion", pronounced a little differently in the two languages, but it already sounds more fun/cool/nice than just "airplane." And even if we lose the French or Spanish pronunciation and say in an Anglicized way "A-vee-ahn." it still sounds cooler than just "airplane."

[...]

In our alternate history, the influence of the German language would be heavier than others, for the obvious reasons. "Don't talk about the war!"

I might have mentioned this before, but I don't actually like the German language. We have a "sweet" little saying in Hungarian for when we don't really like something. We say that "It's not the exactly the tip of my hearth." or "...AT the tip of my heart." would be more English-like. :p

I only studied it throughout elementary school. Had good grades. But, my English (just from watching Cartoon Network) was already starting to get better than my German, even back then. I could guess the new German words we'd learn in class, from the English ones I heard from cartoons. Specifically the word "nervous", which I distinctly remember hearing on Cow and Chicken. I could guess the meaning of its German equivalent, because they sound similar and they may be spelled the same. But, I never liked German. How it sounded. Maybe because I never became more familiar with it.

There's only one word, in German, that I actually like. Their word for forest ("wald"). It sounds evocative. I just want to raise and spread my hands and make, like, a half circle or rainbow and say "wald". It just sounds magical. It makes me think of some magical place. Similarly to our word for "Water Lily" that translates to "Fairy Veil."

(Note: It's kind of hard to distinguish between "I" and "L" when they're not capitalized, the font on the site is not the best choice, perhaps. Also hard to tell if something's bold or not. )
 

Omnires

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#5
The question I have is will it be more like a trade language or more like blended language? Because in my mind both routs seem likely going by the lore of the game both should exist. You would have the trade language, also known as "common" by most, but than people living on different worlds and space colonies would over time start to have different languages as their cultures drift and change based on their location and environment.

The definition of a trade language is a restructured language used especially in commercial communication. Languages like lingua franca and pidgin are two examples of this.

And example of a blended language would be American English. Although in the USA we say we speak English that is not really true. English is only base language but a large part of American English comes from Native American languages, Spanish, French, Latin, African languages, and German. Not counting the words and phases we made up. This point American English is English in name only as it often takes in words phases form other languages and cultures. And this not even counting the different dialects within American English. For example I talk in Southern American English in real life, so words like "y'all" and "ya'll" exist here.

P.S. I'm posting this here too. Just as reminder that the idea of a "right and wrong language" is part of a system to try and control people. Often as a way to try and suppress or erase a culture and/or people.
 
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Pandagnome

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#6
n German, that I actually like. Their word for forest ("wald"). It sounds evocative
For me it reminds me of waldo and he could be a forest so that's probably why he was tough to find all along :D

here are some interesting videos

The sounds of language

Ancient languages


Encarta 97 world languages


When i hear someone with another accent it is very interesting, and wonder what their experiences living where ever they are. Also how different their way of life could be compared to ours.

Do they even wear the same outfits as some of us, how different are their cultures, and how different some may greet with movement e.g. bowing, handshake, nod, fist bump etc
 
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Omnires

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#7
Word history is a funny thing. Because I sometime get in trouble with some people for using the old words for things (because to me those words are interchangeable) and I some times end up in a debate about the meaning of words with some people over the usage and/or history of a word. For example, I still use the word "retard" when talking about some things like energy and waves, or just when I'm denoting that something is backwards. This because the word "retard" means something that is backwards or goes against the normal flow that is around it. For example, a retard wave is a wave (be it water or energy) that is moving backwards relative to the rest of the things around it (be it water or energy). But try explaining that to a person who has never knew the real meaning of the word or hard of it being used in a scientific. Anyway, that was bit of tangent. But it kind of gets to point what I want to point out. If we are going to make up words should also make up a history for those words and how they changed over time. Because the meaning of the word "awesome" now is not the same as it was long ago in the past.

Here is an example tracing back the word "monster".
 
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Pandagnome

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#8
With all these interesting and unique sounding words could some have links to symbols and even emoji's
Some are patterns on the wall a message disguised as an art on a structure even the ground etc

I like the idea of symbols with paranomal activities such as the crop circles.

Colours and its symbol

Symbol of the portal and the gates origin

Protective symbols and those of honor etc

Music, i wonder if the tshiu have their own kind of music ?

currency

https://youtu.be/OjGzBnP_EwU
https://youtu.be/3q1mXdUymSo
https://youtu.be/dLlekfPFQsA
Spiritual / religious

https://youtu.be/IGlU5m2JpXY
Symbols turned for another purpose

https://youtu.be/GZdjNA89Z_0
Symbols of languages we may need to decipher to be able to translate with the help of A.I
analysing and to then transliterate.

https://youtu.be/9hAur2YnrAg?t=394
Dashboard symbols what could we see inside our meks?

https://youtu.be/pBiGez-SlXE
Electrical symbols

https://youtu.be/KX9qzn8lkl4
Hazards

https://youtu.be/L8cNBvzKdIE
https://youtu.be/Mynr7uik5-0
Symbols open to perception and even art

Got carried away with symbols.. it could be an individual symbolic language or even in mix with others just how we use to shorten.
 
#9
The question I have is will it be more like a trade language or more like blended language? Because in my mind both routs seem likely going by the lore of the game both should exist. You would have the trade language, also known as "common" by most, but than people living on different worlds and space colonies would over time start to have different languages as their cultures drift and change based on their location and environment.

The definition of a trade language is a restructured language used especially in commercial communication. Languages like lingua franca and pidgin are two examples of this.

And example of a blended language would be American English. Although in the USA we say we speak English that is not really true. English is only base language but a large part of American English comes from Native American languages, Spanish, French, Latin, African languages, and German. Not counting the words and phases we made up. This point American English is English in name only as it often takes in words phases form other languages and cultures. And this not even counting the different dialects within American English. For example I talk in Southern American English in real life, so words like "y'all" and "ya'll" exist here.

P.S. I'm posting this here too. Just as reminder that the idea of a "right and wrong language" is part of a system to try and control people. Often as a way to try and suppress or erase a culture and/or people.
That and the other one, too. Could be. At the market, in hubs, the language would be the "common" mutually developed and mutually understood tongue, often specific expressions, abbreviations, technical terms, jargon...etc.

But, of course, different colonies that have spread throughout different star systems ought to have developed slight differences, depending on which nations grouped together or stayed apart from the rest.

All that may be a little too much to actually expand on and implement, though, because we would effectively be running a sort of simulation/projection on how e.g.: if nations speaking Germanic languages had settled on one particular new planet, in a new system, their English would have been heavily influenced by their original language and might still sound more German than English. And we'd try to imagine what it would be like. Or, say, people from the old Russia and people from Cuba (?) and people from nations allied with Russia, at the time, following humanities exodus from Earth, had settled on one planet, together. After a century or two...what would they sound like? Having influenced one another. It's way too much to consider. So, I don't think I'll suddenly sound lazy, as if I'm backing out, when I say we don't have to go into those depths.

But, yeah...a common/trade language would be mandatory and a few NPCs could speak a bit differently, strangely, using words, expressions, saying...etc. that would clearly show they belong (or they once belonged) to different nations and they've retained some peculiarities that got ingrained in their speech, over the generations. That doesn't sound too difficult, if we can get people from all over the world to throw in examples from their mother-tongues or other languages they're familiar with, that they think would make the in-game English (and through it, the characters that will be speaking to us) more colorful, cool, fun, quirky...etc.

Also, in response to your video:

 
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#10
There are, actually, three more things, in German, which I like. But, they're not exactly word-related.

#2 Schadenfreude. Not the word itself, but the "act."

#3 I saw a reaction video from a girl to a show and I just couldn't place her accent. I commented on it and she replied she was from Germany. And I was like: Damn, German accents can be cute!

#1 And the German version of the intro for the old Megaman cartoon series. I watched it, as child, in the mid 90's, in German. Barely understood a word and when I could finally watch the whole series, in English, 20-odd years later, online, I felt something was off. The English intro sounded good, too...but, I had the nagging feeling it wasn't the one I heard as a kid, so on a hunch, I tried the German one, figuring that if it was the German dub, they could've changed the intro, too. Bingo!

In that order. :p
 
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#11
Those shadowed boxes could be the sounds an alien race would be making that we can't even begin to try and produce. I mean, how the hell could we even imagine/know if we can't produce them? How do we know we don't know? :D

Imagine coming up with a language for a fictional world, like those in GoT, or the alien languages in Defiance, or even the language they use in The 100 between the tribes, or more recently, for me, Ta'agra, the language of the Khajiit in Elder Scrolls Online. Already made two OCs for the ESO universe with some Ta'agra thrown in, on my DA account.

And then imagine somewhere along in the process the writer(s) actually invent/find those new sounds and how to produce them, in their effort to create a whole new language, with a fully developed grammar and rules.

That "szervusz" in the beginning, though. Not Hungarian or even Germanic in origin, but Latin. :) I thought it was German, until I recently watched this girl's video.
 
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#12
Word history is a funny thing. Because I sometime get in trouble with some people for using the old words for things (because to me those words are interchangeable) and I some times end up in a debate about the meaning of words with some people over the usage and/or history of a word. For example, I still use the word "retard" when talking about some things like energy and waves, or just when I'm denoting that something is backwards. This because the word "retard" means something that is backwards or goes against the normal flow that is around it. For example, a retard wave is a wave (be it water or energy) that is moving backwards relative to the rest of the things around it (be it water or energy). But try explaining that to a person who has never knew the real meaning of the word or hard of it being used in a scientific. Anyway, that was bit of tangent. But it kind of gets to point what I want to point out. If we are going to make up words should also make up a history for those words and how they changed over time. Because the meaning of the word "awesome" now is not the same as it was long ago in the past.

Here is an example tracing back the word "monster".
They all descended from Hungarian! It's the ultimate proto-language, I tell ya. Or so Hungarian revisionists like to keep claiming. The same "experts" also like to immediately say, it's not even Hungarian, as we know it, actually. But, the Scythians! THE SCYTHIANS! They were our ancestors! It doesn't matter that they were actually a non-homogeneous group made of different people, they were OUR ANCESTORS and ours alone! Only we can claim them as our ancestors! No one else! And they lived in ATLANTIS, actually. And Mesopotamia, too, was HERE, in Hungary. "Between two rivers" means between the Danube and Tisza rivers, YES!! *SLAP* *SLAP* *Chloroform*
 
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#13
With all these interesting and unique sounding words could some have links to symbols and even emoji's
Some are patterns on the wall a message disguised as an art on a structure even the ground etc
I know it's not exactly language, but I wouldn't mind seeing some nice murals on the walls of some bases, where the artistically more gifted base-personnel made some either for commemorating events, like the founding of colonies, first landing, their exodus, their triumphs and tragedies or just to spruce up the place.

Protective symbols and those of honor etc
Ha, I actually used the viking alphabet when I created a RWBY OC, who is viking-themed. I wrote the letters of her weapon in the viking alphabet and used symbols as runes on her armor and weapon. Also, recently played Assassin's Creed: Valhalla. So the whole viking experience is still fresh. Also wanna do a meme with it, sometime.

Music, i wonder if the tshiu have their own kind of music ?
I don't see why not. But, it really needs to sound alien. Alien like a Caracal cat screaming!

And, yes, I totally forgot that, aside from tweaking the future-English of the humans, we also have the Tsi-Hu, who need to have SOME form of spoken and written language. They could even speak through songs and write with symbols, rather than letters. Damn it, I was only focused on the humans. How anthropocentric of me.
 
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Omnires

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#14
They all descended from Hungarian! It's the ultimate proto-language, I tell ya. Or so Hungarian revisionists like to keep claiming. The same "experts" also like to immediately say, it's not even Hungarian, as we know it, actually. But, the Scythians! THE SCYTHIANS! They were our ancestors! It doesn't matter that they were actually a non-homogeneous group made of different people, they were OUR ANCESTORS and ours alone! Only we can claim them as our ancestors! No one else! And they lived in ATLANTIS, actually. And Mesopotamia, too, was HERE, in Hungary. "Between two rivers" means between the Danube and Tisza rivers, YES!! *SLAP* *SLAP* *Chloroform*
Most of "history" as we know it today is based on myths and symbols. So even language is effected by that because of the words people are allowed or not allowed to say based on those myths. This is nothing new as most nations clam to the best the best and right based on their myths while also ignoring the real facts and real history of things.

Or to put it in another way