Gw Temp


Article - 'Creating Complex Languages' by Guest

An item about Miscellanious posted on Aug 8, 2003


A follow on to the "basic languages" article, showing how to give your RPG another level of depth


Welcome to the second half of my Developing Small Languages guide. This is to do with the more advanced aspects of language. I had to do a bit of research with this, and it was rushed - so bare with me please! This guide is if you want to go into more detail with your game's languages. I've heard people call these 'model languages'.

First we'll have the definition of Language:

lan|guage (lang'gwij), n. 1) human speech, spoken or written.

Well, thats all really simple but in actual fact, languages are complete and organized, with many rules and guidelines to follow. This includes the language most of us speak, English.

Lets take a look at the 'model language' from the well-known RPG, Final Fantasy X. There was more to this than just letters swapped around. Rules such as not translating keywords such as proper nouns (names, locations, things), some minor nouns and subjects were implanted, special pronounciations and other rules. If you want your language to really come to life, you should add rules and such to them.

Lets begin constructing a language, we'll be using a language I developed for one of my first ever (unreleased) projects, Delta Triad. This language was Wolven, and though I've lost a lot of the documentation I had on it (reformatted my computer recently) I still have the basic rules and configuration in my head. So lets go!


The Guide!



First we'll develop a few basic words for our language. In Wolven, there was not much system for basic

words like I, You, They and We. The words were all seperate in fact. Lets take a look at them.

I -> Ki (K-ee)

You -> Ka (K-ah)

You (Plural) -> Ke (K-eh)

They - Kare (K-ah-reh)

We -> Kine (K-ee-neh)

Unfortunately, we can't actually develop so much as a phrase from these words. So now we'll begin

developing some words to add on to the above. This is where we introduce some grammar rules to follow,

so that the language is well-structured and easy to understand, and at the same time - unique. What all

languages should be.

Here is an example of an important Wolven grammar rule:

English: That man over there has a powerful blade.

Wolven: Jukïro surae ovu inada kuna anou.

A Wolven grammar rule is that the noun or object goes first (In this case the 'powerful blade' or 'jukïro surae'),

the subject goes last ('that man' or 'kuna anou') and whatever else is in between. Words like 'that' (kuna) and

adjectives can be put in front of nouns and subjects to define where they are, what they are and what they

look like. Lets have a few more sentances here.

English: I have learned how to use my spear.

Wolven: Kio gourde linoka kudo ku vïk ki.

English: I am stronger than you.

Wolven: Ka amu jukïrak kunn ki.

Okay, now that examples it settled. Lets move onto the next part. Pronounciation. If your language has its own

alphabet, I can't exactly help you there as most of my languages use a slightly-different English alphabet. For

those of you who wish to just use the English alphabet, listen up! Pronounciation is an important part of a

language, mostly to read and speak it, and also to learn it. I won't go through the whole alphabet with you,

but here are the vowels:

A/a is pronounced 'Ay as in play'.

Ä/ä is pronounced 'Ah as in car'.

E/e is pronounced 'Ee as in bee'.

Ë/ë is pronounced 'Eh as in left'.

I/i is proncounced 'I as in irrational'.

Ï/ï is pronounced 'Eye as in die'.

O/o is pronounced 'O as in octagon'.

Ö/ö is pronounced 'Oh as in hello'.

Ø/ø is pronounced 'Ooo as in boot'.

U/u is pronounced 'Uh as in umbrella'.

Ü/ü is pronounced 'You as in unicycle'.

Wolven has pronounciations for nearly every letter. Notice how it uses some special symbols? Since

Wolven is pronounced the way it looks (much like Italian), it needs different letters for different

pronounciations of the same letter. Another thing is that A isnt called... A... in Wolven. Each letter

has a different name, including symbols like Ü (Üki) and Ø (Øra).

Wolven also renames all the numbers, so they are not One and Two, they are Unek ikae Daku.

The last thing I will cover is creating your own symbols for the alphabet (the rm2k symbols could be

changed to use them in messages). Wolven's symbols were never completed, and probably never

will be, but much like Japanese or Chinese, there were the romanized version (Romako) - which is the

one you see above - and the symbolized verson (Garïkø).

It can actually add to a realistic language that adds a lot of depth to your story and characters.


Well, thats all for this small but hopefully helpful guide on making a more in depth language for your games

and RP sessions too! ;]

Until the next time I write (A few minutes after I finish this prolly :P), cya!