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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2015 7:07 pm 
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This is for all the explorers out there who have a native language other than English, or are particularly knowledgeable about how the D'niverse has been discussed in different languages. Myst/Uru/etc. has a lot of terms with every specific meanings. I have always wondered how those terms are translated into languages besides English.

For example, how do you say 'linking book' in various other languages and what does it mean literally? How about other terms as well, such as 'Age' or 'to link to an Age'.

What about other language details? For example for languages with grammatical gender, what is the gender of Bahro, or KI? Do all Ages fall in the same gender, or does it vary?

Feel free to add interesting tidbits that you think of?

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2015 9:25 pm 
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Almost all of my Myst games are in German (or multilingual, in the case of Myst III and newer) so I can tell you *a lot* about how things were translated to German :)

In the original Myst there weren't a lot of "universe-specific" words that needed to be translated. Linking books were referred to as just "books" ("Buch", "Bücher") as far as I can remember. Ages were also called "ages" ("Zeitalter"), but interestingly their names were not always treated like proper names. Instead for example the Mechanical Age was called "(das) Mechanische Zeitalter", with "mechanisch" being the normal adjective "mechanical". Stoneship Age translated to "(das) Zeitalter der Steinschiffe", which means "(the) Age of the Stoneships", kind of in the same way as you'd say "the age of electronics" in a history context. Selenitic and Channelwood became "(das) Selenitic-Zeitalter" and "(das) "Kanalwald-Zeitalter". Those are almost literal translations. (The translators were perhaps as clueless about the meaning of "Selenitic" as I am.)

In the Riven intro linking books were mentioned the first time specifically. They were called "Verbindungsbuch"/"Verbindungsbücher", which basically means "connecting book". Other than that there was no new terminology. Gehn's way of naming his ages was also somewhat interesting. In German there are no suffixes to denote "item number n". In English you'd write "the 5th Age", but in German you'd just append a dot/period, as in "das 5. Zeitalter". (Before you ask how this works with decimal places, we use commas for that. π ≈ 3,14159) This of course works really well (not) next to D'ni numbers, and somehow "my 233rd Age" became "mein 233" ("my 233").

One thing worth noting is that in Myst and Riven proper names were pronounced like German words, which can't be demonstrated very well written pseudo-English. Imagine hard "r"s and "ch"s everywhere. In Myst III they went full-on English with all proper names. Not sure how exactly they did it in Myst IV and V, but in Uru they went back to German-ish pronunciation. Zandi pronounces Riven like "Rheeven" with an unusually long eee.

The Myst V box text calls Noloben "Noleban" IIRC.

Uru is much bigger than the previous Myst games, so there's a lot more to say about that. Journey Cloths were just called "journeys" ("Reisen"), because Yeesha is the only person who ever gave them a name, and she calls them that. In her first cleft imager speech there is one extra sentence after the "oh yes, not in D'ni" part, which isn't present in the English version. It essentially says, "nevermind, just continue recording." It uses 2nd person plural, as if Yeesha was being filmed by someone, but the German translators for Uru liked to vary with what form was used, so that's unlikely to actually mean anything. The "stream in the cleft" was translated as "(der) Strom in der Spalte", but "Strom" doesn't only refer to water streams, but also to electrical current. This made me think that she referred to you restoring the power in the cleft, instead of the more metaphorical meaning that was intended. The Grower was translated to "(der) Säer", which really means "the Sower".

The DRC remained the DRC, no translation there. The people obviously kept their names as well. Neighborhoods were called "Gemeinde"/"Gemeinden", which is what you'd normally use for the community of a (physical) church. The Great Zero is "(der) Große Nullpunkt", which means "the Great Zero Point", so basically the same thing. The KI is still pronounced the same by Watson, but confusingly "KI" is the abbreviation of "künstliche Intelligenz", which means "artificial intelligence" (AI). I remember an Uru hint book that told an in-character story of an explorer as a form of subtle hint guide, who mocked the KI, saying that he doesn't need an AI to help him solve the puzzles. The Guild of Maintainers became "(die) Gilde der Erhalter", where the verb/adjective "erhalten" doesn't mean "to maintain" as much as "to preserve". Then again, if you said "die Gilde der Warter" that could be misunderstood as "the Guild of Waiters" (as in waiting for Half-Life 3, not the restaurant person who brings you your meal).

Fun fact: the English pronunciation of "Myst" sounds like the German word "Mist", which means "manure" and is also a mild swear word.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2015 1:29 am 
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In French language, we say "un livre de liaison" for "a linking book".

"Étoffes" or "Voyages" for "Journey Clothes" but not the two words together as in English. "Étoffe = cloth", "Voyage = journey".

The general rules is to put everything not ending by a "e" in masculine.

Un bahro, un KI, une étincelle (Sparkly), un marqueur (Marker), une page de Relto (Relto page), un totem (Pillar), une pierre de bahro (Bahro Stone).

Evidently there are some exceptions, we will say un âge (Age) since the word âge is already masculine in French language.

The biggest advantage we have over other native languages is our share of common words with English (around 65% of the common 50,000 words in both languages).
English borrowed from French, Latin, Greek,
French borrowed from English,
Germanic origin of many French words (from old Frank language),
or English & French borrowed same foreign words.

The French language is the most Germanic language amongst the Latin languages & the English language is the most Latin language amongst the Germanic languages.

In other words, we don't feel the need to translate everything or if we do so it's easily understandable by someone from an English background.

If I wrote: "âge de Teledahn", if someone comes to me and say: "What are you trying to say?", I will tell them to change their lenses prescription because anyone can understand what I wrote with no effort.


Other particularities:

Since there are differences between French from France & French from Canada, we might be using different "French word" or different "French intonation (when we speak)" for the same place, or object, or character.

I've learned to say over time: "Le Cleft" (The Cleft) by chatting with French people. Among French Canadians, the natural way would be to say: "Le désert" (The desert). It refers to the same age, it is showing you the different approaches of translation between both cultures (French & French Canadian).

If you ask me how I pronounce place names or object names like: a KI device, Kirel, Teledahn, D'ni-Ae'gura, I make them sound like French nouns with French pronounciation rules. It doesn't imply that every explorer who has French as a native tongue will do that.

In chat, we cannot use French accents so we go by the context of the sentence to decode the missing accents in the texts. We are used to it so it becomes quickly a natural way of writing in "French" so to speak.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2015 2:35 am 
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:mrgreen: These are great responses and just the sort of thing I was interested in hearing about. Thank you!

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2015 3:49 am 
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