Jump to content

Simulating ancient/translated languages...example included


Recommended Posts

Just daydreaming a bit on 'ancient texts' and the difficulty of translating them. On a lark, I grabbed a famous bit of text, used babelfish to translate it to korea, then translate it back.

Can you guess what it was? (And how challenged will you parties be, if you provide clues/instructions in an ancient language?):

In score 4 and before 7 years in this continent and the new nation, is thought from freedom, all people equally in proposition, was created our father whom comes to be given. Now we think and that nation or anyone nation so we give from the civil war which is serious examines the thing which wears out like this, long will endure we participate. We come to meet in the battlefield which the warfare is serious. We in order for came in order to give the part of the field, at the final resting place for the people who gives their life which that nation does not know not to live from here. The whole we this is suitable and is suitable. From a but, bigger feeling, we is not a possibility of giving -- We will not be able to dedicate -- We holy is not a possibility of doing -- This ground. Fought hard from here, the man who is brave, existence and dying added and up it, far the force which us whom damages is meager dedicated. The world the enemy week, we say from here long is not and in order to remember with, but the possibility of forgetting assuredly from here is not. Respects us existence, rather, fights from here and is like this till now and nobly is about Huaihe in the incomplete work which advances coming to give from here. From here remains it on the front of us and gives in fine business and respects us who are a qualitative thing rather is -- From the lion which gives this honor we have and them who increase the devotion which goes last in the cause which gives the devotion which is sufficient -- Us this lion which decides highly from here to be vain and from the point will not die -- To this nation, in the providence lower part, freedom there will be new birth -- And that government of the people, in compliance with the people, from the endurance for the people, will not die in cry of distress.

The Gettysburg Address.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice. ;D

My own way of confusing players with ancient texts is to use normal texts, but

to replace some of the common words and phrases with archaic ones from Me-

dieval German, with a meaning which is either unknown today, or has changed

a lot over the centuries. As a result the text usually seems to make perfect sen-

se, it is just not entirely clear what that sense is. As an example, in modern Ger-

man a "Schalk" is a witty person who likes to tell jokes, while in Medieval German

a "Schalk" was a dangerous criminal.

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This seems like a useful idea... maybe do a few different Babelfish reverse translations... give the PCs the better or worse one depending on their translation skill. (go from English to Korean to German to Portuguese to English for a botch).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Personally, I like to mix and match different languages...but as I am sometimes in a quite a competent and linguistical diverse group (especially PbeM) - I use Drow


Usually throws most Cthulhu players for a loop. Also really simulates what an arcane text might actually sound like.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...