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Toward a Better Kralorela

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8 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

Sounds a little like Cantonese. I forget where they talk like that. I don't think it's Hamburg but . . . 

Possibly Cologne, the city that cannot pronounce the g sound in guitar (turning it into a "y" as in "Yiddish" or the J in my name). Ham"burch" has its own weird melange with low German when you aren't talking to old hanseatic upper crust, but I can deal quite well with that southern dialect (from my perspective, at least...)

Edited by Joerg
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11 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

well yes

the people i feel bad for are the people who have to learn it as a second language, it's batshit, who wants to learn a language with such a remarkably ridiculous number of vowels and even more ridiculous number of diphthongs.

That would be my job....

It's not the number of vowels or diphthongs... It's the lack of consistency in rules (including pronunciation).

I've recently been giving my kids sheets of irregular simple past tense words... And even the irregular have irregularities!

So, I'm happy to admit that English is a stupid language to be "the world language"!

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On 7/27/2019 at 1:28 PM, Ali the Helering said:

Further up & further in? The implication seems to be that that means 'better'.        It ain't necessarily so. 🤔

That's actually not what I meant.  C.S. Lewis (and, by extension, Roger Zelazny) -- successively greater truths lie within, not externally.  Players reveal them by playing the game, not by kibitzing purely fictitious, regularly conflicting, and often arbitrary literary sources.  That's the stuff of fanzines and listservs.

!i!

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21 hours ago, Shiningbrow said:

Isn't that what you get in the UK? River Avon is like river-river... And other silliness after translation.

Torpenrow Hill is "hill hill hill hill". I've heard that there are even worse examples.

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40 minutes ago, Ian Absentia said:

That's actually not what I meant.  C.S. Lewis (and, by extension, Roger Zelazny) -- successively greater truths lie within, not externally.  Players reveal them by playing the game, not by kibitzing purely fictitious, regularly conflicting, and often arbitrary literary sources.  That's the stuff of fanzines and listservs.

!i!

Your argument would hold absolute sway if this were one of the game forum threads, whereas it is specifically the Glorantha page. 

These threads relate to the varied, conflicting, oft-Gregged and utterly fictitious literary sources. I am happy to talk Zelazny and the Amber DRPG till your ears bleed (ask my family), but not on the Glorantha forum. 

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6 hours ago, Ali the Helering said:

Your argument would hold absolute sway if this were one of the game forum threads, whereas it is specifically the Glorantha page. 

These threads relate to the varied, conflicting, oft-Gregged and utterly fictitious literary sources.

Yeah, well, then you takes whats you gets.  Enjoy the ride!

!i!

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I was a bit upset to see Creekstream River get noted as a ludicrous example, since I was delighted when I realized how it was a toponym that was logically built up from its surrounding toponymy, ie. it is a combination of eponymous waterways.

This seemed like a great example of down-to-earth, solid place-naming of a practical, rugged people, and so helped made the world feel solid and tangible.*

On the other side from Oslo in the Oslofjord lies a place called "Nesoddtangen", which in Norwegian translates roughly to "Promontory-Headland-Cape". So I guess I was somewhat primed for linguistic ridiculousness.

What I DON'T want is every bloody Kralorelan place name to be translated to "TIGER/PHOENIX/DRAGON PLACE OF SERENE CONTEMPLATION AND WEIRDLY LIMITED ORIENTALIST VOCABULARY". The vast majority of places in Kralorela, just like anywhere else, is going to be called stuff like "Hill by the River", "Village by the Pond", "Mountain with Snow on the Top", "Hog Town", "Ruler's Fortress", "Place for Animal Slaughter", "Where Flowers Grow", "Row of Trees" etc.

Personally, I think the train has long gone for a truly pseudo-sinic Kralorela in terms of language. This is simply due to Greg's consistent inconsistency. "Hsing-ren" or whatever is all fine and dandy, but it's a bit odd when you have it next to words with complex consonant clusters like "skr" and such (which I *think* is not even phonologically possible in Mandarin, though I could be wrong). Basically: throw in more decidedly non-sinic phonemes and sound. It's already non-consistent, so it doesn't really matter. I mean, does anyone here really think "Godunya" sounds "authentically" Chinese? Taktari? Yanoor?

Anyway, I would like to add that there's been a lot of interesting ideas here, and perhaps even more importantly, a lot of critical and reflexive thinking and writing, with a lot of food for thought.

(*There was some discussion earlier on language-use in Central and Western Genertela, and I felt like noting that Orlanthi/Heortling lands are definitely *heavily* steeped in pseudo-Germanic phonemes. Orlanth is basically a twisted version of "Erlend", a Scandinavian male name, and Ernalda has "ald", a Germanic name suffix. "Wyter" might be an imaginary word, but it sounds like it was literally copied off a page in the Domesday book or something. And then we have terms like Fyrd, Thane, Moot, Weapontake, etc. which are straight up literal Germanic terms. Nowadays some of this terminology is being phased out, and the art direction has moved from Dark Age England to a mix of Hellenic and Mycaenean Greece & Eastern Mediterranean. So a bit of a hodgepodge of influences, but overall serving to get across the kinds of cultures we're dealing with. I personally have *no* problem with terms like "Minister", or whatever being used in Kralorela. It surely can't be worse than calling the regional rulers of the World Council "Directors", or a leader of Pentan Horse Nomads "Sultan".)

Edited by Sir_Godspeed
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11 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Personally, I think the train has long gone for a truly pseudo-sinic Kralorela in terms of language. This is simply due to Greg's consistent inconsistency. "Hsing-ren" or whatever is all fine and dandy, but it's a bit odd when you have it next to words with complex consonant clusters like "skr" and such (which I *think* is not even phonologically possible in Mandarin, though I could be wrong). Basically: throw in more decidedly non-sinic phonemes and sound. It's already non-consistent, so it doesn't really matter.

One approach might be to treat some of the words we have now as lousy transliterations from Vithelan to Western script, where the pronunciations got garbled and the names became what some would consider goofy. Other "errors" might have been deliberately introduced to consolidate the NDR within the yanoorite language while making it difficult for rival imperial predators to gain access. Then when the belt buckle man overthrows them he institutes his own linguistic reforms to make sure they don't come back, further confusing the historical record. 

So call things there what you want . . . what is sticky will stick. The rest is like a dream experience, here and then gone.

Edited by scott-martin
སྐུ་མདུན་
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4 hours ago, scott-martin said:

One approach might be to treat some of the words we have now as lousy transliterations from Vithelan to Western script, where the pronunciations got garbled and the names became what some would consider goofy. Other "errors" might have been deliberately introduced to consolidate the NDR within the yanoorite language while making it difficult for rival imperial predators to gain access. Then when the belt buckle man overthrows them he institutes his own linguistic reforms to make sure they don't come back, further confusing the historical record. 

So call things there what you want . . . what is sticky will stick. The rest is like a dream experience, here and then gone.

Much as the Kralori might wish to deny it, linguistic influences don't all flow in one direction. The Imperial tongue is known to have been deliberately constructed from regional languages. Each of these will have been influenced by the other cultures amidst and around them. 

I make a small list to include Dragonewt draconic, Hsunchen tongues & dialects, Embyli, Teshnan, Pentan dialects and Stultan. 

Y Kralori language WV😳

Edited by Ali the Helering
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One reason the "Creekstream" comes across as ridiculous is that both the Creek and the Stream are major, navigable tributaries to the Skyfall River, wirh lesser rivers like e.g. the Chorms as tributaries.

How would you translate Creekstream into Norwegian? "Lita elv-bekk"?

29 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

This seemed like a great example of down-to-earth, solid place-naming of a practical, rugged people, and so helped made the world feel solid and tangible.*

There is the myth about Sky River Titan leaping down from the sky, and being joined by his two brothers, both of which refer to the tiniest of flowing waters when they are veritable navigable waterways instead.

(Given the permanent torrent above Skyfall Lake, I wonder about the headwaters of Creek (in the Redstones) and Stream (in the Quivins). Should they have their own permanent rainclouds, too?)

29 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

On the other side from Oslo in the Oslofjord lies a place called "Nesoddtangen", which in Norwegian translates roughly to "Promontory-Headland-Cape". So I guess I was somewhat primed for linguistic ridiculousness.

Little surprising in a place that basically was called "market place" at first (Kaupang).

45 words for snow... most languages (and most geographical regions) are limited in the number of names for such geographic features. Which shows in the translation problems.

29 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

What I DON'T want is every bloody Kralorelan place name to be translated to "TIGER/PHOENIX/DRAGON PLACE OF SERENE CONTEMPLATION AND WEIRDLY LIMITED ORIENTALIST VOCABULARY". The vast majority of places in Kralorela, just like anywhere else, is going to be called suff like "Hill by the River", "Village by the Pond", "Mountain with Snow on the Top", "Hog Town", "Ruler's Fortress", "Place for Animal Slaughter", "Where Flowers Grow", "Row of Trees" etc.

The typical settlement name is "our place", with "our" possibly but not necessarily replaced ny a name. There may be qualifiers like "fortress", "clearing", "valley", "ford", but then simply chaining them into a single word is a very Germanic linguistic trait. (Saying that writing in a city that originally was "city on the wedge"m with "city" in Latin rather than German.)

 

29 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Personally, I think the train has long gone for a truly pseudo-sinic Kralorela in terms of language. This is simply due to Greg's consistent inconsistency. "Hsing-ren" or whatever is all fine and dandy, but it's a bit odd when you have it next to words with complex consonant clusters like "skr" and such (which I *think* is not even phonologically possible in Mandarin, though I could be wrong). Basically: throw in more decidedly non-sinic phonemes and sound. It's already non-consistent, so it doesn't really matter. I mean, does anyone here really think "Godunya" sounds "authentically" Chinese? Taktari? Yanoor?

Godunya is another Nochet/Waha moment in Gloranthan naming.

 

29 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

(*There was some discussion earlier on language-use in Central and Western Genertela, and I felt like noting that Orlanthi/Heortling lands are definitely *heavily* steeped in pseudo-Germanic phonemes.

They are coming from a speaker of English, after all. I don't design names with sounds I cannot pronounce, like klicks. Those formative phoneme-learning months in infancy cannot be repeated at a later age. Watch a majority of learners of English struggle with the "th" sound, or about any foreigner struggling "with the Scandinavian "kj".

29 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Orlanth is basically a twisted version of "Erlend", a Scandinavian male name, and Ernalda as "ald", a Germanic name suffix.

A closing th is quite distinctive for Gloranthan (or Theyalan) naming, and doesn't occur in any Germanic dialect I have ever heard.

29 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

"Wyter" might be an imaginary word, but it sounds like it was literally copied off a page in the Domesday book or something. And then we have terms like Fyrd, Thane, Moot, Weapontake, etc. which are straight up literal Germanic terms.

Actually they are Old English terms, which makes sense - when you want to make terms sound archaic, you often turn to archaic, out of use forms of your own language. In German, one would use strong word stems rather than the flattened weak ones which have successively replaced the strong ones, and you would use flection way stronger. (The German term "Haithabu" is said to be the contemporary genitive form of Hedeby)

 

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3 hours ago, Joerg said:

(Given the permanent torrent above Skyfall Lake, I wonder about the headwaters of Creek (in the Redstones) and Stream (in the Quivins). Should they have their own permanent rainclouds, too?)

Probably not; the constant downpour into Skyfall Lake is the manifestation of the terrible wound the Sky-River Titan sustained, which neither of his brothers suffered anything similar to as far as we know.

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Joerg, I think that picking apart comments to comment on the individual sequences detracts somewhat from being able to look at the bigger picture. The Sky River Titan myth is not particularly pertinent to the comment I made, nor is the number of Norwegian words for snow or whatever (which is actually potentially infinite because of how compounding languages work, but that's besides the point). If my post's overall point was poorly made, I apologize, but I'm trying to keep things at least somewhat focused and can't really go into explaining how Kaupang was actually by Larvik, not Oslo, or how Mandarin also does compounding depending on transliteration, like in "Beijing" (Northern Capital). These do not really serve to get the larger points across, so will have to go undiscussed for now.

 

4 hours ago, Joerg said:

Actually they are Old English terms, which makes sense - when you want to make terms sound archaic, you often turn to archaic, out of use forms of your own language. In German, one would use strong word stems rather than the flattened weak ones which have successively replaced the strong ones, and you would use flection way stronger. (The German term "Haithabu" is said to be the contemporary genitive form of Hedeby)

 

Old English is Germanic. Lawspeaker is Anglisized Old Norse, which is as we all know also Germanic. Anyway, the point was that a lot of Greg's Orlanthi terms were made to sound either pseudo-Germanic or he and other writers straight up used terms borrowed from Germanic languages (most commonly modernized Old English).  The ending "nth" is flavorful, I agree, but does not change the entire nature of the sound the language gives off.

(There are also some strong deviations from this norm, like Pyjeemsab, which could be attributed to dialect differences, word borrowing, or just overall Gloranthan linguistic inconsistency, all of which I'm at peace with, generally).

------

Anyway, the use of this convention for the Orlanthi (perhaps Heortlings in particular) is convenient for English-speakers, since Old English carries certain connotations that you can play with, either using it to guide and help the readers' imagination, or to subvert the expectation to help them understand that they shouldn't take Glorantha's differences for granted.

Doing this for someplace like Kralorela is more difficult. Using real-life Chinese, or faux-Chinese really only gets the point across to English (or German, or Norwegian, etc.)-speakers that "oh, so it's China, I get it", which may or may not be the result creators want. Altering the phonemes possible in Kralorelan place names might be an interesting take - but then we get the issue of a) whether this comes off as culturally insensitive, or b) whether it's simply too difficult and cost-ineffective in the long or short term. Worldbuilding is a craft, and crafting takes time and money.

I generally agree with Joerg on the point that "what's there is there", though I believe there is lots of room to work in stuff in the large gaps that currently exist.

Also, on the "there's 56 ethnicities in China" that has been brought up  - let's not forget that Kralorela is the size of Sweden or California. Diversity, certainly, but the scale is smaller than our Eurasian referents.

Edited by Sir_Godspeed

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13 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

 

Old English is Germanic, c'mon. A lot of Greg's Orlanthi terms were used to sound either pseudo-Germanic or straight up used terms borrowed from Germanic languages (most commonly modernized Old English).  The ending "nth" is flavorful, I agree, but does not change the entire nature of the sound the language gives off.

------

Anyway, the use of this convention for the Orlanthi (perhaps Heortlings in particular) is convenient for English-speakers, since Old English carries certain connotations that you can play with, either using it to guide and help the readers' imagination, or to subvert the expectation to help them understand that they shouldn't take Glorantha's differences for granted.

Doing this for someplace like Kralorela is more difficult. Using real-life Chinese, or faux-Chinese really only gets the point across to English (or German, or Norwegian, etc.)-speakers that "oh, so it's China, I get it", which may or may not be the result creators want. Altering the phonemes possible in Kralorelan place names might be an interesting take - but then we get the issue of a) whether this comes off as culturally insensitive, or b) whether it's simply too difficult and cost-ineffective in the long or short term. Worldbuilding is a craft, and crafting takes time and money.

Also, on the "there's 56 ethnicities in China" that has been brought up  - let's not forget that Kralorela is the size of Sweden or California. Diversity, certainly, but the scale is smaller than our Eurasian referents.

 

Amen 😇

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16 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

"Wyter" might be an imaginary word, but it sounds like it was literally copied off a page in the Domesday book or something.

Not far off: in Old and Middle English wyter means 'wise', and in some contexts might refer to a wise spirit.

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11 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Also, on the "there's 56 ethnicities in China" that has been brought up  - let's not forget that Kralorela is the size of Sweden or California. Diversity, certainly, but the scale is smaller than our Eurasian referents.

There's actually more than 56 ethnicities in China; those are just the ones officially recognized by the government. Scholars estimate perhaps as many as 200.

And if we're talking about something the size of California... I mean, prior to European contact, the indigenous populations of what is now California were divided into many very distinct cultures, speaking a huge number of distinct languages and dialects. Even people trying to boil it down to the largest groupings possible still means talking about around 30 or so different cultures.

California_tribes_&_languages_at_contact.png

Edited by Leingod
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1 hour ago, Leingod said:

[map is above, saving bandwidth]

You know what? Flip Genertela or flip North America and I just realized what that skinny coastal strip on the far side of the Sierra Nevada really is. Top post of the month!

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On 8/1/2019 at 11:04 AM, Sir_Godspeed said:

but it's a bit odd when you have it next to words with complex consonant clusters like "skr" and such (which I *think* is not even phonologically possible in Mandarin, though I could be wrong).

You are correct. 

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16 hours ago, scott-martin said:

You know what? Flip Genertela or flip North America and I just realized what that skinny coastal strip on the far side of the Sierra Nevada really is. Top post of the month!

Are you suggesting that the Kingdom of Ignorance corresponds to SoCal?  Because I'll contribute to that campaign fund.

!i!

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I found this while searching for a map of the Kingdom of Ignorance. I don't know who made it, but accuracy level is high.

 

 

1483973885064.jpg

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5 hours ago, Ian Absentia said:

Are you suggesting that the Kingdom of Ignorance corresponds to SoCal?  Because I'll contribute to that campaign fund.

The alternative is Too Awful To Contemplate, isn't it? What the thunder initially told me was that CRALO was simply horizontally flipped and then wedged on the far end of the Wastes when he wanted a place to put that idyllic narrow strip of mountain-bounded coastline. That's where he met the in-laws and encountered their food. 

But you're right, once it was there the rest of the coast would have traced in around it. I keep getting a weird parallax . . . most of the time SEATAC maps onto Fethlon and Inherent Vice is up north, but some of the details do their own vertical flip in order to hide the serial numbers. (Sadly I have not seen a pre-1978 map positioning Kralorela and don't know if one exists.)

I guess it depends on how Aztec you want the Black Sun to be and whether that's problematic. 

It's funny because pondering this also cements the old wisdom that the People's Republic of Loskalm maps onto the Bay Area so there's a right-side-up California on the left coast as well. In this model SEATAC is clearly SOG and L.A. met its Edgar Cayce fate.

Then there's the third California hidden right there in plain sight, "CARO FINELA" or "KALIFORNEE." Center of the world, sacred mountain, where all the action is.

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a) It's adorable how you refer to cities by airports.

b) Glorantha has always been a grab-bag of '70s stoner humor.

!I!

Edited by Ian Absentia
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