Re: Read languages(runes) skill

From: ShadowLord (
Date: 04/29/96

On Mon, 29 Apr 1996, George wrote:

> For non-proficiency you could use the CRYPT()...That'd be about
> realistic :)

	How would that be realistic.  Let's examine real languages for a
minute.  I speak English and perhaps I don't know any Spanish [I know a
some Spanish actually, but for the sake of this example, I don't know any]
and I hear some people speaking Spanish near me...  I hear:

	?que estacionamento de radio es este?
 	[what radio station is this?]

	Look at the word for "radio".  Look at the word for "is".  If
someone that didn't speak Spanish heard these words, you're going to tell
me they wouldn't understand them?  Granted, "radio" is pronounced
differently (rah-dee-oh in Spanish), but it's fairly easy to decipher from
any intellectual person's standpoint.  Many other words in the language
are similar to English, too.  Why shouldn't I understand them?  Why should
I see some encrypted text instead of the word I heard?

	Okay, so it is impossible to emulate real languages through text
(well, you could, but it'd take one hell of a long time to write in one
language :P), and granted, not all langages have things in common because
they are not descendants of one another.
	I wouldn't even think of asking someone to write a whole new
language completely, with grammar rules, etc. for the sake of their MUD to
be "realistic", but to suggest that scrambling text up is "realistic" is
the most unrealistic train of thought I've ever heard expressed.
	BTW, if you decide to use scrambling/encrypting the text (which I
suggest, despite my doubting it's "realistic qualities"), don't use
crypt().  It would look downright stupid to have numbers in your

	Personally, I offer some better methods than encrypting the text
(and/or randomly picking out words to not encrypt because they know some
of the language).

x Make it a "bool".  You either know the language, or you don't.  Simple,
  but far from realistic.

x Make parts of languages ranging from easy-to-comprehend to difficult
  and the higher learning in the language the more difficult things to
  comprehend come around.  You'd have to scramble the text or whatnot
  for this as well.

x Roll to see if it should show the message or just, "Argyle says some
  gibberish, possibly in a different tongue."; eg:

  for (tch = world[ch->in_room].people; tch; tch = tch->next_in_room)
    if (number(1, 101) >= GET_SKILL(tch, SKILL_SPANISH))
      act("$n says something in another tongue.", FALSE, ch, 0, tch, TO_VICT);
      act(buf, FALSE, ch, 0, tch, TO_VICT);

  That's simple code; slightly more realistic than a boolean way, less
  realistic than language-segments of varying levels of comprehension.
  In any case, randomly scrambing/unscrambling words to make it seem like
  a different language is less realistic, because why should I know the
  word, "is" once and then not know it the next time someone says "is" in
  the same language?!

	Anyway, good luck.  Take whatever means suits you.  Personally,
striving for a realistic language system can be fun and then it can reach
overkill.  Make sure you test the water before leaping in and possably
scalding yourself.


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