Re: Read languages(runes) skill

From: Brian Pape (
Date: 04/30/96

(note about this message: top half is a response to someone who knows
nothing about languages, the second half is a (hopefully) reasonably
intelligent comment on what I feel about muds languages, and isn't a flame
at all)

> > Evidentally you've never heard a foreign language...  You might be able to
> > understand small portions of another romance language, but try, for
> > instance, to tell me what someone is saying in Vietnamese...  Unless you
> > know the language, you wouldn't have a clue.
> 	Excuse me?  Who said anything about UNDERSTANDING what the person
> said?  You obviously, aren't adept at comprehending English.  I said
> nothing about understanding the person, what I did say was that it was
> possible to distinguish where one ends and another begins by the pauses in
> their speach in combintaion with a bit of common sense and fleuncy check.
> Although it's not exactly fool proof, I can 75% of the time figure it out.

As I said, you've evidentally never heard a foreign language...  You might
possibly be able to determine word seperation with a language that is
similar to english (although from your post, you would probably have a
tough time with a regional U.S. accent, let alone another language).  In
reality, it is virtually impossible to distinguish one word from another
in a language that you are unfamiliar with, unless the speaker conciously
seperates one word from another to accomodate you.  As food for thought
(if you're capable of intelligent thought?) find someone who speaks a
foreign language that you don't know, have them speak to you in a
conversational pace for 30 seconds, and then try to determine how many
words they said, along with any meaning you can derive (which you alluded
to in your previous off-base post).

> 	In addition, why are you talking about real languages?  To a point

That was the point of this entire (useless) thread, comparing muds
languages to ``real'' languages.

- - - - -

At any rate, I have no idea what you are trying to prove...  On my muds I
simply generate a random character string, with repeated random character
seperation to indicate that words are being spoken, but the receiver can't
understand them.  When learning another language, we begin to randomly
integrate the garbled output with the actual text the character is
speaking, until they fully understand it.  We however allow all characters
to speak common 100% as a default skill (actually we do have a few races
that have problems with this, but they are a special case), and give each
race their own language.  Depending on intelligence and other attributes,
characters can learn multiple languages.

I think the 'hello there' == 'hxxxo txhxxx' method is not particularly
advantageous for a muds.  The 'hello there' == 'dfjks dfh dla' method is
very simplistic, but a bit more 'realistic'.  The 'hello there' ==
'lother' method (which requires a smart algorithm, along with some basic
phonetic/phoneme databases for each language) can be the most interesting,
as it lets you approximate the sounds of different languages to another
language.  Depending on the values you choose, certain languages will be
fairly puzzleable, while others will essentially come out as garbage.
This is a method that I have partially written for my muds, and seems to
generate a fair amount of interest.

Brian Pape
Reign of Towers

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