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posted by JohnnyAngel on - Viewed by 1.3K users

I notice that Telltale has taken the sadly common shortcut of using a computer translator to produce gibberish Latin. This is a pet peeve of mine. The notes in the book of symbols appear to contain foreboding hints, but anyone who knows enough Latin to pick up on them is going to be annoyed at the headache this mangled nonsense causes.

Tell you what, just tell me what the original english was that you typed into the autotranslate, and I'll tell you how it should go in Latin.

  • While I generally share your concerns about the poor usage of Latin in games, it should be noticed that TWAU is set in a world of Fables, where gibberish reminiscent of Latin is only fitting. Also I highly doubt that the in-game text was produced by an automatic translator, since (if I recall correctly) it featured words that could never exist in Latin. That said, yes, I would rather see that book in plain old Latin 'cause it's attention to detail that I admire the most in a work of fiction. But that's just me.

    • Well, there are words that are simply English words that were never translated, such as 'depictions' and naturally 'galumphing'. Computer translators don't bother translating anything they don't understand. And a person who was looking at an English-Latin dictionary would be unlikely to choose pannus to refer to a garment rather than vestimenta or vestes. And why are title headings often in the accusative?

      Interestingly, Google's Translate gives vorpalem for 'vorpal'. Somebody must have trained it in that. Notice that the bad translation that the game gives for these lines from Jabberwocky:

      Unum alterum! Unum alterum! Ex per perque
      Vorpalem in ferrum intravit Snicker-Snak!

      Is very similar to the mess Google Translate makes of the same verses:

      Unum duorum! Unum duorum! Et per perque
      Vorpalem in ferrum intravit snicker-PARS!

      Google Translate also fails to select the obvious cucullus for 'hood' instead leaves the word untranslated. This tale has in fact already been translated to Latin, where the girl's name has been rendered Lacernella Rubra. Also, there are already multiple translations of Jabberwocky to choose from.

      Also, the monkey refers to the inscription about the donkey skin girl as being in Elven. So perhaps we were not meant to see this as necessarily in Latin at all, except that the words are unmistakably Latin, though selected and declined haphazardly.

      Occasionally you get something that makes sense as written:

      Hoc ordine a magno malo nos defendat.

      "By this order, may he defend us from the big bad." This suggested to me that Bigby was in for trouble from the Arthurian legends, otherwise not mentioned yet in the story. If this was only meant to be quickly-generated filler text, why that detail? But if it was meant as a clue, it would only be meaningful to people who would otherwise get a headache from attempting to make sense of the rest of this flummery.

      • Okay, that's convincing evidence. So, if by some random twist of fate Telltale decides to comply with fans wishing for grammatically correct Latin in their games, I would gladly participate in the translation and\or revision.

      • Well, at least amidst the morass of ye olde Latin, they've got their bleeding optative subjunctives in order, eh?

        Seeing Grendel features in this game, it should be fun to imagine the result if they should try their hands at Anglo-Saxon. A 'wesaþ ge€ ha€le' to them I suppose if they attempt to confront that monster.

  • At least it didn't say, "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet". didn't, right? I don't actually remember.

  • No, it didn't, although I kind of wish it did now. You can't go wrong with classic, you know...

  • I think Telltale are the worst game company at translating. They just love english too much.

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