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Language translations for leader sayings

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by Morningcalm, Aug 8, 2016.

  1. Zaarin

    Zaarin Chief Medical Officer, DS9

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    Since in the game he speaks Akkadian not Sumerian, literally anyone capable of speaking Sumerian would be better at speaking Sumerian. :p

    It's true that most of what we know about Sumerian is viewed through the lens of Akkadian, but that doesn't mean we know nothing about it. We have a reasonably sized corpus and as fair an understanding of its phonology as one could wish, under the circumstances. They could have hired a scholar versed in Sumerian about as easily as one versed in Akkadian, and generally speaking they'll be the same people--I doubt there are any Sumerologists who aren't also Assyriologists due to how much larger the Akkadian corpus is.

    Speaking Assyrian Neo-Aramaic might help understand the grammar a little (maybe you've heard the joke: the easiest Semitic language to learn is the third one), but it won't help with pronunciation as Neo-Aramaic has pharyngealized emphatics and a generally very different phonology from Akkadian. Classical Arabic might actually be grammatically closer, but the phonology wouldn't be any closer. As far as being able to pronounce Akkadian, hiring a Georgian or other Caucasian might be the best bet. In the end, if you want someone who can pronounce a dead language, you want a linguist or you want an actor with a language coach. Gilgamesh's actor butchers the pronunciation and pronounces a Sumerogram literally (not sure how familiar with Akkadian you are, but Sumerograms are logograms that stand for a word in Sumerian but meant to be read in Akkadian--so when Gilgamesh reads as "ki engi" he should read it as "Šumeru").

    Sweden and the US actually have higher Assyrian populations than the Middle East due to heavy emigration from their homeland, but like I said no variety of Neo-Aramaic is particularly similar to Akkadian.
     
  2. Red Khan

    Red Khan Warlord

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    Zaarin, thanks for the answer.

    Never heard it, but as a person who had a couple of attempts at Arabic can totally relate to it. :lol:

    Oh, that's some major screw up. But as we can see from the blog entry of the translator who did Darius's Aramaic, translator are not present during the recording process.
    My guess it was the same for Civ6, since Saladin's pep talk has one misread word due to lack of vowel marks and Qin Shi Huang's VA misread one character in "Declare war" line. If the translators would be present they would certainly have corrected the voice actors.
     
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  3. Zaarin

    Zaarin Chief Medical Officer, DS9

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    Yeah, I've attempted Syriac and, briefly, Turoyo (a type of Neo-Aramaic) before discovering I have horrible self-motivation. :p I do want to try again, though.

    I really think that would be helpful.
     
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  4. Red Khan

    Red Khan Warlord

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    And by the looks of it she doesn't have any Mayan heritage. Another comment from the same user:
    If this is true, it is some really lazy casting.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2020
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  5. Lord Lakely

    Lord Lakely Unintentionally a feminist.

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    Or, if they're going to bother with hiring a scholar to write the lines, have the scholar coach the VA during the recording so they make fewer (or ideally, zero) mistakes?

    Still, I prefer the VA in Civ 6 by a lot. Civ 5's leaders often sounded dead on the inside a few exceptions (Catherine, Theodora, Pocatello) notwithstanding.
     
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  6. Red Khan

    Red Khan Warlord

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    Why not? They do all of it already except for the coaching part.

    I think that's because their approach changed - if for Civ5 they were trying to find somebody nearby (Canada or USA) and only then searching abroad, for Civ6 they are were starting by finding somebody abroad - for Philip they bothered to cast an actual Spaniard from Spain and record him there. And it seems that Victoria's VA is actually British.

    @Morningcalm can you please add the following note to Saladin's "Declares War line?
     
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  7. Zaarin

    Zaarin Chief Medical Officer, DS9

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    That would be helpful. Maybe they could gently offer Sean Bean a few pointers while they're at it. :mischief:

    Oh, yeah, on the whole Civ6 has done a much better job. And despite my quibbling above, on the whole Civ6 has done a better job of finding people who speak the right language (unlike Civ5 where Ramesses spoke Arabic and Boudicca spoke Welsh and so forth); there are simply some cases where they could have found someone who spoke their language better (an example: Ashurbanipal spoke Akkadian much better than Gilgamesh does).
     
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  8. Guandao

    Guandao Rajah of Minyue and Langkasuka

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    Ok, I think it might just be the first initials of her first name, 2 middle names, and surname. I hope a Swedish person can identify her oneday.

    I wonder why Pacal's VA didn't help translate his dialogue when someone here contacted him on Twitter, if he was a fluent speaker.

    @Zaarin, what language would you have Boudicca speak instead? I don't think Brittonic is well attested. I'm seen some guy on Wikipedia claiming the Iceni were Germanic speakers instead of Celtic.
     
  9. Morningcalm

    Morningcalm Keeper of Records

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    @Red Khan, added that additional note--thanks! You must know Saladin quite well by now after doing that research. :)
     
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  10. Zaarin

    Zaarin Chief Medical Officer, DS9

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    British isn't attested at all, in fact. My choices in order would be: 1) British Latin (probably not her first language, but she undoubtedly spoke it); 2) Gaulish (how closely it was related to British is a matter of debate, but close enough); 3) Old or Medieval Welsh (Old Welsh is somewhat sparsely attested, but Middle Welsh has a rich corpus); 3b) reconstructed Common British (I'd actually prefer this to Old Welsh and there are plenty of scholars who could do it without a problem, but Firaxis has shown themselves by and large unwilling to use reconstructed languages, with the sole exception of Cleopatra's anachronistic Middle Egyptian). Civ5 Boudicca, however, spoke Modern Welsh. Of course, my first first choice would be simply to ditch Boudicca and never have her leading a civ again. :p Gaulish is well enough attested to write a few lines of dialogue in, and the Gauls were far and away more sophisticated than the Britons.

    The internet is full of idiots with outlandish claims. :crazyeye: As they say, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and we have ample evidence the Iceni were Celts: Iceni is a Celtic name, Boudicca is a Celtic name (there are attested women named Boudiga in Gaul, for instance), she is described as wearing a heavy gold necklace that in all likelihood was a torc, and she invoked the Celtic goddess Andraste before starting her revolt. I'm not sure how much more Celtic she could be without being covered in woad tattoos, prancing about a sacred grove with some tree-hugging hippy druids, and anachronistically wearing a kilt while throwing a ceilidh in Edinburgh. :mischief:
     
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  11. Red Khan

    Red Khan Warlord

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    I think this would be somewhat controversial. :)

    Although there is one exception to this rule - Gajah Mada spoke Old Javanese, while Gitarja speak modern version of the language.

    As a speaker of a minority language myself I can think of several reasons or their combinations.
    1. He is not interested / doesn't have the time.
    2. Mayan can be his heritage language - i.e. he learned it as a kid, but never developed it. That is he can talk only about some basic everyday issues, but lacks high literary vocabulary. He even might be illiterate in Mayan.
    3. The text in Mayan language is badly translated and he for some reasons doesn't want to reveal it, maybe thinking that he will breach his NDA.

    She is not just Mexican, she has done a lot of dubbing work in Spanish.


    But Maya people sound differently and usually look differently:


    So basically instead of looking for somebody who really spoke Mayan (or at least claimed to speak it) the people who did casting in Mexico were like:
    - We need somebody to voice a Mayan female ruler.
    - Let's cast Carla, we can start recording right away.
    - Shouldn't we look for somebody down at Yucatan who actually speaks Mayan?
    - Nah, nobody won't notice anyway. Beside, she voiced Pocahontas in "Ralph Breaks the Internet"
    - Oh, that certainly counts, Pocahontas was Indian too.

    And I have a feeling that this was also the case with Montezuma, his VA is a well-known too, he even has a Wikipedia article about him.
     
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  12. Aurelesk

    Aurelesk Warlord

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    I don't know. Why think of the worst? I will not be so quick to accuse them to not take about the translation nor the voice acting seriously. Maybe it is just blind faith. They searched for someone to take the role and that person responded. I imagine they tell that person to translate and do the voice acting. Since they do not know if that person is suited for the role since... they do not understand what that person says, the team go with it and can only trust.

    Maybe the lockdown played a role: they also needed someone that, not only speak some mayan, but also have a good recording device at home.
     
  13. God of Kings

    God of Kings Ruler of all heads of state

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    It's interesting Carla Castañeda is essentially the Mexican Tara Strong.
     
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  14. Zaarin

    Zaarin Chief Medical Officer, DS9

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    Sure, just like if Cleopatra were dressed in a peplos or himation and speaking Greek she'd be a much more controversial choice. :p If Firaxis is uncomfortable portraying Hellenized/Romanized leaders as Hellenized/Romanized, they should stop choosing Hellenized/Romanized leaders. :mischief:

    I'm not an expert, but, assuming we're talking about Civ6 Monty and not Civ5, his Nahuatl sounds good to me.

    I would expect they did the recording before the lockdown started.
     
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  15. Red Khan

    Red Khan Warlord

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    I would agree with you if she was some unknown actress from Yucatan and looked like Maya people usually look.

    But she is quite famous, has a huge filmography and her parents are actually voice actors too.
    https://doblaje.fandom.com/es/wiki/Carla_Castañeda
    I can't imagine that somebody working in Mexican dubbing industry never heard of her. So IMHO it was a deliberate choice to cast her regardless of the fact that she doesn't speak the language.
    Oh, and as we know, translator and VA are always two different persons, that usually even don't get to meet each other.

    But again maybe it's not her voice. She has twitter, so maybe someone who has it too (I honestly don't) can tweet her with a question if it's really her and if she knows Mayan.
    http://www.twitter.com/DubbCarlaCM

    User, who added transcriptions to some of Montezuma's lines, also added that "the language is both poorly translated and pronounced".
    I don't know if he/she speaks the language or copied it from, left a message on his wall asking about it.

    @Morningcalm can you please add the following note to Genghis Khan's Pep talk.
     
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  16. Zaarin

    Zaarin Chief Medical Officer, DS9

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    I stand corrected. Like I said, I'm not an expert. His /t͡ɬ/ is on point, which I would have expected to be the biggest challenge for a non-native speaker. He at least sounds better than Civ5 Monty, who called himself imperator instead of tlatoani. :crazyeye:
     
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  17. Guandao

    Guandao Rajah of Minyue and Langkasuka

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    Who would be a non-Romanized Celtic leader? Vercingetorix?

    It's more of a problem with whomever wrote the dialogue for Montezuma back in Civ5. Pachacuti also said "Imperio Inca" in his dialogue for that same game.
     
  18. Zaarin

    Zaarin Chief Medical Officer, DS9

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    Any pre-Roman Gaulish leader, yeah; I'm a fan of Dumnorix myself. The problem with the Britons, aside from being less sophisticated than the Gauls, is that everything we know about them comes from after they were conquered--and they were Romanized even faster than the Gauls. By the time Boudicca led her revolt, the Britons were basically Romans with some Celtic quirks, even the ones outside the area that spoke Latin as a first language. If portrayed accurately, Boudicca would look essentially like a redheaded Fulvia with a torc; she was, for all intents and purposes, a Roman matron.

    Yeah, it's my understanding that Monty in Civ5 spoke a modern variety of Nahuatl, hence the numerous Spanish loanwords and the lack of /t͡ɬ/. Even if his pronunciation is less than perfect and the translation is choppy, I'll still take Civ6 Monty's mangled Classical Nahuatl over that.
     
  19. Zakhai

    Zakhai Chieftain

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    @Morningcalm
    I can't find if anyone posted it already, but;

    Jadwiga
    Pep talk:
    Polish (looks like modern): "Ktokolwiek Bogu służy, dobrego ma pana".
    English: "Whoever serves the God, has a good master*".

    *Master or Lord
     
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  20. Guandao

    Guandao Rajah of Minyue and Langkasuka

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    So the Britons were quickly Romanized in a little over twenty years? Isn't everything we know about the Gauls from the Roman writings as well? They were less sophisticated in what way?
    I thought Boudicca was described as having long hair down to her hips? But looking up Fulvia, she wore her hair tied up.

    I could've swore Monty's VA in Civ5 pronounced the /tl/ in at least one line.
     

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