Using an English term, vs an Authentic term

That was my Frank Herbert Dune experience. And that’s when the best time inspections in my opinion never mind you though a quarter through the book I didn’t need to look at the glossary anymore.

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Are you saying that the story Im reading would be in the language the story is set in? Cuz if so then nah, I’d rather have it in english because I dont feel like learning a whole different language just to understand a story. Some words or phrases or even a few characters speaking their native tongue is fine but not the whole story.

Foreign names: perfectly okay if they fit the setting you’re trying to portray. Some of the odder examples might raise a brow, but in general, you don’t have to worry about alienating a viewer with names.
Titles: shorter titles are generally better to keep in a foreign language compared to longer ones. For instance, “Shah Jahan” or even “Padishah Jahan” are less cumbersome compared to “Shahenshah Al-Sultan al-'Azam wal Khaqan al-Mukarram, Malik-ul-Sultanat, Ala Hazrat Abu’l-Muzaffar Shahab ud-din Muhammad Shah Jahan I, Sahib-i-Qiran-i-Sani, Padshah Ghazi Zillu’llah, Firdaus-Ashiyani, Shahenshah-E-Sultanat Ul-Hindiyya Wal Mughaliyya.”

Keep it simple.
Concepts: If there is no clean English translation for a concept, give the word, followed by as close a translation as you can. Or, if you can’t properly articulate the meaning without sacrificing the flow of the story, go with as close an analogue as you can.


More along lines of would you prefer “He slashed with his szabla” or “He slashed with his sabre”

@lovinglydull Titles are the hard bit for me, in English we refer to someone who is Duke as a Lord, so if addressing them you might call them Duke of Places, Lord Lastname, however I’m not sure if they do that in Slavic language

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Ah, that’s be fine then. Would need some kind of codex or whatever for words like that or at least give it a general description.

The castle announcer surely had a great time every time their Sultan enters the chamber.

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Just imagine the announcer for Ramses II…

The Mughal emperors preferred the style of Padishah (Emperor) or Shahenshah (King of Kings), but yeah. It’s not that much better in English. I’m not a master of Persianized Arabic, but the full title roughly translates to “King of Kings of the Great or Most Mighty Dominion and Honorable or Generous Khan of Khans, Lord of Strength, His Majesty Abu’l-Muzaffar Shahab ud-din Muhammad Shah Jahan I (his name), Lord of Brilliance and the Auspicious Conjunction, Conqueror of Emperors in the Shade of God, of the Domain of Paradise, Emperor of the Sultanate of India and the Mughals.”

Which is honestly a badass title, but the criers obviously hate their life having to memorize all of that.


I think is more immersive if you language setting are geographically and historically correct. Just add english subtitles

Like most people mentioned, I like to use authentic terms for titles (Tsar, etc), location names (Novogrod instead of New Town or whatever), and weapons (Zweihänder instead of two handed sword or greatsword).

As my own contribution, swearing is always great in another language.

If PC doesn’t know that language, you could also have some NPCs speak in that language, then, when the PC understands them, begin writing their dialogue in italics to show PC is translating what they’re saying in her head. Could be a cool way to show progression.

Also, using another language as a sign of social standing. I remember reading a CYOA in which, during formal occasions, noble NPCs would start interjecting French into their English cuz that was a sign of class at the time. If PC is a commoner, it works especially way, cuz if you’re confused, hey! It’s the Nobility! What’d you expect?

Both are probably bad ideas but they’re fun to think about.

Good luck with your story. Eagerly awaiting more Slav in my CYOA games. : P

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Speaking of swearing, call me a cavemen or whatever you like, but is cyka blyat is actually a swearing?

As for my take on the topic, I don’t mind with foreign terms as long as they’re not story critical. Heck, give me your npc converse in foreign language right in front of me and let me answer, “Uhh… Yeah! You’re totally right!”

oh… Yes it is… I tell my friends that it means “Welcome Russian friends!” however. :japanese_ogre:

In general I would say I don’t mind one way or the other, unless using a common english word would just plain make the story inaccurate.

One example that made a game unplayable for me was in ‘The Kepler Colony’ - you’re asked which nation you come from and upon picking ‘Germany’ I was confronted with the…president that we now apparently have. Might be what bothered me was the ‘Americanization’ of our political system, but the word itself already pulled me out of the story. (We have various presidents - Ministerpräsident, Bundespräsident - but certainly not one all-powerful PRESIDENT.)

So basically I’d say keep it accurate for titles and locations and such - at least enough so that people familiar with the country won’t be ripped out of the story at every turn.

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Yeah, that also took me out of things when playing as Switzerland, considering none of its very different political structures were in place. Which President is it, the President of the Federal Assembly or the President of the Council of States? And if you’re actually looking to the head of state, why are you addressing one man, and not the seven-member Federal Council?

I understand it would probably bog down the narrative to add six more characters, but even referring to the “President” as a Councilor and giving a nod to them working with other people would have scratched my itch for versimmilitude.

I’m late to this conversation, so forgive me. The game does distinguish different leaders between nations, so if you play as the UK you have a Prime Minister, and for the USA you have a President. It’s entirely possible I’ve made errors with leaders of other nations so please can you let me know the correct term that should be used for the leader of Germany /Switzerland and I’ll make that change for the next update. Also, it certainly wasn’t Americanised, as I’m a British writer.

@blackrising @lovinglydull

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