A plea from a Welsh speaker, re the Sylvari

A plea from a Welsh speaker, re the Sylvari

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Posted by: applecup.3047

applecup.3047

I just want to get out of the way that I love Guild Wars 2, and while there are flaws it is still a wonderful game.

However.

I am Welsh, and a Welsh speaker, and interacting with the Sylvari in any way is at times painful. While I admire the work that must have gone into the game, there are plenty of instances where it feels like while some effort has been made to give the Sylvari a celtic flavour, not quite enough research was done – names and words are mispronounced, misspelt, and misused, which for those of us who understand the language puts a damper on the experience.

A few examples of what I mean:

  • “Caer” (castle/fortress) is not and never has been pronounced to rhyme with the English word “care” – “Kyre” (to rhyme with ‘tyre’) is much closer
  • “Hywel” is not and never has been pronounced “High-well” – ‘huh-well’ is much closer
  • Trehearne’s office (Caer Aval – in Welsh spelling this would be Caer Afal) translates to “Apple Castle”, which I think you will agree makes no kittening sense.
  • The Sylvari armoursmithing teacher in the Grove is a female Sylvari named “Gweithwyr” – which means “(male) worker” – a rather degrading name, not to mention misgendered! “Workers (plural)” – which makes even less sense than misgendering her (I double checked after posting, apologies for that error)

These are just the examples which have stuck out to me the most, recently, though I am certain there are plenty of others

Please, Arenanet, I am begging you, bring on board – even on just a consultancy basis – someone who actually speaks Welsh (and where relevant, Irish Gaelic), both while creating these areas and doing the voice acting recordings. These are actual languages which are actually spoken by actual people, and seeing these stupid mistakes made over and over again really throws me personally out of the experience. I know that Welsh and Irish Gaelic speakers are a minority on a global scale, but getting these details right would make for a much better experience.

(edited by Moderator)

A plea from a Welsh speaker, re the Sylvari

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Posted by: Blackwolfe.5649

Blackwolfe.5649

1. There is a big difference between being inspired by and actually being welsh/gaelic.

2. To be honest, sylvari have no real gender.

3. Apple castle? Makes complete sense. Would you rather it be called asparagus castle?

Colin Johansen casts – Working As Intended
Colin Johansen hits you for 239407889 damage
Game over

A plea from a Welsh speaker, re the Sylvari

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Posted by: CMF.5461

CMF.5461

@ Blackwolfe

Inspired would mean welsh/gaelic “sounding” names and words, but the OP pointed out that they use actual words.

Sylvari do have gender differentiation as seen in character creation, voices, body types. They are not bound by gender roles though and will mix male male or female female relationships.

Apple castle doesn’t make complete sense, but it isn’t out of this world either. It sounds like two randomly picked words to make a name. Think of it this way, how ridiculous do you find it when you see people name their kids things like: Blanket, or Pilot Inspector (real names look them up).

They are not wrong, but just sound random and dumb to some people, much like Apple Castle sounds dumb to the OP.

I think the OPs concerns are valid and the points he brings up can be distracting. Think about all those Japanese “Engrish” memes and how that would be distracting to real english speaking people to see someone use “Engrish” as the language of a race in a game…..on second thought that might be amazing.

But back to my point. Your response to the OPs argument is “no it isn’t”….no value or substance to it, just blind and deaf shaking of the head and ignoring anything he said.

(edited by CMF.5461)

A plea from a Welsh speaker, re the Sylvari

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Posted by: Zaxares.5419

Zaxares.5419

Apple castle doesn’t make complete sense, but it isn’t out of this world either. It sounds like two randomly picked words to make a name. Think of it this way, how ridiculous do you find it when you see people name their kids things like: Blanket, or Pilot Inspector (real names look them up).

They are not wrong, but just sound random and dumb to some people, much like Apple Castle sounds dumb to the OP.

I could actually see a Sylvari choosing to name his castle “Apple”. XD Maybe they just really like apples.

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Posted by: Blackwolfe.5649

Blackwolfe.5649

But back to my point. Your response to the OPs argument is “no it isn’t”….no value or substance to it, just blind and deaf shaking of the head and ignoring anything he said.

I didnt say that, I merely disagreed with his opinion. Sure I might not have given a long explanation but I still stated that I thought.

Ok, so perhaps they do have genders. But since they arent bound at all by gender roles, having the word for female worker as their name isnt completely off. Besides, its not uncommon for people to have names connected to their trade or status.

As for the pronounciations, you could say that the sylavri simply have a different variation of gaelish. They certainly do not sound welsh/gaelish, makes sense that they dont neccesarily pronounce the words the same either. Its not uncommon for some words to even have slightly different meaning depending on where you are from.

Apple castle makes completely sense, considering how young a race the sylvari are and a bit naive too.

Colin Johansen casts – Working As Intended
Colin Johansen hits you for 239407889 damage
Game over

(edited by Blackwolfe.5649)

A plea from a Welsh speaker, re the Sylvari

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Posted by: Starscream.6498

Starscream.6498

  • Trehearne’s office (Caer Aval – in Welsh spelling this would be Caer Afal) translates to “Apple Castle”, which I think you will agree makes no kittening sense.

I probably laughed more than I should have on this.

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Posted by: pyronix.4081

pyronix.4081

I am totally on board with OP on this one (although I am NOT even racially near being welsh). Language conveys meaning. If you are taking inspiration from a particular culture, demographic, race, or nationality, there has to be at the very least an awareness of what things mean – both in context and denotation – otherwise you run the risk of accidentally offending a whole group of people.

In the same manner that people sometimes complain and/or make fun of and/or attach racial stereotypes to those with nationalities who do not speak English as a first language, the point raised by the OP is a very valid one.

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Posted by: applecup.3047

applecup.3047

Apple castle doesn’t make complete sense, but it isn’t out of this world either. It sounds like two randomly picked words to make a name. Think of it this way, how ridiculous do you find it when you see people name their kids things like: Blanket, or Pilot Inspector (real names look them up).

They are not wrong, but just sound random and dumb to some people, much like Apple Castle sounds dumb to the OP.

I could actually see a Sylvari choosing to name his castle “Apple”. XD Maybe they just really like apples.

Honestly a large part of the reason it sounds stupid to me is that there’s no apparent reason to name it for Apple, as far as I can tell. Place names are generally either derived from the landscape (even if that derivation is not from the current majority language – for example, the English city Hereford is a corruption of the Welsh “Hen Fford”, which means ‘old crossing’ and refers to the crossing point of the river Wye which flows through the town), or named for something of importance to the founder (which is why you get a lot of place names in former colonies named for towns and cities in Europe).

So I guess tl;dr it’s not that naming something “Apple Castle” is a problem (heck maybe they did it in memory of Tybalt) so much as the fact there doesn’t seem (to my mind) to be any real reason for it.

Ok, so perhaps they do have genders. But since they arent bound at all by gender roles, having the word for female worker as their name isnt completely off. Besides, its not uncommon for people to have names connected to their trade or status.

That’s very true, but the fact that a visibly female Sylvari was using the masculine plural (Gweithwyr) rather than the feminine (Gweithwraig) is what stood out to me. It’s an easy mistake to make but it did make me do a double-take.

I am totally on board with OP on this one (although I am NOT even racially near being welsh). Language conveys meaning. If you are taking inspiration from a particular culture, demographic, race, or nationality, there has to be at the very least an awareness of what things mean – both in context and denotation – otherwise you run the risk of accidentally offending a whole group of people.

Pretty much this. I’m not offended in any way – it’s just frustrating when these mistakes (which could be easily fixed or mitigated) are made by developers who have poured such love and thought and research into the game.

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Posted by: Zaxares.5419

Zaxares.5419

Pretty much this. I’m not offended in any way – it’s just frustrating when these mistakes (which could be easily fixed or mitigated) are made by developers who have poured such love and thought and research into the game.

I can sympathise. As a Chinese, I often cringe at the way Chinese NPCs are voiced in games. I can tell immediately when an NPC’s voice actor is actually a native English speaker that’s just trying to adopt a “Chinese accent”, yet I know that a non-Chinese speaker would never notice the difference. So it bugs me too, but I can overlook it.

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Posted by: Kethryes.5712

Kethryes.5712

A guy called “applecup” says that Apple Castle does not make sense… What?
And if you did the order of whispers story… Apple Castle is actually a really (really) fitting name!!! (Tybalt FTW, thank you for making me discovering this detail )

But I can understand how it could be annoying to hear people repeatedly misspronuncing words

(edited by Kethryes.5712)

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Posted by: Gilosean.3805

Gilosean.3805

I can sympathize. English speakers have to deal with this IRL all the time – I work with people from non-English speaking countries and sometimes the only thing to do is facepalm. Great people, but they are not always speaking English. In a game when you just want to relax it’s probably really annoying.

I think an argument can be made for all the names making sense, but that’s kind of irrelevant when they break people’s immersion. Apple Castle is an Easter Egg with the Order of Whispers storyline, but the Sylvari names sound like simple translation / pronunciation problems.

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Posted by: Jinn Kazuma.2163

Jinn Kazuma.2163

All I can add to this is “Welcome to Fantasy, where the words are made up and the points don’t matter.”

A plea from a Welsh speaker, re the Sylvari

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Posted by: Sundar.1735

Sundar.1735

Personally I find the Sylvaris’ British accents annoying and as a result I almost always skip cutscenes involving them, Trahearne in particular.

A plea from a Welsh speaker, re the Sylvari

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Posted by: Sicktor.7285

Sicktor.7285

I speak German and Russian and have to listen to poorly adopted accents in movies and games constantly, what of it? If it bugs you so much I hope you can learn to overlook it since I doubt they will fix it.

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Posted by: Noobix.3958

Noobix.3958

Im with OP. If you are going to be inspired by something, you don’t baztardize it to the point that you lose all reverence to it in the first place. It just makes the content creators seem ignorant.

Im Scottish, and god-forbid any film or game developed in the USA that has voice-acting for dwarves shudder

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Posted by: Aveneo.2068

Aveneo.2068

All your Caer are belong to us!

Aveneo Lightbringer – Shalene Amuriel – Valiant Aislinn – Valiant Carlyn
Shana The Huntress – Dread Cathulu – Vyxxi – Fojja – Nymmra

Highly Over Powered Explorers [HOPE] – Desolation EU

A plea from a Welsh speaker, re the Sylvari

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Posted by: HighCAT.5924

HighCAT.5924

I fail to see sylvari voices as Welsh. If anything they sound like the Carribean islander’s accents.

A plea from a Welsh speaker, re the Sylvari

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Posted by: HighCAT.5924

HighCAT.5924

Personally I find the Sylvaris’ British accents annoying and as a result I almost always skip cutscenes involving them, Trahearne in particular.

Have you ever heard anyone who is from the Caribbean? That’s what Sylvari sound like!

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Posted by: Seraki.2753

Seraki.2753

I kind of thought that the actress/actor that did the Sylvari voice overs were using their own native accents. -_-

I also think that if some people were not complaining that some cultural accents were too like their own [or someone else s] they would be complaining that they were all to American sounding. I like the Sylvari accent best of all the others.

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Posted by: Anka.3675

Anka.3675

Being swedish I tend to get at least a small giggle reading the NPC names in Hoelbrak and surrounding areas, so partly I can comisserate. Not to mention the misspronounciation of german/nordic names. However, it’s just one of those things you have to suffer when people with no knowledge of the language gets enamoured with the mythology etc. When you think of it like that it’s sort of endearing. They try mimicing, and isn’t that the best kind of flattery?

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Posted by: Quiznos.4296

Quiznos.4296

Apple Castle? Could be his furnishings are made of apple wood? mmmm apple wood smoked bacon…
But back on topic.
It really bothers me to hear mispronounced/gendered/used spanish words. So I understand the gripe here with welsh/celtic
I never got the flavor either (though I’m a total fan of welsh/celtic). Since they’re an adaptive race wouldn’t they speak with an accent that was more or less the middle point of the other 4 races? or even further the middle point of all of the races in game?

they should’ve gotten iwan rheon on board

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Posted by: Delusion.5721

Delusion.5721

Being swedish I tend to get at least a small giggle reading the NPC names in Hoelbrak and surrounding areas, so partly I can comisserate. Not to mention the misspronounciation of german/nordic names. However, it’s just one of those things you have to suffer when people with no knowledge of the language gets enamoured with the mythology etc. When you think of it like that it’s sort of endearing. They try mimicing, and isn’t that the best kind of flattery?

I was going to post saying a similar thing. Words such as jotun are said as “JO-ton” instead of the more correct “yeu-tun”. But it doesn’t bother me too much. GW2 draws on mythology from around the world such as Greek, Celtic, Norse, Japanese etc. But in almost all cases they use the American pronunciations regardless. It is after all an american game based in a fictional universe.

A plea from a Welsh speaker, re the Sylvari

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Posted by: imarah.7940

imarah.7940

My sympathies, OP. Not Welsh myself so I didn’t catch those, but the pronunciation of a number of words/names in languages I do understand really hurts – i.e. every time someone tries to say Zhaitan or Orrian language place names (e.g. Azabe Qabar). You could maybe make up the excuse for those that Orrian is no longer spoken and people have forgotten how to speak it correctly, but then there’s the terrible immersion-breaking job they do with Khan, which really is a shame since the Charr cutscenes are otherwise really good.

Honestly it wouldn’t have been that hard for Arenanet to look this stuff up while writing dialogue, and I’d go so far as to say they really should have. Not sure we can expect in terms of fixes now, though =\ If they did, it would be a great step towards showing players they care for the immersion of more than just the white anglo americans who play.