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Calgor Grim

Xenos Talk

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Morning all,


Question, how do you folks handle different languages in 40k? Such as the forbidden tongue, the language of the xenos, speaking high gothic when none of them speak it etc.


Do you for example say:

"The person speaks some incomprehensible gibberish but it sounds angry."


Or do you actually try and mock up some actual alien sounding speech?

So for our gibbering person speaking daemonic tongue:

"Kah var, mor gram zee vid doo".

Basically making up a load of random words which sound vaguely right or vaguely angry.


And even when you have some of the Xenos which speak Gothic, how do you handle it? Do you give Tau the slight oriental speech which the DoW games seemed to inflict upon them? The slightly noble elite that an Eldar got, the gruff gutteral speech of an Ork, the slow wheezing and Darth Vadar voice for Necron?


I want to know if it's just me that looks demented trying to make up very bad Xenos voices!

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Unless you are a decent thespian, actually acting out NPC's just makes you (and the game) look silly. Far better to describe the NPC and his actions, especially if its a language they don't understand.


And when it comes to aliens, there is a lot of room for mistaken body language....For example, certain languages sound 'angry' to Western speakers. So an offer to try out some canapes might seem like 'surrender or die' to a xenophobic marine...


Some examples:



Softspoken, unimaginable long sentences flow from the xenos creature. The meaning is incomprehensible but the tone suggests a parley or some kind of deal. Although the rails guns pointed at you might hint otherwise....



Spittal flies as the huge Ork bellows at you. His mishapen tusks sit deeply in his jaw and make words difficult to distinguish but there is no mistaking the large chopper he waves at you. He seems to be goading his men into a frenzy. An attack seems imment. If you wish to talk, you'd better do it soon...



The speech of the lithe, richly dressed xenos is melodic, as if chimes ring out a merry welcoming tune. Yet underneath the warm, rich tones lies an iron fist, hinted at by the needle pistol hanging from his belt made of human skin.

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I do a PbP, so it is much easier to write things out and take your time with it. It is essentially the same as directing/composing/and writing one's own part in their own novel.


Having said that, as of right now we have only encountered other humans (Astartes and normal Imperial citizens) and Orks.


I make a distinction when writing the dialogue of Astartes and Normal humans. High Gothic and Low Gothic, etc. etc. One uses slang and common words, and the other might get some random Latin in there and propriety to spice things up. Granted, when I write for my Space Wolf character, even if he is using High Gothic he still curses like a sailor and is as gruff as one as well.


Now for the Orks, I take the heavy Cockney/mildly retarded approach. Most of them speak some form of bastardized Low Gothic. And it mostly gets portrayed as, "Oi, Boyz! Dem big metul 'ummies iz here! CHOPP DE BASTARDZ GUD!" But of course not all Orks can communicate in awful Low Gothic, so I fully plan on utilizing some of the descriptions and grunting that has been previously stated.

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"Mesa day startin pretty okee-day with a brisky morning munchy, then BOOM! Gettin very scared and grabbin that Jedi and POW! Mesa here! Mesa gettin' very very scared!"


I hate you. I read it totally in that voice too.

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