[MUD-Dev] How to handle/display partial language skill

Wes Connell wconnell at adhesive.com
Wed Jan 19 13:19:07 New Zealand Daylight Time 2000

On Tue, 18 Jan 2000, Joe Kingry wrote:

> We have a very basic way of handling languages on our mud. Currently each
> language has a table of sylables/words and a mapping to a some assortment of
> letters. Each language table of course has a mapping for individual letters.
> When someone says something in a different language, those that can
> understand the language see something like:
> 	(sylvan) Mab says 'Hello world'
> While those that don't see:
> 	Mab gossips 'nlaelelrr 'luurrwaelli''

[table snipped]

> But how do you handle non 100% skill in a language? I imagine in our case
> with a table that maps various fragments you could do a reverse map of the
> fragment only if you passed a skill check.  I've experimented with this with
> varying results.  I'm just looking for other ideas at this time.
> Any suggestions on how to handle languages?

A few things come to mind.

First add an extra translation argument. 

{ "the", "lrr", "lrs" }

If they pass the die roll for that specific syllable then they pronounce the
syllable with "lrr", if they fail then use the "lrs".

Second idea is that if the player fails the die roll then change a (random?)
character to an 's' or something.

Third option is to simply bypass the translation and output a message 
along the lines of "Bubba says something in elven." Whether or not you get
this message instead of the actual text would depend on the skill. This is
a popular method since it stops the reverse engineering of the languages.
All it takes is some geek with a lot of time on his hands and some good regex
and your language could be decoded on the fly by tintin.

Sort of OT: What would be really cool is if you could have a list of words 
that don't really match well between languages. I'm sure orcs have no 
concept of the word 'molecule'. So when a player that is of orcish background
says 'Ugh his brain is no bigger than a molecule!' the code would translate 
it to 'Ugh his brain is no bigger than a *small bit*!'. If anyone played
Star Control 2 there was a race in that game that did this. The universal 
translater on the ship couldn't quite match the some of the words so it made
for some pretty funny conversations.

Wes Connell               wconnell at adhesive.com
Adhesive Software, Inc. - Dynamic Web Site Management Solutions
http://www.adhesive.com        512-647-1200        512-647-1299 Fax
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