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Anaxandridas ho Skandiates

Greek for different factions main thread

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Dear all,

Now that a standard has been decided upon for the transliteration, and work has begun on devising a mechanism to toggle/somehow display non-Latin alphabets, I am now open to co-ordinate and discuss details for the different factions, and how we should proceed together.

I will now begin creating a ~350 A.D. Attic standard set to be used for all factions at first.

I propose replacing with new sets tailored for each faction at future dates, one after the other: madedonian dialect, ptolemies koine (same as seleucids?), and perhaps a version for Sparta especially?

But it is tricky reconstructing those, it would be a long-term project and my expertise by no means suffices to do this alone, at all. I have some access to scholars with such expertise, but even they would likely need to invest considerable efforts. It can be achieved, however.

It is important that only such experts are drawn into this work as can demonstrably speak clear Greek: Several of the world's foremost textual scholars from the top-10-universities of the anglophone hemisphere speak with a most dreadful accent when they try to read aloud even simple passages. We need experts in pronounciation - they are few and far-in-between, but they can be found.

I ask for patience and help as possible in this work. I can promise to put in my efforts over the next couple of years to realize sets for each Greek civ.

Edited by Anaxandridas ho Skandiates
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The sensible thing to do would be to first standardize all the Greek text strings in game to proper Attic, using the newly adopted romanization. A review of specific names was started in January, see the relevant forum threads:

As for the Athenians, Attic is well attested and should provide no serious difficulty (except for artificial entities such as an archery range).

As for the Spartans, modern comparative linguistics is very successful at identifying and explaining sound shifts and knows how different Greek dialects evolved. In principle it's doable to convert Attic into Doric equivalents. The question is whether it is desirable. It seems artificial to use reconstructed (how we believe something should have been written) rather than attested (how we know something was actually written) forms. Besides, it might be potentially confusing for ordinary players to use different forms of Greek. (Why does Athens have this and Sparta that? Did they make a mistake? Don't they know what they're doing?)

As for Macedonian, we know it existed and was closely related to Greek, but that's about it. There is not even consensus whether it was a Greek dialect, a sister language, or a different branch of Indo-European (cf. Phrygian, Thracian, Illyrian), nor when it died out. There were strong and ancient ties between Macedon and Athens (they feature together in several myths; foreign trade of Macedon was initially dominated by Athenian colonies, especially Amphipolis; the Macedonians sent sons to Athens for education; when on opposing sides during the Persian wars they remained friendly; famous scholars where said to be invited to the royal court); the subject people didn't write and the Macedonian upper class (royalty, nobility, and, consequently, military) adopted Attic. (And because they subsequently conquered the known world, koine is largely based on Attic.) In short, it's probably best to stick with Attic for the Macedonians.

As for the Ptolemies and Seleucids, koine was typically written the same as Attic—albeit frequently with more mistakes and occassionally new words.

As for audio voices, I believe the idea was orginally to have two sets, Attic for the classical factions (Athens, Macedon, Sparta), koine for the Hellenistic factions (Ptolemies, Seleucids). Creating proper audio files is a lot more complicated and time consuming than correcting text strings, though.

10 hours ago, Anaxandridas ho Skandiates said:

Several of the world's foremost textual scholars from the top-10-universities of the anglophone hemisphere speak with a most dreadful accent when they try to read aloud even simple passages.

That's true, the Erasmian pronunciation is widespread in academia, even though people know it's strictly speaking incorrect; the purpose of language is to be understood, so how people pronounce things is largely based on what is common amongst their peers (and also influenced by nationality, native tongue, or enducation), rather than what is the original.

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@Nescio I will edit this answer with thorough reply a bit later, but note that I mean that all written text should remain the same for all hellenic factions, I meant in this thread only uploading sets of voice-recordings with the relevant variations. Sorry if that was not clear.

Laconian and Macedonian voices could be adapted in accordance with historical evidence, but as said it will require study and I need to activate my network to come up with superior versions and evaluate approaches. Only once I can present to you in this forum a coherent and source-based strategy will we move to record and replace.

Edited by Anaxandridas ho Skandiates
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22 hours ago, Anaxandridas ho Skandiates said:

I will edit this answer with thorough reply a bit later, but note that I mean that all written text should remain the same for all hellenic factions, I meant in this thread only uploading sets of voice-recordings with the relevant variations. Sorry if that was not clear.

Ah, I see; perhaps include audio or voices in the thread's title to avoid unnecessary confusion.

I myself have zero experience with audio files, but I assume others (@Itms, @OmriLahav, @Samulis, @Stan`) can give you sound advice.

There is a trac wiki page, but it's probably partially incorrect and outdated. The sensible thing to do seems to me to be:

  • get a complete list of English phrases
  • write down the proper (polytonic) Greek equivalents
  • [optional]: transcribe those into IPA, so people without any knowledge of Greek can pronounce it
  • record everything and upload the audio files
  • find other people to record the same to have some variants (preferably three male and three female voices)
  • [repeat for other languages or dialects]

It's probably a lot of work to create a single audio file, let alone a full set, therefore it's debatable whether it's really a worth it to aim for one audio voice set per faction (instead of one per language); having complete and correct Attic would already be great.

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8 minutes ago, Nescio said:

Ah, I see; perhaps include audio or voices in the thread's title to avoid unnecessary confusion.

I myself have zero experience with audio files, but I assume others (@Itms, @OmriLahav, @Samulis, @Stan`) can give you sound advice.

There is a trac wiki page, but it's probably partially incorrect and outdated. The sensible thing to do seems to me to be:

  • get a complete list of English phrases
  • write down the proper (polytonic) Greek equivalents
  • [optional]: transcribe those into IPA, so people without any knowledge of Greek can pronounce it
  • record everything and upload the audio files
  • find other people to record the same to have some variants (preferably three male and three female voices)
  • [repeat for other languages or dialects]

It's probably a lot of work to create a single audio file, let alone a full set, therefore it's debatable whether it's really a worth it to aim for one audio voice set per faction (instead of one per language); having complete and correct Attic would already be great.

Exactly that is how it should be done :thumbsup: I have access to a voice studio when I travel to Athens and also here in Latin Europe.

Attic first! I got the list already and began scouring Arrian and the other major historians for natural phrases - to get as close as at all possible to an expression used in the sources, that is the goal. I will present results for critique as soon as I can get it ready (still need to do AAAAALL the unit names - do we have a list of those???)

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