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To start off, as an amateur classicist, I want to point out that I appreciate 0 A.D.'s attempts to present the units and structures in a way so that players can see what they would be called in their original languages.  I just don't think it works.  When it come to GUI, one of the main points is to present information as clearly as possible, which is more difficult due to this.  After all, which is easier, house or oikos?  

Furthermore, many of the ancient languages such as Punic, Celtic, and whatever the Iberians spoke is hard to accurately model.  For Carthage, many buildings are missing their Punic names due to shortages of known words.  Although these could be supplemented with a similar Semitic language, the result could be misleading to people who, trusting the attention to accuracy 0 A.D. takes, might themselves be misinformed as a result.  The case is even worse of course for the Iberian language, but I think I have made my point on this matter.  

Another issue I find is the lack of consensus even amongst people more well acquainted with Greek in attempting to transliterate the language.  Even when one of them is pleased, it leaves a different opinion unanswered.  Thus, for the people who don't know the language, the transliteration is probably confusing; for those who do, it would likely feel like an unsatisfactory choice when the original alphabet of the language could just be used (Unless we are talking about Latin).

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The original languages are fantastic element of 0AD, when and where they can be, and actually are accurate.

I think this a good example of something that needs to be civ-specific. Some civs just don't have a rich corpus of written history in the original language to ever get it right, and so it doesn't matter to use generic names only in those cases. But that doesn't mean that the educational aspects of having accurate original terminologies where possible should be underestimated.

I haven't read this much Latin and Greek since high school, because of the historical research involved in development and since the Kushites I've even learnt a little something about Ancient Egyptian and Meroitic. Of course I don't speak any of those languages, but becoming more familiar with them through 0AD is a real addition of value in my opinion. Also don't underestimate the subconscious internalisation of these terms when actually playing, especially for kids. 

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Another important point is that the specific names are the same for everyone, regardless of what language they speak. It's a unifying element, as someone from Kazakhstan can use the same name for a specific unit or structure as someone from Argentina. 

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As far as I am concerned, I would love to see specific names eventually in the original writing (thus eliminating the headache that is transliteration). This is blocked by the same issue that makes us package Asian languages as a mod, which is our poor handling of fonts.

I am also very much in favor of having the specific names displayed optionally, so that competitive players, players with accessibility needs, or just players with a different taste than mine, can remove those names (which would be even more visible in the original writing).

I wouldn't mind if we remove the specific names for civs where we lack information. I don't have a strong opinion on this: reconstructing some words and explaining our rationale, or limiting ourselves to accurate sources, seem both interesting to me. :)

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12 hours ago, Thorfinn the Shallow Minded said:

After all, which is easier, house or oikos?

Imagine how cool it would be when some kid is learning at school about ecology, environment etc. and their teacher says that ecology comes from Greek oikos, and then it suddenly realises "WOW, true, just like I saw in 0 A.D. oikos=house" :D

Just like for me when I hear any terms in English like sword, wood, lumberjack, resource, etc. it immediately reminds me of AoE lol...

Edited by coworotel
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I see a lot of people pointing to the educational aspects of the current system, which I acknowledge is fair, but the primary purpose is not that but clarity.  I would say that a system where the player can choose the options they want would be good.  For instance, the default could be the English (or whatever language the player speaks) name followed by the transliteration of the original language, or even better to me, it in a rough equivalent of their alphabet.  The clarity is good, and the people who want to know the original language are happy; if they prefer the way it is now, that could be an option as well.  If people want less clutter, they could opt for only one of the two ever being displayed.  The point is that options should be provided.

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1 hour ago, Itms said:

As far as I am concerned, I would love to see specific names eventually in the original writing (thus eliminating the headache that is transliteration). This is blocked by the same issue that makes us package Asian languages as a mod, which is our poor handling of fonts.

I am also very much in favor of having the specific names displayed optionally, so that competitive players, players with accessibility needs, or just players with a different taste than mine, can remove those names (which would be even more visible in the original writing).

1449252949_lazypeoplefactNo987236762673.png.7e9f9d519b1425087bbf095f572347e6.png

I appreciate the makers' aim at historical accuracy, but really the ~historic names are just some flavor for me; probably more so if they were in a writing I can't decipher.

Regarding the pic above: I don't know if any of you actually read the full number (I sure wouldn't), but if you see the picture the second time you probably won't (because you know it doesn't contain useful info); I believe at every point in the game there are enough other (and better visible) clues to a building than the ~original name, so people simply won't look at it if they don't want to. In short: I don't think display options should be a priority.

 

1 hour ago, Itms said:

I wouldn't mind if we remove the specific names for civs where we lack information. I don't have a strong opinion on this: reconstructing some words and explaining our rationale, or limiting ourselves to accurate sources, seem both interesting to me. :)

I think it's fine if we keep all buildings' info consistent, including keeping our ~reconstructions - until a native speaker tells us better.

Spoiler

Or, more likely, a scholar... ;)

 

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