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  1. #1

    About the D&D localization. Do the words sound odd to you as it sounds to foreigners?

    Hello.
    I wish to have a "fun discussion" with native english speakers.

    So, short story is that D&D 5e has finally came to Brazil, on Portuguese-BR, and is on sale on national amazon site on preorder.

    Most city names were localized for Portuguese, and massive discussions started to brew on how the terms for cities were localized.

    Example: Neverwinter were localized as 'Nevenunca'. wich can be translated roughtly back to english as 'NeverSnows'.
    I think it's an excelent localization since it starts with NEVE, retaining the aspects of the original name. The literal translation would be "Nuncainverno", and it sounds nothing like the original word.

    So, my real question is:
    - Do some of the locations/names in english sometimes sounds as "lame" for you native speakers as it sounds to us when we hear on our native tongues? For example: castle starfall from game of thrones? Does it sound lame, lazy, or too simple?

  2. #2
    Trenloe's Avatar
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    I think names like this make it easier for players to remember, still sound cool and give an interesting link to their background. There are also plenty of examples of medieval (and earlier) place names in our own world being based off normal words. For example, the place I’m from is called Newcastle, which comes from a new wooden castle built at the location in 1080 AD.
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  3. #3
    I would recommend leaving names as-is and not localizing those at all.

  4. #4
    Zacchaeus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trenloe View Post
    I think names like this make it easier for players to remember, still sound cool and give an interesting link to their background. There are also plenty of examples of medieval (and earlier) place names in our own world being based off normal words. For example, the place I’m from is called Newcastle, which comes from a new wooden castle built at the location in 1080 AD.
    I didn't know that - I thought it came from a type of beer

    But he is right, Henrique, place names come from many different languages and get bent from the original over time. I used to live near a place called Wick which was orginally a Viking word Vik meaning bay or harbour. My house was in a small village called Thrumster; the 'ster' part is Viking for farm so the village was basically named after someone called Thrum who farmed there.
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  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Trenloe View Post
    I think names like this make it easier for players to remember, still sound cool and give an interesting link to their background. There are also plenty of examples of medieval (and earlier) place names in our own world being based off normal words. For example, the place I’m from is called Newcastle, which comes from a new wooden castle built at the location in 1080 AD.
    i think this names that pass history for the future are very nice.

    But does it in any way sounds weird to you? Like, newcastle is literally a New Castle, or a location that has a New Castle. We in Brazil have many city names that are like this. kinda like Rio de janeiro, wich translates as January River or Porto Velho wich is Old Port or even Fortaleza wich is literally Fortress.

    I honestly think that brazilians are overreacting about translations, but it has become a massive discussion subject on threads.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by ddavison View Post
    I would recommend leaving names as-is and not localizing those at all.
    They had orders from Wizards of the Coast to localize them. They had no choice. All the rules was predetermined by Wizards of the Coast. Only trademarks could not be translated.
    All the localizations follow the same rules (italian, spanish, etc.).
    Wizards are aiming for a global standard so we don't have the same problem we had in 3e where some therms were wrongly translated, wich made people do misinterpret rules.

  7. #7
    LordEntrails's Avatar
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    Sure, I think the names of some thing in native English are strange. I don't know if they sound funny, I've always just thought they are what they are.

    But think of Lord Neverember. I mean this is akin to Neverwinter, but he's not from there. And it's close to 'never remember', which some of my players call him).

    I can't think of 'real' (non-fiction) name or words at the moment. And I can't remember the comedy routine, but it was about taking words and how they were put together to describe what the word described (if that makes sense, things kind of like 'wood boat' being a boat made of wood) but ended with a unch line of something like "what is baby food made of?" Implying that if you had followed the previous logic, then such food would be made from babies.

    Back to the original question though, yea, some names sound funny. I know a town called "Showlow", which was named that because the gambler who won the town did so in a card game where you had to draw and show the lowest card in order to win. Kind of stupid way to name a place, but then again, not much different than town names like "Newcastle", "New York", "Nothing", "Greasy Corner", "Nowhere", "Hazard", "Deadhorse, or "Idiotville"!

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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by LordEntrails View Post
    Sure, I think the names of some thing in native English are strange. I don't know if they sound funny, I've always just thought they are what they are.

    But think of Lord Neverember. I mean this is akin to Neverwinter, but he's not from there. And it's close to 'never remember', which some of my players call him).

    I can't think of 'real' (non-fiction) name or words at the moment. And I can't remember the comedy routine, but it was about taking words and how they were put together to describe what the word described (if that makes sense, things kind of like 'wood boat' being a boat made of wood) but ended with a unch line of something like "what is baby food made of?" Implying that if you had followed the previous logic, then such food would be made from babies.

    Back to the original question though, yea, some names sound funny. I know a town called "Showlow", which was named that because the gambler who won the town did so in a card game where you had to draw and show the lowest card in order to win. Kind of stupid way to name a place, but then again, not much different than town names like "Newcastle", "New York", "Nothing", "Greasy Corner", "Nowhere", "Hazard", "Deadhorse, or "Idiotville"!
    Its been years since i discussed with friends about this subject, but now that it's such a strong topic over here, it came back onto my mind, so i had to ask you guys.

    I think we have a different sense of how 'strong' the word sounds based on our daily lives and what we are used to hear. Hearing the word on a foreign language, even if you know its meaning, adds a little mistique to it.
    I mean: pearl harbor sounds awesome when i, a foreigner say it. But for you guys must only mean a harbor made of pearls (or where you can compare to, or find lots of).

    How does "Cais das pérolas" (Pearl harbor) sound for you? lol
    how does Fortaleza (Fortress) or Bahia (Bay) sounds?

    Does it add a little extra flavor as the English do for us, or nah?

    one of my favourites is "Mato Grosso" wich means Thick Grass. lol
    Last edited by Henrique Oliveira Machado; October 5th, 2019 at 01:55.

  9. #9
    I don't think so. Having a foreign name can break your immersion, but you do need a good translation or a good alternative name to make it work.

    It sounds a bit weird in my ears if you're all talking Dutch and suddenly it's about this English place. It can work if it's part of your world building (that area is based on France, so it has French names, that area is based on Arabia, so it has Arabian names, etc). But when you can come up with a descent "native" name I really appreciated that.

  10. #10
    I love the PTBR translations. Yes, some are weird, but we'll get used to it.

    I'd take that over introducing a game to someone not confortable with english any day.
    Oh by the way, according to British Council reesearch 94.6% of brazilians can't speak english, 41st in a 70 countries rank.
    They could love it too
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