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  • Languages?

    So, languages,

    Belters get Belter Creole (pg. 28), gotcha, it is implied that this isn't all they get?

    What languages do other characters get?

    How do characters learn new languages? Is the Linguistics skill the only way?

    Many thanks for any help

  • #2
    Re: Languages?

    I think one only starts with one language, but one may learn additional languages with the Linguistics talent. That way one can learn up to 6 additional languages.

    Depending on cirumstances, I'd allow anyone a Perception or Intelligence test (with a relevant focus) to see if they understand, or are able to make themselves understood (also allowing a Communication test for that,) to someone speaking another language. This would represent the ability to understand/convey intent, even some content, if not the actual words, but the meaning.
    "The heart of the gambler's fallacy is a misconception of the fairness of the laws of chance. The gambler feels that the fairness of the coin entitles him to expect that any deviation in one direction will soon be cancelled by a corresponding deviation in the other. Even the fairest of coins, however, given the limitations of its memory and moral sense, cannot be as fair as the gambler expects it to be. This fallacy is not unique to gamblers. ... This expectation can be justified only by the belief that a random process is self-correcting. Idioms such as "errors cancel each other out" reflect the image of an active self-correcting process. Some familiar processes in nature obey such laws: a deviation from a stable equilibrium produces a force that restores the equilibrium. The laws of chance, in contrast, do not work that way: deviations are not cancelled as sampling proceeds, they are merely diluted." Kahneman and Tversky (1971)

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    • #3
      Re: Languages?

      Ta GMLovlie,

      That all seems pretty reasonable,

      The only part you didn't address is belters - do you think that they start play with two languages, or just get belter creole?

      Belter Creole is a bit of a weird one, I gather it includes a lot of loan-words and words that are bastardized forms of other words, suggesting that rolls to understand even if you don't have it as a language are almost always going to be reasonable,

      It'd be good if they did get two languages as picking up a second language during character gen doesn't seem that easy, creating language problems in the party...

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      • #4
        Re: Languages?

        Hi.
        It seems that in the future, everybody educated enough speaks english, though maybe with some kind of accent.
        It's understandable since English is the language of the UN. Even if you are an Earther from a remote and still culturally-rich area, you will want your children to learn English if you don't want them to live their entire lives on Basic.
        Thus regional languages would tend to disappear. Still, another language would be something for the very rich to fancy ; I can imagine Jules-Pierre Mao to know Mandarin and French, for example.
        Indeed, even Martians speak English, sometimes to the point of having a Texan accent - just because having to deal with more than one language would be inefficient, and for a Martian, inefficiency is a sin.
        Belters, on the other hand, descend from many kind of people, some of these left Earth before the UN hegemony. No wonder they have the most synthetic language.
        But still, everyone needs to speak English, since at some point it became the common tongue in the solar system.
        Even Belters. Though they may want to use Belter creole between them (as a sign of kinship on Ceres, maybe more naturally in the far side of the Belt around Anderson Station) or when they have something to say that Inners don't need to understand. But as GMlovlie points out, a Perception (Empathy) roll should be enough to understand the meaning of a sentence, if not the exact words.
        Last edited by Thomas Trolljaeger; 28th March 2019, 03:57 AM. Reason: Typo
        Thomas Trolljaeger
        Du plomb dans le virtuel
        Caution, contains french gibberish and nonsense.

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        • #5
          GLazelle,

          I'm sorry, I guess I skipped a premiss.

          I'd say they only learn belter creole, but depending on where they're from; some remote mining station, or a more central or "urban" (in lack of a better term) centre, like Ceres, Eros, Pallas, Tycho or Ganymede, the thickness of their particular accent and local variant of belter creole may vary. Relying more or less on English and/or other common trade languages (could vary between RPG groups) depending on proximity to large trading ports and stations, and/or Martian or Terran cultural/political/social/military presence. It enables them to understand most other languages (far from perfectly), and communicate secretly (with low risk of someone not fluent understanding details), and they may have a hard time expressing themselves to non-belter speakers.

          So, yeah, I think they start with (only) one language (just like earthers and martians right?), that could cause communication issues - if one likes to utilise language in this way in games - incurring penalties and bonuses depending on context and intent. Using aggressive belter creole to intimidate a bunch of up-and-coming Earther colonists could provide a bonus, whereas trying to broker a some kind of peaceful and beneficial deal with an Earther merchant, using belter creole, even soft spoken, could incur a penalty, simply because understanding each other could be difficult for at least one party. I can imagine dealing with certain levels and UN and MCR administration and bureaucracy would be difficult for a thick belter accent.

          In most cases I'd make it a roleplaying element only, but situations and contexts vary. I'd also be open to suggestions about social class allowing some more leeway here when creating/advancing a character. For instance, an outcast may only start with one language (unless a real convincing/cool/"correct" story to indicate otherwise can be presented), whereas middle-class and higher may have an easier time convincing me of knowing more than one language.

          Language can be a powerful device in games, using it with some level of strictness could make the linguistics a cool and powerful talent. But as with all things: moderation and adaptation.
          "The heart of the gambler's fallacy is a misconception of the fairness of the laws of chance. The gambler feels that the fairness of the coin entitles him to expect that any deviation in one direction will soon be cancelled by a corresponding deviation in the other. Even the fairest of coins, however, given the limitations of its memory and moral sense, cannot be as fair as the gambler expects it to be. This fallacy is not unique to gamblers. ... This expectation can be justified only by the belief that a random process is self-correcting. Idioms such as "errors cancel each other out" reflect the image of an active self-correcting process. Some familiar processes in nature obey such laws: a deviation from a stable equilibrium produces a force that restores the equilibrium. The laws of chance, in contrast, do not work that way: deviations are not cancelled as sampling proceeds, they are merely diluted." Kahneman and Tversky (1971)

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