Closing The Ithanian Rift (and Other Thing(s) )

Discussion in 'Feature & Idea Discussion - Archive' started by kudzzy, Nov 2, 2017.

  1. kudzzy

    kudzzy Refugee

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    I personally am a pretty big fans of the recent language changes, but a few don't quite make sense to me, for example, the fact that an Ithanian learning another Ithanian dialect would take 8 years of 5 hour a day studying to learn to fluently speak it. I understand that speakers of different dialects would have trouble understanding each other but 8 years seems...Excessive. Another thing I don't quite get is that Ceardian is equated to American English while Regalia is generally German/British. Wouldn't it make more sense for it to be British English?
     
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  2. Eronoc

    Eronoc Fantasy Horselord Staff Member Roleplay Staff

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    The languages in general make very little OOC sense. The fact that what is basically German is descended from what is basically Latin hurts my soul.

    Also, the rate of language learning, if it's really that low, is ridiculous. Fluency isn't that difficult to achieve for entirely unrelated languages. Many universities expect enough fluency to travel to the county in question with about two to three school years of classes. Obviously you should study out of class, but that's what... ten hours a week if we're being generous? For two-three school years? That's 900 hours if we're on the generous side for all aspects. As opposed to... ~14,610? There's no way that can be the official number. Someone actually dedicated to learning language proficiency can do it in months, with a touch of skill.
     
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  3. AtticCat

    AtticCat haeksen van regalia

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    Yeeeah, I can agree with the language things- like years and the fact we're missing languages. (Where Claith??)

    One issue I have with the years with language is the fact that it says that it takes like 8-10-howevermanyyears and @MonMarty is ~25 and knows like.. 5(?) languages, I believe. Meanwhile I barely got down English.
     
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  4. Wumpatron

    Wumpatron I will argue with you Staff Member Lore1
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    The language concerns are being looked at.
     
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  5. MonMarty

    MonMarty Thotdodger Staff Member Server Owner

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    Modern schooling and my geneological linguistic upbringing are not valid comparisons for medieval education.
     
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  6. Eronoc

    Eronoc Fantasy Horselord Staff Member Roleplay Staff

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    Still, even if five is a high number, actual historical language-learning practices can be looked at for reference. Pretty much every major medieval scholar was a polyglot. Granted, they learned Latin and Arabic, and in some instances Greek - these were intellectual languages, but the point stands that it was very possible in the medieval ages to learn multiple languages. I think it's fair to compare some aspects of the Renaissance to Regalia - Copernicus for instance knew his native Polish, as well as Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, French, and German by the time he was thirty. This was at the same time as learning many other disciplines, because learning multiple things at once is quite possible. He's a special case as a genius, but the point stands.

    Keeping it purely to the medieval ages: Even among laity, knowledge of Latin was relatively common, especially in urbanized areas. Often if you were literate, it meant you spoke at least one other language. If you were a scholar or nobility, it often meant you spoke more. In England, for instance, it was common for nobility to speak French, Latin, and English. In Regalia, that would equate to the common language, the cultural/ancestral language, and the legal/scientific language. The circumstances could change as roles overlap and such, but the basic idea is realistic.

    I guess my point would be that even if you can say that five is not the norm, there's precedent for being able to speak multiple languages in a medieval setting. Quite a lot, honestly. I can see why OOC you would put quite a lot of restraints on knowledge in general, because there's a strong pull towards overuse of physical and mental abilities creating übermensch super-characters who exist to fulfill power fantasies and offer nothing tangibly good to an RP. Still, there may be a bit too strong a restraint on the ability to be an educated character, to the point that it's unrealistic - you can get around that by saying that your education is quite good in aspects that just aren't dealt with in IC rules, but it's a little frustrating that educations take six, seven, eight years of exclusive learning in that topic to reach even an adequate level when in reality Universities - a medieval concept - historically taught many of those subjects in the same to less time all at once. The medieval curriculum - lifted largely from the Classical era - involved many practices that some schools use today because of their effectiveness. It often involved reading detailed accounts written by and about important historical figures, which is why private tutoring flourished as well - "Sit down with the book and read, then discuss" doesn't require a lot of materials.

    Obviously this is your own lore, and you make your own history and internal considerations when choosing the restraints on these things, along with the fact that you have to rein in RPers. Still, medieval education, especially in the eras that Regalia is largely comparative to, was pretty good. Less accessible, yes. It's entirely fair to say that the vast majority of people would be less educated than most people today, and education was pretty much entirely restricted to the very rich and the nobles. But though it was historically quantitatively bad, it wasn't qualitatively bad.

    Just for your consideration if you're reviewing the language issues. I didn't mean to make some really long post, I just have a real problem with doing that.

    TL:DR:
    Learning a language isn't that hard. Besides that inherent point, Medieval education was not that bad: In fact knowing multiple languages was relatively common among the nobility and higher classes, even in some circumstances the urban class in general. I think it would be fair to restrict knowledge to certain backgrounds in general, on a grander scale, but loosen the restrictions on how it's handled on a smaller scale. Still, it's your world, and you can easily rationalize most things and I understand why you would for the sake of RP.
     
    #6 Eronoc, Nov 2, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2017
  7. MonMarty

    MonMarty Thotdodger Staff Member Server Owner

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    Is there though? I feel the whole "every scholar was a polyglot" isn't quite vested in fact. The only really tangible example I can even think of is Charles the fifth of Spain (and super intellect Leonardo da Vinci I guess), and in his case even the whole polyglot matter was exaggerated from basic command. There's a very big difference between having word knowledge, basic command and fluency.
     
  8. Eronoc

    Eronoc Fantasy Horselord Staff Member Roleplay Staff

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    That fact is a little skewed by the fact that most of them did, in fact, speak Latin. The "Classical" education, which the medievals followed, taught Latin as one of the necessary subjects. This is in part because of the influence of the Church, as well as historical influence, which caused pretty much all intellectual aspects of life to be Latin, including law. This doesn't need to be followed, but even so it shows that there's not something inherently bad about a medieval style schooling in teaching language.
    Besides that, nobles were often polyglots for cultural as well as intellectual reasons. As I said, in England law was in Latin (or Norman French), culture was in French, and the common tongue was Middle English. It holds true in other parts of the world as well, though England was particularly multilingual because of its cultural connections. You can even consider Marco Polo - he knew four languages as a wealthy merchant. Regalia is actually in a linguistically unique state as well, with a very culturally diverse empire with a lot of intermingling among the nobles. The ability to speak at least somewhat proficiently in multiple languages, especially Alt-Regalian because it's politically important and Ithanian as it's rather culturally important, would make a lot of sense.

    As to scholars, naming them all would take some time. I know it sounds like a cop-out, but really, the list has to be pretty arbitrary which I am not good at. Alcuin, Willem van Moerbeke, Lefranc of Milan, Campanus of Novara, Moses Maimonides, John Scotus Eriugenia, Roger Bacon, Peter Abelard... The list really could go on forever. These translated works from other languages, Latin, Greek, or Arabic, and traveled to, lived in, or even taught in foreign-language environments.

    This is a pretty good text on the basic feeling on the issue (If a language is important, even more common folk will know it). A study of the actions of nobility, scholars, and merchants over the whole period will show even more.

    Edit: Again, this is just to provide context. Obviously we aren't talking about medieval Earth, we're talking about Aloria and different historical circumstances apply. Still, I think it's worth considering.
     
    #8 Eronoc, Nov 2, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2017
  9. Posidem

    Posidem Archmage of Avgard

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    I think it would be safe to say most scholars knew a few languages. Intellectuals probably knew latin, greek, and arabic at least, plus their first language.
     
  10. MonMarty

    MonMarty Thotdodger Staff Member Server Owner

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    This is sort of a pivoting point that is using a wrong historical context to arrive to a desired conclusion. Every example you've provided is one based on necessity: leaning latin to understand the ancients, learning middle English to deal with the peasants. The further examples you've listed come from this time of necessity: every single one of them died before 1300, before the invention of the printing press, before the rise of the modern capital market, and before global trade, then you cite a book that even goes further to combat the point you're trying to make - judging from linguistic pollination, making a whole bunch of assumptions about how language "must have been easier because back then they were more similar". ¨

    Linguistically and socially speaking, Aloria has none of these components. There is not a single language that requires the point of necessity, with the sole exception of Modern Elvish or Common Ceardian. Having a Lingua Franca makes all these necessary components for cross-language learning unnecessary. Books are translated and printed with the printing press, religious texts have been converted to common, and common is the international language for commerce, while Regalian sets of measurement are universally enforced. While most Alorians would still be bi-lingual because of linguistic diversity (most notably among Ailor), to assume that scholars in this day and era would somehow be polyglots is a bit of a stretch, especially when you'll be far reaching to find polyglots in the mid 1600's where the linguistic necessity of being a polyglot is no longer the case.

    That's sort of the problem with applying all this theorem to language in Aloria. The existence of a Lingua Franca in itself severely dishevels the points of necessity that you're mostly using to support your conclusion. The lack of necessity in itself creates a situation where language schools simply don't exist (like your cited document also directly states was the case in history, though they imply the existence of polyglots through necessity and language proximity, when you subtract necessity and language proximity, the book itself has no evidence left to support).

    The listing and time frames of the languages are based on Active-participant learning. There are no learning centers for language, (aside from a school of Linguistics that teaches more so linguistic analysis than actual language learning), and there are no commonly established learning protocols of how to learn a language. As such, the only way of learning a language is by operating in it, by living int he middle of people who speak it. That is why those periods are so long. There's also a thing or two to be said about what it means to learn a language. When we learn languages, we start with simple vocabulary and understanding key words before we move on to phrases and grammar. Then after that we get into vernacular or idiots and sayings. That means that if before said 4 years the person knows nothing, after 3 years and 364 days they don't suddenly "pop" in the knowledge of language. If two years were spent, a character would certainly know most of the vocabulary and just make "child's" mistakes when it comes to forming a coherent conversation. There is different degrees of linguistic proficiency so:

    No. I don't think the times are unreasonable. Maybe the cross dialect conversion times need some work, but when it comes to realistically learning multiple languages, they are very healthy. They deal from a scale of day 0 knowing nothing to end of year 4 knowing even the most complex vernacular and being indistinguishable from a native speaker. Then there's also the game play aspect of linguistics to consider. Language diversity exists to allow plot roleplay or even on-face deception. The world would be a lame place if every 18 year old knew 5 languages + Ch'ien-ji just because their nanny was as Asian hooker. It takes the creative deception out of field when people of their own culture can no longer speak their own language that is "their own" and only "theirs".

    (note, there is an obvious exception here being noble children who are privately tutored. These pay huge sums of money that arent normally available to common people or even aristocrats to learn multiple languages, which is why they aren't considered in the greater scheme of things since such accessibility is not available to 90% of the other characters).
     
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  11. Eronoc

    Eronoc Fantasy Horselord Staff Member Roleplay Staff

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    That's... fair. I suppose I was thinking more Medieval, when really the situation in Aloria is more comparable to the Renaissance. If that's the case, we aren't dealing with a Medieval education but a Renaissance one, which though similar does have a few key differences like the ones you mentioned. The progression of proficiency you described at the bottom is definitely reasonable. I kind of forgot myself and was arguing against the times mentioned in the first post, while I'd moved onto a different subject.

    Honestly all I can say is that that is quite the deflating argument. Your point about the fact that the printing press has been invented and is in common use seals the deal there. A lingua franca doesn't necessarily - Latin was essentially the Lingua France through the Middle Ages - though it certainly contributes a lot. I was arguing less to the actual case and more to a perceived one.

    The one thing I will contest, which isn't really relevant to the point anymore, is that I think the book I referenced did make sense in the context of my argument, especially the latter portion which talked about knowledge of Latin in Poland in the mid 1300s. The earlier point of linguistic similarity wasn't as relevant to my argument, and not really what I was pointing to. But that's neither here nor there.

    The one corollary to this is that I would add, considering the education is more comparable to the Renaissance, is that the other education times, especially when it comes to lack of ability to study multiple things at once, seem a little iffy to me. I'm way less inclined to push that, though, since that's even more tied to keeping RP interesting and fair. Besides, I understand that in-lore Regalia's education is very segmented, so if someone is actually going to the schools it makes a lot of sense for them to be oddly specialized in one thing.

    I suppose that's that, then.

    Edit: I think this is understood, but I want to make it clear that I wasn't trying to be argumentative - I just really enjoy worldbuilding myself.
     
    #11 Eronoc, Nov 2, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2017
  12. Reaganism

    Reaganism 40th President of the United States

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    In a month's worth of roleplay language only ever came up twice. Both times it was the native language of characters spoken and had story-driving purpose. I dread the day when we want to bicker at someone in Ithanian and half the tavern will understand it because magic education.

    On real-life polyglots, don't confuse being able to vaguely speak & understand a language to handle yourself with being able to comprehend & handle a language on levels of business/diplomacy. The former I can do with seven, the latter only with three.

    Anything before the 18th century for source is pretty much irrelevant considering the only literate class was the class most reliant on manipulation of history & knowledge. Unless you want to believe Charles V. spoke seven languages fluently, or that Charlemagne was a 7' chaste general, king and architect. The only assumption you can make is based on evidence & logic, and that sort-of confirms very few languages other than Latin and Arabic even had a uniform, written version.

    What I do agree, however, is that there is unnecessary separation & divides created within cultures that aren't roleplayed much. I see no reason for the Citoyen-Champagnard-Valeurois distinction since I can count the amount of active Ithanian roleplayers on a single hand. Same applies to Chien-Ji, Qadir and Nelfin cultures, I've yet to meet any of the former two in roleplay not even representation of their cultures.
     
  13. Magivore

    Magivore No Rest For The Wicked Staff Member Lore1

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    I'm personally not concerned about this change. Although I will need to adjust my characters a bit, I would like to provide an argument that will counter the points that everyone should speak multiple languages.

    This long learning time prevents people from having polyglot champions. Unless your character is supposed to be in an intellectual scholar, a multicultural merchant, or a mentor wizard (who usually only learns AS since they're already spending over 15-20 years on a skill that uses it almost daily), I don't see how or why someone who swings swords for a living would need to know every language they can possibly fit in. You should really only know your native language, common, and possibly how to read the scripts for both. By using someone who knows how to swing two swords at a professional level, and how to speak Ithianian + Elvish + Leutz-Vixe + Common, you're powergaming. Just like the School of Leadership indicating that 'common sense' tactics shouldn't be used to allow for balance, so should languages be restricted so a linguist actually becomes a suitable career rather than being outpaced by Blackmarks who can't read, but can magically speak all tongues. If we really were being faithful to being as realistic as possible, most, if not all, of our characters would be dead due to infection because of all our constant fighting, or would not be able to sit in a tavern for 40 minutes talking to a noble.

    Eventually, we should sacrifice realistic circumstances for balance because not everything life gives is fair or fun to adhere to. The point that characters should know multiple languages are also already settled on: native tongue and common. That's two languages right there that a character likely will need to be 18 (which many people already to have so they can have a less dependent character) to fluently speak both with an accent or a random pause bleeding into their common. If there really is such a need to reduce learning time, it shouldn't be lowered by any value lower than 6 so that this divide still remains as follows: Linguist > Scholar > Merchant > Warrior.
     
  14. MokeDuck

    MokeDuck Hail the duckfather!
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    yea, I kinda agree. However, assuming you could get a good place to actually learn in medieval times, you could learn it almost as quickly as now. However, I don't really see the importance because the society of Regalia is set at the end of medieval times or even a little later, it seems, and it definitely seems to have many opportunities for people to learn quickly.

    Basically, I think it should be assumed when a character is learning a language that they are learning it on their own, non-professionally. If they are learning it from a professional teacher, the time needed would be much less.

    In the end though, does it really matter? Its just a number you put on your char app... doesn't really matter unless you are trying to squeeze a lot of time-taking skills into a young character...
     
  15. MokeDuck

    MokeDuck Hail the duckfather!
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    Yea. What he said.
     
  16. Reaganism

    Reaganism 40th President of the United States

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    Untrue.

    The main difference between today's learning and medieval learning does not lie with the differences in the availability of knowledge, but the very existence of knowledge.

    Learning German, French or English in the high medieval times was not only hard because people couldn't get books, but because these languages had neither a uniform written form nor grammar rules set in stone. All of those arrived with the enlightenment and the spread of general education. The reason Russia used French wasn't because they wanted to imitate the French court but because Russian language was chaotic to the core and was simply impossible to centralise at the time wheras the French encyclopedic movement unified their own.

    In Aloria, this would probably mean zero chance at learning any other language than New Regalian ones unless you immerse with the populace in their homeland.

    Just a fragment of medieval German for you:

    4th stanza of Under der Linden by Walther von der Vogelweide, from around 1200.

    Daz* er bî** mir læge***,

    *Scriptures are wholly inconsistent with using either s, z, ss, ß or ∫
    **Scriptures are wholly inconsistent in using î or ei
    ***Scriptures are wholly inconsistent in using æ, ae, ä, á, a or aa. Here it'd be modern "a".

    wessez* iemen**

    *Scriptures are wholly inconsistent in conjugation of verbs. Here, the past tense is also missing and can only be assumed from context.
    **Scriptures are inconsistent in using i or j since Latin didn't make difference between them. Here, i is a consonant. Contrast it with "ich" where it's a vowel.

    (nû enwelle got!*), sô** schamt ich mich.

    *Gott and Got are used interchanged
    **"So" appears both as "so" and "sô".

    Wes er mit mir pflæge*,

    *Scriptures are wholly inconsistent in using æ, ae, ä, á, a or aa. Here it'd be modern "ä".
    *Old German scripture randomly leaves out "h"s and "p"s. Here, it's present though the sound isn't.

    niemer* niemen**

    *This uses an alternative plural form than usual.
    **Scriptures are wholly inconsistent in conjugation of verbs. This verb has both the past tense and the persona clearly marked.
    **Also, look at the words "niemen" and "iemen". You would expect the two rhyme, but the former is pronounced "nee-man" the latter "yeah-man".

    bevinde* daz**, wan*** er und ich,

    *Old German uses v and f interchangably.
    **Scriptures are wholly inconsistent with using either s, z, ss, ß or ∫. At least it's consistent here in this stanza.
    ***Wann or wan are used interchangeably.

    und ein kleinez* vogellîn** –

    *Scriptures are wholly inconsistent with using either s, z, ss, ß or ∫. Here now z is used for modern s, instead of modern ß.
    **Scriptures are wholly inconsistent in using î or ei.

    tandaradei,
    daz* mac** wol** getriuwe*** sîn***.


    *Scriptures are wholly inconsistent with using either s, z, ss, ß or ∫. At least it's consistent here in this stanza.
    **Old German scripture randomly leaves out "h"s, "k"s and "p"s. Here it's not present, but the sound is (either ck or ch).
    ***Scriptures are wholly inconsistent in conjugation of verbs. This verb combination marks the past tense twice but the conjugation is alright.

    I don't think anybody has an issue with an awkwardly high rate of literacy and amount of languages spoken. But I think it's better this way than to go down the everyone speaks everything avenue.
     
    #16 Reaganism, Nov 2, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2017
  17. MokeDuck

    MokeDuck Hail the duckfather!
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    Ah ok. I was talking about the rate at which people learn, not the difficulty of learning languages. there were opportunities to learn just as well as we learn in modern schools, but they just weren't as common. you are right though, the specific languages would be difficult to learn
     
  18. Eronoc

    Eronoc Fantasy Horselord Staff Member Roleplay Staff

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    @Channing_Tantrum @Magivore
    To be clear, I never said "everyone should speak everything". I said, to quote, "I think it would be fair to restrict knowledge to certain backgrounds in general, on a grander scale, but loosen the restrictions on how it's handled on a smaller scale."

    Essentially: With Nobility/Aristocracy and Scholars from a Medieval perspective, it makes sense to have more multi-lingualism than is very feasible now - with my incorrect assumption that 8 years was the norm for IC language acquisition. MonMarty's point that the Medieval Ages aren't the proper historical comparison for Aloria but rather the Renaissance is perfectly valid, and is a good reason why what I was saying didn't apply.

    Grammar books for languages other than just the Classical ones were in use by the Renaissance, so to the point that learning languages academically should be so much harder in Aloria, which has the printing press and books everywhere based on just looking around, I think @MokeDuck27 has a point. If you are in a position to learn languages, and have a character that should be able to have knowledge of languages, it makes sense that you will be able to know them at a decent level. However, if the requirement is four years, that is a valid learning time and makes sense to me.

    Also, I think we're over-exaggerating the supposed illiteracy of the general populace here. No, people shouldn't be super-educated, but basic literacy wasn't terribly uncommon by the Late Medieval ages, when urbanization was reoccurring. The more complex a society, the more necessity there is for people to be able to converse in writing. This is in fact to the point of the book I referenced, which was referencing a study carried out by the Catholic church which found that in cities knowledge of Latin by the non-nobility increased as social status increased, as well as a higher amount in more populous and wealthier cities. The amount of people from the mid-to-higher social statuses were pretty decently proficient. I don't agree that all medieval scholarship and documentation is somehow inherently less believable than earlier and later documentation, so I think it's fair to say that the conclusion there is valid. This is even more-so the case if we're considering the Renaissance, in which the printing press caused rates of literacy to rise significantly. No, a backwoods Velheimer warrior should probably not be a scholar in his spare time, but those are different circumstances to people living in the more central areas of Regalia. The middle class probably exists in some force in the cities.
     
    #18 Eronoc, Nov 2, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2017
  19. Wumpatron

    Wumpatron I will argue with you Staff Member Lore1
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    I'm going to state a gameplay mechanic that people may either take into consideration or ignore completely, though understand this is how I create my own characters who know multiple languages. Currently the most common languages I see people utilizing publicly are Alt-Regalian, Ithanian, and one of the Velheim dialects. While this differs from person to person, this is my situation. My character can fluently speak Alt-Regalian, Ithanian and Common. The character was born in an Alt-Regalian family who prides themselves on their past and heritage so naturally he learned the language. The character spent most of his life exposed to Ithanian due to being a Viridian Knight and a majority of the Elders being able to speak Ithanian, probably many preferring to speak in their native tongue. So as it stands my character is able to speak Alt-Regalian, Ithanian, and Common fluently. All of these were learned from exposure to the language, no formal education. Currently my character is being exposed to the Velheim dialect. Within eight years I can claim him to be fluent in the language as he is actively learning it from his experiences. That is what the current language set up is. The years to learn the language come from it being an exposure to the language then an actual formal education on language. My character is currently 49. When he is 57 he will be fluent in four languages all from being exposed to them and actively learning them. Just an example of an applied application of this on an actual character.
     
  20. Reaganism

    Reaganism 40th President of the United States

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    Would not a lack of exposure to Ithanian after his arrival in Regalia have his knowledge fade? Knowledge of a language fades surprisingly fast if not spoken. Even if you read & write in a language.
     
  21. Wumpatron

    Wumpatron I will argue with you Staff Member Lore1
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    The Viridian Order has a castle on the island (had, in current times) so the access to Ithanian was always present. His family is Alt-Regalian to allow for that language to continue. Curious enough, many of his relatives were also graduates of the school of Viridian, but I digress. He has had constant exposure and frequent speech of the languages he knows.


    Edit: This character has lived on the island we refer to as Regalia for most of his life.
     
  22. MokeDuck

    MokeDuck Hail the duckfather!
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    oh ok, yea. In nobility it would make sense to know several languages. But again, why is it a problem to put 8 years in your character app instead of 4. It may limit the amount of skills you have a little, but otherwise its just kinda a number on a screen.
     
  23. kudzzy

    kudzzy Refugee

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    This sort of spiraled, but the main thing I was protesting here was how despite most "Ithanian" ostensibly being dialects, they take a full 8 years for even native speakers of one of them to learn the others. Like a person from America being completely unable to fluently speak British English (The example is quite flawed, but I think the point is understood here). I'd expect it to be closer to somebody from America trying to understand say, scots, except maybe to a slightly less confusing degree.
     
  24. Reaganism

    Reaganism 40th President of the United States

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    Depends. It could also be a Lombard trying to understand a Sicilian. Which is practically impossible.

    But I do agree having two Ithanian languages is pointless, especially considering it should be the sub-realm most defined by cultural unison and education in the arts.
     
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