A place for random posts about painting and modelling miniatures for historical, fantasy, and science fiction tabletop games.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Designing A Skyrim Style ACK Campaign - Sidebar: Languages

A very nice gentleman complemented me on the use of names I have been using for this project. Since this campaign setting has a very strong Anglo-Saxon, Anglo-Danish, Danish and Germanic themes I have been mining Old English, German and Danish for naming conventions.

I am not a philologist by any stretch of the imagination and I would never claim to be. I am sure most philologists would be appalled at the way I am massacring these languages. I would half expect them to take me outside and beat me with a copy of Bright's Anglo-Saxon Reader.

As for name conventions I sometimes start with Modern English and find the translations into other languages to find the names I come up with. I use Google Translate and Old English Translator a lot

Here is a table I created that I have been pulling my names from.

Modern English
Old English
Final Selection
North Sky Country
Nordlig Himmel
Norden Himmel
Men of the Sea
Jern sømand
Eisen Segler

Fire Dragon Hold (hall)
Brand Drage Herregård
Feuer Drachen Daheim
Silver Field (plains)
Sine feldland
Silber Feld
Silver Feld
Iron Helm
Jern Ror
Eisen Helm
East Shore (Coast)
Øst Jord
Osten Strand
West Land
Vest Jord
West Grafschaft
Lake Land
Sø Jord
See Grafschaft
Wolf Country
Wulf Dúnland
Ulv fædreland
Wolf Staat
Wulf Dúnland
Stone Guard
Stán castel
Sten Vagt
Stein Hüten

As you can see I will mix and match to get the right feel. I am almost certain if I use these in games, I will mispronounce them, but it  give the campaign world a certain feel.

For Example using Modern English

"We left the port of Fire Dragon Hold and sailed down the coast of the northern sky island to the port of East Shore."

Nothing wrong with that sentence, it is a fine sentence.

Now using a mixture of languages

"We left the port of Fýrdracaheald and sailed down the coast of Norðrodor towards the port of Ostenstrand."

 Still means the same exact thing, but has a slightly more authentic feel. The fact that Old English, Danish and German words often sound similar to their modern English versions helps alot too.