>>44943296 >Stupid question, my friend insists that knowing how to speak Dwarvish also lets you read Orcish because they share the same language. Is this retarded or is it legit? Depends on setting. I assume this is D&D, but even D&D has, what, 5 settings they revisit regularily and ten they ignore? Though it seems very off either way.
>>44943417 If you want to, you can incorporate shit like that into your setting. Maybe have the Elemental languages the root language for all the languages that use their alphabets, like Latin is to Romance languages.
>>44943353 That depends on the script in question. Spanish and English use the same (mostly) script but have different words for everything. An English speaker sees the word "pollo" and can say "pollo" (he'll pronounce it wrong but whatever) but he has no idea that word means "chicken".
But that's because English and Spanish use a phonetic script: the letters do not translate into ideas themselves but into SOUNDS. If Dwarvish and Orcish use the same (or very similar) symbolic script then it won't matter if the Dwarf word for chicken is "Hotwingz" and the Orc word is "Poltree" because if they use the same(ish) sumbol a dwarf will see an orc's shopping list and know exactly what they're talking about.
>>44943440 Right. Most settings have orcs being related to elves or goblins or both, but rarely having them have anything to do with dwarves. Their language is more likely to be similar to that of goblins or elves, then, or if they are a created race (bred to be slaves, as in some settings) then their language is likely a version of the race that created them... but again, that usually has nothing to do with dwarves.
>>44943530 The written alphabet that is used by both Dwarven and Orcish (And a handful of other languages) is described as "Runic". And Runes are phonetic, which means that it's more likely they won't be directly understandable (But would be possible to read out loud).
>>44943296 He can certainly read Orcish, assuming he can read Dwarvish. He won't have any idea what the hell the words mean, but he can read them, and might even know how to pronounce them, depending on if Orcish assigns the same phonemes to the same letters.
>>44943662 If they're verified as using the same script, it stands to reason the languages are in fact related, so it becomes a judgement call for the DM: how related are they? If they're as closely related as, say Portuguese and Spanish or Norwegian and Swedish then there's no reason someone literate in one can't also read the other. Or are they as distant as, say, Spanish and Italian or Swedish and Icelandic? That makes translation more of a challenge (and Int check perhaps) but still possible. Or they might be as distant as Swedish and Spanish and still use a similar (but distinct) script and no translation is possible without being literate in both languages.
So it's a world-building issue and a problem for the DM.
>>44943848 I don't actually know how distinct Swedish and Norwegian are, but if I were DMing something and I wanted languages as similar as Spanish and Portuguese, I'd consider them the same language for mechanical purposes. Because I know for a fact that a fluent Spanish speaker and a fluent Portuguese speaker can communicate verbally.
>>44943718 Kek, no. Despite the similarities between the two languages, speakers of either language suck at the other.
And don't get me started on faux amis. Long story short, implying that mastery of an alphabat means mastery of a language is full retard. Vocabulary, grammar etc. are independent of your ability to read them.
>>44943530 You mean a bit like how kanji in Chinese and Japanese mean the same thing most of the time? That doesn't make Chinese and Japanese, or even many dialects of Chinese, mutually intelligible.
>>44943903 >I don't actually know how distinct Swedish and Norwegian are They're much closer than Italian and Spanish, and I say this as a Swede/Italian who breezed through a spanish course.
Applied to a game, make him do a check to see if he understands completely (this can be useful if he thinks he understood, but he actually misheard, say, information on an enemy encampment, leading him into a trap or something like that).
Just because two languages are closely related doesn't mean -all- words are the same.
>>44943296 Are you the GM? Depends on whether or not you agree with him. Is he the GM? Then he's right. Are neither of you the GM? Depends on the GM says. Is this a freeform RP? If so, you're already fucking up.
>>44944161 Back in the day it was in fact quite common for people in the Far East, including not only Chinese people speaking different dialects and Japanese, but also Koreans and Vietnamese (before they developed their separate writing systems) to be able to communicate well in writing even if they couldn't understand a word of what the other would speak. To this day, different Chinese dialects, even if not mutually intelligible when spoken, can bridge that language barrier through the common writing system. It only doesn't work for the Korean, Vietnamese, and Japanese because they've either all but completely replaced Chinese characters with new scripts (for Korean and Vietnamese) or heavily adapted their usage to their language in combination with new supplemental scripts (for Japanese). But that wasn't always the case; go back in time 500 to 1000 years, and the writing situation across these languages looks a lot more like how it is between different variants of Chinese today.
So it's perfectly reasonable for two languages that are not mutually intelligible in speech to be mutually intelligible in writing due to a shared logographic writing system. That said, I've never heard anything about dwarven script being logographic. I suppose it could be, if a GM wanted to roll that way in his setting, but any player trying to insist that it's the case is going to need to point to a page in a campaign setting book to prove it.
>>44943296 They share the same script That's all Though if you want to be passive aggressive about it you should ask if he can read french, german, spanish, italian, polish, most native american and african languages, finnish, swedish, icelandic, danish, norwegian, irish, scottish, welsh, portuguese...
>>44954405 Yes, and? That's how a logographic script works. If the symbols correspond to ideas rather than sounds, everyone who uses that set of symbols for their language will be able to read the meaning of each other's writing just fine even if they couldn't converse worth a damn due to language barriers.
And different cultures quite often simply adopt the writing systems of their neighbors rather than inventing their own. In fact, it's by far the more common approach. Even when writing systems do evolve, it's usually more by a gradual shifting of the way characters are written and accumulation of slight tweaks to suit a particular language.
It's not like acquiring an alphabetic or syllabary script guarantees a swift and comprehensive abandonment of the more cumbersome logographic script, either. Japan was the first to come up with an alternative script (hiragana predates hangul by a good 500 years), but they remain the only ones other than the Chinese who still use Chinese characters substantially. And neither is it a given that a group will necessarily bother to come up with an alphabet or syllabary at all; Vietnam didn't get a phonetically-based script until the Portuguese invented one for them in the 17th century, and even then they continued primarily using Chinese characters (for official/formal purposes) and their own logographic system based on Chinese writing (for general use) until the 20th century.
Based on these historical precedents, it seems that while a culture may slowly adapt and modify a logographic script to where it's only partially inter-legible with its parent system, if its first exposure to the idea of writing was logographic it's very unlikely to switch completely to a phonetic system unless forced to do so. Hangul replaced Chinese characters in Korea because King Sejong the Great made it a major policy issue, and Vietnam's current use of the Latin alphabet only replaced the old Chinese-based systems because of French colonial rule.
>>44955104 TL;DR -- It's not like the whole Sinosphere using a single writing system was a brief transitional footnote in the history of the region; it was like that for centuries, and the most dramatic departures from it were from cases of societal movers and shakers deliberately pushing an alternative script rather than natural evolution of writing practices. There's really nothing terribly strange or unbelievable about cultures with very different spoken languages sharing a common logographic script. It might not stay that way forever, but it's certainly a stable enough situation to be the longstanding established norm for the time period a given story would take place in.
>>44955486 There's also a difference between reading a language and being able to hold or follow a conversation. Compare English to German; there's a massive difference in how each language pronounces vowels and expresses sounds. So a person might well read the other language just fine, but how it sounds in their mind will be different from how it's actually spoken.
So unless Orcish and Dwarfish are really, really similiar, there'll probably be no overhearing some orcs discussing their attack plans. Hell, I could move 50 miles West and I would have problems understanding the dialect spoken there.
>>44943530 >that's because English and Spanish use a phonetic script they don't: if they were, there would be a one-to-one correspondence between letters and sounds. Instead the same string of letters may be pronounced in two different ways ("read" is an example).
So, even if they have the same alphabet, you may not be able to read it correctly.
>>44955676 Indeed. And while there have been a very few cases where a culture invented a novel writing system from scratch after getting the *concept* of writing in general from someone else (Korean hangul being the most notable one), the vast majority of the time "new" scripts are simply adaptations or gradual shifts in writing style of another script. For example, the Latin, Cyrillic, Hebrew, Arabic, and Hindi alphabets are all derived from the Phoenician alphabet, which itself comes from Egyptian hieroglyphics, which were most likely at least partially based on Sumerian cuneiform.
>>44957520 >they don't: if they were, there would be a one-to-one correspondence between letters and sounds. >Instead the same string of letters may be pronounced in two different ways ("read" is an example). The guy wasn't wrong, it's just that the term he was looking for was technically "phonographic". A script where the characters represent sounds, as opposed to a logographic script like Chinese where they represent ideas.
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