Khalifate Unit Naming

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mameluke
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Khalifate Unit Naming

Post by mameluke » May 19th, 2011, 2:25 pm

Hello,
not sure where to post this issue. (ideas, writers, faction-devel?)
So please move if necessary.

My issue:
I think that it is not a good idea to give the Khalifate (the new faction that seems getting included) Arabic names (I suppose that they are arabic..?)

For this reasons:

1) It is not consistent. Because Elves, Mermen, Drakes... actually ALL the others have descriptive Names, which describe them understandable and translatable for all the wesnoth players, no matter which language they speak.
2) It is confusing. I don't know what kind of unit a Hakim or Mufariq is. This names don't help a player in his game experience. All the other names are in the players language and help him to get an idea what kind of unit he is dealing with.

Links:
* Unit tree with all the names: http://units.wesnoth.org/trunk/C/mainline.html
* A discussion found in the translation section: http://forums.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php ... es#p488432

I quote one issue from the linked transaltion thread:
hhyloc wrote:We should keep the name as it is now. IMO, there's a reason behind those Arabic name, it gives the Khalifate faction a unique feel, not some loyalists with Arabic clothes. If we translate the Khaiyal into something like Horseman, Всадник, Reiter or Marcach..., or if we translate the Arif into something like Swordsman, Фехтовальщик or Espadachín ... we'll basically have the same Loyalist faction again, that would be too awkward I think.
I do think that the similarity of factions is not a reason to give a faction foreign language names!
The mages also have the same names, in different factions... also other units have similar descriptive names.

It is maybe a reason to not include a faction... but I'm sure this has been discussed before?
Can somebody provide a link from such a thread?

thx

Ps: Or should all the other units get renamed, like e.g. elves?
I don't see any problems with an elf-woman hitting somebody with a mace...

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zookeeper
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Re: Khalifate Unit Naming

Post by zookeeper » May 19th, 2011, 2:43 pm

It's been discussed in irc but maybe not much on the forums, and while I think quite a few people agree that they should have english names and that everyone agrees non-english names are not ideal, it's my impression that the developers responsible for the faction aren't willing to do such a change.

I'd imagine there might be a slim chance of it happening if someone came up with a complete list of good english names which wouldn't be very similar to those of any existing unit types. But still unlikely unless I'm mistaken.

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Re: Khalifate Unit Naming

Post by Velensk » May 19th, 2011, 3:12 pm

I'd say that them being foreign would actually be a very good reason to use them. You might not know what a Arif is but if you play with them you will get an idea while playing. If you're going to play a game you may as well be educated (in as much as the game uses them accurately) while you do so. There's no point in making up elven names for elven units because the elves don't speak a language of our world.

And again, it gives them a more unique flavor and separates them out. If every faction had a 'insert faction title or race here' warrior/fighter it would get rather boring and would not tell you much about the factions character.
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Telchin
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Re: Khalifate Unit Naming

Post by Telchin » May 19th, 2011, 5:34 pm

I agree that those arabic(persian?) names are better idea than "{species} fighter/archer/scout" found in other factions. However, I'd like to see some "translation" (and probably pronunciation guide) - Not to be used in game, but simply to give us, who speak European languages only, some basic idea what those names are supposed to mean. Otherwise that educational value mentioned by Velensk is sort of lost.

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ancestral
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Re: Khalifate Unit Naming

Post by ancestral » May 19th, 2011, 5:53 pm

Actually, I think it makes perfect sense keeping them with Arabic names.

The Elves, Dwarves, and Humans have lived amongst each other for centuries on the main continent; the Khalifate have presumably lived secluded in far away lands. Changing their names would be like calling a Samurai a Knight, or a Ninja an Assassin.
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Crendgrim
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Re: Khalifate Unit Naming

Post by Crendgrim » May 19th, 2011, 5:55 pm

Telchin wrote: I agree that those arabic(persian?) names are better idea than "{species} fighter/archer/scout" found in other factions. However, I'd like to see some "translation" (and probably pronunciation guide) - Not to be used in game, but simply to give us, who speak European languages only, some basic idea what those names are supposed to mean. Otherwise that educational value mentioned by Velensk is sort of lost.
Well, you see what sort of unit it is by looking at its sprite, description and attacks.


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hhyloc
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Re: Khalifate Unit Naming

Post by hhyloc » May 20th, 2011, 2:02 am

I'd imaged that the Khalifate had lived in the far South for a long time before other races in Wesnoth discovered them, they don't know much about the Khalifate so they just use the name that the Khalifate used to call themselves (Arif, Jundi, Khaiyal...).
Beside, Khalifate units have a kinda different fighting style compare to other factions, namely the Arif with the marksman melee attack, the Khaiyal with the lance but they don't really "charge" at all ,....) they also have irregular resistance and defence compare to their relatives - the Loyalist. In conclusion, I like their names as thay are now. :)
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Re: Khalifate Unit Naming

Post by TheCripple » May 20th, 2011, 4:16 am

ancestral wrote:Changing their names would be like calling a Samurai a Knight, or a Ninja an Assassin.
Calling a ninja an assassin is just fine. However, concerning the caliphate the older names are entirely functional, largely because anyone who studies middle eastern history in the medieval and earlier eras (inasmuch as the medieval era is applicable) will become comfortable with the names quickly. Besides, we might not have a good grip of the names yet, but through play one will get used to them.

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SkyOne
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Re: Khalifate Unit Naming

Post by SkyOne » May 20th, 2011, 10:40 am

ancestral wrote:Changing their names would be like calling a Samurai a Knight, or a Ninja an Assassin.
Heh, heh...
That will be so fun as far as they are riding horses, not camels, although they look a bit different. ^_^ (not much though)
In a case of using the name of Ninjas, female units should be available, just like the Thief line, I think.
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Crommy
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Re: Khalifate Unit Naming

Post by Crommy » May 20th, 2011, 12:38 pm

Hi all,

thinking about translations of the khalifate-units I would like some background information:

1) Technically - will those units occur in existing (single / multiplayer) campaigns, say like HttT, UtbS? Or is it a online-game-issue?
2) What is the reason behind an "arabic/persian" faction? Or is it more the idea of having a "Nomadic" faction? I would consider later superior for localization, as I would assume all cultures having a background of "nomadic vs settlers".
3) Having heard first about the new faction, I understood it being a mixture of "Huns / Arabic / nomadic" units - was the "Hun" approach completely dropped?
4) I could not find mythological unit names according to the persian / arabic broad (as far as I know) myths? (like jinn or marid, maybe a sphinx-although later would be Egypt) - I might have missed them, though, as the faction is vast (congrats, btw, for all involved) and I did neither know all of the names, nor did looked them all up.

I think, that a lot of questions will be answered having the English descriptions completed, anyhow, some more background information right now would facilitate to give the translations (even the descriptions) the right connotation.

(I wonder, whether it would be better start reading the oriental Karl-May-books, Part 2 of the Nibelungs or Goethes "Divan"anyhow, as Goethe put it :
„Wer sich selbst und andere kennt,
Wird auch hier erkennen:
Orient und Okzident
Sind nicht mehr zu trennen.“
(sorry - didn't find a english translation)

:)

Greetings,
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Re: Khalifate Unit Naming

Post by mameluke » May 20th, 2011, 2:12 pm

I actually wanted this discussion only to be about names.
And I'm quite surprised that I seem to be the only one who sees a problem in "let's include a faction and give them Arabic names, even though all other units have translated names to the players language".
Some people seem to forget that the discussion is not about English versus Arabic!
This game is played in translated versions too.
So this means the discussion is about translatable versus strictly Arabic.
I really see as a problem in that.

Even if you wanted to break the user experience of having understandable names throughout the game I would propose to take names not only from the Arab language.
There is much more, like e.g. Persian, Berber, etc... or even an own fantasy language.

It probably gets clear if you just change position: should we give the loyalists German names? Because Germany is THE country with a big history of knights! Or French? Same there.
This would be exactly the same discussion but nobody even thinks about it...

I do think it is important to keep the game consistent in a whole.

I do feel that there are a lot of other problems with the design of the Khalifate, but I don't know if it is a good idea to mix it with the name issue.
So I opened a different thread here: http://forums.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=33904
I'm quite sure I get ripped in parts for this. But before making wrong statements... look up the meaning of "mameluke" first. thx.
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Re: Khalifate Unit Naming

Post by Velensk » May 20th, 2011, 2:35 pm

Germany may have had plenty of knights running around, but then again so did france, and spain, and the only reason England was so far behind was because it was small. All these places spoke different languages so it doesn't exactly make it easy to pick one (aside, even at that there are some terms used that were from different languages but were so strongly associated that they were transfered over with the concept, observe horseman using a 'spear' but knights use a 'lance' there is no real difference other than that the english strongly associated spears to knights/france and thus adapted to term into their own to refer to spears that knights use despite the fact that in France 'lance' would refer to any 'spear'.).

The cavalry units in wesnoth don't resemble any one nations that much more than any of the others but rather 'generic' cavalry for the region. The Khalifate may be generic infantry for the region they come from but they are distinctly cavalry/warriors from a different region than the loyalists thus worthy of a different name/style.

You cannot keep the game consistent to language when language isn't consistent to itself.
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Mountain_King
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Re: Khalifate Unit Naming

Post by Mountain_King » May 20th, 2011, 3:12 pm

As a translator, I just want to chime in my agreement with hhyloc. The names add an entirely different flavor to Wesnoth, and IMO that flavour should stay. Unless your language already has a specific word for the unit in question the names should most likely stay as-is.
*Not to mention the fact that a couple units are simply Arabic first names, so they would translate to "bob" or "joe" or something. :D
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Re: Khalifate Unit Naming

Post by Gauteamus » May 20th, 2011, 3:43 pm

I always disliked the [species] Fighter/Archer/Warrior naming scheme, so in the norwegian unit tree (badly in need of a new maintainer), I gave each unit a unique name, the dwarves fairly norse themed, the nagas indian sounding names, the elves "tree-inspired" etc.

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Re: Khalifate Unit Naming

Post by Boucman » May 20th, 2011, 5:58 pm

honestly, we are short in words equivalent to "archer", "fighter", "rider" in english (and probably other languages too) so it made sense to start using the huge potential of foreign names to add variety...

and IIUC the Khalifate is more persian than arabic... not sure if the names are arabic or persion though...
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