IF and other languages

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Kees Wiebering

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May 11, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/11/96
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In the other newsgroup (rec.games.int-fiction) there's a discussion going
on on the subject of adventures in other languages than English. This is a
subject that is very dear to me, and I spent some thoughts of it lately
during my own adventures in writing interactive fiction.
The discussion in rec.games.int-fiction seems to center around the
audience's perspective. I post my reaction to this group because I would
like to make some comments and raise some questions from the author's view.

But first one remark about the audience. It's true that the main audience
for interactive fiction uses English either as first or second language,
because of the necessity to use this language in the world of computers.
But the problem of the people who have English as their second language
is not in understanding the texts but in using English as input for a
solution. In my experience (Dutch is my first language) the `guess-the-
word' type of problems are a part of seemingly every problemsolving path,
because there's always this terrible feeling of maybe not knowing the
`magic' word actively.
This problem might be solved in providing objects with as much synonyms as
possible, but this is not entirely true. The reason for this is that for a
good game you need hints within the playing environment. Hints can only be
understood if the player associates words in the text with words to use
for the solution. In the better cases, hints are provided in a subtle way,
which means embedded in the language and descriptions themselves, rather
than added in extra sentences or even a special hint system. And you cannot
make hints too easy because it spoils the game for people with a good
understanding of English.

The other side of the question is the writing. Writing in your own
language gives a much better and compact style than whatever you write
in another language. A plot for a game can be very good, but in the end
everything depends on the descriptions and the feeling that comes up when
moving through rooms and actions.
I write all kinds of things in several languages, but for example poetry
only in Dutch, because every word should fit together with another one.
This aspect is even harder in IF than in normal prose or poetry, because
several parts of texts should go after several others in some order that
is more or less chosen by the player.
Because of this, I think the right fluency can only be achieved by writing
in your own language.

Actually, I don't want to argue about using other languages in interactive
fiction. It is done in all the arts that use words. If interactive fiction
wants to become a new form of art it should be translated or written in
other languages than English. Interactive fiction should never be a forum
for people who want to give the world its universal language, because it's
supposed to be art. Enough. For me it's not the question why, but the
question how it should be done.

In all literary works of art are translated. Very good. But most
translators are not programmers and vice versa. Ofcourse, it is possible
to write games in other languages than English (I have seen Dutch, German
and French games and there is currently a Spanish game advertised in
rec.games.int-fiction). But as far as I know they use their own code which
makes these games untranslatable for someone who did not write the code.
Ofcourse, there is much more experience in writing interactive fiction in
English. It should serve as a starting point for IF in other languages.

I think the best opportunity to make games easier to translate is to use
the Inform libraries written by Graham Nelson. They might be modified in
some sort of universal way to provide easy translation to several other
languages. The big advantage (apart from the fact that it's a very good
system) of the Inform libraries is that changing the grammar is very
straightforward and is not in any way changing the structure of the
gamefile as a whole.
Parser messages are different, though. Most languages have a structure
that is more difficult to handle (for a computer that is) than English:
for example the use of gender for nouns (masculin, feminin and neutral)
and more forms of verbs. Not to think of non-Indo-european languages.

At last some concluding questions. Are there other people out there
interested in constructing libraries that make translations possible? Does
anyone has some experience in writing IF in other languages than English?
Is there anyone who tried translating the Inform libraries? Or, does anyone
has suggestions for starting such a project?

Kees Wiebering.

Branko Collin

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May 13, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/13/96
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In article <cfa_960...@saluton.iaf.nl>

wieb...@saluton.iaf.nl (Kees Wiebering) writes:

>
>In the other newsgroup (rec.games.int-fiction) there's a discussion going
>on on the subject of adventures in other languages than English. This is a
>subject that is very dear to me, and I spent some thoughts of it lately
>during my own adventures in writing interactive fiction.

<snip>


>solution. In my experience (Dutch is my first language) the `guess-the-
>word' type of problems are a part of seemingly every problemsolving path,
>because there's always this terrible feeling of maybe not knowing the
>`magic' word actively.

Tell me about it. I always forget the words used to undress. So I wear
something and then cannot take it off.

<snip>


>I think the best opportunity to make games easier to translate is to use
>the Inform libraries written by Graham Nelson. They might be modified in
>some sort of universal way to provide easy translation to several other
>languages. The big advantage (apart from the fact that it's a very good
>system) of the Inform libraries is that changing the grammar is very
>straightforward and is not in any way changing the structure of the
>gamefile as a whole.

<snip>


>At last some concluding questions. Are there other people out there
>interested in constructing libraries that make translations possible? Does
>anyone has some experience in writing IF in other languages than English?
>Is there anyone who tried translating the Inform libraries? Or, does anyone
>has suggestions for starting such a project?
>

I have thought of translating them, but I just don't have the time.

.......................................................................
. Branko Collin . Watch this space for the next .
. . episode of: .
. // u24...@vm.uci.kun.nl . .
. \X/ . Controversial Signatures .
.......................................................................

Magnus Olsson

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May 13, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/13/96
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In article <cfa_960...@saluton.iaf.nl>,
Kees Wiebering <wieb...@saluton.iaf.nl> wrote:

>But the problem of the people who have English as their second language
>is not in understanding the texts but in using English as input for a
>solution.

I'm not sure about that. I have the feeling that many non-English speakers
have problems understanding the texts. If a puzzle hinges on the player
getting a good understanding of exactly what a scene looks like, for
example, and there is one word in the description which the player
misunderstands, the entire puzzle might be ruined. Note that I wrote
"misunderstands" rather than "doesn't understand", because if you
don't understand a word, you'll probably consult a dictionary, but if
you *think* you understand it, but really don't, then you won't look
it up.

BTW, this applies not just to people who don't have English as their
first language. It seems many native English speakers have problems
with the demijohn in "Curses", for example.

This can be avoided by keeping your vocabulary simple (don't try to
show off by using lots of fancy words) but also by providing object
descriptions that explain what objects really are. For example,
if you have a demijohn with the description "It's a large glass bottle,
used in wine making", it doesn't matter if people don't understand the
word "demijohn".

> In my experience (Dutch is my first language) the `guess-the-
>word' type of problems are a part of seemingly every problemsolving path,
>because there's always this terrible feeling of maybe not knowing the
>`magic' word actively.
>This problem might be solved in providing objects with as much synonyms as
>possible, but this is not entirely true.

Well, not so much synonyms for _objects_, because if an object is
mentioned in the text the user can always use the words used in the
text, can't he? But synonyms for _verbs_, and alternative way to
formulate commands, are essential.

> The reason for this is that for a
>good game you need hints within the playing environment. Hints can only be
>understood if the player associates words in the text with words to use
>for the solution. In the better cases, hints are provided in a subtle way,
>which means embedded in the language and descriptions themselves, rather
>than added in extra sentences or even a special hint system. And you cannot
>make hints too easy because it spoils the game for people with a good
>understanding of English.

I'm rather dubious about this kind of word games myself, even when I do
get them. To put it simply, I don't think a piece of IF that relies on
this kind of "hints" is good as IF. It may be good as a puzzle game,
of course, so your points are still valid.

>The other side of the question is the writing. Writing in your own
>language gives a much better and compact style than whatever you write
>in another language. A plot for a game can be very good, but in the end
>everything depends on the descriptions and the feeling that comes up when
>moving through rooms and actions.
>I write all kinds of things in several languages, but for example poetry
>only in Dutch, because every word should fit together with another one.
>This aspect is even harder in IF than in normal prose or poetry, because
>several parts of texts should go after several others in some order that
>is more or less chosen by the player.
>Because of this, I think the right fluency can only be achieved by writing
>in your own language.

I think you should be careful about generalizing like that.

It's of course easier to write in one's own language, in the sense
that it's the language one know best. However, it's not necessarily
true that an authors writing will be *better* if he or she writes in
his or her own language.

Personally, I find that some things are easier to do if I write in
English, and some things are easier if I write in Swedish. Granted, it
requires more consicous effort for me to write in English, but that's
not necessarily a disavantage.

>Actually, I don't want to argue about using other languages in interactive
>fiction. It is done in all the arts that use words. If interactive fiction
>wants to become a new form of art it should be translated or written in
>other languages than English.

Perhaps it "should", but it doesn't have to. For a long time,
all literature was written in Latin, and the vernaculars weren't
considered good enough for art. Not that that's a desirable attitude,
of course.

I think that translating IF would be a good idea.

>But most
>translators are not programmers and vice versa.

This is a problem, but it shouldn't be unsurmountable. The big problem
with translating, for example, Inform games lies in translating the
entire library. But that need only be done once.

--
Magnus Olsson (m...@df.lth.se)

Ingo Paschke

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May 13, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/13/96
to

Hi!

wieb...@saluton.iaf.nl (Kees Wiebering) writes:

>I think the best opportunity to make games easier to translate is to use
>the Inform libraries written by Graham Nelson. They might be modified in
>some sort of universal way to provide easy translation to several other
>languages. The big advantage (apart from the fact that it's a very good
>system) of the Inform libraries is that changing the grammar is very
>straightforward and is not in any way changing the structure of the
>gamefile as a whole.
>Parser messages are different, though. Most languages have a structure
>that is more difficult to handle (for a computer that is) than English:
>for example the use of gender for nouns (masculin, feminin and neutral)
>and more forms of verbs. Not to think of non-Indo-european languages.

We need nationalized IF-authoring tools. The lack of non-English adventures
stems from the fact that there's no out-of-the-box development system. It
seems difficult (and probably not worthwhile - because the problem of the
non-native speakers is not playing games in English but writing IF!) to
translate existing games, but it should be possible to modify the
inform-libraries for new games in other languages.

>At last some concluding questions. Are there other people out there
>interested in constructing libraries that make translations possible?

Graham Nelson has already done this: His libraries _are_ quite language
independent. There's an exercise in the "Designer's Manual":
"49: Write an Inform game on Occitan (a dialect of medieval French spoken in
Provence".
The answer states "The details are left to the reader. One must
provide a new grammar file (generating the same actions from a different
syntax) and a very large LibraryMessages object".

Unfortunately, that's a good start, but not all there is to do. The biggest
problem seems to be the implementation of genders and their respective
articles.

>Does anyone has some experience in writing IF in other languages than
>English?

I have. I wrote a game in German once around 1991 with a friend who had
developed an adventure-programming-language. Though it was quite good at the
time (the parser understood most of what typical Inform-games do and it had
automapping), I wouldn't want to touch it today because it was written in
QuickBasic :(.

>Is there anyone who tried translating the Inform libraries? Or, does anyone
>has suggestions for starting such a project?

I got inform two weeks ago and I want to try modifying it to write a game in
German. First, I need some time to get familiar with it, though.

Perhaps we should stay in touch to discuss some of the problems involved?

Ciao,
Ingo.
--
Ingo Paschke
Braunschweig, Germany
[MIME, Nextmail welcome.]

PAZ SALGADO

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May 13, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/13/96
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Magnus Olsson (m...@marvin.df.lth.se) wrote:
: This can be avoided by keeping your vocabulary simple (don't try to

: show off by using lots of fancy words) but also by providing object
: descriptions that explain what objects really are. For example,
: if you have a demijohn with the description "It's a large glass bottle,
: used in wine making", it doesn't matter if people don't understand the
: word "demijohn".

If you keep your vocabulary simple, you can't do a pretty piece of
literature, a *interactive-novel*. I think that a good language is one
of the important thing in I-Fs. Good enviroment descriptions, with lots of
fancy words are fundamental. If you keep your vocabulary simple enough to
me, you doesn't write in english, but in a strange universal language.

: I think you should be careful about generalizing like that.

: It's of course easier to write in one's own language, in the sense
: that it's the language one know best. However, it's not necessarily
: true that an authors writing will be *better* if he or she writes in
: his or her own language.

: Personally, I find that some things are easier to do if I write in
: English, and some things are easier if I write in Swedish. Granted, it
: requires more consicous effort for me to write in English, but that's
: not necessarily a disavantage.

I have several sweden friend and I know you use the English like another
*First language*. But it's no the same case for spanish people. English
are the *third* idiom for lots of spanish people (we have 4 different
regional languages). It's just impossible to us to write a good enough
description.


Meliton Rodriguez, from 115 room


Magnus Olsson

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May 13, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/13/96
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In article <4n7b72$2...@tid.tid.es>, PAZ SALGADO <ja...@tid.tid.es> wrote:
>Magnus Olsson (m...@marvin.df.lth.se) wrote:
>: This can be avoided by keeping your vocabulary simple (don't try to

>: show off by using lots of fancy words) but also by providing object
>: descriptions that explain what objects really are. For example,
>: if you have a demijohn with the description "It's a large glass bottle,
>: used in wine making", it doesn't matter if people don't understand the
>: word "demijohn".
>
>If you keep your vocabulary simple, you can't do a pretty piece of
>literature, a *interactive-novel*. I think that a good language is one
>of the important thing in I-Fs. Good enviroment descriptions, with lots of
>fancy words are fundamental. If you keep your vocabulary simple enough to
>me, you doesn't write in english, but in a strange universal language.
>

Well, I didn't mean that the vocabulary should be kept *that* simple. :-)

But there are different schools in what constitutes good writing. One
view is that fancy words are essential. Another is that fancy words
are anathema.

I suppose the middle path is, as usual, the best, or at least the
safest one. Avoiding the extremes - on one hand, using only two-word
sentences with a vocabulary of 250 words, which makes your text read
like a book for small children; on the other, using convoluted
sentences full of abstruse polysyllabic verbiage makes at best a
pedantic (and at worst a ridiculous) impression.

>: Personally, I find that some things are easier to do if I write in


>: English, and some things are easier if I write in Swedish. Granted, it
>: requires more consicous effort for me to write in English, but that's
>: not necessarily a disavantage.
>

>I have several sweden friend and I know you use the English like another
>*First language*.

Well, not quite. :-)

>But it's no the same case for spanish people. English
>are the *third* idiom for lots of spanish people (we have 4 different
>regional languages). It's just impossible to us to write a good enough
>description.

But the original poster (who is Dutch if I remember correctly, and the
Dutch are just as good at English as we Swedes) wasn't writing about
Spanish people writing in English: he was writing about *anybody*
writing in *any* language except his native one. Which is why I wrote
that he shouldn't generalize like that.

And while it is true that the difference between Spanish and English
is larger than that between Swedish and English, and that (as far as I
know) English has a different status in Spain than in Sweden, I think
you are too modest. I've met Spanish people who speak perfect English
and write it better than most Swedes.

And consider authors like George Mikes and Vladimir Nabokov, whose
first languages (Hungarian and Russian) are much more different from
English than Spanish, yet who had great success with books written in
an English far better than that of most native English speakers.


But of course all this doesn't mean that Spanish authors should write
in English, or that there shouldn't be good IF tools in Spanish.

--
Magnus Olsson (m...@df.lth.se)

Kees Wiebering

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May 13, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/13/96
to

Newsgroups: rec.arts.int-fiction

In the other newsgroup (rec.games.int-fiction) there's a discussion going

on on the subject of adventures in other languages than English. The
discussion


seems to center around the audience's perspective. I post my reaction to this
group because I would like to make some comments and raise some questions from
the author's view.

Writing in your own language gives a much better and compact style than


whatever you write in another language. A plot for a game can be very good,

but in the end everything still depends on the descriptions and the feeling


that comes up when moving through rooms and actions.
I write all kinds of things in several languages, but for example poetry
only in Dutch, because every word should fit together with another one.
This aspect is even harder in IF than in normal prose or poetry, because
several parts of texts should go after several others in some order that
is more or less chosen by the player. Because of this, I think the right
fluency can only be achieved by writing in your own language.

Actually, it's not really the question why, but the question how it should
be done.

In all literary works of art are translated. Ofcourse it is possible


to write games in other languages than English (I have seen Dutch, German
and French games and there is currently a Spanish game advertised in

rec.games.int-fiction). But as far as I know they use their own assembler
or C code which makes these games untranslatable for someone who did not
write the code. Therefore I think that translation should start in creating
(Inform or TADS) library files from the original English libraries.
It would have the interesting effect to enlarge the audience for the
established games.

The best opportunity to make games easier to translate is to use


the Inform libraries written by Graham Nelson. They might be modified in
some sort of universal way to provide easy translation to several other
languages. The big advantage (apart from the fact that it's a very good
system) of the Inform libraries is that changing the grammar is very
straightforward and is not in any way changing the structure of the
gamefile as a whole.
Parser messages are different, though. Most languages have a structure
that is more difficult to handle (for a computer that is) than English:
for example the use of gender for nouns (masculin, feminin and neutral)
and more forms of verbs. Not to think of non-Indo-european languages.

Some concluding questions.


Are there other people out there interested in constructing libraries that
make translations possible?

Does anyone has some experience in writing IF in other languages than English?

Is there anyone who tried translating the Inform libraries?

Does anyone has suggestions for starting such a project?

I really would appieciate your thoughts on this subject.

Kees Wiebering.

George Jenner

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May 13, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/13/96
to

KW> In the other newsgroup (rec.games.int-fiction) there's a discussion going
KW> on on the subject of adventures in other languages than English. This is
a

Interesting question. One problem with translation is the near
universal use of the imperative - shut door - which has only one
form in English. I know it has two forms in French and 8? in Spanish
(tu, vosotros, usted, ustedes, + subjunctives in negative?). Is there
only one form in Dutch? It's a problem with a form that demands almost
as much literacy of the reader as the author.

The language of the reader is already rather stilted to enable the parsers
to understand. Maybe there is a way of simplifying that language even
further, using elements common to all languages. Every sentence will
have a verb, but where should it be? Should a universal parser
recognise the language before it tries to sort out the grammar?

Geo.


Paulo Jan

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May 14, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/14/96
to

Hi all:

In addition to all these, I must say that, for me, the main reason
that has prevented me from having anything else than a quick look to
games like "Lost in N.Y." is the English language, specially in the
descriptions. I'm usually too lazy to go, look for a dictionary and then,
patiently, translate the words that I don't understand + the words that
I'm not sure of (which are a lot more).
BTW, just a reminder to all the authors: in ftp.gmd.de you can find
some spanish IF writing systems that I uploaded a while ago: CAECHO,
SINTAC and NMP.


Paulo.


(Una saludo a Melit=F3n, de otro socio del CAAD...)

Fredrik Ekman

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May 14, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/14/96
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In article <DrBy...@xlan.hil.de> ipas...@xlan.hil.de (Ingo Paschke) writes:
> The biggest
> problem seems to be the implementation of genders and their respective
> articles.

Or do as the authors of Die Karawane der siebten Dynastie (which is at
if-archive) and treat all articles as English "the". Not a solution I
would recommend, of course, but possible.

/F

Roger Giner-Sorolla

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May 15, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/15/96
to

As someone who is fairly fluent in Spanish and Catalan, and knows a little
French, German and Italian, it occurs to me that the problem of coding
gender is not all that great in those languages -- although I may be
missing something.

In Spanish, for example, gender modifies only the pronouns and
adjectives used to describe a thing. Presumably this could be reflected
in coding the name and aliases of the object. The verb is not affected
by gender; if it were, this would be a bigger problem.

Example:
In Spanish, "llave" (key) is grammatically feminine, and takes pronouns
so: "la llave" (the key), "una llave" (a key).

Coding the program to say "Ves aqui /una/ llave" (You see a key here) is
no harder than associating the pronoun "some" in English with a plural
object (e.g., "You see some coins here.") I believe both Inform and TADS
allow for such customizing of pronouns.

Do existing English game languages, though, allow custom pronouns in the
case where you take the key, and it tells you "Agarres /la/ llave" (You
take /the/ key)?

As for gendered adjectives, they really only come into play, in the
command line, when you are trying to distinguish between two objects -- a
round key and a square key, for instance ("una llave redonda" vs. "una
llave cuadrada"). You don't have to worry about making adjectives
independent entities, able to modify masculine and feminine objects. They
would just be aliases of the objects, and gender here might sometimes even
be helpful. For example, if you had a red telephone (telefono rojo) and a
red encyclopedia (enciclopedia roja), the perceptive Spanish-speaking
player would be able to get the desired object by typing "rojo" or "roja,"
rather than needing to disambiguate "red."

Roger Giner-Sorolla New York University, New York, NY
gi...@xp.psych.nyu.edu Dept. of Psychology (Social/Personality)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This scholar, rake, Christian, dupe, gamester, and poet.
David Garrick, "Jupiter and Mercury"

Kenneth Fair

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May 15, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/15/96
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Regarding gendered nouns: Couldn't you just include an attribute (at least
in Inform; I don't know TADS) that would store the gender of a particular
object? Then you would just have the article routines check the gender
and return the appropriate article. It'd be a pain, but not nearly
as complex as some other problems (like dealing with elision in French).

--
KEN FAIR - U. Chicago Law | <http://student-www.uchicago.edu/users/kjfair>
Of Counsel, U. of Ediacara | Power Mac! | CABAL(tm) | I'm w/in McQ - R U?
If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down?
We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason.

Nulldogma

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May 15, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/15/96
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> Regarding gendered nouns: Couldn't you just include an attribute (at
least
> in Inform; I don't know TADS) that would store the gender of a
particular
> object? Then you would just have the article routines check the gender
> and return the appropriate article. It'd be a pain, but not nearly
> as complex as some other problems (like dealing with elision in French).

I don't see why not. In TADS, for example, you could do something like
this:

modify thing
thedesc=
{
if (self.isFem)
{"la "; self.sdesc;}
else
{"el "; self.sdesc;}
}
adesc=
{
if (self.isFem)
{"una "; self.sdesc;}
else
{"un "; self.sdesc;}
}
;

And adjectives, as Roger said, would take care of themselves.

I can't really see translation into other Romance or Germanic languages as
that difficult. Word order seems like it would be the most tricky, but
since TADS, at least, supports even VERB PREP IOBJ DOBJ construction, it's
hardly unworkable.

I'd be willing to collaborate on translating a short TADS game into
Spanish as an exercise, if anyone's interested. I'd handle the coding if
someone else would do the actual translation (my Spanish is even worse
than my high-school French).

Neil

Paul Trauth

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May 16, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/16/96
to

Magnus Olsson (m...@marvin.df.lth.se) wrote:
: I suppose the middle path is, as usual, the best, or at least the

: safest one. Avoiding the extremes - on one hand, using only two-word
: sentences with a vocabulary of 250 words, which makes your text read
: like a book for small children; on the other, using convoluted
: sentences full of abstruse polysyllabic verbiage makes at best a
: pedantic (and at worst a ridiculous) impression.

A tangential thought (I'm good at these): On the third hand, the Dr.
Seuss book 'The Cat In The Hat' is written with a ludicrously small
vocabulary, and yet it's a lively, entertaining read, with a number
of very odd happenings.

In fact, the Cat, or something similar (copyright, dontchaknow) might
make a good hook for a kid-friendly adventure game... with the player
as the Cat, one of the kids, or even the fish. (Though the latter is
starting to put me in mind of the Cardinal's Dada game...)

--
"But I don't want no tea. It gives me a headache." - Pete Puma
paul trauth: cartoonist, animator, programmer, raccoon. rac...@gs.net


Staffan Friberg

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May 16, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/16/96
to

In article <4n7b72$2...@tid.tid.es>
ja...@tid.tid.es (PAZ SALGADO) writes:

> If you keep your vocabulary simple, you can't do a pretty piece of
> literature, a *interactive-novel*. I think that a good language is one
> of the important thing in I-Fs. Good enviroment descriptions, with lots of
> fancy words are fundamental. If you keep your vocabulary simple enough to
> me, you doesn't write in english, but in a strange universal language.

No, I beg to disagree, a simple language doesn't in any way prevent you
from writing good texts. A description of something is more than the sum of
all the words used...

English is a language that has many words so using more simple (or common,
if you like that word better) ones shouldn't (if you are a talented writer,
that is) make your texts worse.

> I have several sweden friend and I know you use the English like another

> *First language*. But it's no the same case for spanish people. English

We start learning english in school when we're ten years old and we have
compulsory english for six years. After that most of us do at least two
more years. With that in mind it's not difficult to see why most swedish
(scandinavian) people are fairly good at english.

And if you're just reading you won't have to listen to the horrible accent
some swedish people have. [Shudder!] :)

--

Staffan Friberg (st...@rabbit.augs.se) Sweden
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Ibland undrar man om inte kvinnor har bröst bara för att jävlas med en.
(Arne Anka)


PAZ SALGADO

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May 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/20/96
to

Staffan Friberg (st...@rabbit.augs.se) wrote:
: > If you keep your vocabulary simple, you can't do a pretty piece of
: > literature, a *interactive-novel*. I think that a good language is one
: > of the important thing in I-Fs. Good enviroment descriptions, with lots of
: > fancy words are fundamental. If you keep your vocabulary simple enough to
: > me, you doesn't write in english, but in a strange universal language.

: No, I beg to disagree, a simple language doesn't in any way prevent you
: from writing good texts. A description of something is more than the sum of
: all the words used...

: English is a language that has many words so using more simple (or common,
: if you like that word better) ones shouldn't (if you are a talented writer,
: that is) make your texts worse.

I'm sorry but I must disagree. Writing good text (really good texts), need
to use the exact word in the exact place. There are a lot of forms to say
*see*, each one have a little bit difference in meaning. A good writter
must, not only to make a beautiful text, equilibrated, not repaeted, but
use the correct one form of *see* for any situation; the form that make
the reader *feels* the situation.

I expect I could say *exactly* what I wanted to say ;-)


Meliton Rodriguez, from 117 room

qb...@brisnet.org.au

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May 24, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/24/96
to

With the usual caveats, of course. Yesterday (without thinking) my wife
told me to 'turn off the door' (meaning to close it). Odd what the mind
dredges up and spits out without thinking about it, isn't it?

I suppose 'turn off door' could be a valid construction, but (to me, at
least) it'd make more sense if 'turn on door' was to close it.

Ah, well...

D

Nulldogma

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May 24, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/24/96
to

> With the usual caveats, of course. Yesterday (without thinking) my wife
> told me to 'turn off the door' (meaning to close it). Odd what the mind
> dredges up and spits out without thinking about it, isn't it?
>
> I suppose 'turn off door' could be a valid construction, but (to me, at
> least) it'd make more sense if 'turn on door' was to close it.

Obviously, her library defines "turn off" and "shut" as synonyms. Makes
sense for a light, but not for a door.

You might try rewriting her "turn off" default routine so that it includes
a check for isDoor before pointing to the "shut" routine, though things
like this can be dicey when you're married.

Neil

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