MUDs for non-English speakers?
I am working on designing a new MUD server, which is tentatively intended to be useable by players from different countries (ie. those that do not necessarily speak English), and am curious to know the state of non-English mudding.
If you speak a language other than English (and presumably English as well if you are reading this) then I would appreciate if you could reply to this post and answer the questions below to the best of your knowledge. Thanks! :)
Earlier posts on this subject
The basic idea is covered in a forum post: Multi-lingual MUD? which was based on an earlier forum thread: MUDs in languages other than English? . Read those two posts for more details about the general idea.
Examples of non-English MUDs already wanted
There have been various posts about people wanting MUDs in different languages. For example: SMAUG in Russian , also: SMAUG in Spanish, and: Running PennMUSH under win32 with support for Scandinavian characters . Because of these posts I think there is some sort of demand for MUDs in different languages.
How do players from your country play MUDs? Do they:
- Learn English and play an English MUD?
- Use an existing MUD server (eg. SMAUG, ROM, Merc, Dawn Of Time) and write their own areas/skills/commands in their own language?
- Use an existing MUD server and translate internal messages as well as writing the area files from scratch? Internal messages would be ones like:
"Something catches your attention.";
"Something interesting catches your eye.";
"Something colorful flows by.";
"Something that looks cool calls out to you."
"Your group wouldn't like that."
"You hand out zero coins, but no one notices."
"You don't have that much gold."
"Just keep it all."
There are over 18,000 such messages in SMAUG alone, so such a task is not trivial.
- Use a server written from scratch for that country? If so, can you give the name/site/URL of such a server?
- Use some other method, such as automatic translation, or something else?
How important do you think it is for MUDs to support multiple languages? In other words, if a new MUD server was developed, what would you think is a good idea ...
- Just write it in English.
- Put all messages in a separate file so that the file has to be translated, however the C (or C++) code would not need to be touched. However, a given MUD using this server would only support one language (eg. French).
- Support multiple languages in a single game. In this scenario, players would be asked their language as the first question, and then all subsequent messages would appear in that language (eg. "What is your name?", room descriptions, error messages) and it would accept commands (eg. "north", "look", "inventory") in the appropriate language.
This last option is the most ambitious, and most complicated to do, but do you think it is a waste of time? For instance, would you have problems like needing admins on, who spoke each (supported) language, so they could deal with trouble players? For instance, an admin who spoke only French might have trouble dealing with a player who spoke only Italian.
- Are there other issues that a multi-language MUD would need to address? Examples that spring to mind are the way numbers are formatted (eg. is "one thousand" represented as "1,000" or "1.000"?), dates (if applicable, eg. date you last logged on), word-order for automatically generated lists.
One example that springs to mind is the automaticalled-generated output from MUDs frequently is customised to the gender (alleged gender, anyway) of the player. For example, if you give Gandalf a coin the MUD might say "You give him a coin" or "You give her a coin". Things like singular/plural (sword/swords, fish/fishes), masculine/feminine (him/her, he/she), and sentence construction ("you give John a sword" or "a sword to John you give"). If the output from the MUD was going to look smooth it would need to be able to adapt to those changes.
- Any general comments?
Thanks for participating.