Language In My Zho Campaign

ottarrus

Cosmic Mongoose
After looking at the rules of Language skill in Traveller and the requirements of my campaign, I've decided to modify the Language skill.
What I've decided to do is this:

Language 0 must be specified [for example Language 0: Trokh] and is the general 'tourist' by-rote questions that you need to get around... 'how much is this?', 'where is the bathroom', 'what time is it?' etc.
Language 1 [Specific Language] is the basic conversational language; 'how are you feeling?' 'why did he do that?' etc. This may include technical language if both parties have a minimum skill level 1 in the given technology
Language 2 is mastery of the language with an obvious accent [if you've ever heard someone with a thick Southern US accent speak German, you know what I mean]
Language 3 is idomatic and accent-free mastery. Whatever 'accent' someone at this level uses will be in the language in question... speaking German with a Viennese accent, for example.
 

MasterGwydion

Banded Mongoose
ottarrus said:
After looking at the rules of Language skill in Traveller and the requirements of my campaign, I've decided to modify the Language skill.
What I've decided to do is this:

Language 0 must be specified [for example Language 0: Trokh] and is the general 'tourist' by-rote questions that you need to get around... 'how much is this?', 'where is the bathroom', 'what time is it?' etc.
Language 1 [Specific Language] is the basic conversational language; 'how are you feeling?' 'why did he do that?' etc. This may include technical language if both parties have a minimum skill level 1 in the given technology
Language 2 is mastery of the language with an obvious accent [if you've ever heard someone with a thick Southern US accent speak German, you know what I mean]
Language 3 is idomatic and accent-free mastery. Whatever 'accent' someone at this level uses will be in the language in question... speaking German with a Viennese accent, for example.

My problem with language in Traveller is the points required. I have friends that have lived all over the world and speak multiple languages fluently. One of them even speaks 7 languages fluently and knows a dozen others well enough to not starve. In Traveller this is just not possible. Languages take more time to learn that almost any other skill in real life, but I wouldn't say that learning other languages should contribute to your skill point maximum of INT + EDU x 3
 

ShawnDriscoll

Cosmic Mongoose
MasterGwydion said:
My problem with language in Traveller is the points required. I have friends that have lived all over the world and speak multiple languages fluently. One of them even speaks 7 languages fluently and knows a dozen others well enough to not starve. In Traveller this is just not possible. Languages take more time to learn that almost any other skill in real life blah blah

Traveller is not a simulator.
 

MasterGwydion

Banded Mongoose
ShawnDriscoll said:
MasterGwydion said:
My problem with language in Traveller is the points required. I have friends that have lived all over the world and speak multiple languages fluently. One of them even speaks 7 languages fluently and knows a dozen others well enough to not starve. In Traveller this is just not possible. Languages take more time to learn that almost any other skill in real life blah blah

Traveller is not a simulator.

No, but the system works better if languages are not counted against the skill point max. Then it works just fine.
 

ottarrus

Cosmic Mongoose
Given the extra cost in my language scheme, I'm fine with languages not applying to the skill cap...
I would also guess that your multilingual friends would probably rate at skill level 1 as I define it... conversational but not mastery, technical terms are difficult if both parties are not familiar with the technology.

I thought making language study easier because of full immersion or multilingual environments, but I decided against adding another layer of detail to a house rule.
 

MasterGwydion

Banded Mongoose
ottarrus said:
Given the extra cost in my language scheme, I'm fine with languages not applying to the skill cap...
I would also guess that your multilingual friends would probably rate at skill level 1 as I define it... conversational but not mastery, technical terms are difficult if both parties are not familiar with the technology.

I thought making language study easier because of full immersion or multilingual environments, but I decided against adding another layer of detail to a house rule.

I like your plan! :)
 

Gavain

Mongoose
First up, I do learning differently. I use the same times needed to learn skills, but I have the players roll each week to see if they have learned anything. So there is no do or die roll at the end of the time. A Tutor doubles the rate of learning. So two weeks credit for one week.
Learning language has the same rules but it can be more passive. So being immersed in a population speaking the local language over a week generates a learning roll. If the player is actively learning in this environment it counts as having a tutor, ie double credit.I
I did come up with a similar scheme for the relative language levels. It just made it easier for me as the DM to figure out when a roll was needed and the difficulty. Language 0, and you want to know where the shops are no roll needed. If you want to argue with the engineer about ship repairs using technical jargon then that is a Difficult roll.
 

Condottiere

Emperor Mongoose
Speech isn't free.

Background, possibly unusual, could have you with a family that is bilingual, or a foreign nanny, or a country with multiple languages, official or otherwise.

Or your family became expatriates, or refugees.

Learning a new one could be a question as to how much similarity is there between it and your native tongue.
 

MasterGwydion

Banded Mongoose
Condottiere said:
Speech isn't free.

Background, possibly unusual, could have you with a family that is bilingual, or a foreign nanny, or a country with multiple languages, official or otherwise.

Or your family became expatriates, or refugees.

Learning a new one could be a question as to how much similarity is there between it and your native tongue.

Speech isn't free. It still takes time to learn, but knowing multiple languages should not prevent you from learning new languages for example with the Skill Cap. If you are living in a culture where that language is the primary language, learning happens a bit more organically. I moved from the US to Honduras in 2015 knowing no Spanish. With no classes and no one helping except Google Translate and watching telenovelas, I have achieved what is basically Language-0 or Language-1. I can get by in most day to day conversations, but talking to the mechanic about technical details of fixing My car or My boat still takes some finesse and looking for alternate methods to say close to what I am trying to communicate. I have become somewhat static in My learning of Spanish over the last few years, like My learning has plateaued without a more formal education to expand My grammar and My vocabulary. I am not great with learning languages, even My English isn't perfect and English is My birth language...lol... So I am thinking that, maybe Language-0 should be a freebie if enough time is spent immersed in the language. It took Me about 3 years to get to this level of skill with no training and with My subpar language learning skills, so perhaps an average Traveller could learn it faster than Me without training.

Just My Cr2...:p
 

Condottiere

Emperor Mongoose
Let's say that the primary language used by Confederation institutions is English.

Familiarity breeds like Shakespearean could be minus one comprehension, Dutch minus two.
 

MasterGwydion

Banded Mongoose
Condottiere said:
Let's say that the primary language used by Confederation institutions is English.

Familiarity breeds like Shakespearean could be minus one comprehension, Dutch minus two.

Why bother? It only takes a few weeks to hit L-0 in a skill and not much more to get to L-1. That's what a ship's library and jumpspace is for...lol... By L-1 the Traveller is by no means an expert, but is mostly conversationally fluent and able to read and write it at the same level.. Considering the Medic-2 is considered med school graduate level.
 

Saladman

Banded Mongoose
ottarrus said:
What I've decided to do is ...

Except for choosing at rank 0, that's not too different from by the book though, is it? Spells things out ahead of time for the players at least, but could be taken as implied by what skill ranks mean to begin with.

I go the opposite route though. Every rank of Language gives fluency in one language of choice. Makes rolling or choosing Language in character creation actually worth something. I don't use the book training method either though, so "just a couple of weeks to 0" isn't a thing the way it would be in some other campaigns.
 

ottarrus

Cosmic Mongoose
That looks amazing! I would totally pick it up if My brain wasn't already overloaded constantly trying to pick up more Spanish after moving to Honduras in 2015.
You're probably not gonna like this, but I did a tour in Central America And Points South during the bad ol' days of Reagan era gunboat diplomacy.
I hope you're safe and content where you are, but the whole idea of moving to LASC sends shivers down my spine. Between the gangs and the basic corruption of every single Latin American government official I've ever encountered, I'd spend half my time in a room with a loaded rifle.
Don't get me wrong here, the campesinos are a great and generous people. Their music and culture is first rate. They have wonderful foods [though I still have a hard time with the smell of stewing bananas]. And it isn't to say that things can't get better for people.
But the shit you learn at 21 years old is hard to shake, and poverty drives even well-meaning people to doing some very nasty things.
Stay safe, and if I were you I'd keep a 'go-bag' handy.
 
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Rikki Tikki Traveller

Cosmic Mongoose
I have simplified language even more. Language 0 provides tourist/learner/basic info and Language 1 is fluent.

Also, you know a number of languages equal to your EDU DM in addition to the common language (whatever you want to call that). This should be modified by Culture. I would suspect that Zhos have a single common language. so extra languages would be very rare, where the Imperium (or Vargr) it would be more common. Also, At TL8 you get basic verbal translation programs (almost there now) say equivalent to Language 0. At TL9 you can have a full translation program for a language - at higher TL you can add more languages.
 

Condottiere

Emperor Mongoose
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Garran

Banded Mongoose
For the sake of gameplay and general sanity I'd handle it like Rikki Tikki: Language 0 is by the book and Language 1 means that you're fluent.

Language 2+ would be for people whose job involves knowing things about the language/using it in ways that most people don't (university professors, some writers, etc).
 

Condottiere

Emperor Mongoose
Tolkien would have a four on linguistics; probably English, as well.

Finnish, Anglo Saxon, Quendi, and Orcish, who knows?
 
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