Starcraft Units

By Shamus Posted Saturday Sep 13, 2008

Filed under: Movies 35 comments

This makes me realize just how strange Starcraft must sound to Asian fans:

He’s not bad. He made me laugh, and I can’t even understand what he’s saying.


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35 thoughts on “Starcraft Units

  1. Heph says:

    They could probably save on sound effects for SC2 by just having this guy do them. Sounds about right :-)

  2. Mr_Wizard says:

    What blows my mind is that the game is big enough in Korea that a stand-up comedian could make jokes about it and it register with the audience. I mean, unless I am wrong and this was during some starcraft specific event.

  3. scnerd says:

    It looks like a usual SC event. The size of the audience and stage are about right. I’m not sure what GAG stands for though.

    Avertac-Intel ended a while back, but the games with fully english commentary are up (and going to be up for a while) on . And something new should be starting on the same site in the near future.

  4. Delve says:

    The other guy on stage (the host?) had that ‘did we just book a complete nutso? this isn’t my fault!’ sort of look if you ask me. Even though the audience was wetting themselves laughing.

  5. illiterate says:

    He did some pretty damn good impressions there.

    Astounding when you consider this game is almost a decade old.

    I still remember watching my older brother play the beta. Remember, when the zerg hives would spawn a new egg the moment you started evolving one? Zerglings cost only 35. You could pop out one or two pods before the protoss had their first zealot, if you were serious about it.

    Sorry, “pod” is what we called the max number of units you could assign to one hotkey.

  6. Kevin says:

    It’s always been interesting and entertaining to me to listen to people from other parts of the world make “animal noises.” You can still see how the noises resemble the noises the animal makes, but they sound nothing like the noises we make when imitating the animal.

  7. Carra says:

    Just listen how excited those guys are, it’s like they just won the lottery… two times in a row.

  8. GeneralBob says:

    Stracraft is to Korea
    as football is to the US

  9. Mike says:

    Perhaps a better analogy would be NASCAR…

  10. Plasma says:

    A question that occurs to me is: does he actually know English and understand the words? Or is he purely imitating the sounds? I can’t tell, but if pressed, I would guess the latter.

  11. bbot says:

    Note: He’s speaking Japanese. It’s fairly offensive to confuse Japanese and Korean, since the former invaded and occupied the latter for quite a while. It’s vaguely analogous to confusing a Native-American for a European-American.

  12. @bbot
    No, he’s actually speaking Korean. And here you thought they were offensive.

    Also, bear in mind that Native-Americans and European-Americans don’t possess too close a genetic link with each other. And Native-Americans, in the spirit of kicking political correctness in the curb in favor of convenience and humoring the great historical in-joke, don’t usually mind when they’re referred to as Indians.

    Frankly, I think misplaced political correctness does more harm than good in the long run. What political correctness should be is common courtesy, not an excuse to wag your finger at people self-righteously.

    (Reads above.)

    Oh, the irony.

  13. Curuinor says:

    A translation:

    Hwa-Phyun Nok(I can’t really get the name, Youtube is too low res): And then I’ll do the sounds of the units. First, the Terrans. They’re a ‘race’ in the game.

    *imitates Wraith*

    And then, the SCV.

    *imitates SCV*

    How about the Science Vessel?

    *imitates Science Vessel*

    And then, why not the Protoss units?

    I’ll try the Zealot first.

    *imitates Zealot*

    Now the Dragoon:

    *imitates Dragoon*

    Now the Templar. The High Templar:

    *imitates Templar*

    I’ll switch to Zerg units. The Hydra(translator’s note: pronounced in Korea as Heedra):

    *imitates Hydra*

    The Mutalisk:

    *imitates Mutalisk*

    Finally, the Overlord:

    *imitates Overlord*

    Just to tell you that there wasn’t any special commentary you were missing.

    Korean celebrities get weirder than that, however.

  14. Ben says:

    So he really is just doing impressions of the Starcraft units?

    Then why am I laughing so hard?

  15. Eric says:

    What the hell is Starcraft?

  16. jokermatt999 says:

    You know, from the Hydra and Dark Templar impressions, he could also do decent as a metal vocalist.

    I’m just sayin’.

  17. The Lone Duck says:

    Eric: Starcraft is a PC real-time strategy game, that is especially popular in South Korea. If you were just jokingm too bad. Sarcasm is nigh impossible to detect on the internet.
    I was greatly amused, probably because of the great disparity of vocal sounds. I’m sure to Korean speaking people, the voice clips must sound like varied gibberish. The impression seemed dead on.

  18. Zaxares says:

    To be honest, I didn’t find it that funny. I only started chuckling after a while because watching the reactions of the audience is contagious. :P

  19. William says:

    I’m pretty sure he’s just imitating the sounds and doesn’t actually speak english. Note how several of the words he uses in some of the imitations aren’t actually real words, although they do sound similar, and listening to him as i would an anime i can see how the Japanese wouldn’t be able to tell the difference as the phoetics are almost identical.

  20. Bloodspider says:

    As both a small fan of Starcraft and a Korean, I found that youtube vid to be offensive. Ugh, his poor pronunciation of English just butchered those Starcraft units…:(

  21. Sesoron says:

    It’s offensive because he’s a native Korean who doesn’t speak good enough English to perfectly reproduce the lines of the units, which are in extremely specific and stylized English when they even *are* English? Really? Okay.

    Awesome video, anyway.

  22. Illiterate says:

    On the subject of starcraft, there’s something that has always bothered me about the protoss.

    So they have these big nifty factories on their home world of Protossia, right? I know that’s not right, I could look it up if I felt like it

    And they don’t build stuff out on other planets like the terrans/zergs do. They ship it through hyperspace. Great, fine, you have the tech to do that, good for you.

    Firstly, the cost doesn’t change based on how far you ship it? Remember, they fought battles in ancient hallowed temples on their own homeworld. Apparently dimensional windows ignore distance in threespace. Maybe that’s for the best, it’s just interesting.

    I’m more interested in the later game, when the Protoss are fighting themselves. Did the same factories supply both factions?

    “Hey Bill”

    “Hey Steve”

    “Got my orders, I’m putting on the ol plasma blades and going to eradicate the evil dark templars from the universe, so they will no longer pollute our thought.”

    “Small universe, eh? I’m shipping out in zealot armor to protect the noble and misunderstood dark templars and the mighty leader Tassadar.”

    “Guess I’ll see you there.”

    “Tell Carol I said hello.”

  23. William says:

    I suspect it’s probably more likely that in those specific instances where “we’re teleporting stuff to the battle” doesn’t make sense anymore, from a ‘lore’ perspective they’re not doing that, but rather than completely rewrite the Protoss building code for those missions Blizzard just decided to ignore it.

    You should too, there’s a number of instances in the ‘Craft games where things just don’t make sense, and you just ignore them.

  24. Martin says:

    Shamus has had his Internet knocked out due to high winds from the remnants of Ike. He does have power.


  25. Brian says:


    Thanks! I think we were all wondering why no new posts; there are only so many times I can take a pale imitation of a 10-year-old classic…

  26. Faith says:

    The comedian probably speaks English. English is a required subject in South Korea, starting from very early on in compulsory education.

  27. Heph says:

    Jep, I was wondering too. Was thinking he was taking a well-deserved break, which would be more fun than, you know, sitting in a hurricane. Hmm.

  28. Tengokujin says:

    Yeah, and like most subjects from compulsory education that you figure you’re not going to use, you forget it the moment you are out of high school. It’s a common gag situation where a person encounters a foreigner and the person attempts to recall scraps of high school English in an attempt to communicate while the foreigner smiles stupidly or confusedly. His pronunciation is terrible, yes, but for those who’ve played it and never quite memorized the quotes, it’s close enough. :p

    I think this clip might have been from GAG Concert, or the numerous comedy stage shows where gag(wo)men (aka comedians) do their acts, with acts demarcated by short music pieces from the house band. Maybe it’s a sponsored open stage show and this is just an amateur college-aged gagman who is trying to get noticed/scouted. There’s a lot of this stuff on Korean TV. Also, this isn’t the first Star act I’ve seen. >.> It’s a popular enough topic to make fun of whenever. :p

  29. Illiterate says:

    Perhaps it has “rocked him like a hurricane”?

  30. Pickly says:

    He did a nice job with all of them except the mutalisk (didn’t get the screchy part of the noises to well.)

    It is quite neat ot hear gibberish English. I know tyhere are a lot of cases like Haagen Daas that imitate another language but sound rediculous ot an actual speaker, but it’s hardo t find examples of that for English.

  31. MadTinkerer says:

    I remember seeing a sci fi/kung fu film from Hong Kong on Sci Fi where one of the buddies of the heroes was a wise-cracking goofball. One of his “wacky” traits? The ability to speak English.

    A lot of games from other countries have a neat “exotic” appeal, but it’s easy to forget that American games seem exotic in foreign lands.

    I had assumed that the voice-acting in the Korean version of Starcraft had been redone with Korean voice-actors, but maybe they decided to preserve the “American-ness” of the game instead.

  32. Musoeun says:

    Starcraft got translated almost everywhere it sold well…

    …and most of the translations somehow ended up extremely buggy (maybe Shamus could explain why, I just know this and accept it for what it is) so the English version is standard for anything vaguely competitive, which the Korean scene is. Of course Blizz could iron out all the bugs in the Korean version I assume, but I suppose it’s just not worth anyone’s time any more.

  33. ShellyCute says:

    just cant seem to find a prince who knows his way around a womans body.

  34. As somebody who played Starcraft before learning English: Yep, that’s pretty much what it was like.

  35. BruceBroham says:

    I’ve got a Starcraft II & Diablo III Blog. I come here often :P.

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