The DM will do a lot of talking, but if he’s not rolling the dice then what he’s saying is probably not important.
– Shamus, Friday Sep 29, 2006
We have a running joke in our current D&D campaign that elves are predisposed to fantasy ADHD, or ‘elfism’ as we call it. This because I play elves almost exclusively, and am almost always zoned out for the most important information. This means when my little guy inevitably goes ‘What are we doing? I am going to be honest, I was not listening’, it’s a table joke, rather than annoying. Thank the deities for my patient DM.
This week’s French translation comic can be read here.
Let's ruin everyone's fun by listing all the ways in which zombies can't work, couldn't happen, and don't make sense.
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11 thoughts on “DM of the Rings Remaster XI: Failure to Communicate”
Great work! I read the original (not at premiere time, but I was definitely AD&Ding even a few years before that) and I’m very grateful to enjoy it in it’s refreshed version.
“I would have been listening to his speech, but I was remembering that time 302 years ago when I was talking to someone who looked just like the speaker. Man, that guy was interesting…”
Slightly different takes on fantasy Racial stereotypes are fun and make a world distinctive. There was one show where the 4E elven aura of Perception skill bonus was a distinct feeling of tension from how just being around an elf pulled you into the intensity with which they watched the world. You could tell when an elf entered a previously un-elfed room.
Another story was reminiscent of this scene in the original work with the Ents. There was an elven party member who would always draw out every discussion when choosing what to do (which is to say, a normal PC) but once a decision was made they were done and went to carry it out. When the party encountered another group of elves in the world, they were infuriated with this elven outcast for being so hasty; they were used to this short-sightedness from the mortals, but what elf in their right mind would ever consider a decision complete?
Oh, I like the picture for your little guy.
This comic always made me think of the number of times I would skip through Zelda dialog and actually press A when the gods damned owl would say
“Should I repeat my boring wall of text?
Absolutely fucking not”
How translated are the French translation comics? The strip for March 5 seems to have rendered “Fine, let’s strip to the waist” as “I love a woman who takes the initiative!”
They are translated by a native French speaker that has volunteered to do so. I don’t speak French but I have to assume they are accurate. Reportedly even so far as to come up with French-appropriate jokes with similar meanings.
I’ve been told (second hand by someone actually bilingual who did occasional translation work) that comedy is the hardest thing to translate, because “what’s funny” is so dependent on cultural expectations, word alternate meanings, timing, and which phrases can have surprising twists or expectations. Translating comedy literally almost never works.
Consider a simple joke like “I used spot remover on my dog. Now he’s gone.” It turns on the name of a cleaning product containing a common pet name, and the word “remover” meaning something in the context of the product that, when taken out of that context, means something more dramatic.
The way to think about the problem is to replace key words with literal synonyms and see how mangled it gets. “I used detergent on my dog. Now he’s gone.” That’s often what happens (on various scales) when translating humor.
Yes, absolutely. To be clear, a lot of jokes can be translated relatively closely but a lot of them… cannot. Way back when I was trying to make a living as a translator one of the projects I worked on had a lot of more or less silly death calls, things like “Is that you grandma?” or “I can see the light!”. One I distinctly remember was “Rosebud!”, which as I understand it is a superobvious reference to anyone in the US and is completely unknown where I’m from outside of some niche circles like movie history buffs. Another case I can think of was a game that had cutesy animals in it, clearly for some child appeal, including a sugar glider which is an adorable “flying squirrel” kind of animal and was depicted with the archetypal pilot goggles, scarf and so on. Well, the name we have for it is… not that. It’s not crude but borders on a tonguetwister and the while the word for “flight” is present it’s generally obscured.
Umm, is it deliberate that the background of every post on this site is beige now?
Update: It now appears that both new posts and Shamus’s old posts have turned pink. I imagine some sort of revamp to visuals is happening.
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