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Hi, I was just wondering, is there a specific way to create words, titles, Names etc. based off of latan words or are they just made up? You know how a lot of english words are based off of Latin words, could I for example take 2 latin words: Atrox[terrible,cruel] and Adonis[man beloved by Venus] and make a word like: Xadons or Atonis? does anyone know how that is suppose to work? thanx -Sage13

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A bit off topic:
These days writers are using mathematical names; stuff like Matrix, Vector, and even Pi, just in case you are looking for a source of names.

About the latin, i think its just made up. For example the word Plumbing came from the latin word for lead way back when (i think they used to use lead pipes for tap water...doesn''t sound that smart...your''e probably safe with making it up).

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most people arent going to look into the hidden meanings
of your characters names and whatnot anyway..
you figure on average your game will get played for a week
then people will forget about it until the sequel comes out

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If the game is designed for and marketed to smarter people, they will notice subtle meaning. And even if it's not, the more intelligent of your players will appreciate the effort. I think there's great potential in Latin and other ancient/foreign/dead languages in story and character names.

BTW, did anyone catch the hidden meaning in Deus Ex's main character?

EDIT: "character's name," that is

Later,
ZE.

//email me.//zealouselixir software.//msdn.//n00biez.//
miscellaneous links


[edited by - zealouselixir on July 24, 2002 1:03:50 PM]

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It depends on how much time your willing to spend on this.

It can add a lot of depth to a game and/or it''s plot.

For a game I''m currently writting we''er going to be using quite a bit of Latin. Spells, general chants, backgorund music and curses {as in death crys.}. One of my friends is looking up how to do this in a "Latin for dummies" book. There are also good web sources.

Also interestingly enought there are a lot of people who still know latin.

Back to the question..
"is there a specific way to create words, titles, Names etc. based off of latan words or are they just made up? "

There are specific ways in latin grammer but you could make it up and not a huge amount would be the wiser.

Have fun.. ;}

It is a good day to code.

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Guest Anonymous Poster

I believe, in response to the statement that this amount of detail is not worthwhile, that attention to detail is something I greatly admire and I feel that it can make a huge difference in the right place.

And now Deus Ex:

While i dont claim to know the actual translation, I do believe that Deus Ex is short for Deus Ex Machina (or similar) and that describes the occurance of a "rescue from above" - established in various plays and stories of old, the principle of the Deus Ex Machina was that when the hero/protagonist had done all that he could do, yet still it was not enough and all looked grim, something miraculous happens.

I thought it was an excellent game btw and I look forward to the next one already in development.

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The "god from the machine" is a reference to greek plays; when the author (or developer) wrote himself into a corner, a deity (deus) would be lowered from a crane (machinos, or machina) and dispense with the godly wisdom and omnipotent solutions. A great example of Latin in games is Warhammer 40,000. Games Workshop uses latin for the banners and weapons / armor. Veteran players often add their own latin references to customise their armies. Just my 3 cents.

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I''d advise a bit of discipline, i.e. make sure that the meaning behind the name is well suited to the character, and not just slurred together because it sounds cool.

A bit related, Xenogears (PSX) has a lot of names taken from religion and history. For example, the element school in Solaris is named Jugend, which parallels an officer school in ww2 germany. Also, most of the town names are taken from the jewish lunar calendar.

-> Will Bubel
-> Machine wash cold, tumble dry.

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quote:
Original post by Inmate2993
[...] is named Jugend, which parallels an officer school in ww2 germany.

??? Jugend [ger] == boy [eng]. I suppose by the officer school you mean the Hitler Jugend, which was sort of similar to a scout movement for young boys. Just puzzled me how you could say a word like Jugend parallel something like that.

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My understanding of Latin derivations is that firstly, they often sound cool. Honestly, making names for video games is one of the reasons I started to learn Latin. Secondly, yes, people who understand the hidden meaning will often get a giddy thrill (it''s like an in-joke), and will likely appreciate your effort. But a note, the some of the examples you used were not too clear on their derivation (though they did sound pretty cool). You want to generally include as much of the Latin root as possible, which is usually the entire word except the last syllable.

corpus (body), root=corp (technically not true, but this is enough to recognize)

Also, Greek is pretty neat for this sort of thing, and I often prefer the sound:

Deus ex Machina - Latin
Theos ek Mekanos - Greek (which, I believe, is where the phrase originated)

My best advice would be to pick up an English-Latin dictionary (or get one online), and pick out a word that fits the situation, and find the appropriate Latin.

Ciao,
Xeth

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w_w_johncarmack_d : I back you up on the deus ex machina explanation

I am very pleased to see a discussion on Latin, it''s always amusing to see that this good old language has still some sort of use once in a while.

The Latin they use in a LOT of writings (mostly english writings), is what you call pig latin (I believe), in French we describe that as Kitchen Latin, mainly because creating words in this fashion is a simple recipe.
A good example of this is the Warhammer 40k universe :
most of the Imperium stuff is called after latin words, some pig latin, some proper.
For instance, the "adeptus" stuff is AFAIK (and AFA my trusty Latin dictionary tells me) pig latin.
Put in another way, it''s easier to understand what the Adeptus Mechanicus does than finding the actual word of "adept" in latin(Adeptus comes from "adipiscor", to acquire).
The Ordo Malleus is an order of bad ass Space Marines who hunt daemons (IIRC), Malleus means "hammer", and was probably used as a reference to the Malleus Maleficarum (the first book on witch hunting written by the Inquisition, I dont remember which inquisitor).
Similarly, the Adeptus Astartes is the "latinised" name of the Space Marines. adeptus is used to describe an organisation nad Astartes means "of Astarte". The thing is, Astarte is the goddess of Love in Syria... weird for an order of warriors. But if you check out a dictionary, Astarte is just next to "astator", "protector", and not far from "aster", "stars" (since they are *space* marines ). Yeah, i know, far strechted.
My point is, if it sounds cool, and you can give your readers the feeling that it''s all making sense, as in, you chose *that* name because it meant *something* that relates, or give a hint, or whatever; your readers will love it, it''s like finding Easter Eggs in games, it''s a wink in the direction of your reader, a gesture that pleases their ego in this "I know what you mean, *wink* *wink* " fashion

Anothe thing to consider is the feeling that the langage you use will transmit to your readers.
For Warhammer 40k, the guys at Games Workshop used Latin to impose the idea of Empire, and it works damn well for me.
But for their medieval version of the universe, Warhammer, they use a variety of languages to play on cliches and give a feel to different races. The Empire there uses mostly german-style names, GeheimnissNachte (the night of the secret, the worst night of the year in the game, where all witches gather and *bad* stuff happens), Altdorf ("Old village", the capital), Middenheim ("the middle dwelling" IIRC), Marienburg, etc

I hope this gives you some ideas ?

If I can suggest some other languages : japanese is très cool, especially because you can use all those Kanji characters and only the very persisting reader will go and try to figure out what''s written (I love to do that, take a chinese menu and go on the Net try to figure out what the heck are those fancy characters there for; most of the time they actually *make sense*, which I find very rewarding to find out).
Indian (hindu ?) has absolutely huge names for some divinities and stuff, just look up a baby''s name website for instance (VERY interesting because you get the whole story of what the names mean, not just cool sounding names).
I havent found a cool website for arab, but I dont despair, if there is romanised versions of japanese (called romanji IIRC), there is probably as well for arab.
Oh yeah, german sounds very harsh and hostile, I love it for names of my RPG characters (well, I played Warhammer for quite a few years, too).

The baby''s names /Gods'' names book thing goes for a lot of cultures, of course.

I hope this helps ? If you have more questions about Latin, I did 4 years of the language in high school (I am French, we have to do a lot of languages at school...) so I am sure I could dig in my memories (and books, I keep all my Lating grammar and dictionary preciously).

Good Luck. (oh, and guess what my sig means )



Sancte Isidore ora pro nobis !

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Oh gods, not Latin! (Stabs self with a butterknife.) I''m currently failing Ltin for about the third time, my final exam''s in two days, at least the agony''s almost over...

Anyway, names. Yes there are specific gramatical ways in which neo-Latinisms ought to be formed. No, I can''t explain how, it''s really complicated. However, if you look in a latin dictionary the first form listed for each word (nomnitive case) ought to be suitable for a name. Generally names ending in a will be feminine, names ending in us or r will be masculine, um is neuter (if you have neuter characters you might need neuter names I suppose) other endings you heve to look the gender up because it''s irregular. Like Draco is masculine, Mare (Maria) is neuter, etc. If you want to make a name from something that''s not a noun it gets significantly more complicated. Like for a verb you''d have to form the apropriate participle depending on what meaning you wanted, then add the correct gender ending...

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I just read your thread and i had latin lessons in school.
Actually, sunandshadow i got the "Great Latin", a qualification you can earn at school in Germany. Hm, there are 15 points to get, i got 6 and 5 are needed, so i was a bit stressing.
About latin names:

We read a lot latin stuff, and there are names you perhaps hear already: Gaius Julius Caesar, Hannibal, Scipio Africanus.

The first name you can nearly choose free. Be careful to end male names with a -us or -o like in Gaius or Scipio.
(If i ever make a game with a single hero or write a story ill name him Scipio, quite smart this name)
Female names end with -a. Couldnt think of another ending for women.
It was also common usage to call children in the order they were born: The fifth son''s name would be Quintus, the seventh Septus and so on, just the same with daugthers, Quinta, but i hear that seldom.
This could also be in combination: Gaius Quintus .....
Notice the rule: The more noble the person, the longer the name.

Gaius Julius Caesar surely had a neverending appendix to his name, i dont quite remember, but he believed to come from the founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus, so it will be very long.
The appendix Caesar he gave himself, as a sign of his power. I dont quite remember but he took Julius from his wife''s Dynasty, which was Julia. The Julians or something, dont sue me to that.

One could also earn a appellation during his life like Scipio. He has the appendix Africanus, because he fought great battles during a Campaign in Africa.

Look at the names in Gladiator: Maximus or Commodus. Nobody is called in this way, Maximus means The Greatest and Commodus The Congenial. They got a bit off history in the movie, because they use these names like their original names.
Perhaps Maximus is called Maximus by his soldiers, because they adore him.


Well, i just read more of sunandshadow''s post and i can cut off the half of my post, because he said it already.

Anyway, i hope it doesnt annoy someone...

PS: I dont give guarantees for anything i wrote her. Could be garbage...

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quote:
Original post by llvllatrix
A bit off topic:
These days writers are using mathematical names; stuff like Matrix, Vector, and even Pi, just in case you are looking for a source of names.



That's just laziness and ignorance showing through. Consider the reaction that most people have to the pretentious names given to celebrity children. ("Moon Unit Zappa", anyone?) Such names are bad enough, but they're no worse than an average Joe calling their kid "Matrix Johnson" or "Pi Smith". Childrens' names haven't really changed much in the English-speaking world for centuries, so you'd need to create a plausible reason for such names being common.

quote:

About the latin, i think its just made up.



Depends on the author. Some certainly do make it up, but many experienced (i.e. 'older') writers often have training in Latin and/or classical Greek. (In the UK, studying Latin or Greek was required at many of the posher schools. And still is.)

Other techniques include picking interesting words at random from encyclopaedias, (I think I've seen "Zymurgy Jones" as a character somewhere); even picking random bits of words from book-spines and ram them together to make exotic-sounding new ones. (Take "Basic" and "Grammar" and lo! you've invented the "Gramsic Oscillator Gun".)

quote:

For example the word Plumbing came from the latin word for lead way back when (i think they used to use lead pipes for tap water...doesn't sound that smart....


Many older buildings in the UK (and mainland Europe) still have lead pipes. (Including the Victorian house I'm living in now.)For some reason, politicians don't like to inform their voters that they've just had their expensive-to-replace plumbing declared illegal overnight.

--
Sean Timarco Baggaley




[edited by - stimarco on July 25, 2002 10:57:59 AM]

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quote:
Original post by sunandshadow
Oh gods, not Latin! (Stabs self with a butterknife.) I''m currently failing Ltin for about the third time, my final exam''s in two days, at least the agony''s almost over...



LOL You should be proud, learning a language like Latin whn your own language is not latin based and you have no notion of feminin/masculin nouns, I think it takes some guts !
At least in French our language is basd on Latin, so it''s not totally as bad. But the ones that amaze me the most have to be germans, their level in Latin was just ubergood ! (hello Anonymous Poster).
As for me, I was really bad at translating, but mostly because I lacked rigor and prefered to make up stuff rather than consult my grammar at all time (for those who havent done LAtin, a noun can be written 6 different ways in the singular and plural form depending on the role in the sentence).
For some reason the only thing no one could even touch me at was scansion, the rythm in poetry... go figure, I could do mine before anyone had barely begun, and my poor teacher never understood how someone as bad as me could be that good in something at all

maybe an example to make a cool name would help ?
Take "sunandshadow" : in Latin, "sun" is "sol", "shadow" is "umbra", so you could make up "solumbra" which sounds quite nice, and nd up with "a" the ending for a feminin name. the "and" is sometimes "et", but can also be "-que" so you could write "solumbraque", although I think it sounds less nice :/

for my other nickname "genken" which should mean wardog in japanese (?), you take "canis" for "dog" and "bellicus,a,um" the adjective for "of war", "canis bellicus" ... sounds heavy, but hey, you can''t win everytime.

go on, give us some stuff to translate, I am sure you''ll make some people like me to use their rusty Latin (or not so rusty for those who are still practising ).

Ah, sunandshadow, may I suggest you to read the Name of the Rose, by Umberto Eco ? It''s a wonderful book, but moreinterestingly, there is a ton of Latin in it, the only modern book I read with my dictionary next to me (And it was damn worth it, too !)




Sancte Isidore ora pro nobis !

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My understanding of what germany''s Jugend wasn''t apparently that good, but if it''s worth anything, everyone in Xenogears'' Jugend were children. Also, a lot of the Solarian culture followed the German stereotype of the first half of the twentieth century. By that I mean people were convinced of their own superiority over "3rd class citizens."

-> Will Bubel
-> Machine wash cold, tumble dry.

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quote:
Original post by ahw

LOL You should be proud, learning a language like Latin whn your own language is not latin based and you have no notion of feminin/masculin nouns, I think it takes some guts !
At least in French our language is basd on Latin, so it''s not totally as bad. But the ones that amaze me the most have to be germans, their level in Latin was just ubergood ! (hello Anonymous Poster).



Interesting thought. I actually don''t have too much trouble with nouns, because, as I see it, English does have groups of nouns that are kind of like genders, eg:
group 1 (regular): dog, dogs; book, books
group 2 (add e): tomato, tomatoes
group 3 (f to v): wolf, wolves; knife, knives
group 4 (archaic): goose, geese; mouse, mice
group 5 (imported latinate): pegasus, pegasi; memorandum, memoranda; actor/actress, actors/actresses

What I really have trouble with are verbs, especially the subjunctive because that really doesn''t exist in english except for one vestigal case - hypothetical subordinate clauses eg: Instead of "If I was king, ..." you say "If I were king, ..."
I also find sequence of tenses to be very confusing, but I''m not sure how that works in english either. o_O

And I would probably use soletumbra as the latin version of my screen name, it does sound better than solumbraque

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quote:
Original post by sunandshadow
Interesting thought. I actually don''t have too much trouble with nouns, because, as I see it, English does have groups of nouns that are kind of like genders, eg:
group 1 (regular): dog, dogs; book, books
group 2 (add e): tomato, tomatoes
group 3 (f to v): wolf, wolves; knife, knives
group 4 (archaic): goose, geese; mouse, mice
group 5 (imported latinate): pegasus, pegasi; memorandum, memoranda; actor/actress, actors/actresses



LOL It''s so unusual to see someone noticethis sort of things, but then again, you are following a literary cursus IIRC
That''s the kind of things I do to learn foreign languages quickly, notice the patterns like that. It makes life so much easier. It''s the same with verbs and their particip form, BTW. I first did this kind of "pattern recognition" when I learned german, which is probably why I always thought that english was so much easier...

If it can make you feel better, verbs are indeed one of the most difficult part. It''s very hard to learn. Even for us native speaker (since we have all this veb stuff in French, too). Even simple passive forms are not totally obvious, as a bit like in Latin we have verbs that belong to different groups, unfortunately exceptions are the rule in French... And kids often make simple mistakes (how many times I have to correct my sister because she makes simple mistakes).
So it''s no surprise to have difficulties with a dead language.
But it''s so satisfying when you can actually make a translation I am reading the latest book by Umberto Eco at the moment, and as usual there is tons of Latin quotes in it, it''s so cool when I actually translate the lines correctly (for a change, he puts the translations).

Anyway
By the way, for those who like foreign languages and linguistics in general, I can''t recommend warmly enough the Web of Dictionaries webites. They even have dead languages like Gaul, Goth and other weird and wonderful stuff !



Sancte Isidore ora pro nobis !

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quote:
Original post by ahw

The Latin they use in a LOT of writings (mostly english writings), is what you call pig latin


I''m quite sure you don''t mean pig latin. Pig latin is a ridiculous kind of made up langauge where you take english words, break them down into their components, change the order, and add meaningless prefixes and suffixes to them.

Latin is popular for these types of purposes, because it lends an aura of authenticity. I did a couple of years of Latin in university and loved it, although I was more interested in Medieval Latin and the school only offered classical.

For the purposes of a game, you might look at how this idea was used in the Ultimas for spellcasting. They came up with a bunch of Latinate roots for each spell component, and putting them together in combinations resulted in different spells. Also, Sacrifice used what sounded like Latin when spellcasting, although this was more for atmosphere and didn''t serve a practical purpose in the game.

Enough english words have Latin roots that you can play with a pseudo-Latin and get the same effect. People will generally know what you''re trying to get at.

Nec - death --> Necromancer

etc.

And a bit of trivia for you Latin buffs. To the medieval mind, the right side was better than the left, and left-handed people were of questionable repute. In medieval Latin, right is ''dexter'' (from which we get dexterity), and the left is ''sinister''.



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quote:
Original post by Tacit
[quote]Original post by ahw

The Latin they use in a LOT of writings (mostly english writings), is what you call pig latin


I'm quite sure you don't mean pig latin. Pig latin is a ridiculous kind of made up langauge where you take english words, break them down into their components, change the order, and add meaningless prefixes and suffixes to them.


Ah, bollocks, I wasnt sure anymore, yeah I remember that "pig latin". It must have been something else.
I was more thinking of something like adding "-us" ending or "-ix" ending to create latin sounding names.
One of our most famous comic character (I think it was translated in more than 30 languages including Latin, go figure...), called Asterix, is famous for all the funny names given to the characters. They all basically are play on words, in this mock up latin sort of thing.
"Asterix" for "asterisk", his best friend "Obelix" for "obelisk", their dog "idefix" which phonetically means "fixed idea", and I wont even go into the complicated one (the most hilarious actually), like "abraracourcix" ("shortened arms "?). Same with the romans, and most other races they encounter... quite hilarious really.

Anyway, I hope it's a bit clearer.
Think of the Monty Python "Bigus Dickus" and you get the idea !
(the scene with the grammar lesson is probably the most hilarious of the whole movie, 'cause it's actually correct Latin ! I am sure you would appreciate it Sunandshadow )

quote:

And a bit of trivia for you Latin buffs. To the medieval mind, the right side was better than the left, and left-handed people were of questionable repute. In medieval Latin, right is 'dexter' (from which we get dexterity), and the left is 'sinister'.



That comes from the old tradition of the 'auspices' (sorry I am not sure of the translation here) which were guys that read the outcome of a battle depending on the way birds would fly. Left "sinister" was bad omen, right "dexter" was good omen.
Ever after the connotation stuck IIRC. But my dictionary says that the bad omen was for the Greeks, while the Romans associated the flight of birds to te left as a good omen... mmmh... Anyway, the word "sinister" in Latin designated either "left", or something like "awkward", "unfortunate".
In italian (and spanish I believe), "sinistro" is for "left" (I dunno about the othe meaning), but in French "sinistre" is used either to describe a bad omen when looking at something, or to describe a place that has been damaged, or the accident itself... tradition die hard The sense of left side has totally dissapeared, while on the other hand, the word "left" itself has taken the double meaning of something either on the "left", or something "awkward", just like the word "sinister" had a double meaning in Latin.
And of course in French, if you wake up and put your left foot on the ground first, it's bad omen, too; when someone seems to be having a bad day, you ask him/her if they woke up on the left foot... LOL

Similarly "dexter" has kept its double meaning of "right" and "dexterous" (we say "droite" et "adroit"), and the double meaning has even stayed in English, "to the right", "I am right", "righteous"... I wonder why you lost the double meaning on "left", though ? the English are most certainly less superstitious than my ancestors ?



Sancte Isidore ora pro nobis !


[edited by - ahw on July 26, 2002 5:51:56 PM]

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Man, this thing is wandering.

For other name resources, consider using real names! Onomastikons (dictionaries of names) often are great resources.

For example

http://www.gaminggeeks.org/Resources/KateMonk/


No, I'm not affiliated with the site, but I use it, which is why I'm recommending it. The site has thousands of first and last names organized by region. Many have explanations, some of meanings, and the whole thing is just plain big. There is a section on Latin names, too.

I'm sure there's other resources, as well, but this is my favorite.

[edited by - bob_91321 on July 29, 2002 12:58:52 PM]

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