Friday, September 11, 2009

Morning in Vana'diel: The Auto-Translate funtion.

Morning in Vana'diel is your daily dose of FFXI and all things Vana'diel. Give us your thoughts on the interesting topics of the day! Love it, hate it, you can't get away from it!

We have all used it at some point in our FFXI career, most of us have abused it, or twisted the intent to become something salacious or crude. You can't avoid those spammers of it in Jeuno or Whitegate promising secret delights and other equally empty promises.

It features in forum signatures and both extremely simple and incredibly complex at the same time. It is the Auto-Translate function.

I was thinking about it the other day while roaming around Vana'diel. I had run into a Japanese taru who needed the pot fight from the Zilart Missions. Seeking on thief was quickly losing its appeal so I said "pick me pick me" which actually came out as "OK (Invite to join party)". One swift change into something sexy (DRG/SAM) and I was ready to go. He was a little startled that I was proposing we duo it, but we muddled through the Auto-translator to get to where we needed to go and accomplish our goals.

It IS limited, don't get me wrong, it is clunky and hard work and every complaint about it is correct because it barely cuts the barriers down with regards to communication, but I love it! I think it is a fantastic idea. Its unique, unusual and idealistic. Its insanity at its best, the idea that you can take a few simple terms and attempt to bridge the gap between several very different cultures. Of course, quite often it falls short of what you are trying to achieve, even so people manage to muddle through with persistance and perseverance. Even people who hate the auto-translate can get into the humour of the situation and will respond.

I know a lot of people are suspicious of it, and I have reactions to it, I don't like people I know talking to me in auto-translate, I think it is laziness. Since most of the people I talk to are Americans, that is probably true but it still gets under my skin. Another over-reaction is that it is a multi-lingual party, which people don't like involving themselves in because it can be hard work to communicate between the different members.

MOST of the time all you are doing is experience point harvesting, getting to camp and blobbing stuff is pretty well covered in the auto-translate function, I genuinely feel this IS an over-reaction to it.

People don't communicate enough, they aren't articulate any more, they just resort to base and common language that quite often is a poor expression of their real intent and desires. My hat is off to SE for attempting something as brave as this, foolish for sure, but still brave for even daring to challenge the barrier of language in FFXI.


JESS said...

< understood > < cum ergo sum >

Qtipus said...

Think that touches on a much broader issue in general and not specifically related to the Auto-Translate. It's more related to cyber-language. People tend to butcher language for an internet acronymic shortcut.

"i no"
4 = for

The list goes on. Sad thing is, I see a lot of people who use the translator thinking it's a shortcut, but they pressed just as many keys trying to find the word they want as they would have if they just typed it out originally.

The only time I use it is when I'm referencing a zone or event in game or making perverted jokes. Otherwise I can't stand seeing people who use it for the entire length of their conversations.

Iz said...

i dun no what q iz talkn bout we was taht in skool how 2 tipe like that and we dont = halv enternet w/e i will c u guys in the game

Clubber said...

< Tiger > < Uppercut >
I had to use the auto-traslation back then when I was playing with other German players. All of them had a German version of the game and therefore all items had different names. Example: Chivalrous Chain <> Kavaliers Kette. When these players were talking about a Kavaliers Kette, I was always like 'what the fuck are you talking about'. So I made them to use the auto-translation to translate it into English.

< See you again! >

Omoikitte said...

That is interesting Clubber LOL,