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> City Speak, Let's talk
Redjack
post Mar 17 2008, 03:48 PM
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From what I remember of the fluff, City Speak is a language derived from English, Spanish and Japanese. I leans heavy on slang usage (and of course not only knowing which word from which language to use when, but also how to conjugate them), so simply having a fluency in the 3 base languages will not work. It is favored in the various Barrens of Seattle an like areas....

Being a player since sr1, some of the details get muddled.. Did I remember this correct?
Can anyone assist with references from the books?
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nezumi
post Mar 17 2008, 03:53 PM
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Also I think Mandarin or Cantonese factors in heavily (far moreso than Spanish, in fact). This is very 2nd/1st edition. I think by 3rd edition it had basically been killed off. The best example of this is Blade Runner.
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Ancient History
post Mar 17 2008, 04:07 PM
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Gaff: Monsier, ada-na kobishin angum bitte.
[Deckard gestures to Sushi Master for translation]
Sushi Master: He say you under arrest, Mister Deckard.
Deckard: Got the wrong guy, pal.
Gaff: Lófaszt! Nehogy már! Te vagy a Blade, Blade Runner!
Sushi Master: He say you blade runner.
Deckard: Tell him I'm eating.
Gaff: Captain Bryant toka. Meni-o mae-yo.
Deckard: Bryant, huh?
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DocTaotsu
post Mar 17 2008, 04:19 PM
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I think having a fluency might actually hinder you since the pidgin meaning for those words might be totally different (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif) .
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Adarael
post Mar 17 2008, 04:23 PM
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I lament the slow death of City Speak. It's kind of emblematic for me of the shift away from cyberpunk as it was into shadowrun as its own dystopian genre.
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Larsine
post Mar 17 2008, 04:33 PM
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QUOTE (Redjack @ Mar 17 2008, 04:48 PM) *
Can anyone assist with references from the books?


This is all I can find:
QUOTE (SR1 page 61 & SR2 page 74)
Common Tongues and Hybrids: Cityspeak (see Special Languages, below), Esperanto, Interlingua

SPECIAL LANGUAGES
City Speak is one of several languages that are not part of any formal language group.

QUOTE (SR3 page 91)
LINGOS
Lingos are a specialization of existing languages.
... Common examples of lingos are Cityspeak (the street jive of the gangs and other "street-educated" people),...

QUOTE (SR4 page 129)
LINGOS
... Common examples of lingos are Cityspeak (the street jive of the gangs and other "street-educated" people),...
Lingos are treated as specializations of existing languages.


So in SR3 and SR4 you will have English (City Speak), Danish (City Speak), Hebrew (City Speak) and so on.

Lars
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Larsine
post Mar 17 2008, 04:35 PM
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QUOTE (DocTaotsu @ Mar 17 2008, 05:19 PM) *
I think having a fluency might actually hinder you since the pidgin meaning for those words might be totally different (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif) .

Watch the Ultimate Blade Runner discs and you will know that most of it is Hungarian, and in fact does mean something completely else.

Lars
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DocTaotsu
post Mar 17 2008, 04:37 PM
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Gragh... *drools*

I do desire this Ultimate Blade Runner edition... soon my lovely... soon.

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CircuitBoyBlue
post Mar 17 2008, 05:05 PM
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My Ultimate Bladerunner has been sitting in it's shrinkwrap for a month or so. I flipped out and bought it as soon as it came out, but then it hit the theater, and I went to see it. Even with a movie that good, I can only watch it so often...

Cityspeak always reminded me of the Latin most people actually spoke in Rome. Only the rich ever got a decent education, so nobody else was really literate at all, and could barely even speak the language. According to my high school Latin teacher, it was basically akin to all the "like's," "um's," "y'know's," and what-not that make up half of the average sentence today, only a lot worse. I guess you had sentences go from "I went to the store today" to "I will go store someday before now" and things like that.

I always pictured Cityspeak being basically whatever Japanese filtered into people's everyday language from Japanese media they couldn't understand, yet couldn't get away from because in 60 years in the future from 1989, everything will have been taken over by the Japanese. Then the same thing would happen to lesser degrees with a ton of other languages as globalization did the nasty with everyone's culture. I guess the writers didn't forsee that globalization would mean that English ate everything else. I'm not judging; if everyone else wants to learn English, that's great. I just wish I'd stuck with my Arabic training so I could pick up chicks at bars by lying and telling them I'm a secret agent hunting bin Laden.

I miss Cityspeak in SR. For one thing, I've got a city shaman now. I sunk some points into Cityspeak, but it never comes up. This has actually happened with every single SR character I've ever created, going back to 1st, but it stings more with a city shaman. Silly GM's, always thinking everything will be easier if runs are in English, for some reason...
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Fortune
post Mar 17 2008, 05:17 PM
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I have always rules that it was a specialization of English. As such, it sees quite a bit of use in my games.
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DocTaotsu
post Mar 17 2008, 05:22 PM
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I haven't sprung the cityspeak bogey man on players yet but I should. Cityspeak should be pretty damn pervasive in the SINless population.

I find it frankly creepy how much English has filtered into the Japanese language, especially here with all the military bases. The funny thing is that I usually can't pick it out because they... uhm... say it funny.
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Whipstitch
post Mar 17 2008, 06:17 PM
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Yeah, I spend a lot of time with a Japanese exchange student and I can only understand like every fourth word due to the accent. Thankfully he's pretty patient about it.
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Larsine
post Mar 17 2008, 06:30 PM
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QUOTE (Fortune @ Mar 17 2008, 06:17 PM) *
I have always rules that it was a specialization of English. As such, it sees quite a bit of use in my games.


Which is exactly how the RAW is, at least in SR3 and SR4.

Lars
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Fortune
post Mar 17 2008, 06:58 PM
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Yes I know, but I've been doing it since SR1, which is why I added the 'always'. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif) (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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BRodda
post Mar 17 2008, 07:44 PM
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QUOTE (Redjack @ Mar 17 2008, 11:48 AM) *
From what I remember of the fluff, City Speak is a language derived from English, Spanish and Japanese. I leans heavy on slang usage (and of course not only knowing which word from which language to use when, but also how to conjugate them), so simply having a fluency in the 3 base languages will not work. It is favored in the various Barrens of Seattle an like areas....

Being a player since sr1, some of the details get muddled.. Did I remember this correct?
Can anyone assist with references from the books?

Odd thing is I've always considered city speak to be a form of ganger speak, almost a whole different language for each gang. Kinda like they have in the mob movies so that no one knows what they are saying. I made up a version for the Sons of Soron a long time ago using Tolkien references.

The one ring: (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nuyen.gif)
Uriki: member of the SoS
Lagolas: elf ganger, usually an Ancient
Nazgul: Holloweener
Elrond: mage/shaman
Rivendel: Elf, generally someone from the Tir
Riders of Rohan: Lone Star
Mordor: Redmond Barrens
Strider: Street Sam
Frodo: Target "Who's the Frodo."
Samwise: Bodyguard
Fell Beast: Hog or other really cool ride
Golom: Informant or snitch
ect..ect...
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CircuitBoyBlue
post Mar 17 2008, 08:12 PM
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QUOTE (Larsine @ Mar 17 2008, 02:30 PM) *
Which is exactly how the RAW is, at least in SR3 and SR4.

Lars


Right, but I never paid much attention to SR3, and I haven't been playing SR4 for nearly as long as I played 1 and 2. The thing I don't like about using it as a specialization of English is that everyone who speaks English automatically understands Cityspeak that way, but not necessarily the other way around. That's clearly not the way it worked with Deckard and Gaff. So I wish it worked differently in SR4.
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b1ffov3rfl0w
post Mar 17 2008, 08:50 PM
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QUOTE (BRodda @ Mar 17 2008, 02:44 PM) *
Odd thing is I've always considered city speak to be a form of ganger speak, almost a whole different language for each gang. Kinda like they have in the mob movies so that no one knows what they are saying. I made up a version for the Sons of Soron a long time ago using Tolkien references.

The one ring: (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nuyen.gif)


So,"I quit my job at Stuffer Shack because I only made 4 The One Rings an hour".

Other than that, it's very cool. Except they could be speaking Or'zet, or The Black Speech.
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quentra
post Mar 17 2008, 08:55 PM
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I don't see cityspeak as going anywhere in SR4. It should, if anything, be even more prevalent, especially in places like New York, Seattle, and LA. Big multicultural cities. I mean, I already use a lot of spanish slang in my normal speech, and sometimes a japanese word or two. As Latino's and Japanese influence grows in the States, I see Cityspeak as a normal progression of slang. Ever try to buy something at a bodega thats run by Chinese but for some reason owned by Latino's? I'd peg that as pretty much cityspeak.
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BRodda
post Mar 17 2008, 09:09 PM
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QUOTE (b1ffov3rfl0w @ Mar 17 2008, 03:50 PM) *
So,"I quit my job at Stuffer Shack because I only made 4 The One Rings an hour".

Other than that, it's very cool. Except they could be speaking Or'zet, or The Black Speech.


Actually proper usage would go more like this.

Ganger1: "Whats up Uriki?"
Ganger2: "Not much I might have a line on the One Ring if your chill."
Ganger1: "Who's the Frodo?"
Ganger2:"Some Slitch from Rivendel. Might be a Legolas."
Ganger1:"Samwise in the picture, or is Frodo alone?"
Ganger2"Strider might be in attendance, but we just got to swoop in. I got the location from Golom."
Ganger1"We gonna have to storm Helsdeep?" (Lots of security?)
Ganger2"Nah, just scourge the Shire." (Location is unguarded)
Ganger1:"Chill, I'm in. Slot Legolas, get the One Ring and make a run for Mordor."


It's primarily for when you don't want other people to know what your talking about. It's almost like a coded language. Any body can have a skillsoft or learn Or'tez. You need to base it on something a little less obvious and hard to understand.
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Knight takes Bis...
post Mar 18 2008, 12:32 AM
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If one was to assume that cityspeak is adapted from it's usage in Blade Runner, they could also assume that BTL was adapted from Red Dwarf. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/rotfl.gif)


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b1ffov3rfl0w
post Mar 18 2008, 05:50 AM
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QUOTE (CircuitBoyBlue @ Mar 17 2008, 04:12 PM) *
Right, but I never paid much attention to SR3, and I haven't been playing SR4 for nearly as long as I played 1 and 2. The thing I don't like about using it as a specialization of English is that everyone who speaks English automatically understands Cityspeak that way, but not necessarily the other way around. That's clearly not the way it worked with Deckard and Gaff. So I wish it worked differently in SR4.


Yeah, it doesn't make much sense game mechanics-wise. If "N" really means "an actual number, equal to whatever social skill you are using right now" there's some point to it, but even then it makes communication too straightforward.

How about Cityspeak being a specialization for all relevant languages -- eg, someone in Seattle could use Chinese(Cityspeak), English(Cityspeak), Salish(Cityspeak) or Japanese(Cityspeak) such that those specializations are mutually intelligible. If you don't have the specialization, you use the best relevant language at -2. If your rating for that language is N, you can, um, use your Int or Log?

Of course by that system Deckard (who's a smart enough guy, if unimaginative) would easily understand Gaff. Unless, of course, he was pretending not to understand him.
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Synner667
post Mar 19 2008, 12:47 AM
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I've always taken Cityspeak to be based off the language refers to in Blade Runner - a mishmsh of other languages.

In the realworld, the dominant trade language is English - which is the bastard offspring of many other languages..
..And does have official siblings - franglais and spanglish [at least].


Considering that SR was meant to be a Japanese dominated future, I'd imagine it to take the current language and add larger amounts of Japanese..
..Though, to our uncultured ears, I'd imagine there's be Korean, Chinese, etc in the mix as well - but we'd probably not be able to tell.


Personally, I take people to talk English with a dose of words from all over the world - the dosage dependent on the character's background [Corp = not much, Ganger = much].


If I had to subdivide it, I'd probably do Cityspeak [London]
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b1ffov3rfl0w
post Mar 19 2008, 06:16 AM
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It makes more sense as its own language, yeah. As a pidgin, it could be basically a stripped-down version of (English and/or Japanese), easier to understand (thus the cheap specialization) but limited in nuance (max 3 or 4 for the social skill cap?). In keeping with the 1980s cyberpunk "Japan will own us in ten years" theme, I could easily see Cityspeak being a basilectilized (that's "dumbed-down", you primitive screwheads) version of Japanese (the acrolect) with a lot of English, Cantonese, and Chinook (etc) loan words.

EDIT: er, much like you said. Boku like wetin like u dey yarn, choomba.
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b1ffov3rfl0w
post Mar 20 2008, 06:13 PM
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Speaking of slang, I've noticed that "(something) 2.0" has been sounding really, really dated for some time. Sort of like calling a place a "cybercafe" because they have wifi. If you are not living underwater among the frigging Merrow wifi is not special and I'm sure places don't advertise that they have free wifi in 2070. If anything, a restaurant/bar/cafe would use wifi-inhibiting paint and advertise wifi free (that would actually be kind of cool).

Other stuff: pointing out that something is "wifi-enabled" or "wireless" or "Matrix-enabled" should not be done, unless your character is (a) old (like someone who refers to a radio as "the wireless") (b) a backwoods yokel/back-to-nature tribesman/shapeshifter/aforementioned Merrow, or © a lazy standup comic, who in 2008 would be caustically observing that you can't just get a cup of coffee, you have to by a half-caf double decaf venti mochalattefrappespressochino, and everyone laughs because it's so true and/or funny, or because he's using Control Emotions on them.

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NightmareX
post Sep 5 2008, 02:55 PM
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QUOTE (b1ffov3rfl0w @ Mar 18 2008, 12:50 AM) *
Of course by that system Deckard (who's a smart enough guy, if unimaginative) would easily understand Gaff. Unless, of course, he was pretending not to understand him.


In the narration immediately following that scene he states he did understand "every good cop did". He was just trying to piss off Gaff.

Side note - I've always preferred Cityspeak as a separate language as well.
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