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Language Notification

We have all been there. You forget what language you are speaking causing mass confusion. I know countless time I forget what language my char was last speaking or currently speaking. I think when speaking a language that is learned there should be a subtle reminder with each time you speak that reminds you what you are speaking.

Some thing like.

You say, "I didn't know a Studdly could even rust!"


Subtle but there so we know!

Not sure if this is what you're looking for but if you type "speaking" then it shows you what language you're speaking!
Shoot, I was hoping this @idea was going to be about being reliably notified regarding what language someone else is speaking.

No, I don't mean being able to recognize a language you don't know. I mean, being able to recognize a language you do know, but don't know is being spoken until the game finally gets around to giving you that speaker's @voice message - which is when you get to see what language they're speaking.

When I stand there speaking English and have a lengthy conversation with another character who is using a non-English language which my character happens to know fluently, only I don't know the other character is not speaking English, boy is that silly.

I mean, I guess maybe this happens because they don't remember they're not speaking English?

Language notification: Let a fluent language hearer reliably know which language it is that they're hearing fluently. It really shouldn't take 50 turns before I find out we're talking two different languages.


Same basic principle so yeah that would work both ways.

This would be extremely helpful. If you're fluent in a language, you should be easily able to identify it from the other languages you're speaking. Right now you just understand and can't swap to match the language until you finally realize by chance which it is.

This doesn't feel like a stats issue. I think anyone able to learn a second language could identify between the two languages :P

I am surprised that this is not a thing.

I do not have any IC experience with languages, but the need to instantly identify when a character is speaking a foreign language is essential.

A common use of foreign languages is to communicate "privately" in shared spaces where (you assume) others do not understand the language.

That assumption goes right out the window as soon as one of the others responds in English, even though you and your friend were speaking Farsi.

It's one of the blockers to using other languages I think. They don't quite make sense to rp if others don't actually realize you're speaking the language - even if they know it? Very awk.
I'm bumping this for the joint idea of letting you know what language you're speaking, but above it all to at least get a notification when in a new encounter with a person that day or within x amount of minutes/hours to know whether they're speaking English or another language.

It's awkward and annoying to not know someone else is speaking another language, which then ultimately reveals that you understand that language. That's great if it's an RP choice to let that knowledge slip, but when that knowledge slips because the game just didn't inform you they were speaking Swedish at all until it's already revealed you understand Swedish because you've been talking with them for twenty minutes in English while they're talking in Swedish, that isn't cool.

I was actually going to look for this thread to bump it but Crashdown beat me!

Wanted to suggest having someone's current spoken language always appear in red or some other colour like when you check your /speaking so that it stands out. Not realizing someone is talking to you in a different language just because you happen to understand it is really wonky and unrealistic. Someone's @voice should proc more too, in person and over devices which I think someone complained about or suggested on the BGBB before.

It would be cool if there was a 'glance' for languages that have been recently spoken.

I wouldn't even know how to begin coding it. Maybe track it similar to 'watching'. Toggle a variable when a language is spoken?

glance people

glance ways

glance speaking(?)


This would be so handy and make the game more realistic. I love this concept!

Personally I don't know about using 'glance' for this but I definitely feel like a command for actively perceiving someone's speaking message, including both language and @voice, would be of great utility.

speaking Rychek could give you his speaking message the next time you hear him say something, OR it could give you the speaking message you would have received, but didn't, the last time he said something you heard, whichever has precedence. Precedence meaning it doesn't really help to get his speaking message next time you hear him speak, if you JUST heard him speak and are trying to know how he sounded.

Or, you know, fuck it, let's keep this simple.

@options ospeaking - toggle a setting which gives you the speaking messages on every utterance you perceive.

A toggled option would be great for detecting voice over progia and other devices, so +1 to that. I'd still like to see the language used highlighted somehow just for us more visually perceptive types who struggle in a text game though! It would help me recognize which one I'm using, as well.
I like the suggestions that @beandip offered, especially the syntax of 'speaking (character)'. That is much more manageable than a 'glance' which could get super spammy in a crowded room.

I think that there is an intentional threshold set before the speaker's @voice is inserted into the dialogue for the first time.

Or put another way, there is an expectation that one character has to listen to another character for a little while to pick up on the specifics of their speaking style.

If there were an @options ospeaking , I hope that it would only start echoing the speaking messages after the threshold for detecting them is met. In other words, NOT the first time a character speaks.

Well, the thread's about language. If you can't get that on the first hearing, we're right back where we started.
As prolific user of the language system, I cannot stress how much of a QOL feature it would be to see what langauge I am speaking and others are speaking either in the first instance, regularly or all the time.

Bonus points for showing the profeciency of the person speaking or listening :)

Good point @beandip

Language and voice are related but definitely not the same.


I can't think of any other system in the game that reveals the competency of another character's skill. Doing that for language seems like a bad precedent to set.

Especially if they haven't spoken enough complex sentences to judge it.


It was more in the sense that someone who does not understand a language will ever get a message that intrinsically tells them it is a certain language.

If you do not understand a word of russian, and someone is speaking it, you perhaps should not be informed that they are indeed speaking russian.


That's a really good point.

"Jane is speaking NOT ENGLISH in a @voice"

Or maybe ANOTHER LANGUAGE instead of NOT ENGLISH so that it's more generic and applicable to characters who do not speak English.

According to the current state of the art, sufficiently statted people can know what language is being spoken even if they don't understand it at all. Insufficiently stattted people just get the @voice message without the language, if they don't know the language at all.

Anyone who can't understand the language someone else is speaking doesn't need a message at all to tell them it's not a language they understand at whatever level of fluency. They already know this because of the juebuhgu*.

Anyone who does understand it enough to potentially mistake it OOCly for something else they know shouldn't have "what language is this" behind any sort of check, they're already understanding it.

* $jargon


Fair enough :) I have not personally experienced that, so I did not really know :D

Still a more constant reminder of language you are speaking or someone else is if you do understand it fluently would be great as originally stated to avoid the akward.

Person A speaking russian

Person B speaking english

Neither knowing what each other is speaking for a while till they see an @voice prompt.

@beandip said,

Anyone who does understand it enough to potentially mistake it OOCly for something else they know shouldn't have "what language is this" behind any sort of check, they're already understanding it.

This seems to be the real crux of the issue. Characters who have spent considerable UE or chy to become Fluent in a language wishing to keep that knowledge secret, then accidently outing themselves because the player behind the character does not realize what language another character is speaking.

Yeah, exactly. There's no way to tell unless the game codedly decides to tell you a person is speaking another language if you know that language. Which means that can slip without you ever having the option to reveal it or not. Which is pretty frustrating.

Because you're at a stage where you understand most of it, or all of it, you can go through a thirty minute conversation without the game ever telling you.

I'd just like a consistent head's up at the start of a conversation at the least, there's other areas in the game that always tell you what a person is speaking and how their voice sounds, I don't see why there shouldn't be an ability to have some way to tell here too.

Here's another implementation idea, how about baking this into watching?

If you're actively watching someone (by having used the watch <person> command so they appear in your "watching" list, AND it's not [CROWDED], you could get their speaking message.

After all, it's possible to "watch" even when it's not crowded. When it is crowded, getting the speaking message on every utterance of every person you're actively watching would be spammy, and one could also argue that this level of detail in a crowded situation is too much to expe ct.

People who you can hear in a crowded situation who are actively addressing you and not on your "watching" list wouldn't be included in this - they're making the effort to address you, you aren't making the effort to watch them.

We already have to make choices about who to watch in a big enough crowd. Now we're considering having the watching list provide an additional function, so I like how this version of this @idea lines up with management of one's limited perception capacity too.

Personally, I enjoy to rping language as it is. I chalk it's up to the language coming so naturally that you sometimes don't realize you haven't switched. Or even saying something in the wrong language for the setting simply because you're thinking about something in that language. Like a conversation though had with ya chum in euro yesterday.
Nope. I think that every time somebody starts speaking to you for the first time in an RP scene, their voice message should pop up WITH language highlighted in color. Just like when you type 'speaking' to see your own language. And when they switch languages, their voice message should pop up again with the new language highlighted. Maybe there can even be an @options where you can get their voice message every time they speak. I don't think voice message should be gated behind a stat or skill. It doesn't take a detective to know someone's speaking a foreign language in a gravelly voice while some other character is speaking your native language in a different accent.

Also, most importantly – Sometimes I don't want to reveal that I understand or speak a particular language, because my character has reasons for keeping that information secret. I've found myself becoming wary of engaging in RP with characters who I'm not sure are speaking a different language or not because their voice message didn't show up. I don't want to inadvertently ruin all the hard work I've put into keeping my knowledge of a foreign language on the down-low, just because the game didn't warn me that Joe Baka decided to talk to me in Euro or whatever.

I agree with everything @svetlana suggested


every time somebody starts speaking to you for the first time in an RP scene, their voice message should pop up WITH language highlighted in color.

Keeping a character's voice disguised is a key part of disguise.

Using brevity or otherwise avoiding the 'speaking' trigger that fully displays the @voice message is a key part of keeping the voice disguised.

I think it is fair to ask players to default to English early in an interaction if they do not want to let on that they understand non-English languages.

That being said, I completely agree that if a character changes languages in the middle of a conversation, the next time that they speak after changing languages, there should be a 'speaking' message that includes the @voice and Language being spoken.

Given the coding challenges inherent in figuring out whether or not a character is changing languages in the middle of a conversation, or if they are starting a new conversation with a different character, I think the easiest way to handle it is to force a @voice message + Language notification every time a character switches languages.

Changing your @voice is also a key part of keeping your voice disguised, to be fair.

I think you missed my point.

Staying disguised is all about reducing the number of tells or hints that you expose.

Being brief so as to not trigger an @voice / speaking message is a technique to reduce tells.

If @svetlana's suggestion was implemented as they made it, and the speaking message was triggered the first time anyone spoke, it would be impossible to avoid exposing the 'speaking message' tell.

Just change your @voice, if you can stay disguised enough to talk without your disguise slipping then you're more than skilled enough to "fake an accent" for some time. Also, it seems like the @voice message triggers randomly no matter how much or little you speak?

Just speak English.

If you can understand another language and don't want to tip off other people, you can go ahead and not speak it until the @voice message randomly triggers.

(Speaking of triggered, yes. I am a bit.)

I feel like I'm constructively suggesting a way to make what you are asking for work, while at the same time not breaking other functionality.

Your response was more or less, "Change the way you RP."

Consciously avoiding a description of your voice from being displayed isn't roleplay. It just sounds like cheese.

Cheese is changing your @voice willy nilly.

I can't speak for other players who use Disguise, so take this with a grain of salt.

I have one @voice for each 'persona' that my character adopts when they dawn a disguise. A persona is the whole enchilada as detailed in 'help disguise'.

Expecting to be able to discern the specifics someone's voice, from someone else's voice, in a noisy urban environment, after a single utterance, is a huge stretch. Especially if that utterance is only a few syllables.

No need to be rude, Hek. Batko is right, it totally sounds like you're trying to cheese your way around the system. Even the most brief utterance should expose the timbre of a person's voice. Just change your @voice message, it doesn't even require any skill checks. There's a reason why it's so easy.

And the problem isn't "speaking English" or not. The problem is responding in English to a character's dialogue without realizing that they are speaking another language, and thus inadvertently revealing my comprehension of the foreign language.

You admitting that you're "Getting triggered" by this conversation doesn't add anything to the dialogue.

This topic wasn't about disguise, it's about the game forcing you to reveal you know a language without any prompts or RP choice by not giving you a notification when first hearing someone's voice speaking in a language my character fluently knows.

Since the other PC doesn't know they're speaking in a different language, they keep on responding. Considering the ranodmness of voice notification for @voice and language being spoken, it can alert someone hearing it within the first comment, the first few minutes, or has happened to me personally fifteen minutes into a conversation.

Circling back to earlier in the thread, there were some good suggestions about adapting 'glance' or 'watch' to allow players to figure out what languages their character is aware of other character's speaking.

(Opinion) I believe that forcing the @voice / speaking message on every pose is a bad idea for the reasons stated above.

I don't appreciate @batko implying that I'm cheesing the system by working within the way the system works.

I don't appreciate @svetlana suggesting that people (not just me) should willy nilly change @voice around just because it is 'easy' to do. (Opinion) I believe that there should be some roleplay and preparation posed before changing @voice.

Hek, I think in this case 'watch' and 'watching' is the command that would make the most sense for this. It would make sense that your ability to tell who is speaking what would be limited by stats and who you are currently keeping track of in conversation.
How would you know what somebody's voice sounds like if they have not spoken yet? If you start 'watching' that suspicious-looking shroud in the corner, you're never gonna figure out their voice until they open their mouth to talk.

Hek, I don't appreciate you assuming that I -wouldn't- roleplay changing my @voice or faking an accent. If you don't want others hearing what your voice sounds like, then just don't speak in public when you're disguised.

If you wish to disguise your voice then you should have the skill to do so and then change your @voice to reflect that. I don't think manipulating the display of voice descriptions is roleplay nor do I think that's an intended use of the system, but I could be wrong.

It's not 'willy nilly' to change your @voice if you have the proper skill to do so. It's a tried and true method of disguise that I have seen countless people use for as long as I have played the game.

I think we have the gist of the suggestion.