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  Umlaüts in gäme names?  (Read 1870 times)
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Offline Varkas
« Posted 2013-02-06 10:16:26 »

In the recent years I see more and more games with umlauts used in their names. My experience is that few english speakers can pronounce them, so I feel puzzled why they are used in games names. Is it just the funny shape of the characters, or is there another reason?

And how to pronounce "Brütal Legend", "Ünembra" or "Isotröma (Tesseract 2)"?
(the latter two are from the WIP forum)

if (error) throw new Brick(); // Blog (german): http://gedankenweber.wordpress.com
Offline BenniBanni
« Reply #1 - Posted 2013-02-06 10:21:31 »

They are called "metal umlaut" according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metal_umlaut
Dont ask me how to pronounce them in english... i'm a native-umlaut-speaker from austria  Grin
Offline BenniBanni
« Reply #2 - Posted 2013-02-06 10:24:37 »

Ah, i've founde a page... http://www.europa-pages.co.uk/lessons/german-pronunciation.html


ä -> (Umlaut, transcribed as 'ae') like 'e' in "ten", 'a' in "band"
ö -> (Umlaut, transcribed as 'oe') like 'i' in "Sir"
ü -> (Umlaut, transcribed as 'ue') like 'y' in 'Tyrell'

a -> like 'u' in "cup", 'a' in "target"
e -> like 'e' in "ten", 'a' in "bake"
i -> like 'i' in "bingo"
o -> like 'oo' in "door", like 'o' in "top"
u -> like 'ou' in "you"
y -> same as 'ü', but also consonant "j" in words of foreign origin ("Yacht")
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Offline Varkas
« Reply #3 - Posted 2013-02-06 10:26:11 »

I see. Thanks for the wikipedia link  Grin

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Offline RobinB

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« Reply #4 - Posted 2013-02-06 11:14:53 »

In the recent years I see more and more games with umlauts used in their names. My experience is that few english speakers can pronounce them, so I feel puzzled why they are used in games names. Is it just the funny shape of the characters, or is there another reason?

And how to pronounce "Brütal Legend", "Ünembra" or "Isotröma (Tesseract 2)"?
(the latter two are from the WIP forum)

I guess because its in their native languane, its normal to use umlaüts and they expect its also to be normal for other languanes?
Offline Cero
« Reply #5 - Posted 2013-02-06 12:05:20 »

Umlauts suck. And I am german...
Even Ragnarok Online was actually Ragnarök, but thankfully they just called it Ragnarok everywhere except the artworks

Offline Riven
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« Reply #6 - Posted 2013-02-06 12:22:20 »

1. It makes your game hard to find. (google distinguishes between U and Ü)
2. People don't know how to pronounce it.
3. People don't want to type it. (what is the alt-code again?)

What a buzz kill. Are there advantages, besides the i18n-domainname being free?

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Offline Oskuro

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« Reply #7 - Posted 2013-02-06 12:27:14 »

I have an umlaut as part of my family name. It sucks that in most official documents they never include it.

In Spanish, the combination of 'g' and 'e' or 'i' is special. For other vowels, there are two sounds, 'j' and 'g'.

For example, 'ja' would sound something like 'ha' (harsh sound) while 'ga' sounds like 'gah' (soft sound). Same with 'o' and 'u'.

But for 'e' and 'i' the sound is always harsh 'ge' == 'je' which sound like 'heh' and 'gi' == 'ji' which sound like 'hee'.

To get the softer sound, you need to put an 'u' in between: 'gue' or 'gui', resulting in 'geh' and 'gee' (more or less).

The umlaut is used when the 'u' should be pronounced normally in those instances, so 'güe' sounds something like 'gooeh' and 'güi' sounds something like 'gooee'.

Edit: Wikiquote!
Quote
Several languages use diaeresis over the letter U to show that the letter is pronounced in its regular way, without dropping out, building diphthongs with neighbours etc.

In Spanish it is used to distinguish between "gue"/"güe" and "gui"/"güi": antigüedad (antiquity), pingüino (penguin). This is also the case for the Nicaraguan demonym, Nicaragüense. Similarly in Catalan language,

"gue~güe" are [ɡe]~[ɡwe],
"gui~güi" are [ɡi]~[ɡwi],
"que~qüe" [ke]~[kwe],
"qui~qüi" [ki]~[kwi],

as in aigües, pingüins, qüestió, adeqüi. Also ü is used to mark that vowel pairs that normally would form a diphthong must be pronounced as separate syllables, examples: Raül, diürn.


So yeah it is a little complicated.  Roll Eyes


Back on topic, I guess the umlauts are used for visual effect; Adding uncommon symbols makes the text stand out from other game titles.

Offline krasse
« Reply #8 - Posted 2013-02-06 12:50:49 »

It is quite hilarious sometimes when they try to make names look more interesting that way. In Sweden, we also have Å (a circle above an 'a') which sounds like 'au' in 'augmented'.
In the stargate SG1 series, they added a circle above the 'a' in 'gate' which make the title sound like some funny dialect in Sweden (östgötska).

So, watch out for making your names sound really strange in other languages, even if it is just a decoration Smiley

Offline Cero
« Reply #9 - Posted 2013-02-06 13:51:57 »

using greek letters on the other hand can be cool, see: half life - its obvious the lambda is a stylish a and it works
and again its "logo only" you seldom see "hλlf life" with the actual lambda

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Offline BenniBanni
« Reply #10 - Posted 2013-02-06 14:05:06 »

Hm... the spoken λ in a word has the sound of "L" which would result in "hllf life".

Sounds pretty bad to me, compaired against "brütal legend" (which would be "brytal legend"...)  Grin
Offline Axeman

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« Reply #11 - Posted 2013-02-06 14:27:34 »

You´re forgetting something: They look cool! Smiley But perhaps I´m partial? I´m swedish so it comes pretty natural for me... Wink
Offline Oskuro

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« Reply #12 - Posted 2013-02-06 14:30:19 »

In the stargate SG1 series, they added a circle above the 'a' in 'gate' which make the title sound like some funny dialect in Sweden (östgötska).

Before some other nerd complains, the case of Stargate is understandable, they just use the "pyramid with the sun over it" symbol (symbol for earth) for the A, it has a meaning inside the context.

Using a lambda for Half-Life also has meaning within the context of the game (Lambda-Labs and all).

Those two cases are, in my mind, justified. Most of the rest, not so much.

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