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View Full Version : Should the game's spoken language be changed to Coptic?



rumz89
06-24-2017, 04:55 AM
I sent an idea to Ubisoft via Twitter, to which they responded by thanking me for my feedback and suggested I bring it to the forums, so here I am. I would like to hear more opinions on this and if there is big fan agreement, perhaps Ubisoft will take the suggestion seriously. Do you agree with the idea? Why or why not?

"Hello! As a big fan of the Assassin's Creed series, I'd love to suggest an idea that crossed my mind while watching gameplay from Origins.

I couldn't help but feel the game should be in a different language (with various subtitle options, obviously). Specifically the Coptic language, spoken in ancient Egypt and, in fact, still spoken today by at least 10 million people.

I don't know if the game is so far into development that such a change would not be feasible. However, I feel the benefits to this change, by far, outweigh the resources needed to implement it. As a fan, I would be willing to wait for a delayed release to see the game in its original language for a more intimate and submersive gaming experience.

While I do not speak the language personally, I have several contacts who know the language fluently and would be interested in the opportunity to work with Ubisoft on such a project.

Making the game in the original, ancient language of its setting would make for a superior gaming experience consistent with the current theme of the game.

Showing an appreciation for an ancient language and people could create new markets for the game to sell in, positively influence Ubisoft's public image, and even have unintended positive cultural consequences. Acknowledging the Coptic language could shine a light on the current plight of the persecuted Coptic people in today's country of Egypt. While this may seem optimistic, I do not doubt the potential of this idea.

I appreciate you taking the time to hear an idea from a long time fan. I do not expect any form of compensation. I only wish for a great video game to play and for others to enjoy, as well. Regardless of the game's language, I'm highly anticipating the game's release. Thank you for your time! Please feel free to reach back out to me via Twitter or email..."

LoyalACFan
06-24-2017, 06:44 AM
It would be literally impossible to replace all of the spoken dialogue with Coptic at this point. They only have three months until the Origins goes gold. That said, I'd be very interested to see your sources about the modern use of the Coptic language; from my understanding, it's a dead language that's only used by the Egyptian clergy, much like Latin in Europe.

strigoi1958
06-24-2017, 01:53 PM
Plus.... (forgive my lack of linguistic knowledge) purely from someone who would not recognise Coptic from any other Egyptian/Arabic or middle eastern language. As I do not understand any of them, any one is exactly the same as any other to me, and I suspect to anyone else who doesn't recognise or speak Coptic.

China has over 50 ethnic groups with the language divided into 7 major dialects... these dialects can sometimes mean words differ simply by tone and emphasis..... as I do not speak Chinese and (I hope you do not so it is easier for you to see my point) it would not make any difference to me (or you) or the majority of players as to which which dialect was used if there was an ac game set in China. (discounting chronicles ;) )

So although I applaud your desire to make details more fitting/ realistic (I really like it that other ac fans are invested into the games so much that they want the best), I'm not sure many others would notice.

SixKeys
06-24-2017, 02:38 PM
In addition to the points mentioned, while it's a cool idea in theory, there's simply no benefit to Ubi for spending extra money on translating the entire game into a dead language. The Ezio games have Italian as a language option because there are enough Italians who would want to play the game in that language. Most people, given the choice, will always default to English.

Kadashman-Enlil
06-25-2017, 02:34 PM
The idea to use a historical setting's original language is cool, alright, but that ship already sailed. Moreover, if it's 'historical linguistic accuracy' you want, the devs would have to implement not liturgical Coptic, but a reconstructed form of Demotic (an earlier stage in the development of the Egyptian language). In addition, they would have to use a form of ancient Greek (Egypt in 49 BC being effectively bilingual) plus Latin (for Roman NPC's) and whatever Berber-related language the people in the oasis of Siwa spoke.

Nothing impossible, but something like that would have to prepared in a very early stage and is of doubtful commercial value, maybe even risky. It's one thing to have short passages in ancient Egyptian in a movie like The Mummy I or II in order to add flavour, quite another thing to implement it fully. The only guy who might be mad enough to attempt something like this is called Mel Gibson and he ain't running Ubisoft ;).

WendysBrioche
06-25-2017, 03:17 PM
For non-essential dialogue, of course.

And we may get to see that, I'd be honestly surprised if we don't.

But anything like having the whole game spoken in historic languages is quite a huge undertaking. I would never expect that of them, or any game developer really.

Me personally, I'm cool with just a few tidbits of dialogue and chit chatter of civilians, or guards, statesmen, holy peoples, in the languages of those times, as has been done for each of the games since the start of the series. :o

wvstolzing
06-25-2017, 04:35 PM
The only guy who might be mad enough to attempt something like this is called Mel Gibson and he ain't running Ubisoft ;).

Even there, the Latin spoken was a pretty basic textbook style of Latin with a distinctly liturgical, Italian-like pronunciation.

Ubisoft does have people mad enough to implement a drastically simplified proto Indo-European for a stone age Far Cry, though. :p

I'm sure we'll hear little scraps of Latin, Greek, and Demotic as background chatter, guards yelling, etc. -- and it'll be horribly unidiomatic as well. (The Turkish speaking guards in AC1's Damascus were a nice touch, as the city was under Rum Seljuk occupation at the time; but the sentences they uttered were hilariously unidiomatic bits of modern Turkish.) Though, still, that's pretty nice to have in a game.

Megas_Doux
06-25-2017, 04:42 PM
As stated above, Coptic is a dead language spoken by very few people, the majority of them clerics. Plus, during the setting of game it wasn't a thing yet, they spoke Demotic. I mean, It would be hard enough to have NPC's speaking it, let alone finding capable actors who can speak it convincely.....


Oh and do you really picture them (the only ones who currently speak that language)

https://citydesert.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/coptic-cross-2.jpg

Interrupting their duties to play a video game haha.

Kadashman-Enlil
06-26-2017, 11:12 AM
Oh and do you really picture them (the only ones who currently speak that language)

https://citydesert.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/coptic-cross-2.jpg



I don't think the OP was referring to elderly priests in this case. I am getting something of a 'Coptic language revitalisation' vibe from the OP though, which is apparently something at least some Copts dream about.

Related to language but separate from spoken Coptic or Demotic in the game: it would be nice if the final version of the game tries to get the names right and somewhat uniform. The maps you can see in the demo videos use a mix of modern (English) geographical names, old Egyptian names and Ptolemaic Greek names which is...not particularly uniform and also not that immersive. Would be nice if they fixed this before release.