Interlingual game communication: when "nyeeet!!!" just isn't enough.
December 12, 2005 8:07 AM   Subscribe

How do you communicate with non-english speakers when playing sports or gaming?

I started playing Go on Yahoo! a week or so ago, and pretty quickly tired of an inability to communicate with my non-english-speaking opponents (of which there are, oh, a billion or so). I decided I'd post a question about this, but eventually ran across a list of go phrases in other lanauges.

It got me thinking, though: how do you communicate with non-english speakers while gaming (of any kind)? I took a ton of languages in HS and college, but can't engage in sports/gaming dialogue past a ganbatte or jouer au basket. Do you have any useful tips or phrases for when you're playing in a multilingual environment? Can you gripe about camping mobs in Korean? Congratulate a good 3-pointer in Slovak? How do you even discern nationality or language on internet games?
posted by soma lkzx to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (8 answers total)
Response by poster: if i get a lot of useful phrases, i'll probably organize them and toss them on a site somewhere, if someone doesn't know of a place that already covers this.
posted by soma lkzx at 8:09 AM on December 12, 2005

Use smileys?

If you have any particular phrases that you would like translated I'm sure all the nice people of AskMe would be helpful. I don't know how much help it would be but I would be able to translate pretty much anything into Danish.
posted by sveskemus at 8:15 AM on December 12, 2005

Response by poster: I'm not looking for anything specific (the linked page solved my Go problem), just thought people might have some interesting phrases/anecdotes/whatever.
posted by soma lkzx at 8:35 AM on December 12, 2005

my white suburbia 16-under soccer team used to have to play the spanish-speaking teams from the southside/Nogales. it was always frustrating knowing they could understand what we were saying to each other and communicate with each other in another language we couldn't understand. the only way I could figure out to really communicate with these bilingual teams was brute force/physical violence.
posted by carsonb at 8:38 AM on December 12, 2005

Sounds like a great idea for a website...

the only way I could figure out to really communicate with these bilingual teams was brute force/physical violence.

Yeah, I can't believe those assholes learned a SECOND language! The nerve!
posted by mkultra at 8:54 AM on December 12, 2005

Generally, through mime (has to be a "real world" sport). Like, mime passing a soccer ball, or shooting at a basket etc.
posted by djgh at 9:48 AM on December 12, 2005

Best answer: kekekekekeke
posted by atrazine at 9:59 AM on December 12, 2005

I have only an anecdote -

I spent five weeks in Beijing two summers ago and played a fair amount of basketball while there (I play a lot here in the States). Contrary to what I was told not many people speak English in Beijing or if they do it's the most rudimentary possible. I can't blame them, as I don't speak any Mandarin.

Anyway, much of the time I would be picked off or knocked down by my own teammates because they play a very confusing style of defense the aim of which seems to be to look very busy without having any effect. So when I tried to stay with one person I would run into other of my teammates who wanted to guard my man, but only for a moment! The offensive play was the opposite - well-disciplined and every player, even the worst, knew how to go to a spot and make a jump shot. I could not communicate to my teammates to stay away when I was guarding someone.

The English they did have consisted of some curse words like "shit" or "damn". They also had this very odd way of saying "Ooo-kaaayyy!" after a play they liked such that I couldn't help laughing to myself as I thought of a court full of Kool-aid men. Some of the players also imitated And1 streetball moves, which surprised me.

Needless to say I could resolve neither my technical nor cultural confusion.
posted by Slothrop at 11:19 AM on December 12, 2005

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