View Full Version : translating D&D (scandinavians only)

2009-05-20, 01:20 AM
So I'm prolly gonna' try teaching my little brother and one of his friends to play D&D this weekend. Thing is, they are not TOO good in english.
One major problem is translating the alignments and spells.
classes was not to difficult.


It is particularly the alignments, the stats, the skills and the feats I need help with.
figured I would translate "skill" to "evne" and "feat" to "talent".

any thoughts?

2009-05-20, 06:18 AM
Wait, is that Danish? Cannot give you direct help there seeing I only speak Swedish. Either way, feats you should mostly use literal translations with. The more important part is explaining what they do, after all.

Alignment should be obvious - they'll know what "god" and "ond" stand for. "laglig" and "kaotisk" may require small explanations, but ultimately they should be pretty clear too ("This guy follows laws, while this one doesn't trust law and does things his own way" should sufficide).

In Swedish, I'd use the word "förmåga" for skill and "talang" for feat, so we're on the same tracks there.

Overall, I wouldn't translate too much; if you translated the character sheet and went through the character creation process with them, that should be sufficient. It's the explanations that matter, after all.

2009-05-20, 08:09 AM
norwegian actually.
yeah, good and evil are easy enough. it was the law-chaos axis i had troubles with. but "laglig" might work...

I was also thinking of translating AC to "rustning styrke" but that is not quite right...

yeah. It was mainly the character sheets I wanted to translate.
:smallbiggrin: my little brother seems really up for it. he have drawn himself a gnome warrior called Grim-Nils Tyttebær. using a spiked chain, offcourse.

2009-05-20, 12:12 PM
the good / evil axis is translated in the D&D 1st edition books. Just pick them up at my place before gaming. The monster names are translated as well.

2009-05-20, 01:08 PM
I'd make AC "beskyttelse" or something like that. Also describes AC for Dex-based characters instead of just tanks.

Also, Grim-Nils Tyttebær is the best character name of all time. Your brother is a god amongst men.

2009-05-20, 02:07 PM
aah! offcourse! why in the name of Lars Monsen did I not think of "beskyttelse"!
we in Tromsø hear it all the time since it is so much "tender diseases" in Norway.

Narmoth: I will pick up 1st. edition one day. but I'm more comfy with 3.5 right now.

I know, the name is ingenious! He even have backstory! I am proud of that little runt!
not much of a backstory but hey, he's a kid

Grim-Nils Tyttebær's brothers were eaten by giants and his sister ran off with some druids. His town was attacked by kobolds and he saw his father killed before him, so he jumped at the leader but he shot him with a energy blast and he fell in the river.

So simple.

2009-05-20, 02:16 PM

2009-05-20, 02:22 PM
Hey, arent you on mythweavers too?

rettskaffen! I think that works excellent!

2009-05-20, 02:30 PM
I've had similar thoughts myself, because I've been pondering introducing some friends to the game who might be put off by the excessive amount of English text.

Some random thoughts on spell-translation (In Danish, but it shouldn't make that much difference). I've skipped a lot of the obvious one's like "magic weapon" and such.

Alarm - Alarm (duh)
Endure Elements - Udhold elementer? (sounds a bit dumb, but the more obvious names would be taken by later spells)
Mount - Ridedyr/Hidkald hest?
Obscuring Mist - Tilslørende tåge (sounds quite dumb, don't know a good word for "obscuring")
Summon Monster - Hidkald? (you'll need a good translation of "summoning", don't know if this cuts it. Påkald is another option) monster
Unseen Servant - Uset tjener
Detect X - Fornem X
True Strike - Præcist slag
Charm Person - Charmér person?
Color Spray - Farvekaskade
Chill Touch - Isberøring/kold berøring
Ray of Enfeeblement - Svækkelsesstråle
Expeditious Retreat - Hastig retræte
Feather Fall - Fjerfald? (I remember they translated this to "Fjerregn"/"Rain of Feathers" in a translation of the Dragonlance books, completely missing the point:smallsmile:)
Gust of Wind - Vindpust
Scorching Ray - Flammestråle
Web - Spindelvæv

2009-05-20, 02:39 PM
what immediately jumps to my mind is "(til)Dekkende tåke" or "bedekkende tåke" or simply "tåke".

Summoning is simply "påkall" "tilkall" whatever. they work.
Charm on another hand... it's not quite "sjarm" y'know... I would call it "falsk venn" or in danish "falsk frende" (i THINK it's danish <<)
since you make the creature believe you are its friend. sort of.

2009-05-20, 02:55 PM
Well, I can give my advice on translating the alignment terms into English... :smalltongue:

Good -> Altruistic or Benevolent
Evil -> Cruel
Lawful -> Compliant, Honorable, Obedient, Honest, or Traditionalist*
Chaotic -> Defiant, Independent, Rebellious, Duplicitous, or Unconventional*

*Pick one. The RAW Law/Chaos axis conflates several traits that really do not necessarily imply one another, such that e.g. a lying, loyal, duty-bound spy is off the axis entirely.

Maybe those terms have more direct translations into your language.

2009-05-20, 03:00 PM
I'd make AC "beskyttelse" or something like that. Also describes AC for Dex-based characters instead of just tanks.

Also, Grim-Nils Tyttebær is the best character name of all time. Your brother is a god amongst men.

"Forsvar" lyder bedre.

En "bard" er jo bare det engelske navn for en "Barde", hvis du virkelig vil oversætte det er "Skjald"/"Skald" nok bedre.

Paladin kunne måske være "ridder", der er godt nok allerede en "ridder" rolle, men da du ikke er igang med at oversætte ting der ikke er core så passer det jo meget godt.

danish "falsk frende" (i THINK it's danish <<)
Falsk Frænde hvis vi snakker olddansk,
altså før 1800 tallet, "Falsk ven" er mere korrekt nu om dage.

Men synes ikke "Falsk ven" lyder så godt, "Hypnose" ville ikke være helt rigtigt, men det er jo for hulen det det er :smallamused:

2009-05-20, 03:48 PM
This is what I'd go with in Norwegian:
Summon Monster - Hidkald - Påkall
Charm Person - Charmér person? - Forheks Person
Web - Spindelvæv - Nett

Claymore - Slagsverd
Barding - Hesterustning
Healing / curing - Helbredelse

Monster name translations from 1st ed:
Bugbear - Buve
Displacer Beast - Flimmerbeist
Ogre - Rise

2009-05-20, 03:57 PM
Yes, I am also at Myth-Weavers. By the way, the norwegian forum Hyperion has some pretty nice threads about translation from english to norwegian.