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  • Language Merit Question

    If you possess five Language Merits or more, then you’ve
    begun to understand the principles of language itself and can
    try to unravel languages you don’t already know (Intelligence
    + Enigmas, difficulty 7 or higher).

    Does this mean with a simple roll of intelligence and enigmas, a mage and learn garou? After only five minutes?

  • #2
    I think it's accurate to say that you won't immediately understand the language, no. Not at all.
    But you are probably able to quickly deduct how its grammatical structure and syntax works, differentiate between articles, object and names, and be able to learn a language much, much quicker, especially if it is written down,


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    • #3
      To learn a language in five minutes, I think you'd need Time magic or Mind. Mind 3 is basically a universal translator.

      I'd make the time to pick up a new language using Intelligence and Enigmas based on how close the language is to other languages the mage knows. For example, I took German in high school and remember a little. I've studied Latin American history and know a few Spanish words. I have never studied Chinese, and my exposure to it is pretty much in RPGs. I'm going to have a lot easier time figuring out German or a similar language than I am Chinese and figuring out the syntax will be a lot faster when there is experience. I did have to take my qualifying language test twice because I forgot how significant the subjunctive (if-then) case was in German historical writing. . .

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Thkaal View Post
        Does this mean with a simple roll of intelligence and enigmas, a mage and learn garou? After only five minutes?
        No. It means that they get a chance to roll to see if they understand what's being said. There's a huge difference between being able to roll to catch part of a conversation, and actually knowing a language. I don't speak Spanish. But between studying other Romance languages, and cultural assimilation, I might be able to figure out what two people speaking Spanish are saying (esp. written where I can see the words and the roots).

        Perception (not necessarily the Attribute) is also important here. A character can't unravel what they can't perceive. Garou Tongue as the example, involves a lot of communications that aren't in the normal human range of perceptions, so without using some (albeit simply) Life magic it could be impossible to get to roll simply because so much is going on you're not sensing. Similarly you can't roll just because someone tells you a language exists. You need examples to start on. "Akkadian is a thing," doesn't let you figure out Akkadian, you need some artifacts of Akkadian to start to work with.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Thkaal View Post

          Does this mean with a simple roll of intelligence and enigmas, a mage and learn garou? After only five minutes?
          They may potentially be able to decypher garou glyphs given examination, but they would have to do this each time and context matters. Could they say understand what's spoken? no

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          • #6
            It's worth remembering that a simple workaround for all language is Mind 3. Alternatively, Spirit is a good way of getting translation done, although keeping a positive relationship with a polyglot ghost might be a bit demanding.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by 11twiggins View Post
              It's worth remembering that a simple workaround for all language is Mind 3. Alternatively, Spirit is a good way of getting translation done, although keeping a positive relationship with a polyglot ghost might be a bit demanding.
              You could also contract the services of a non-ghost Spirit of languages. The Astral Umbra is bound to be full of them. Of course, that doesn't make such a pact any less costly. A language spirit would probably mandate the character actively learn other languages (rendering the contract pointless in the long term) or even to teach languages to other people.


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              • #8
                Originally posted by Bluecho View Post
                You could also contract the services of a non-ghost Spirit of languages. The Astral Umbra is bound to be full of them. Of course, that doesn't make such a pact any less costly. A language spirit would probably mandate the character actively learn other languages (rendering the contract pointless in the long term) or even to teach languages to other people.
                Ghosts are more malleable IMO. Get a'hold of their fetter and do them a few favours and they're a reliable retainer in some regards (sentry, lessons).

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