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Sep 30th 2015 at 6:12:26 AM •••

Appearently someone added a Real Life examples folder. The page clearly warns against that, but seeing how it's written in strange syntax, I guess a troper didn't understand that part. Do we need to have an "translated in proper English" section for things like that?

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Apr 2nd 2016 at 8:40:59 AM •••

Yes, we need to remove the Real Life examples. Varieties of English that whole communities speak as a native language but that happen to differ from standard English (e.g., Wisconsin English), at least, are not examples. I'm removing 'Milwaukeese' — do we need a mod's approval to remove the whole folder?

May 20th 2011 at 9:27:31 PM •••

Is the current quote really fitting? The G-Man's syntax isn't unusual; just his enunciation.

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May 24th 2011 at 11:42:19 AM •••

I agree, I think a more demonstrative quote is possible.

May 24th 2011 at 12:25:53 PM •••

how about the lizard king from All-Star superman i don't recall the exact line but if somone has the DVD it's something to the effect "My son punished be...speaks goaded be by man Sampson"

Mar 7th 2011 at 12:58:28 PM •••

Something that came to me recently If The Doctor is from some vague future shouldn't he be speaking in a language inteligible to most of the timelines he visits? How long would it take a time traveler to learn a varient of their native tounge? And if they time travel alot how many "dilects" would they need to learn before they could do it with only a few sentences of study instead of days?

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Apr 4th 2011 at 2:33:19 PM •••

When asked "You know the language?" The Doctor replied "All of them". The Doctor is omnilingual, so it's not a stretch to say that he can learn older versions of those languages quickly if he didn't already.

Apr 4th 2011 at 9:54:45 PM •••

But how long would it take to learn a older version realisitcally?

Apr 20th 2011 at 8:21:49 AM •••

It's stated expressly that the TARDIS translates for the Doctor (and companions). It seems to involve it working like a Babel Fish and psychically reading the minds of others.

Of course, that doesn't explain how sometimes plot solutions rest on wordplay that either shouldn't exist in the original language or shouldn't translate.

Apr 20th 2011 at 12:53:01 PM •••

While the doctor inspired the question it's really in more genenral terms that don't rely on Translation Microbes and what like.

Aug 21st 2010 at 6:36:24 AM •••

Let's just rename this trope "Yoda Speak" Like buffy speak. It just makes more sense since that is the character people identify with this trope.

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Sep 7th 2010 at 3:02:42 PM •••

You can suggest it in the Trope Repair Shop forum, but I think "Yoda Speak" is neither funnier nor more descriptive.

—R.J.

Jan 20th 2012 at 3:10:53 AM •••

Also, we're trying to cut back on tropes named for characters, since they're never as ubiquitous as the namer thinks.

Mar 15th 2010 at 12:00:16 PM •••

Here's a conventional description of the trope:

This trope is a character (or a group) who speaks in a way that others don't understand, but with a twist: while the words are understood, the syntax or context for those words are not. Maybe each sentence contains exactly twenty syllables, or all words must be alliterative, for example. The result sounds like gibberish, even though it makes sense to the speaker.

A key to this trope is that the audience can understand the speaker, once (if) the syntax is known; learning the rules becomes part of the experience.

This can occur as a more extreme form of Future Slang, as Strange-Syntax Speaker changes syntactic rules, instead of merely substituting words. Sometimes, fictional and foreign words are also used for further obfuscation. And the words can be real, but obscure, further muddying the waters.

If the rules are sufficiently obtuse, the speaker might come across as a Cloud Cuckoo Lander. A common plot is to require the protagonists to learn the syntax to obtain some vital information.

Compare and contrast with Conlang (for fictional languages in general), Starfish Language and Verbal Tic. Gratuitous Iambic Pentameter is a popular example of this trope.

Compare with Zero Wingrish.

[copied from old Discussion page for the convenience of readers]

Edited by lebrel Hide/Show Replies
Jun 13th 2012 at 8:28:43 AM •••

What about if the speaker only speaks in poetry? Does that count?

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