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Is ToS ..Cantonese?
#1
Shocked 
I hope this isn't a silly question, but I'm learning and can only speak English. Thought I'd learn Chinese in general from my favourite game while I'm at it.

My observation is that Madhead is based in HK and the game uses traditional characters and that I see many streamers are from HK using spoken Cantonese.

I see "之"  in 神魔之塔 ('of') which might be a clue, however I see 的 and 們 which could be either written Cantonese or Mandarin.

I know perhaps Taiwanese and Japanese (although Japanese kana is easy to spot) is mixed in the game however I have no clue how much.

Thanks a ton!

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#2
No, the game isn't in Cantonese. It's Traditional Mandarin script.

Cantonese is more commonly spoken in Hong Kong than Mandarin is, which is why many streamers use it. Much of it is also done in Mandarin though, especially on their Facebook live streams.

Taiwan doesn't really have its own "Taiwanese", but (a regional variant of) Mandarin is the primary language. However, they do generally use the Traditional Mandarin script over the Simplified version that's used in most other places. You'll note a good amount of more archaic words and phrases if you look hard, which is simply the writers being poetic. As for Japanese, the only parts I'm aware ofare the transliterated names of Japanese characters like Amaterasu (and maybe some gratuitous phrases in the Konosuba ameliorations).

As a more direct confirmation that it's not Cantonese in the game, you can take a look at this page: Written Cantonese on Wikipedia. You'll note the characters there don't appear, or if they do they're out of place from where they would be in Cantonese.

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#3
The character use is separate from the spoken language.

There are two common character sets: traditional and simplified.  HK and Taiwan use traditional (which generally involve more strokes), while most of the rest of the world (including China) uses simplified.
ToS seems to be programmed in traditional, which is common between HK and Taiwan.
https://ninchanese.com/blog/2018/11/01/simplified-chinese-characters-vs-traditional-chinese-characters/

As for spoken language, generally HK speaks Cantonese, while China and Taiwan speak Mandarin. So the depending on where the streamer is from, it could be either Cantonese or Mandarin. ToS seems more popular in Taiwan than HK, and I believe most streamers are Taiwanese (although I may be wrong).

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#4
Spoken Chinese and written Chinese are basically two different things. Simplified and Traditional Chinese are the two main forms of written Chinese, while Cantonese and Mandarin are two forms of spoken Chinese, among other dialects.

Game text is written using Traditional Chinese on the Chinese server, but what forms of spoken Chinese a streamer is using depends on the streamer. YouTubers Hsu and Red Kai speak in Mandarin, for example.

Taiwanese never really had a written form, but it's common practise these days to simple use actual Traditional Chinese characters to mimic the sounds. For example, 母湯 is a word that can be typed using Traditional Chinese characters, but has no real meaning in Mandarin. Instead, the sound it produces ("mu tang") means 'no' in Taiwanese and is used by both spoken by YouTubers and typed by viewers.

Technically, Japanese text isn't in the game. Japanese kanji borrows a lot of characters from Simplified and Traditional Chinese. For example, 電話 means 'telephone' in both Traditional Chinese and Japanese. However, there are times when the meaning of a Chinese character changes when read from a Japanese perspective. For example, 私 means 'I' in Japanese, but 'private' in Traditional Chinese. Then there are some kanji that have been modified from the Traditional Chinese form. For example, 峠 means 'mountain pass' and doesn't look anything like its Chinese equivalent, 山路. On a side note, Korean also borrows (Traditional?) Chinese characters, calling them hanja.

Point is, a character such as 金 is used both in Traditional Chinese, Japanese and Korean, but a game that uses such a character is not necessarily Japanese or Korean. In the case of TOS, there are certain Traditional Chinese characters in the game that have meaning in Japanese, Korean etc., but the game uses Traditional Chinese as a written form.
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#5
I had not been aware of much Mandarin being written in traditional script, nor of Taiwanese using them for phonetics. I appreciate all the pointers as it can be overwhelming!

Beyond learning some of my favourite cards and how their names were spelled out (such as 阿提密斯 Ā tí mì sī, Artemis), I had fun investigating strange translations.

My first curiosity was of course Ed the Innocent Necrophiliac.. yikes (純真 屠夫, which I guess is more appropriately "Innocent Butcher"!).. although if somebody loves to butcher corpses enough, I suppose that could be rendered as necrophilia.
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#6
(05-14-2019, 11:17 AM)TigerofTower Wrote: I had not been aware of much Mandarin being written in traditional script, nor of Taiwanese using them for phonetics. I appreciate all the pointers as it can be overwhelming!

Beyond learning some of my favourite cards and how their names were spelled out (such as 阿提密斯 Ā tí mì sī, Artemis), I had fun investigating strange translations.

My first curiosity was of course Ed the Innocent Necrophiliac.. yikes (純真 屠夫, which I guess is more appropriately "Innocent Butcher"!).. although if somebody loves to butcher corpses enough, I suppose that could be rendered as necrophilia.

In general, Western names such as Artemis and Chinese names such as Guan Yu are transliterated into the other language. If the English pronunciation is different from the Chinese, it's most likely an Eastern name that isn't Chinese. For example, 天照 is read as 'tian zhao' in Mandarin, which is fairly different from her English name of Amaterasu. This is because Amaterasu is a Japanese name, but the Japanese kanji have Traditional Chinese equivalents.

As for epithets meaning different things, it could be due to a bunch of reasons, such as:
  • Different countries have different levels of censorship.
  • MH not being that good at translating before.
  • Some words having no equivalent meaning in another language.
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