FANDOM


  • Ok, so when characters interact, we hear it as English, but when written, it's Chinese.  Don't people in the world of Avatar have an identification for this language?  It's like how in Star Wars when characters speak, we hear it as English, but in written form, it's in Aurebesh.  However, they identify the language we hear as Basic.  

    I think there should've been a name for the language spoken in the Avatar Universe, and I'd call it "Standard".  

      Loading editor
    • There´s also the possibility that all the English spoken there is actually a different language, just translated into English. Or perhaps this is an earth in which English (or standard/basic) is by far the most prominent language there (verbally), and this can somehow be written in calligraphy.

        Loading editor
    • But all calligraphy is in Chinese, yet all races speak the same toungue in order to interact with one another. Logically, I believe English in Avatar would be a different identification, while being written in Chinese calligraphy, much like how English in Star Wars is called Galactic Basic, but written in Aurebesh.  It would just look awkward for speakers in the Avatar World to call their language English or Chinese, because it's not our Earth or universe. 

      It just makes more sense for the writers to identify the common tongue by putting English under a different name, so that they don't have to explain why everyone speaks English.  

        Loading editor
    • Obviously they speak a different language than the one that all place names is in since no one understood the Ba Sing Se/Na Sing Se joke.

        Loading editor
    • It's not so much that they didn't understand it as that they didn't laugh. It was explained...I'd say "for the audience's benefit," but really the fact that he had to explain his own Dad Joke IS the joke.

        Loading editor
    • I'd say Chinese is the universal language of the Avatar Universe but we as the audience just hear it as English. If every nation spoke a different language they wouldn't be understand each other like how we saw they did. It is weird though because though all the writing is done in Chinese they also integrate some Japanese names in there too and of course the whole Fire Nation is based of Imperial Japan.

      Is there a Chinese dub of ATLA or Korra out there anywhere? I want to hear how these characters would really sound.

        Loading editor
    • Totaldramavictorious
      Totaldramavictorious removed this reply because:
      Accidental Triple post
      18:35, January 26, 2017
      This reply has been removed
    • Totaldramavictorious
      Totaldramavictorious removed this reply because:
      Double post
      18:35, January 26, 2017
      This reply has been removed
    • Totaldramavictorious wrote:
      I'd say Chinese is the universal language of the Avatar Universe but we as the audience just hear it as English. If every nation spoke a different language they wouldn't be understand each other like how we saw they did. It is weird though because though all the writing is done in Chinese they also integrate some Japanese names in there too and of course the whole Fire Nation is based of Imperial Japan.

      Is there a Chinese dub of ATLA or Korra out there anywhere? I want to hear how these characters would really sound.

      I highly doubt that.  If a character called it Chinese, it would be so awkward because this isn't our earth or universe. I think it IS English, because unique English terms are used, but it would have to be a different name. Like, why couldn't the writers just call it "Standard" or "Common" or "Classic".  They can't call it "Basic" because Star Wars already uses that.  It's better than having to go into murky details like translation or other things that will confuse us.  I could imagine dialogue like this:

      Character A: (speaks using complex words explaining how blasting jelly works)

      Character B: Speak Standard/Common please!

      Character A: Hit it with a flame, blasting jelly goes boom-boom!  

        Loading editor
    • Honestly, what does it matter? There are at least 3 equiprobable possibilities, none of which really changes the way the show is viewed.

      1. They speak English & write Chinese. Somehow.

      2. They have their own language that just happens to look like Chinese & be "translated" as English, & maybe a few other, lesser-used languages.

      3. It's all Chinese & the speech is just "translated" for the audience.

        Loading editor
    • An explanation for the first one would be the Star Wars route--it's English by a fictional identification with characters written in Chinese.  Analagous to how in Star Wars, characters speak English, but it's known as "Basic", but writing is in Aurebesh.  

        Loading editor
    • They could call it Pǔtōnghuà (meaning common speech) or Guóyǔ (meaning national language). The first name is used in mainland China while the other in Taiwan. Anyway, that's just my two cents.

        Loading editor
    • Well the show is dubbed into different languages, so it makes no sense that they just speak English, but I always believed that in fantasy shows it is just translated into real life languages, just so that we can understand it. It would be difficult for them to invent a complex fantasy language, and then put subtitles on it. And it would be even more difficult to have then in theory speak different languages, but so that we can understand it, all of those different languages would sound the same. Children would laugh: Hah, I understand you both, why did you don't understand each other?

      I am not big on movies, I haven't saw many popular ones, so I might be wrong, but I only heard different languages spoken in historical movies. Like, the main character's nation speaks whatever language it is in the country they put the movie on screen, but the other nations speak a different one and then it is subtitled. Off: I always wondered, what if in the story there are, for example Spain and France. The film is produced by France, so they speak French by default, and the Spanish speak Spanish with French subtitles. But then I wonder, if the film is showed in Spain, what would happen? I think the main character should speak whatever country the film is showed in, so what if France is where the main character lives and where the story begins? A) They speak French, and it has Spanish subtitles, and the Spanish speak Spanish B) French and Spanish people both speak Spanish C) French people speak Spanish and the Spanish speak a different language, but that would make no sense, because the movie needs to be historically accurate, since it is a historical movie What do you think?

      I saw almost all Star Wars episodes, each of them just once, I did not really understand much of the story. I also saw that there are fantasy languages with subtitles. The main characters speak a real-life language and some alien characters speak to them in fantasy language and the main character responds in the real-life language. What do you think about this?

        Loading editor
    • Well the show is dubbed into different languages, so it makes no sense that they just speak English,

      Why? Anime gets dubbed in a lot of different languages too, but we take for granted that a setting is supposed to use a certain language. E.g. Durarara!! characters reasonably speak mostly Japanese, since it's set in Tokyo, but since Baccano! is set in America, we would assume they're intended to be speaking English.

      It would be difficult for them to invent a complex fantasy language, and then put subtitles on it.

      Well, it's a lot of work, but it's certainly not impossible. Klingon in Star Trek and Elvish in Lord of the Rings are good examples. You also don't need to have them speak the language full time, for an extended scene you can establish that's what they're speaking, & then dub it with English.

      But then I wonder, if the film is showed in Spain, what would happen?

      It depends. Dubs of foreign movies do exist. For example, there's an option on Netflix to play a dub of the live action Fullmetal Alchemist movie. I don't know why you would, since it's a terrible film, but it's there.

      I think the main character should speak whatever country the film is showed in, so what if France is where the main character lives and where the story begins? A) They speak French, and it has Spanish subtitles, and the Spanish speak Spanish B) French and Spanish people both speak Spanish C) French people speak Spanish and the Spanish speak a different language, but that would make no sense, because the movie needs to be historically accurate, since it is a historical movie What do you think?

      I think it's a pain in the ass. If I was in the mood to read, I'd pick up a book.

      I saw almost all Star Wars episodes, each of them just once, I did not really understand much of the story. I also saw that there are fantasy languages with subtitles. The main characters speak a real-life language and some alien characters speak to them in fantasy language and the main character responds in the real-life language. What do you think about this?

      I don't know about that show in specific. I did say that fully speakable fantasy languages exist, but it's also more common to just dub a scene with gibberish & put subtitles over it to create the illusion that the aliens are speaking some alien language.

        Loading editor
    • It's chinese the english that you hear is a translation.

        Loading editor
    • They speak English(even though there is no true concept of language) and they write in chinese

        Loading editor
    • The short answer is: it's just more convenient to hear English (or whatever language of the audience's) and the use of subtitles/hearing a foreign language interrupts the audience's train of thought, especially when it's a kids' show and even more especially when the audience is supposed to be as broad (read: no Minority Show Ghetto) as possible.

      Additionally there's also the issue that foreign languages being spoken w/o subtitles in a work works better when it's an issue of culture clash whether it's Real-world (ex. "Tokyo Godfathers" has the cast speaking Japanese with English subtitles then running into a two Spanish-speaking people without subtitles for some reason, Miyuki not only inexplicably understanding said Spanish-speaking people to have a conversation in their respective languages, but also gives an Engrishy AF "THANK YOU VERY MUCH!" at the guy helping her) or Fantastic for the same purposes (ex. "Defiance" had a linguist create about five or so different languages for the aliens immigrants, plus Future!slang before going, "fuck it" and started saying actual curse words)

      There's more than likely a fancy term for it, but a Scientologist who wrote for the original "Muppet Babies" basically felt clever for writing a scene where Piggy was reading/telling a story where everything was going good until she reached a big word that she didn't know the meaning was and it messed up her train of thought so bad it ended the Imagine Spot for a moment.

      I found myself in a similar language predicament over whether the cast in my story were speaking English, an Alternate History Lingua Franca and/or some pidgin version due to a number of factors (ex. pocket dimensions acting as living time capsules so the Ancient Egyptian language is still spoken as commonly as Spanish in some places) before also going "fuck it/deal with it later" though it's still clear when there's a difference between someone speaking "Basic/English" or another language like Gaulish as it's rooted to the character's background.

        Loading editor
    • This is why I don't bother with languages much, except one time in an RP where I had a character wonder if they were speaking English or Japanese.

        Loading editor
    • An anonymous contributor
        Loading editor
Give Kudos to this message
You've given this message Kudos!
See who gave Kudos to this message