Ending Typical Race Name Creation

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Extra
Space Krill
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Ending Typical Race Name Creation

#1 Post by Extra » Sun Nov 09, 2008 3:07 pm

I have seen so many race names that end with the suffix -ians that I will outline a few other ways to name your race more creatively.

Regardless of your races other characteristics, you must remember three things when naming it:

1: The fact that humans pronounce things with a throat, lips and tongue, and aliens don't.
2: The fact that Humans give names to things based on concepts such as location (Americans) other languages (canine) and physical characteristics (long-haired terrier), while aliens could name things after wholly different concepts.
3: The fact that aliens may have as much or more language diversity among its own race as Humans do.

So, these facts taken into account, we can deduce two things:

1: A race has a Human name and its native name.
2: We probably cannot pronounce or even spell native names properly, so we must do as best we can.

Let's take a race of millipedes with tentacles, for example. How would they communicate? Slapping their tentacles together? Slurping slime? Clacking mandibles? With those three suggestions, an alien name, as pronounced by a Human, could be "Clatika," "Shlipli," and "Krexkika."

Those names are far more interesting than, say, Psilons or Nimbuloids.

Speaking of which, I wonder what the Orions named themselves... perhaps someone here could write a story about that?

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Tortanick
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Re: Ending Typical Race Name Creation

#2 Post by Tortanick » Sun Nov 09, 2008 8:29 pm

What you say makes perfect sense, but I'd disagree on trying to phonetically translate their names into English, firstly we have some that don't use vocal communication (communication by scents for example) and partly because while an alien talking in clicks might sound good, in its written form names like "clickClickklikClick" just look a bit silly.

That said I've always hoped that when the aliens speak (diplomacy and giving ships orders) they would use their original language. It might turn out to be too much work though and of course what do you do about the ones who don't speak at all? Robots (and cyborgs who talk with radio) could use modem sounds but representing smells or sign language as a sound...

Extra
Space Krill
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Re: Ending Typical Race Name Creation

#3 Post by Extra » Mon Nov 10, 2008 4:41 pm

To be more specific, humans would actually interpret the concept of a race's self-identification into the nearest phonetic equivalent.

Otherwise, as you say, if it is such a thing as smell or some soundless communication such as pure telepathy, humans would be forced to use some other way to identify them.

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pd
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Re: Ending Typical Race Name Creation

#4 Post by pd » Mon Nov 10, 2008 5:53 pm

Extra wrote:I have seen so many race names that end with the suffix -ians that I will outline a few other ways to name your race more creatively.
I honestly have trouble finding the many race names that end with "-ian".
Especially when considering Eleazars reviewed races.
The names are quite diverse IMO.

Extra
Space Krill
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Re: Ending Typical Race Name Creation

#5 Post by Extra » Mon Nov 10, 2008 6:24 pm

Forgive me, I hadn't noticed that thread. And you are right; those names are very interesting and different.

M4lV
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Re: Ending Typical Race Name Creation

#6 Post by M4lV » Wed Nov 19, 2008 1:32 pm

the reason for -ians is mostly the planet's name someone has given to it before noticing there are living beings on that planet (advanced radioastronomy). So the Acamarians from Star Trek are named after the planet Acamar which is an arbitrarily-chosen name for a planet long discovered before anyone flew there and found out about the alien race. In Star Trek itself everything is universally-translated anyway so if one speaks to an Acamarian and says the word "Acamar", it'll be autotranslated into Jhfatalak or how the planet is actually called in their mother language.

It's more pleasant to the eye and the tongue if you call it in a human-friendly way. Still you could name it Jhfatalak if you want to but it would hurt my eyes a bit. I mean what's wrong with Wolf 359 (the 359th planet an astronomer named Wolf discovered)? Why calling it p3o258 or Otilama like the indigeneous people call it?

If you want that much "realism" in terms of alien perception of the galaxy, you should also introduce the green color for our sun because it actually is shining green (max. intensitiy at green wavelength) and not white (the white color is just a misperception of our eyes). That however was rejected by tzlaine heavily ;).

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