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Memoir '44: Air Pack» Forums » General

Subject: Memoir '44 "Engrish" in an otherwise nicely produced game rss

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Seth Owen
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Memoir' 44 is a great game, and generally speaking I've like what Days of Wonder have done with it. It's not a rigorous simulation, it's true, but it's a good light wargame and a great introduction to military history, too.

That said, it's therefore distressing when avoidable errors creep into the production process, especially because there's obviously been a lot of thought given to making the presentation attractive. On more than one occasion, though, the effect is marred because what's so nicely presented is a mistake. A pretty mistake is still a mistake.


In this global era there's a lot of incentive to offer products in multiple languages and to likewise take advantage of the global community to add rich content. Many of the euro-influenced wargames of late have made a point of including content and ad copy in one of more languages besides English. Notable examples include Wings of War. War of the Ring, Commands & Colors: Ancients and Axis & Allies: Miniatures.

One necessary step that some company's skip is making sure that some native speaker proofreads the copy to make sure it's right. I would be surprised if this is a problem confined to English language content, but it's the language I'm able to comment on.

A good example of this is the "Po Valley" scenario (Med 8) contained in the handsome Air Pack rules and scenario book.

Evidently the scenario was designed in a language other than English and translated. But just as clearly it wasn't proofread properly.

In some parts the wording is merely awkward. For example reading "919 meters over the sea level" which isn't the usual expression in English: "919 meters above sea level"

In some cases the wrong word is used: "morphology" when the word wanted is "topography"

And in other cases it's simply factually incorrect, such as when it calls the Brazilian troops involved the "Brazilian Shipment Unit?!" This is perilously close to being "Engrish" and is evidently a literal but bad translation of the actual name of the unit. Oddly, the correct translation is easy to see right there on the page, as it's not a big leap from Forca Expedicionaria Brasileria to "Brazilian Expeditionary Force!"

Indeed, a note should be sent to all would-be translators into English: The term "Unit" as part of a proper name is almost never correct. In military English, "Unit" is a generic and general term that can be applied to almost any sized force, especially smaller ones. Divisions, brigades, regiments, companies, platoons and squads are all "units." So the 14th German Infantry Unit is an incorrect designation. As a matter of fact, it was the German 14th Army.

It would be nice to see game companies take advantage of their international resources to make sure these kids of mistakes don't occur.

From my game blog at http://pawnderings.blogspot.com
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Hugh G. Rection
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I apply agreement with content of above message.
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Seth Owen
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GreenBear wrote:
Hang on a sec Seth, those errors are your fault!

Well, actually, they are more the fault of the community at large.

Let me explain...

See the scenario in question was written by Capt.Luis (an Italian). It was a fan created scenario that was promoted to official status (along with my Battle of the Bridgehead and KyppRyon's Kasserine Pass). So these scenarios were published well in advance on the website. Po Valley has 12 ratings with an average of 2.9 out of 3 stars and not one of them makes comment on the write up.

So there was plenty of opportunity for someone to come forward earlier, but none did. Perhaps people weren't reading the historical background that carefully.



A worthwhile point, but when someone publishes content in print I don't think it's too much to ask that a little editing be applied by the publisher. The publisher is responsible for exercising quality control.

While it might have been helpful if people who saw it on the Web pointed out the errors, it's not surprising that they didn't. Perhaps they thought it would be considered being snarky, after all the guy went through the trouble of making up the scenario. And it's not the responsibility of Web commenters to exercise quality control.

It's a nicely produced product, but the care that went into producing the art should also have gone into the content. This is not to pick on DOW, quite a few other companies fall into the same trap. I often amuse myself by looking at the English copy on Japanese-made model kits, There's a lot of mirth potential there, too.
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Jim O'Neill (Established 1949)
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wargamer55 wrote:

but when someone publishes content in print I don't thbink it's too much to ask that a little editing be applied by the publisher.


I am in total agreement there. shake
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Jeffrey Nolin
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wargamer55 wrote:
It would be nice to see game companies take advantage of their international resources to make sure these kids of mistakes don't occur.


Is "these kids of mistakes" a reference to reproductive misadventure?
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