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Puerto Rico» Forums » General

Subject: Iconic Status Preventing Translation Corrections? rss

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Disclaimer: I love this game. I've played it about 30 times. I continue to enjoy it. I continue to marvel at it's ability to appeal to a wide range of audiences and to suck players in with its incredibly streamlined gameplay. Still, the following quibble is serious, however minor it is in the grand scheme of things. Also, I apologize if this has been discussed somewhere else on the site, but I scrolled through three years of general PR threads without spotting any likely candidates.


I've been into boardgaming for about two years. Puerto Rico was one of my first purchases. I've taught the game at least 15-20 times. Almost every time I play it, there are one or more new players at the table. Sometimes I am the only veteran present. During the same time period, I've tried lots of new games, some older than Puerto Rico, some more recent. I've noticed that sometimes rulebooks in games are poorly organized, or terminology is clunky, or there are small printing errors, or translations are literal without being accurate (my favorite example being "The Scrolls of Qumran" in Thebes). Almost all of these issues can be skirted so that new players don't even see them.

Not so with Puerto Rico. Although the game is intuitive, new players repeatedly comment on the "Craftsman" and "Settler" cards. And as I wrack up more games as points of comparison, I myself am losing patience with these cards. How could roles this simple be so lamely mistranslated? Crops are planted and then harvested, not "settled" and then "crafted." Would it be so hard for Rio Grande Games to change these roles to "Harvester" and "Planter"?

Puerto Rico has been available for six years. For much of that time it has been a bestseller and the #1 game on this site. It seems like that would merit two conspicuous but clear-cut translation changes in a new printing. But perhaps the game's iconic status is more of an obstacle than an impetus. Perhaps fond veterans would grumble whenever they reached for the non-existent "craftsman" role, only to be met with looks of confusion from new players.

So to all PR vets and fans, what do you think? Does PR deserve accurate translations for its most central components? Or will changing these two words only disorient thousands of fond gamers?
 
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Mike Helba
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I suspect that the response you get is that, with the exception of corn, all harvested goods are immediately processed in production facilities, so you're actually, for example, crafting coffee rather than just harvesting coffee beans. As for the "Planter" role, can one really plant a quarry?
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Ben Foy
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I have no control over this. Talk to the publisher. Or you can make your own version.
 
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slider wrote:
I suspect that the response you get is that, with the exception of corn, all harvested goods are immediately processed in production facilities, so you're actually, for example, crafting coffee rather than just harvesting coffee beans. As for the "Planter" role, can one really plant a quarry?


As to the first point, I still think harvester is fine because it makes sense not to harvest if you aren't set up to sell the goods. Good point about the quarry though, but since it's a privilege, it doesn't seem as off to me. I was trying to keep all the nouns people so that it makes sense to call them "roles," instead of actions. "Cultivate" would be good but "Cultivator" is kind of ridiculous.
 
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BFoy wrote:
I have no control over this. Talk to the publisher. Or you can make your own version.


Agreed, good idea, and good idea.

I'm still curious if you notice the cards or have had similar experiences with new players. Would you prefer a change?
 
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Fraser
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JohnRayJr wrote:

I'm still curious if you notice the cards or have had similar experiences with new players. Would you prefer a change?
Haven't noticed, nor have any newbies I have played with. No.
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Ben Foy
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JohnRayJr wrote:
BFoy wrote:
I have no control over this. Talk to the publisher. Or you can make your own version.


Agreed, good idea, and good idea.

I'm still curious if you notice the cards or have had similar experiences with new players. Would you prefer a change?


No I haven't BUT all the players I've taught the game to have been hardcore boardgamers. I took to PR like a fish to water so I'm not a good example either. I think its great that you are bringing new people into the hobby and I wish you the best.
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