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Inkling: The Language of Splatoon

Discussion in 'Regular Discussion' started by Mithical1, Apr 24, 2015.

  1. Zephy

    Zephy Inkling

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    I am so using this in future artwork. This is BRILLIANT.
     
  2. Dimfish

    Dimfish Inkling

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    hey guys, coming in from a different web forum where we were discussing the same topic matter, and so far we've attempted to translate the characters as best as we can off the squid jump minigame and the repeated characters in the plaza, heres where we're at so far:
    [​IMG]

    hope you all find a use for this sad attempt at a translation, happy hunting!
     
    timman98, DakotaBonez and spiffy like this.
  3. Bizz

    Bizz Inkling

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    Hello everyone! I'm a huge language nerd and was originally going to figure out this whole language myself
    (As I have done before on other various languages) until I found this amazing thread! Instead I find it
    in my best interest to team up with you guys and interpret and figure out every single little detail and resolve
    any confliction or problem there may be with the material that we are given.

    I truly believe that this language can be speakable even if it was never meant to be!
     
    Smashwidget likes this.
  4. Marco

    Marco Inkster Jr.

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    fgweafawefewaf
     
    #124 Marco, Jun 11, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2017
  5. RadioactiveMoth

    RadioactiveMoth Squidibli

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    Thanks for writing down all the characters, PiyozR! I'm gonna go see if I can find any plausible sounds I can assign to them.
     
  6. spiffy

    spiffy Full Squid

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    @Dimfish so it's definitely based more around english than japanese right? or is it a mixture?
     
  7. Zephy

    Zephy Inkling

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    It is most likely a corrupted japanese.
     
  8. PiyozR

    PiyozR Senior Squid

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    If you look at the different types of letters throughout Splatoon, you'll find that some are shown around the Inklings and Inkling history (the square-ish ones), and some are shown around Octarian and Octarian history (taller and skinnier ones). For the purposes of this thread, we're treating them like two different languages. I'm going to keep your post in my browser as tonight I will start assigning phones to each Inkling character. Thanks for the input!


    Assigning sounds is basically what I'm starting to do now. I'm going to post new versions of those graph paper scans with the 115 letter alphabet with International Phonetic Alphabet markers. I am going to do it in pencil in case you guys think differently than I do.

    Language nerds unite! The only thing stopping us is our laziness or getting distracted by Kelp Dome.

    Splatoon is a game made in Japan with a sizable English-speaking audience. The way that the letters are drawn seems to go along with that. As I go on assigning sounds to this alphabet, I'm going to try to make it sound not unlike Japanese or English. Seeing as I've never studied Japanese before, I may have to do a little research on that noises exist in the Japanese language.

    It's like Nintendo has seen this thread and is trying to throw a wrench in our plan.

    WE WILL NEVER GIVE UP THE FIGHT!!!
     
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  9. spiffy

    spiffy Full Squid

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    @Dimfish this should help! japanese kana (the simpler writing system) is made of syllables rather than letters. this link doesn't include "contraction" sounds like cha, rya, hya, pya, nya, etc but hopefully it will be a useful point of reference.
     
  10. eli

    eli Senior Squid

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    i guess people are just saying things either obviously untrue, already established, or without any evidence now

    also
    that'd imply there's something TO decipher, not just often arbitrarily-chosen characters from a created character set…
     
  11. yokokazuo

    yokokazuo Inkling Cadet

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    With Splatfest starting in just 12 and a half hours in Japan, there are now some trucks with equipment setting up for it. On the trucks, there is a licence plate which resembles Japanese ones.
    image.jpg image.jpg
    On Japanese licence plates, there is a hiragana on the left side and four numbers to the right of it.
    On the green one, the numbers look like a 70(or 8)34, but the first number/numbers on the orange one looks like the "hiragana" on the green one followed by what looks like a 7 then a 1 or the same symbol as the "hiragana" for the orange plate.
     
    DakotaBonez likes this.
  12. Joseph Staleknight

    Joseph Staleknight Inkling Fleet Admiral

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    Hmm, interesting. Between that and the signage at Walleye Warehouse and Port Mackerel, I think we might have a better idea of how numbers work in Inkling. The only thing I'm concerned about is whether they actually count in decimal, but I guess that's another topic for later.

    In other news, I'm also vectorizing PiyozR's sketches so that hopefully we have something scalable to work with when the time comes to expand on the language. Right now, I'm just about done with the first page and then some.

    EDIT: Okay, I've finished up making vectors of the glyphs, and now they're attached to this post! A few notes:
    • First off, I checked the sketches and found that numbers 90 and 23 were duplicates. Thus, I replaced 90 with another glyph.
    • Additionally, I added a few other glyphs that were in the game but not in the sketches (such as the inverted R).
    • Also, glyph 115 and the variants for glyphs 52 and 53 were too stylistically different from the others, so I decided to make them fit in.
    • Finally, I created both an EPS and a 3-page PDF so that anyone savvy enough with vector programs like Illustrator can use these as a basis for typeface variations.
    Feedback is greatly appreciated!
     

    Attached Files:

    #132 Joseph Staleknight, Jun 12, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2015
    eli, Chocoling, spiffy and 1 other person like this.
  13. PiyozR

    PiyozR Senior Squid

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    Thanks for the share. I'm going to tackle the numbers and punctuation next.

    Attached are the (first draft of) the full Inkling alphabet. I added International Phonetic Alphabet notation so you can now speak and read and create basic words! Check it out and see if I made any dumb mistakes or missed anything.

    Also I wrote my name in Inkling. Send me a PM with your name and I'll write it for you.
     

    Attached Files:

  14. Poltersquid

    Poltersquid Inkling

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    wow, just found this post (and this site) and I really like the work being done here, I don't think I can really contribute much at this point, but if I find anything of worth, I'll let yall know
     
    PiyozR likes this.
  15. Joseph Staleknight

    Joseph Staleknight Inkling Fleet Admiral

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    Ah, neat! There are couple issues, though. Glpyhs 2 and 80 have the same pronunciation, as do 34 and 39 (oh, and 72 and 96. Didn't check those two until recently). Granted, it might just be that 39 is supposed to be /ʊjo/ rather than /ujo/, but I don't see the /ʊ/ anywhere else.

    Still, awesome work! I'll see about arranging the glyphs into some sort of grid based on pronunciation.
     
    #135 Joseph Staleknight, Jun 13, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2015
    PiyozR likes this.
  16. NLALEX

    NLALEX Inkster Jr.

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    When it comes to Inkling for me the biggest hurdle is the sheer number of characters. You could argue that it's a syllable-based alphabet like Japanese which would make sense given the game's origin, but it doesn't answer why the logo for the in-game brand Forge has so many characters making up its name.

    It's entirely possible that Inking uses a phonetic alphabet similar to IPA. This would allow a much greater number of potential characters which correlates well with what is seen in the game, but it still doesn't answer everything. It is also possible that Inkling has several alphabets for different situations, which is unlikely but not impossible (as well as impractical).

    It is also worth pointing out that the Squid Sisters vid from the Direct is subbed in Inkling:

    This not only shows that Inkling has word boundaries unlike many Asian languages, but also that the character strings range in length enormously. Some of what appear to be multiple words when sung are subbed as being single strings, suggesting that it's common for compound nouns to be presented as single words in a similar fashion to Modern German.

    Another note to take from this video is that the first line of the song is nearly identical to the text that appears above 'Squid Sisters' just moments beforehand. The first two strings are identical, and considering the subs supposedly say 'Squid Sisters' in Inkling, it's possible that Inkling may use some form of reduplication for plurality, and that this word is 'squid' or 'sister'. If this is true it would also indicate that noun order is reversed compared to English (where the head of the compound noun occurs at the end), and would likely mean that Inkling is a largely post-modifying language as opposed to pre-modifying.

    This isn't particularly in depth at all but I thought I'd slap some info out there!
     
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  17. PiyozR

    PiyozR Senior Squid

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    Ah darn it! I looked this over a bunch of times and still didn't notice! Thanks for pointing those out. And to be clear, for #39 it is [ujo]. I didn't plan on having the [ʊ] vowel in Inkling. That's just me writing it by hand sloppily. #2 will be changed to (pronounced EE). #39 will be changed to [uno] (pronounced oo-NO). #96 will be changed to [boi] (boo-EE). I'm attaching the same grids again with the corrected notations as well as some light editing for clarity's sake.

    And yeah, arranging all these letters by pronunciation is probably more useful than arranging them by form (like I did). Thank Sakurai I did this in pencil. I knew I'd make small mistakes like this.

    All very good thoughts, NLALEX. I was thinking something similar. I imagine Inkling to be a language reversed from English in that compound nouns have the main noun before the secondary noun, adjectives after their nouns, adverbs before their antecedents, family names before their given names, etc. Aside from that, in this thread we're not thinking that there is any established Inkling or Octarian phonetics in Splatoon. Sure, some letters might match up sometimes, but that's most likely video editors having fun than an actual, natural language. That's why we're doing this from the ground up.

    EDIT: I just saw the PDF that Joseph Staleknight posted. Good work! I'm going to edit your #90 onto my hand-drawn copy and use that instead of two horizontal lines. After all, two horizontal lines is (implied to be) the non-serif form of #2. Yeah, let's go with that. Your suggestion of the upside-down half circle with two lines sticking out of it will be the new #90, and will still be pronounced [ise].

    As for your additions for 116, 117, and the variant of 76. I am going to add those to another page of mine with some sounds, too. For now, let's say that 116 is [ʃa] and 117 is [ʃo]. As for the 76 variant, let's say that all the "e" type glyphs (73-80) can also be written as flat ovals with one curved line coming out of it? How does that work?
     

    Attached Files:

    #137 PiyozR, Jun 13, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2015
    eli likes this.
  18. NLALEX

    NLALEX Inkster Jr.

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    I think it's a bit of a leap to start talking about proper nouns! I understand that the 'speech' in the video clearly has no correlation to the language displayed below, but it's impossible to deny we get some seriously long strings in there, much longer than you'd really expect in a pop song which generally have fairly simple language in order to appeal to a wide audience, hence my idea regarding compound words.

    There are any number of languages that could have been used for inspiration for Inkling, so we can't assume that English or Japanese would be an appropriate starting point (although there is clearly some English inspiration in the cat/dog shirts). It's entirely possible that what were' looking at here is complete gobbledigook.
     
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  19. PiyozR

    PiyozR Senior Squid

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    I'm betting it's all gobbledygook. Unless Nintendo comes out with some LOZ-style cipher or something.
     
  20. Joseph Staleknight

    Joseph Staleknight Inkling Fleet Admiral

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    Neat! Unfortunately, checking your notes again I noticed that 96 now shares sounds with 65. I'd probably change either to [bie] since the [ie] column is looking pretty sparse.

    Sounds fair enough. Let's go with that!
     
    PiyozR likes this.
  21. Kinkling

    Kinkling Inkling

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    (I don't know is this would help, but) When ever Callie and Marie finish, they say something like "Cho fwahs" I hear The fresh, but not the Stay. Hope this helped!
     
  22. Poltersquid

    Poltersquid Inkling

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    regarding the spacing, it is entirely possible that it is still asian-like, take for example this quote from the wikipedia article on japanese punctuation:
    "In normal Japanese writing, no spaces are left between words, except if the writing is exclusively in hiragana or katakana (or with little or no kanji), in which case spaces may be required to avoid confusion."
    In addition it is also common to use a dot between ambiguous character strings, which inkling might have replaced with a simple space
    Regarding the first line of text, this should clear that up:
    "A space may be left between the family and given names as well."
    If we assume that they consider band names like given and family names, then that matches up, other than the fact that there are 3 words there, not 2.
     
  23. Le_Dook

    Le_Dook Inkling

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    I think we're forgetting one thing. People who glitched outside Inkoplis found the back of the Amiibo box to be parallel to it's real life counterpart apart from the language, which means we have ONE real life counterpart to translate it to. If we can find a picture of a Japanese box we can translate it!
     
  24. Nickfire47

    Nickfire47 Inkster Jr.

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    Guys! I found the missing thread, while doing the out of bounds glitch in the hub, the back of the amino box is visible, and its written in inkling! We have a direct link between these languages, get deciphering people!
     
  25. Nickfire47

    Nickfire47 Inkster Jr.

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    Five hour's late I guess, dang it
     
  26. Joseph Staleknight

    Joseph Staleknight Inkling Fleet Admiral

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    As much as I hate to say it, someone already beat you to the punch:
     
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  27. SquidWaifoos

    SquidWaifoos Senior Squid

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    It's a lot better than "squidgin"
     
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  28. eli

    eli Senior Squid

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    Like Joseph said, I did this a couple of weeks ago. :) Sorry!

    Nothing came of it, fyi… unfortunately. :B
     
  29. Nickfire47

    Nickfire47 Inkster Jr.

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    I think someone should just ask Nintendo, only they really know, I mean it shouldn't be too hard, right, right? This aint gona be easy, is it?
     
  30. Nickfire47

    Nickfire47 Inkster Jr.

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    I'm starting to feel like Nintendo just wants this kind of internet attention so they made a huge puzzle
     
  31. NLALEX

    NLALEX Inkster Jr.

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    If we ever get an interview with a Splatoon head honcho like Nogami I'll put forward a question about the language, i.e. 'Can it be deciphered? If so, is it based on a real language?' or something to that effect.
     
    PiyozR likes this.
  32. Le_Dook

    Le_Dook Inkling

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    @eli I knew that someone else would've had the same idea!
     
  33. PiyozR

    PiyozR Senior Squid

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    Posting what little more I have now.

    Attached is what I've been able to make out in terms of numbers. I've also seen a normal "3" so whatever.

    Attached is also the pronunciation of some brand logos seen in Inkopolis and beyond. Sure, it might look like a mouthful to say. Just keep an ear out for how quickly the Inklings speak these words.

    Attached is thirdly how to say "dog", "cat", and "bread" from images provided in this thread.

    If anyone wants to create some sort of a type face or font or something from the PDF that Joe Staleknight created, that would be the best way to start making all sorts of posters, banners, sigs, avatars, etc.
     

    Attached Files:

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  34. eli

    eli Senior Squid

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    we should totally interview tsubasa sakaguchi. he's a boss.
    [​IMG]

    woo, IPA!

    I had planned on vectorizing the three pages of letters you posted, but it appears Joseph beat me to it! I can put these into a font face, but what should we use for the alphabet? Like, what determines if something is 'A', or 'B', or 'a', etc...?

    What do the 'R' and 'S' mean, in the variants section?
     
    #154 eli, Jun 14, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2015
  35. eli

    eli Senior Squid

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    Okay, post #2 of the night:

    Do we have the 乃 character (pictures below)? Or any of these other ones?
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    HERE is an Imgur album of a couple screenshots I've taken in-game (single player) recently – do we have all these, too? :) I need to go to bed now, but posting it here just in case anyone else could check.

    Not sure if we have the one for 'D' in 'DOG' PiyozR wrote, either (it would be a rotated version of 29).

    _____

    EDIT: Look good so far…? Please let me know any suggestions/changes/advice, etc.
    [​IMG]
     
  36. GrumpyTanner

    GrumpyTanner Inkling

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    I wish they had posted a type of lyrics on the splatfest commercial. Its definatly a speak able language, since the lead and the hooks were repeated. I'd love to figure out the lyrics.
     
  37. Nickfire47

    Nickfire47 Inkster Jr.

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    I do wonder what the squid sisters are sing as well, the credits song too though, there different words, for a more mellow and has a different meaning I think
     
  38. Nickfire47

    Nickfire47 Inkster Jr.

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    So just how close is this to being where I can write in this without confusion?
     
  39. aggravatedTranscription

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    I have some ideas about what to do once we finish everything alphabet and phonetics related. When we get to the word stage for rebuilding the Inkling language, we should use this list of 1000 most used words and translate them first. (unfortunately squid, ink, and fresh are not in the list, but we can add those) For now, I'm going to see if i can arrange the alphabet phonetics-wise, rather than by shape.
     
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  40. Nickfire47

    Nickfire47 Inkster Jr.

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    With the vast number of symbols found, perhaps some are just different ways to write the same symbol
     

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