How does everyone in MK understand each other?
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How does everyone in MK understand each other?
06/04/2014 12:58 AM EDT
Does everyone speak the same language in every realm? But, what are the chances of that?
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RE: How does everyone in MK understand each other?
06/04/2014 02:21 AM EDT
That's a good question. They're probably gonna bring up some "magical mist" bullshit put up by the Elder Gods so anyone from various realms can understand each other. If all the realms really spoke good English, then they must have been closely observing Earth without interference, waiting for English to immerse as the global language so during this time they can learn to speak it.

However this would throw out all the other possibilities like why haven't the realms interacted before the 10th tournament or learned other dominant languages such as Latin, Greek, or Mandarin Chinese for that matter.

These are just crackpot hypotheses I put up.
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RE: How does everyone in MK understand each other?
06/04/2014 11:08 AM EDT
Other than the obvious explanation about this being fiction, my theory is that all the other realms might have had enough interractions with humans to eventually learn all, or at least many of our languages. Shang Tsung and Goro no doubt encountered humans of various nationalities during the MK tournaments. Maybe there also were other human allies like Kano to help the people from other realms learn our languages. Sorcerers like Shang Tsung and Quan Chi might have some spell that allows them to instantly learn new languages.

There's plenty of potential in-universe explanations, but in the end, like the Stargate TV shows, the writers probably wanted the story to go straight to the point, which, in MK's case, means "FIGHT!".
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RE: How does everyone in MK understand each other?
06/04/2014 02:38 PM EDT
The MK universe is a dream a comatose ubergod is having.

Do people ever have language barrier issues in your dreams?
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RE: How does everyone in MK understand each other?
06/04/2014 06:59 PM EDT
There are language barriers on Earth only with their own people, but not outworlders?
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RE: How does everyone in MK understand each other?
06/04/2014 09:29 PM EDT

This is something we as the audience and players of the game are not supposed to question. I mean look at Stat Wars and like every other movie or game with people from different dimensions, they all speak English because we speak English.

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RE: How does everyone in MK understand each other?
06/05/2014 08:02 AM EDT
It's an American game, so everyone speaks English.

It's as simple as that.

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RE: How does everyone in MK understand each other?
06/27/2014 03:14 PM EDT
RazorsEdge701 Wrote:The MK universe is a dream a comatose ubergod is having.
Do people ever have language barrier issues in your dreams?


As a linguist i sometimes dream in fluent Spanish/French.
STATE FED LIES CHARM EMPTY EYES. Anon.
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RE: How does everyone in MK understand each other?
06/30/2014 02:31 PM EDT
RazorsEdge701 Wrote:
The MK universe is a dream a comatose ubergod is having.

Do people ever have language barrier issues in your dreams?

I have never even thought of this. Major kudos, friend, I always just rolled with it.
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RE: How does everyone in MK understand each other?
07/01/2014 06:30 AM EDT
DG1OA Wrote:
Other than the obvious explanation about this being fiction


God, you'd think this would be a good enough fucking explanation, y'know?

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RE: How does everyone in MK understand each other?
07/01/2014 03:04 PM EDT
blacksaibot Wrote:
DG1OA Wrote:
Other than the obvious explanation about this being fiction


God, you'd think this would be a good enough fucking explanation, y'know?
Again, people on Earthrealm are /shown/ to speak different languages from each other! But not in other realms? Come on. It's not like most fictions where everyone on Earth mysteriously speaks the same language, so no one questions the aliens doing it, too. So, no, it's not a "good enough fucking explanation." I guess we should sweep any other question under the rug with that mentality.
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RE: How does everyone in MK understand each other?
07/02/2014 02:05 AM EDT
Having tournaments between realms wouldn't work very well if the competitors didn't speak the same language.

We know that in the early history of EVERY realm, the gods played a big hand in guiding and shaping human civilizations.

Also, there was a lot of early migration and interconnection between realms either hinted at or outright described, because A) there's ancient Edenian language in Onaga's tomb in Outworld, B) Edenia is named after the Garden of Eden, which in Christianity is the first world humans lived in before they fucked it up and were forced to move to Earth, and C) one of the oldest events in MK canon is the Elder Gods tasked a bunch of mortal sorcerers to build portals and settlements like Nekros, the Netherealm town in Deception Konquest that would make things easier like sharing knowledge, or their Champions' quests to find the Kamidogus.

What if "English" is just our name for a tongue the gods spread around a lot so people in every realm would be able to understand each other?
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RE: How does everyone in MK understand each other?
07/02/2014 08:35 AM EDT
I was wondering a similar thing, Razor; some interesting thoughts as usual. Oh; I didn't know Onaga's tomb inscriptions were written in Edenian... or if I did, I forgot. Jeez. Again, thanks.
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RE: How does everyone in MK understand each other?
07/02/2014 01:28 PM EDT
It's mentioned in Sindel's Deception ending.
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RE: How does everyone in MK understand each other?
12/25/2021 11:01 PM EST

There's obviously gonna be different explanations for different characters, but here's my two cents, in the form of two ideas (and indeed it could be any combination therein).

1.) Immortals such as the Elder Gods, Titans, Raiden, and Fujin may have simply picked up these languages due to their long lives, such as Raiden being exposed to pretty much all of Earthrealm's languages over his long tenure as protector. He would also, naturally, pick up on the languages of other realms variously based on further exposure (for instance, we know he's been battling Outworld for at least 500 years (though likely much longer than that really)).

Shang Tsung is obviously native to Earthrealm, but he's also known for his habit of taking people's souls. In doing so, not only would he be able to take their forms and recreate their abilities--even expanding this to those he doesn't absorb--he'd also be learning any sort of languages they know. And combine that with his unnaturally-extended lifespan due to aforementioned soul-napping, and he'd have the ability to learn every language in Earthrealm and beyond.

The long lifespan explanation also extends to a lot of other characters, such as Shao Kahn (who may or may not be a god himself) who has been trying to conquer Earthrealm for centuries, Kitana and Jade who are 10,000 years old due to Edenians being naturally long-lived, Goro who has been fighting in Earthrealm for 500 years so of course he'd learn Earthrealm languages, Geras who has traveled Earthrealm for literal millennia, and Bo' Rai Cho who probably learned English due to living in Earthrealm, etc.

Quan-Chi is a demon from hell, so he would have had heavy exposure to a variety of different languages from throughout the realms.

As for characters who aren't long-lived, such as the Earthrealmer characters, many of them are likely using English simply as a Lingua Franca to converse and coordinate, especially given the fact that English is the most widely spoken language on Earth (While Mandarian has the most speakers on the planet, English is more spread out while also having a large native speaker base). Remember that characters like Scorpion aren't ancient warriors, but rather are modeern warriors. The Lin Kuei likely teach many of their warriors English for their missions.

2.) Indeed, due to the Mortal Kombat tournaments, as well as how central Earthrealm apparently is in the cosmology of the realms, English may have also spread to the other realms like Orderrealm and Chaosrealm through cultural osmosis. This would also likely mean that before English, other languages may have played the role of lingua franca, such as Edenian long before any Earthrealm language took up the role (since Edenia was conquered 10,000 years ago), (all the languages presented from here on are purely conjectural) and then would be followed by Outworlder languages, and then a variety of Earthrealm languages, such as possibly semitic languages (such as Akkadian and Coptic), which would then be followed by either an ancient Indian language, then an ancient Sino-Tibetan language, then probably alternated between Tibetan, Chinese, and Indian languages, and then with the rise of the British Empire, English would start to take that role, and then here we are.

As for characters talking in contexts where it wouldn't make sense for them to be speaking English, such as when Shao Kahn and his followers are doing all their scheming in MK 2011, it's simply for the audience's convenience. In historical-fiction movies taking place in non-English speaking countries, we just assume they're speaking some other language for instance, and in sci-fi and fantasy fiction it's much the same. And really, this just sort of applies to the real world explanation as a whole. The rest of what I said above is really just me thinking aloud so to speak.

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RE: How does everyone in MK understand each other?
12/26/2021 07:57 AM EST
12/26/2021 08:03 AM EST

If they did make up other realm languages for characters, people would complain about inconsistencies or how similar to/possibly mocking of a real one.

It would be neat though, and greatly expand the lore/feel of the worlds. Technically they already do, with Sindel/Onaga's incantations in DA-A, and now in 11 Tarkatan's have their own language in a Baraka intro, and iirc in their war camp part of the story mode.

If they did lean more into it, I would expect translated subtitles.

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RE: How does everyone in MK understand each other?
12/26/2021 09:30 PM EST

The Tarkatan language was also featured in the MKX story mode in Chapter 2, when Mileena orders her tarkatans to attack Kotal on the rooftop. And Raiden speaks a bit of it in Chapter 10 to Baraka before fighting him. MK11 also has some in Chapter 5, with the passing tarkatan soldiers talking banter as they pass Jade, and then the female that she and her squad run into, and then again in Chapter 7, when Baraka orders his men to stand down.

Apparently there's an actual conlang that was made for the tarkatans for MKX, and Netherrealm just haven't shared it with the public just yet. Some smarty-boy linguists could probably take what's been spoken so far to get more of a feel for the language, and try to figure out what is being said in those few sentences we've heard.

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