I recently read a post about gaming slanguage over at Blizzard Watch where A. K. Hamid asks:
Have you ever unconsciously used gaming slanguage with real life friends/family, and had to explain what it meant to them?
Yes, many times. My boyfriend and I both play games like WoW and Diablo 3 so we use gaming words all the time. I think it’s a bit different for us non-English speakers, I speak Norwegian and my boyfriend speaks Swedish (very similar languages so we can easily understand each other).
We use loads of English words every day. Words which we most likely started using while gaming. Some are just normal English words but very common words in gaming like “fail”, “fake, “epic”, “pro”, “win”, “bug” and a bunch of other words and sentences/one liners like “noob”, “leet”, “pwn”, “nerf” etc. Those of you who have English as your primary language might not find those words strange at all. But non gamers here would most likely not use them because they would use the Norwegian or Swedish words. We even mix some English gaming words with our own language so for example “to raid” would be “raide” and “the guild” would be “guilden”.
Then there are the abbreviations we use like ATM, BTW, CBA, FTW, IMO, NVM, Inc, LF, WTB, WTS, IRL, NP and TBH. I use most of these when writing, not so often when speaking. I don’t think we even notice it, even when talking to or writing to non gamers, because we’re so used to it. Most of my friends and family wouldn’t know what any of those words mean. So there have been times they have looked at me, asked what it means or why I’m not using the Norwegian word. And times when I’m about to say/write something to someone and I have to stop and think to find the correct Norwegian word for it.
Sometimes I use references to gaming and WoW in my daily life. Like jokes about how nice it would have been with a hearthstone instead of 30 minutes on the bus, how I wish I had a mount, or what if I could just slow fall or use Goblin Glider to get down from that mountain, how some tasks are like quests you don’t want to do but the reward is really good so you just have to do them, when you call someone a ninja when they take something before they were allowed to, when you’ve been shopping and tell people to check out your new loot, you say ding when it’s your birthday and GZ when it’s someone elses birthday or they got/won/achieved something etc.
Most of the times I’m with my boyfriend when these things pop into my mind so it’s ok to say them. He usually thinks its funny and laughs cause he comes up with some jokes like that sometimes too. But there have been times when I’m with someone else and I almost say things like this but then I stop because I know they wouldn’t understand a word of it and it wouldn’t be fun if I had to explain.
I remember back in the days before I started playing WoW when I had some class mates who played. They talked about WoW every day in class and I didn’t understand much and it wasn’t from lack of trying because I tried to pick up the meaning of it all but it was impossible. It was like they were speaking a different language, which they kind of were, a mix of WoW, gaming, Norwegian and English. Now I’m just like they were.
I know most words used in games can be translated. It’s not very Norwegian to call a big monster for “boss” because “boss” means “garbage”. Most Norwegian blogs and websites who write about games usually translates almost everything to Norwegian which is super weird to read. It might just be because I’m used to everything being in English, so it just feels wrong, almost like in the Norwegian versions of the Harry Potter books where they translated most of the character’s names so they became completely different.
I can’t imagine how it would be to translate WoW to Norwegian. I have no idea what words I would use. So I hope they never have to translate all of it and that those who write articles in Norwegian keep some English words because those who read the articles will be players who understand the words so there is no need to write “ridedyr” and “utvidelse” when you can use “mount” and “expansions”.
I’m actually a person who loves languages, dialects and accents and I think it’s important to keep and take care of your dialect because it’s a part of who you are and where you’re from. So I’m trying to keep my language and dialect as clean as possible, but I think there will always be some slang words from games, movies, other languages etc.
Do you use gaming language, words, abbreviations or references when you speak or write to non gamers?