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TheLaughingGod
20-11-2010, 07:43
Essentially what is says in the thread title. Is there any fluff about any branch of the Imperial War Machine using a phonetic alphabet or equivalent?

And if there is, is it used in daily Guard life slang? "Oscar Mike, Tango" etc

malika
20-11-2010, 11:53
I guess they would have a more Latin/ancient Greek sounding phonetic alphabet rather than the American one.

Inquisitor Engel
20-11-2010, 15:04
Well you an throw out anything alcohol, drink or culturally related. No whiskey or zulu, for example.

AndrewGPaul
20-11-2010, 16:22
In 'reality', any Imperial phonetic alphabet would be necessarily different. Howver, since they don't 'actually' speak English, and everything is considered to be translated for our benefit, I'd just go ahead and use an existing one (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spelling_alphabet). My preference would be the RAF 1942 or LAPD ones, just to confuse people who insist on using the NATO one. :)

If you've got different Imperial Guard regiments interacting, you could have them use different ones, with the threat of miscommunication being a minor plot point if necessary.

biggreengribbly
20-11-2010, 20:01
In 'reality', any Imperial phonetic alphabet would be necessarily different. Howver, since they don't 'actually' speak English, and everything is considered to be translated for our benefit, I'd just go ahead and use an existing one (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spelling_alphabet). My preference would be the RAF 1942 or LAPD ones, just to confuse people who insist on using the NATO one. :)

If you've got different Imperial Guard regiments interacting, you could have them use different ones, with the threat of miscommunication being a minor plot point if necessary.

There's a significant point raised right there. In sixty years of human history, just in the western world three variants can be casually referenced. Now stack an extra thirty-eight thousand years on top of that, along with the 'million' worlds of the Imperium each of which could potentially contain cultural/linguistical divides, discounting feral worlds who have regressed back from the technology, worlds or single units whose cultures dictate alternate approaches to 'Vox security'. Even if we assume a centralised standard of 'Low gothic to be the first language of every citizen of the Imperium (unlikley as that seems considering how de-centralised everything else is) there will be differences in dialect as well as culture that could easily form the foundation for hundreds, if not thousands of variations on the phoenetic alphabet.

AndrewGPaul
21-11-2010, 10:24
'Low gothic to be the first language of every citizen of the Imperium.

It is. In the same way English is a first language for a few hundred million people. Now, watch a Jamaican speaking to an Aberdonian (or for that matter, you as a welshman talk to an Aberdonian) and see how well that works out. :)

Logan_uc
21-11-2010, 13:50
It is. In the same way English is a first language for a few hundred million people. Now, watch a Jamaican speaking to an Aberdonian (or for that matter, you as a welshman talk to an Aberdonian) and see how well that works out. :)

You some times don't even need to be from a different country, one friend of mine, when I and some friends 1st knew him, had to resort to gestures so we could understand that he wanted a lighter.

biggreengribbly
21-11-2010, 14:36
It is. In the same way English is a first language for a few hundred million people. Now, watch a Jamaican speaking to an Aberdonian (or for that matter, you as a welshman talk to an Aberdonian) and see how well that works out. :)

That's a pretty broad statement to be using dogmatically considering the sheer variety of things that can be passed off as culturally plausible with the phrase 'it's a big Imperium' :shifty: I'd agree that most would speak it, and barriers of accent and dialect would be inevitable within that, but to say it was everyone's first language would require some references or disappear in the hazy mush of 'big Imperium' potential :shifty:

baphomael
21-11-2010, 21:55
You some times don't even need to be from a different country, one friend of mine, when I and some friends 1st knew him, had to resort to gestures so we could understand that he wanted a lighter.

Heh, when I moved up to hull for uni it was interesting trying to buy a cob in sandwhich shops. Apparently, cobs are called 'breadcakes' in that heathen land.

Now, we all speak english, but how many of us outside of Newcastle, for example, would know what a Geordie wanted if he was asking for some canny bait, or where the nearest netty was.

AndrewGPaul
21-11-2010, 23:05
That's a pretty broad statement to be using dogmatically considering the sheer variety of things that can be passed off as culturally plausible with the phrase 'it's a big Imperium' :shifty: I'd agree that most would speak it, and barriers of accent and dialect would be inevitable within that, but to say it was everyone's first language would require some references or disappear in the hazy mush of 'big Imperium' potential :shifty:

You miss my point; "Low Gothic" as a language is described as being so varied in accents, dialects, etc, as to be essentially unusable as a lingua franca. I pointed out an analogy from the present day.

True, obscure or isolated places like Fenris, Baal or Feral World XXI are likely to have their own unique languages, after hundreds of centuries of no-one talking to them, but I would think most civilised worlds have some form of Low Gothic as their primary langauge, even if you have to be a Sister Dialogis Superior to figure out the similarities. :)

AndrewGPaul
21-11-2010, 23:05
Heh, when I moved up to hull for uni it was interesting trying to buy a cob in sandwhich shops. Apparently, cobs are called 'breadcakes' in that heathen land.

And here we go; what the heck is a "cob"?

Gen.Steiner
22-11-2010, 00:21
A buttie, of course. Tchah! You southerners...

Low Gothic has more dialects and variants than there are languages on Earth. Which is why the Lingua Franca of the Imperium is HIGH Gothic. :p

FarseerMatt
22-11-2010, 01:11
According to my Brummie ex-flatmate a cob is a roll...

As AndrewGPaul says, Guard regiments from different worlds (or even different provinces/countries/hives on the same world) might have different languages and therefore different phoenetic alphabets. And as we tend to represent all the various forms of low gothic with English for convenience, it makes sense to represent Guard phonetics with some of our own. Essentially, your call.

If it were me I'd steer clear of "Oscar Mike", but that's just because I personally find the phrase annoying. I think it's overused by people who've heard it on Call of Duty. It may not even be a "real" term at all :shifty:

I can imagine the Imperial Navy calling "action stations!" though...or even "beat to quarters" :)

AlphariusOmegon20
22-11-2010, 01:15
Well you an throw out anything alcohol, drink or culturally related. No whiskey or zulu, for example.


Zulu is not cultural. It is a way to determine what the time is, in the Zone you're in, in the Military.

If you're in Dallas, Texas, 0600 Zulu means 6 O'clock in the morning, local time. If you fly to Washington DC though, leaving at that time, it then would be 1000 Zulu when you land in Dulles, because you crossed two time zones. (Roughly takes about an hour and a half to two hours to fly from Dallas to DC, with no stops.)




If it were me I'd steer clear of "Oscar Mike", but that's just because I personally find the phrase annoying. I think it's overused by people who've heard it on Call of Duty. It may not even be a "real" term at all :shifty:


LOL It means "on the move". The "tango" isn't used, as Tango means a hostile.

FarseerMatt
22-11-2010, 01:21
Aye, "tango" = "target".

I know what Oscar Mike means, I just see it as something of a meme :)

AlphariusOmegon20
22-11-2010, 01:24
Aye, "tango" = "target".

I know what Oscar Mike means, I just see it as something of a meme :)

LOL true, a LOT of people that play COD don't know what half of the stuff in that game means or how crappy the equipment really is (The Ballistic Knife jumps to mind about super crappy. The real one's garbage.)

TheLaughingGod
22-11-2010, 01:38
If it were me I'd steer clear of "Oscar Mike", but that's just because I personally find the phrase annoying. I think it's overused by people who've heard it on Call of Duty. It may not even be a "real" term at all :shifty:
It is a real phrase. Ref: Generation Kill.

Crazy Ivan
22-11-2010, 12:48
I can imagine the zealous military forces of the theocratic Imperium using the names of saints for their phonetic alphabet - it might be different in different reguions of the galaxy where other saintly cults are prevalent, but otherwise it would work like a charm.

By the way, I speak English as a second language, and I don't know what either a "cob", "breadcake", "buttie", or "roll" is supposed to be in this case. My guess is some sort of pastry...

AndrewGPaul
22-11-2010, 14:33
A buttie, of course. Tchah! You southerners...

Oi! I'm not going to sit here and be accused of being southern by a sassenach!


Zulu is not cultural. It is a way to determine what the time is, in the Zone you're in, in the Military.

Not what he meant. The word "Zulu" is obviously taken from the name of the south African tribe. 38,000 years in the future, when someone goes looking around for an easily-heard word beginning with "Z", "zulu" is probably not going to come immediately to mind. :) Having said that, I think most of the NATO phonetic terms would be described similarly as "culturally derived".


By the way, I speak English as a second language, and I don't know what either a "cob", "breadcake", "buttie", or "roll" is supposed to be in this case. My guess is some sort of pastry...

A bread roll (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bread_roll). In this particular case, the sort of roll which is cut open and used like a sandwich - think of a burger bun, although without the sesame seeds. Having said that, I would argue that a "buttie" only descibes the combination of roll and filling, whereas a roll, cob or breadcake can be used to describe the bread item with or without a filling.

AlphariusOmegon20
22-11-2010, 14:47
Not what he meant. The word "Zulu" is obviously taken from the name of the south African tribe. 38,000 years in the future, when someone goes looking around for an easily-heard word beginning with "Z", "zulu" is probably not going to come immediately to mind. :) Having said that, I think most of the NATO phonetic terms would be described similarly as "culturally derived".



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zulu_time#Time_zones


It does not come from the African Tribe.


The UTC time zone is sometimes denoted by the letter Z–a reference to the equivalent nautical time zone (GMT), which has been denoted by a Z since about 1950. The letter also refers to the "zone description" of zero hours, which has been used since 1920 (see time zone history). Since the NATO phonetic alphabet and amateur radio word for Z is "Zulu", UTC is sometimes known as Zulu time.

It stands for Zero Hour. But Zero was already being used as a number. Thus Zulu was born.

Aliarzathanil
22-11-2010, 15:51
No, the word itself comes from the African tribe. When a bunch of people need a "z" word that wasn't zero, they picked Zulu. Zulu was an existing word. (Sorry to essentially repeat a previous post, but I'm not sure it's getting through)

I'd agree with you if Zulu had other meanings before the picked it for zero hour. .

Bunnahabhain
22-11-2010, 16:07
http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=256220&highlight=phonetic

Does nobody ever do a search before opening a thread?

narrativium
22-11-2010, 16:11
The only reason I can see for changing the phonetic alphabet by the time of the 41st millennium is if the alphabet had changed. As far as I know, there's no actual significance in its usage to where the words were drawn from culturally; Romeo, Juliet, Charlie and Mike etc. don't refer to people, Golf doesn't refer to the sport. The point is to have an unambiguous set of syllables for each letter so they sound distinct over an audio communication. (I can't remember his Five and Nine are distinguished in this 'alphabet', but they have the same long-i syllable in English so I know one of them changes.)

Besides, 40K is full of people who do things the way they've always been done rather than because they actually mean something. Why would this be necessarily different?

AndrewGPaul
22-11-2010, 17:37
I suspect that the words used in Phonetic alphabets will survive in that context longer than the concepts to which they refer. However, after 38,000 years, I wouldn't bet on Low Gothic (or High Gothic, for that matter*) even using the same phonemes as English, never mind symbol set or vocabulary. :)

*"... being a language in which technical manuals and ancient works are recorded. ...developed during the Dark Age of Technology... It derives from the common tongue of the time, an assimilation of English, European and Pacific languages which developed over many centuries in the American/Pacific region" (Rogue Trader, page 267).

biggreengribbly
22-11-2010, 17:40
Besides, 40K is full of people who do things the way they've always been done rather than because they actually mean something. Why would this be necessarily different?

Because 99.9% of the traditions they hold to as what has 'always been done' are based from the time of the Great Crusade, or the Dark Age of technology, fictional events within the setting, events themselves thousands of years in advance of our own. There is an enormous blanket of time, poor record keeping, language and galactic upheaval insulating the 41st Millenium from our modern ideas and behaviours.

Putting aside the issue that as a planet we don't even have an universal standard of phonetic alphabet, let alone an unified coalition of previously independent worlds and systems developmentally unconnected for vast amounts of time, since that is what the Imperium was created from. For all we know, the need for a phonetic alphabet died out during the Dark age of Technology when communication technology became precise enough to differentiate without it.

I mean yes, mesh Infinite Monkey Theory with the size of the Imperium and season with the fact it already exists and the root principle of distinct syllables, somewhere in the Imperium, or perhaps as a combination of the 'combat cant' tradition of several worlds, you might find something resembling your modern phonetic alphabet of choice. But I would hesitate to consider it even remotely widespread.

narrativium
22-11-2010, 18:08
Granted. I'm not disputing that languages will change and humanity will continue to be diverse and eras of great upheaval will institute new standards. My point is that the specific words of the phonetic alphabet of choice aren't chosen for cultural value and shouldn't become obsolete because what they refer to is obsolete. The words are chosen because they work for the purposes of a phonetic alphabet.

TheLaughingGod
22-11-2010, 18:51
http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=256220&highlight=phonetic

Does nobody ever do a search before opening a thread?

The problem with that is you get locked for Necroposting if you ask questions in those older threads. It's kind of a paradox damnation solution "Search for threads before you open!" with "No Necroposting!"

So I chose to open a new thread. Nevermind that the thread you linked devolves quickly into someone trying to make up his own fanon one

AlphariusOmegon20
22-11-2010, 19:23
The only reason I can see for changing the phonetic alphabet by the time of the 41st millennium is if the alphabet had changed. As far as I know, there's no actual significance in its usage to where the words were drawn from culturally; Romeo, Juliet, Charlie and Mike etc. don't refer to people, Golf doesn't refer to the sport. The point is to have an unambiguous set of syllables for each letter so they sound distinct over an audio communication. (I can't remember his Five and Nine are distinguished in this 'alphabet', but they have the same long-i syllable in English so I know one of them changes.)

Besides, 40K is full of people who do things the way they've always been done rather than because they actually mean something. Why would this be necessarily different?

It's Nine.

as in "Niner"

5 is almost pronounced "fife"


No, the word itself comes from the African tribe. When a bunch of people need a "z" word that wasn't zero, they picked Zulu. Zulu was an existing word. (Sorry to essentially repeat a previous post, but I'm not sure it's getting through)

I'd agree with you if Zulu had other meanings before the picked it for zero hour. .


And the citation to support your position is from?......

FabricatorGeneralMike
22-11-2010, 23:23
I can see two being used. One 'combat cant' being world or regiment specific. The other being 'officer' specific, something that would be taught at the schola prodigium so that officers of different regiments can communicate effictivly in battle or underfire. Then again this is the Imperium YMMV. :rolleyes:

Sergeant Uriel Ventris
22-11-2010, 23:59
And the citation to support your position is from?......


The UTC time zone is sometimes denoted by the letter Z since the equivalent nautical time zone (GMT) has been denoted by Z since about 1950, and by a "zone description" of zero hours since 1920. See Time zone#History. Since the NATO phonetic alphabet and radio-amateur word for Z is "Zulu", UTC is sometimes known as Zulu time.

The reason they chose "zulu" for "zero" is because it was part of the NATO phonetic alphabet. It is completely illogical to assume that "zulu" was simply and randomly chosen without any prior knowledge of the phonetic alphabet.

AndrewGPaul
23-11-2010, 08:00
And the citation to support your position is from?......

What citation? The word "Zulu" is the name of an african tribal group. If Zulus didn't exist, then the word wouldn't have been available to be chosen for "z" or as a time indicator, would it? They'd have chosen another word. "Zebra", perhaps. That was the reason it was described as "cultural" by Inquisitor Engel in the post you originally objected to.


The problem with that is you get locked for Necroposting if you ask questions in those older threads. It's kind of a paradox damnation solution "Search for threads before you open!" with "No Necroposting!"

So I chose to open a new thread. Nevermind that the thread you linked devolves quickly into someone trying to make up his own fanon one

The thinking is that you search first, because often the question you want to ask has already been answered, so there's no need to create a new topic. In this particular instance, the existing thread is a different subject to your question, so Bunnahabhain's grumbling notwithstanding, creating a new thread to ask a different question seems the correct thing to do.

AlphariusOmegon20
23-11-2010, 15:41
What citation? The word "Zulu" is the name of an african tribal group. If Zulus didn't exist, then the word wouldn't have been available to be chosen for "z" or as a time indicator, would it? They'd have chosen another word. "Zebra", perhaps. That was the reason it was described as "cultural" by Inquisitor Engel in the post you originally objected to.



LOL actually Zebra was the original word in the Phonetic Alphabet. It was changed to "Zulu" much later (1956).

It was changed to avoid confusion, because on a radio full of static, "Zebra" tends to be somewhat intelligible. (Radios were not that great and full of static until almost Mid - Vietnam.), Zulu was chosen because the nature of word is highly intelligible on any radio, thus lessening any confusion for any other word.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ICAO_spelling_alphabet#History

There is no evidence anywhere that suggests or even implies that the usage of "Zulu" came from the African tribe's name.

Sergeant Uriel Ventris
23-11-2010, 19:47
There is no evidence anywhere that suggests or even implies that the usage of "Zulu" came from the African tribe's name.

Except, of course for the huge post that I put up which showed the history. But no, except for that, there is no evidence.

AlphariusOmegon20
24-11-2010, 01:41
Except, of course for the huge post that I put up which showed the history. But no, except for that, there is no evidence.

And both of my citations disputed that "history".

Gen.Steiner
24-11-2010, 01:50
I don't get what the problem is about 'Z-Zulu'...

1) Zulu originates, as a word, from the Zulu tribal groups of South Africa.
2) It was picked to replace 'Z-Zebra' in the NATO phonetic alphabet to ensure clarity over radio telecommunications.
3) 'Z-Zulu' means that 'Zero Hour' becomes 'Z-Hour' becomes 'Zulu Hour' or Zulu Time. AFAIK.
4) 'Z-Zulu' is indeed a cultural construction just as 'A-Alpha' or 'I-India' is. This is because, well, the whole of language is a cultural construction that varies from culture to culture (e.g cob/roll/bun/buttie etc, let alone Finnish/Azeri/Turkic or what have you).

UselessThing
24-11-2010, 01:51
Incidentally, I'm fairly sure zulu time means Greenwich Mean Time, and is the same wherever you are.

Sergeant Uriel Ventris
24-11-2010, 04:42
I don't get what the problem is about 'Z-Zulu'...

The problem is there's a stubborn fella who simply refuses to admit what is staring him right in the face. But that's what I love about people, it keeps life and conversations interesting. Can you image what life we be like if we all agreed all the time?

TheLaughingGod
24-11-2010, 05:04
Can you image what life we be like if we all agreed all the time?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0u9JAt6gFqM