As you can see from the selection of races below, I haven't played World of Warcraft since around the time of Cataclysm. I hope this page still applies, but for all I know the language system has totally changed.
If you know for a fact that it does or doesn't work, I'd appreciate an email. Also contact me if you'd like to see the newer races supported, if there's sufficient demand I may be motivated.
The Phrasemaker is a language translation workshop for World of Warcraft. It allows you to construct phrases that make sense to the opposite faction (i.e. Alliance/Horde).
- Using the buttons above, pick a language your character knows.
- Click on the words of that language to try and make a meaningful sentence.
- In-game, say the text shown next to speaker.
- Any character who doesn't know the language will hear what is said beside listener.
- Let's assume you have a character called Ham that speaks Gnomish.
- Click the Gnome icon at the top of the page.
- Click on the words "i" "am" "so" "weird" in that order.
- The phrase "e jj bb aback" appears under the speaker section.
- In World of Warcraft, switch to the Gnomish language and say "e jj bb aback".
- Those around you who don't know Gnomish (including all Horde characters) would see "Ham says: [Gnomish] i am so weird".
- Characters that do understand Gnomish will just see "Ham says: [Gnomish] e jj bb aback".
- You can change what language you're speaking in-game by using the button with the speech-bubble icon near the chat window.
- An easy way to say phrases is to simply paste the code shown under script into your chat window.
- The code shown under script works in macros. Useful if you want to say phrase often. You can learn more about using SendChatMessage here.
- You can do more than say phrases in other languages. For example, you can yell them, and you can put them in party chat.
- Remember, all Alliance characters speak Common and all Horde characters speak Orcish.
- Capitalisation is retained. "glean" translates to "wassa" and "gLeAn" translates to "wAsSa". Use this creatively. A lower-case "L" can look like an upper case "i", for example.
- I can't say anything with these words! Why are they so limited?
That's the limitation of the language system, and there's no way around it. It can take imagination and cunning to construct meaningful phrases, especially with some of the "drier" languages.
- Someone from the opposite faction said something to me. How do I use this tool to understand what was said?
You can't. The Phrasemaker lets you say things to the opposite faction. Not the other way around. In fact, given the way the language system works, any attempt to understand the enemy faction's speech is very difficult because it requires a lot of guesswork.
- I've picked up a phrase from elsewhere, but when I construct the same phrase here I'm supplied with different words to use. Why?
Many different speaker words translate into the same listener word. There's more than one way to say the same thing. The choices for speaker words used on this page are largely arbitrary.
- Some languages look identical on this page. Common is the same as Gutterspeak, and Darnassian is the same as Thalassian. Is this a mistake?
This is not a mistake. These languages happen to share the same translation properties.
- There aren't enough words to make a proper language. Why are there so few words?
The lists are exhaustive -- every possible in-game word is shown. The system in World of Warcraft is obviously just an abstraction, not an attempt to create fully-fledged languages. If that's what you're looking for (for lore or role-play reasons) I'm afraid I cannot help.
- Myth: Punctuation is unaffected by translation.
Not true. In reality, all punctuation is removed in translation. This makes it impossible to use smilies, amongst other things.
- Myth: Numbers are unaffected by translation.
This is untrue. In reality, numbers are treated like letters. "123" will be translated like any other three-character-word.
- Myth: Spacing letters out one-by-one will allow the other faction to understand what I say. For example, "H E L L O".
This is wrong, even though many people seem to believe it. The other faction simply will see a series of gibberish, spaced out one letter at a time.
- Fact: The opposite faction can understand my emotes (e.g. /smile, /love).
This is largely true, though see the point below...
- Myth: I can use custom emotes (e.g. /em or /me) to communicate with the opposite faction.
Wrong. If you perform a custom emote, the other faction sees it as "Player performs strange gestures."
- Myth: I can use custom emotes to communicate with the opposite faction, if I mind control the person I wish to speak to first.
Not anymore. This was fixed. Now mind control has no special effect on custom emotes.
- Myth: Languages are perfectly reversible. If I repeat the gibberish someone says to me back to them, it will make sense.
Wrong. You'll just be speaking more gibberish.
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