English Only Please!
I don’t know what it’s like for players across the Pond but on the European servers for MMOs there’s usually a wide range of languages to be found. Although, depending on the game, there are often regional servers for French, German and Spanish, you still find a big mixture of cultures and countries inhabiting the English speaking servers. This is can be due to a number of reasons such as either the smaller countries (Poland, Italy etc) don’t have their own server or because there’s only one PvP or roleplaying server for everyone in Europe. Whatever the reason, this mix of languages sure makes things interesting and causes more in-game arguments than Gearscore and ganking put together.
Now maybe it’s because I was born and party raised in the Netherlands or because I’m too used to hanging around metropolitan cities filled with people from all ends of the Earth but I’ve got absolutely no problem sharing my game space with Johnny Foreigner. In fact, I quite enjoy seeing the odd flash of some gobbledygook language across my screen as two Eastern Europeans decide to have a quick chat in the global channel. So why the heck is it that every minor exchange in a foreign language is always followed by some pillock requesting the ubiquitous “English only please!”?
Of course this request then sparks an argument between the pro-native-language camp and the pro-English speakers which will last all the way until someone brings up Hitler (can require anything from 5 – 50mins but the invoking of the name of leader of the Nazi party is inevitable in any discussion about language, culture and race) usually either in the context of “don’t be like Hitler” or “we saved you from Hitler so shut the F up and speak English”. Funny stuff but I just don’t get it.
Yes, it does make things easier when everyone in the group/raid/PvP gank squad speaks the same language but is that really any reason to enforce English as the central language for every exchange through public chat channels? A quick quibble in the Devil Tongue of France never did anyone any harm so what’s the big deal? And us native English speakers usually forget that everyone else in the world has to contend with most MMOs in a language that isn’t their first and, quite frankly, I think that shows us English speakers up no end.
I think requesting that only English is spoken is a very narrowed minded approach to online gaming and the world in general. It may be a very common language that everyone knows a smattering of but it’s not the most widely spread native language by a long shot. Plus, whatever happened to embracing other cultures and all of the things that make us unique?
So the next time someone requests “English only please!” in public chat I’m going to give them a bollocking and maybe even compare them to Hitler. Yeah, that’ll shut ‘em up.
Gordon is going to champion Esperanto as the new communal language of MMOs. Je via sano, amiko!