This is an expansion of the discussion over at this question, which I'll quote here.

The meaning of the German words in Commandos

I played the game a lot and was always fascinated with the meaning of the German words. I know some of them already, and I would like to know the meaning of the rest.

A complete list of all German words and their meaning would be helpful.

How do we determine the appropriateness of a question about translating languages and phrases? There's varying levels of how this comes up in games. Some are primarily in one language but will feature tiny pieces of another language as a manner of bilingual bonus (like that one Resident Evil game that I don't know the number to but is the only one I ever paid attention to). Other times, the language is a huge feature of it. And the final extent is the entire game being in a separate language.

Obviously, we don't want to cover the lattermost case because that is the job of people who make translation patches for a living. Or just people who do translations without the patches for a living. But do we draw a line for the rest? And where is it? What determines when we can field a question about a natural language versus a fictional one?

To bring up some of the questions extrapolated from the comment thread in the linked question...

  • Do we consider this game related at all?
  • Is it game related if we only provide the phrases but not the translation? Does it really matter if the answerer goes through that effort anyway? Can it establish a bad precedent?
  • Is scoping it to a game sufficient? How does it affect this?
  • Does it matter whether the question is asking for definitions or just for a list of phrases?
  • I've never played Commando's so it's hard to judge how long the list would be. Yet I can imagine this being relevant for CoD and MoH too, where there's a fair bit of German being called out
    – Ivo Flipse
    Commented Sep 14, 2010 at 20:04
  • 1
    The meat of the question is about translation, and it only happens to be phrased to put it in the context of a game. What would you do with the question "What is 21+15 in math munchers?"
    – Larry Wang
    Commented Sep 15, 2010 at 15:39
  • @Kaestur I see the meat of an appropriate answer to my question in your comment. I'm less concerned about the "list" aspect that people are focusing on. I'm more concerned, do we want to handle the natural language questions which may show up now and then?
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Commented Sep 15, 2010 at 15:49

1 Answer 1


So here is my take:

We'd allow a question about:

  • A complete list of all Krogan words and their meaning would be helpful
  • A complete list of items a Monk can use in Final Fantasy Tactics
  • A complete list of catch phrases Duke says in the original Duke Nukem

The last of which is in English.

I realize he'd like a translation for his German phrases because he doesn't speak German, but if he did speak German, then this would just be: a list of phrases the Germans say in Commandos.

We've discussed before how lists are not inherently bad they merely lend themselves to polls and subjectivity. I think it would be hard to get too subjective on a list of phrases said in the game, and as long as they were all in one answer we can probably avoid the poll nature.

I should also add, that looking for a transcript of the game is beyond the scope of what we can handle, but unless I'm mistaken there isn't a Novel's worth of phrases in Commandos

  • 1
    Lists don't inherently lend themselves to polls and subjectivity, either. Only Repositories in which one-per-answer is an attractive prospect. I don't think even your normal OPA supporter would consider having the FFT question done in one-per-answer.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Commented Sep 14, 2010 at 15:46
  • 1
    @Grace I suppose what I'm trying to say is: Its not desirable to split up these phrases amongst multiple answers.
    – tzenes
    Commented Sep 14, 2010 at 16:06
  • I was saying that I doubt that even the proponents of one-per-answer would disagree with that philosophy.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Commented Sep 14, 2010 at 16:13
  • 5
    The question should just have one CW answer where everyone pitches in to make it complete, not need to start competing answers
    – Ivo Flipse
    Commented Sep 14, 2010 at 20:03
  • I agree to what Ivo said, but how do we stop people from posting multiple answer? As tzenes i was under the impression he wanted a general German phrase translation, these kinds of requests are imho not gaming related. However i vote to allow questions related to specific gaming terminology used in a game.
    – Cristina
    Commented Sep 14, 2010 at 22:49
  • 1
    @Cris what's to stop people from spamming? We try to moderate the best we can, but it helps if we have a cohesive vision to do so. That's why threads like this are so important
    – tzenes
    Commented Sep 15, 2010 at 16:25
  • @cristina for the first time in my life, I'm in agreement with @tzenes. Unless the OP could prove that he understands German well enough to spell and distinguish words, where else is he going to get help? If I asked a question like "What is the gist of the dialog between JCDenton and Gunther if I did X?" that would be a totally reasonable question here, and that's asking about English. Commented Sep 17, 2010 at 14:25
  • It's gaming related, is it that hard to just translate them? I don't see the big deal. It's like he's asking for the phrases, just in a different format. Commented Sep 17, 2010 at 14:52

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