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Thread: So, what language is Darius speaking?

  1. #1
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    So, what language is Darius speaking?

    Because it sure as hell ain't persian. Is it babylonian? Because he's using semitic words.... Its somewhat historically accurate as Dariush was multilingual... but really? You couldn't put some Pahlavi dialogue in there? Or at the very least modern persian... I really enjoyed it in Civ4 but it seems to me every other civ got a nice introduction for those not familiar, while Persia got shafted with a semitic looking, semitic speaking Dariush. I mean at least he didn't look as awful as he did in Civ 4 (he was practically black) but come on... even a light cultural check would tell you that Iranians are an indo-european people and have very indo-european features.

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    Quote Originally Posted by slowtarget View Post
    Its Aramaic, actually.

    Darius did not speak modern Farsi or modern Arabic. There are a couple different possibilities for what languages he might have spoken. As he's known for adopting Aramaic as the language to use for communicating between parts of his empire, the developers felt that language was the best choice for his diplomacy screen.

    This has been discussed many times and every time it gets posted we end up with people posting emotional rants or nationalistic trolling.

    So, I'm putting an end to this one right now. Asked and answered.
    From a previously closed thread.

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    Ah ok. I don't know why that guy is so hostile. For firaxis to essentially shut up its customers and supporters for legit reasons though is pretty nasty... in a search conducted after this thread was made I realized that I was not the only person to complain about darius not speaking persian or other leaders not speaking their native languages.

    And while I realize he would not be speaking modern persian, it would not be that hard to find a nice Pahlavi translation... there are millions of zoroastrians in the world that are versed in pahlavi.

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    and honestly that guy is quite arrogant for calling it "nationalistic trolling"

    I don't know about him, but for many people around the world their cultures and ANY representation of them ("its just a game" is not a legit excuse... 300 used the "its just a movie" excuse but was still very offensive to persians) they take very seriously. And again, as customers of the game to dismiss our complaints so casually is quite a disrespectful.

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    and if we don't complain here on the boards, where else can we complain? this is an open FORUM and is designed to initiate discussion of the game. if every time somebody voiced their opinion and immediately had their thread locked by a hostile moderator there would be no discussion at all.

  6. #6
    I think he made it pretty clear why the threads get shut down:

    This has been discussed many times and every time it gets posted we end up with people posting emotional rants or nationalistic trolling.
    And I don't doubt him for a second. It's a byproduct of the international nature of the internet.
    Internet = internet tough-guys. Internet tough-guys + internationalization = major problems.
    Last edited by stins; 09-26-2010 at 08:55 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stins View Post
    Internet = internet tough-guys. Internet tough-guys + internationalization = major problems.
    Ends up like a nuke....KABOOM

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    Quote Originally Posted by stins View Post
    I think he made it pretty clear why the threads get shut down:



    And I don't doubt him for a second. It's a byproduct of the international nature of the internet.
    Internet = internet tough-guys. Internet tough-guys + internationalization = major problems.

    Yeah, I'm not seeing this at all. I don't see the problem with rants at all. Its called a discussion, and as long as it doesn't resort to namecalling or other neanderthal like behavior I don't see why it should get shut down. I'd like this thread to develop into an intelligent discussion; I don't see why a few bad apples should warrant the closing down of EVERY thread complaining about the assignment of languages or inclusions of civs.

    That being said:

    The reason that there is an outrcry for the misassignment of languages, especially for Dariush not speaking persian, is a deeply cultural one. Its very offensive to most iranians to be characterized as a semitic people due to the millienia of animosity between the semitic arabs and Indo-European iranians. Perhaps this was a lack of cultural sensitiy on the developers part, but I really feel this should be corrected. Aramaic is a semitic language; Yes, dariush would use it in diplomatic occasions, but only when he was dealing with... you guessed it, ARAMAIC speaking nations. The language of administration was Pahlavi.

    Most people who play this game, who play the civilizations of their ancestors enjoy doing so precisely because they are using their OWN culture. It was very pleasant to hear the units in Civ4 speaking Persian, and really immersed you into the game. So I get Civ V, and I see these wonderfully done cinematics. Its wonderful to hear Napoleon speak in french, or Oda speak in japanese. I get excited, and go to Dariush, only to find out he's speaking in a language I do not understand one word of.

    Pretty disappointing to say the least. At least he looks SOMEWHAT persian now as compared to the way he was modelled in Civ4.


    Also, another bone to pick I had was the introduction to the persian empire, and how the intro says it was wiped out by alexander and just LEAVES it at that. Yes, the achamaenid empire was wiped out by alexander, but within 3 generations later the parthian empire came to power, restoring the persian empire again. this is not as big of a deal as I can understand if they were specifically using Persian empire as ONLY referring to the achamaenid empire... but that's a bit of a stretch IMO.

    Also, why not include some later persian leaders, such as Nadir Shah? Or even Khomeini or the late Shah lol

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    Wow. Get over it.

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    You'll have to forgive the rudeness of certain people who just want you to "get over it" Huggables.

    I didn't know Dariush wasn't speaking Persian, and I must confess to be pretty ignorant about Persia in general. I expect a lot of people are, and for a game that prides itself on being about the real world, to the point of including a civilopedia that has a "verdict of history" section on each leader, you'd think they'd have gone to more trouble to get it right.

    Then again, a lot of the history in the civilopedia is not even written in neutral tones, let alone in an unbiased manner.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jattea View Post
    Wow. Get over it.
    Um, why?


    To innaccurately present *arguably* (please, do not turn this into a flamewar) the most important cultures in history through a huge medium such as this game isn't exactly what I would call easy to get over.

    And thanks for your support Average Joe. I don't get why just because some people are ignorant or apathetic to their own histories and cultures, they feel the need to impose this ignorance and apathy on others.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by MrHuggables View Post
    Um, why?


    To innaccurately present *arguably* (please, do not turn this into a flamewar) the most important cultures in history through a huge medium such as this game isn't exactly what I would call easy to get over.

    And thanks for your support Average Joe. I don't get why just because some people are ignorant or apathetic to their own histories and cultures, they feel the need to impose this ignorance and apathy on others.
    But it's not inaccurate. As has been said, there's actually no data to show what language Darius actually spoke as a first language. Since he adopted Aramaic as a political language, we can know he at least understood and spoke Aramaic. Since we don't know what his first language was, the next logical thing would be to use a language we can confirm he spoke.

    Since he's speaking to other leaders, it's also probably likely he would have used Aramaic when doing so, not his mother tongue (which could have been Aramaic anyway for all we know)

    Most spoke languages used today don't even resemble the language that is traditionally tied to that country.

    For example, the closest modern language to old English is not modern English... it's Icelandic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jattea View Post
    Wow. Get over it.
    Um, why?


    To innaccurately present *arguably* (please, do not turn this into a flamewar) the most important culture in history through a huge medium such as this game isn't exactly what I would call easy to get over.

    And thanks for your support Average Joe. I don't get why just because some people are ignorant or apathetic to their own histories and cultures, they feel the need to impose this ignorance and apathy on others.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrHuggables View Post
    Um, why?


    To innaccurately present *arguably* (please, do not turn this into a flamewar) the most important cultures in history through a huge medium such as this game isn't exactly what I would call easy to get over.

    And thanks for your support Average Joe. I don't get why just because some people are ignorant or apathetic to their own histories and cultures, they feel the need to impose this ignorance and apathy on others.
    because it IS just a game. You obviously are extremely sensitive about Persian history, but I don't see how this possible oversight makes a bit of difference in the experience of the game. There are hundreds of historical inaccuracies and nonsequitors in this game, and absolutely no one cares because it's not intended to be a history lesson. Factual liberties were taken because the developers (rightly) figured the best allocation of their time and effort was in making a good game, not being historically accurate and appeasing every hyper-vigilant accuracy-nut out there.

    And excuse me, but just because I don't care if Darius speaks the correct language in no way makes me "ignorant or apathetic to [my] own histories and cultures", nor does it mean I'm imposing ignorance and apathy on others. It simply means I'm not an arrogant stickler on historical accuracy in a video game from which no right minded person would expect or demand historical accuracy!

  15. #15
    *bangs head on desk* it's not an oversight!

    This is like the person complaining that Alexander doesn't speak Greek... because ALEXANDER DIDN'T SPEAK THE SAME GREEK AS MODERN GREEKS DO!

    We know, factually, that Darius could speak Aramaic. It's the only language we're sure he could speak. He used it for diplomacy and politics as it was the "English" of his day (universally used by several nations for inter-communication).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yfelsung View Post
    *bangs head on desk* it's not an oversight
    I said *possible* oversight. I'm fine with that explanation (not that I cared in the first place), but obviously Mr. Huggables has some beef with it. My point is, who effing cares. If Mr. Huggables wants so badly to be offended that he continues to argue this stupid point, fine by me.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Yfelsung View Post
    *bangs head on desk* it's not an oversight!
    Exactly. From wikipedia:

    Around 500 BCE, following the Achaemenid conquest of Mesopotamia under Darius I, Aramaic (as had been used in that region) was adopted by the conquerors as the "vehicle for written communication between the different regions of the vast empire with its different peoples and languages. The use of a single official language, which modern scholarship has dubbed Official Aramaic or Imperial Aramaic, can be assumed to have greatly contributed to the astonishing success of the Achaemenids in holding their far-flung empire together for as long as they did".

    Given the above, and given that we are seeing a "historical" representation of Darius as he would interact with other cultures, why would we expect to see a language other than Aramaic?

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Yfelsung View Post
    But it's not inaccurate. As has been said, there's actually no data to show what language Darius actually spoke as a first language.
    If we're going by first languages, then Gandhi should be speaking Gujarati, not hindi.

  19. #19
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    Darius would have known Old Persian but at the diplomatic level he would have probably spoken Aramaic.

    From wiki(I know super accurate):
    Old Persian evolved from Proto-Iranian as it evolved in the Iranian plateau's southwest. The earliest dateable example of the language is the Behistun Inscription of the Achaemenid Darius I (r. 522 BC ca. 486 BC). Although purportedly older texts also exist (such as the inscription on the tomb of Cyrus II at Pasargadae), these are actually younger examples of the language. Old Persian was written in Old Persian cuneiform, a script unique to that language and is generally assumed to be an invention of Darius I's reign.
    After Aramaic, or rather the Achaemenid form of it known as Imperial Aramaic, Old Persian is the most commonly attested language of the Achaemenid age. While examples of Old Persian have been found wherever the Achaemenids held territories, the language is attested primarily in the inscriptions of Western Iran, in particular in Parsa "Persia" in the southwest, the homeland of the tribes that the Achaemenids (and later the Sassanids) came from.
    In contrast to later Persian, written Old Persian had an extensively inflected grammar, with eight cases, each declension subject to both gender (masculine, feminine, neuter) and number (singular, dual, plural)
    I do not fault the op but this has been discussed before and 2k commented on it in an old thread. But expect more threads anyway.
    Last edited by Ash_F; 09-27-2010 at 05:14 AM.

  20. #20
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    I'm glad we got this nipped in the bud before it turned into a nationalistic flame war.

    In before the lock.

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    he's speaking american-persian. deal with it

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    Ok guys I'm liking the responses here, glad we can have a nice intelligent debate. There's a lot so I am gonna have to reply one at a time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yfelsung View Post
    But it's not inaccurate. As has been said, there's actually no data to show what language Darius actually spoke as a first language. Since he adopted Aramaic as a political language, we can know he at least understood and spoke Aramaic. Since we don't know what his first language was, the next logical thing would be to use a language we can confirm he spoke.

    Since he's speaking to other leaders, it's also probably likely he would have used Aramaic when doing so, not his mother tongue (which could have been Aramaic anyway for all we know)

    Most spoke languages used today don't even resemble the language that is traditionally tied to that country.

    For example, the closest modern language to old English is not modern English... it's Icelandic.
    This is a huge, huge factual error. Its more than well documented that the Achaemenids used Old Persian, hell its on Cyrus's tomb and NUMEROUS inscriptions including the Behistun Inscription. This has been documented thoroughly in numerous sources; I would suggest that you do your homework before simply repeating the falsities that others have posted before. To say that Aramaic was the official language of the empire is like saying that everybody in this century used english simply because it was an international language. Old Persian written in Cuneiform and later Pahlavi script was used for official government documents.

    Also, while it is true that MOST languages are vastly different than their older counterparts, this is not true for Persian. While slang has changed, one can easily read and understand works such as the Shahnameh or even earlier Pre-Islamic works. Persian has remained very much unchanged throughout the millenia.

  23. #23
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    I agree with MrHuggables. Don't shut down any conversation, if you made a mistake, fix it instead.

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    This isn't to say though guys, that I don't understand why the devs chose Aramaic. Obviously it was not a choice of ignorance. All I'm saying is that in this game, you're playing as a CIVILIZATION! Having Dariush speaking Persian would be a much better reflection of the Persian empire and its history than Aramaic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yalbik View Post
    Exactly. From wikipedia:

    Around 500 BCE, following the Achaemenid conquest of Mesopotamia under Darius I, Aramaic (as had been used in that region) was adopted by the conquerors as the "vehicle for written communication between the different regions of the vast empire with its different peoples and languages. The use of a single official language, which modern scholarship has dubbed Official Aramaic or Imperial Aramaic, can be assumed to have greatly contributed to the astonishing success of the Achaemenids in holding their far-flung empire together for as long as they did".

    Given the above, and given that we are seeing a "historical" representation of Darius as he would interact with other cultures, why would we expect to see a language other than Aramaic?

    How convenient of you to leave out what comes immediately after this:

    In 1955, Richard Frye questioned the classification of Imperial Aramaic as an 'official language', noting that no surviving edict expressly and unambiguously accorded that status to any particular language.[9] Frye reclassifies Imperial Aramaic as the lingua franca of the Achaemenid territories, suggesting then that the Achaemenid-era use of Aramaic was more pervasive than generally thought.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by jattea View Post
    because it IS just a game. You obviously are extremely sensitive about Persian history, but I don't see how this possible oversight makes a bit of difference in the experience of the game. There are hundreds of historical inaccuracies and nonsequitors in this game, and absolutely no one cares because it's not intended to be a history lesson. Factual liberties were taken because the developers (rightly) figured the best allocation of their time and effort was in making a good game, not being historically accurate and appeasing every hyper-vigilant accuracy-nut out there.

    And excuse me, but just because I don't care if Darius speaks the correct language in no way makes me "ignorant or apathetic to [my] own histories and cultures", nor does it mean I'm imposing ignorance and apathy on others. It simply means I'm not an arrogant stickler on historical accuracy in a video game from which no right minded person would expect or demand historical accuracy!
    It is a game, but a game is a medium that many people get their information from, whether for good or bad. If a game is going to proclaim itself with a title such as CIVILIZATION and have its whole theme be ABOUT civilization, with as popular as this game is it is in my mind VERY important that they spend just as much time getting their facts straight as they do fine-tuning the gameplay. If they didn't want to do that, they could make up a bizarro world civilization based on fictional cultures on mars or something and focus all their time on the gameplay mechanics. But as long as this game's whole damn theme is about human civilizations here on earth, then every detail should count.

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    today i was checking the civ V's website to see instructions on how to download the demo version...... then i noticed that the leaders & civilizations page was updated with the leaders videos.... i checked them one by one... nice animations... reached persia.... glad that darius is no more a black figure as it was in civ iv..............


    but the language...... what was THAT!!!!
    i played it over and over... hell... it wasn't even old persian... (anyone speaking persian today can easily read and understand old-middle persian)



    to those who say that Aramaic was the official diplomatic language:
    the official language of the persian empire was persian... local languages of some specific parts of the empire was also considered as an official language to ease up formal issues in that specific region.

    you can CLEARLY see that in the relief's of behistun (written by darius) near the western border of iran..... the main language used in those writings is persian. Babylonian and akkadian translation of the writings are carved in small areas in the top left and top right..... (babylonian and akkadian was the local language used in those parts of the empire...)... read more:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Behistun_Inscription


    i really hope firaxis will address and fix this big mistake... (really unlikely... redoing voice acting for a released game!!!.. i don't think that's gonna happen!!!)
    Last edited by navid; 09-28-2010 at 01:13 AM.

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    Would this be a bad time to say that Wu Zetian sounds more American than America's own leader? Taking a trip to Chinatown was too expensive I guess

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    and the thing i forgot to mention is that one of the things that today's persians are very proud of is their language.... (hitting that spot will hurt any persian speaking person alot!!!!)...

  30. #30
    As has been pointed out in this, and other, threads, there are problems with most of the leaders. George Washington was NOT from modern day Arkansas, so why does he sound like someone doing a Bill Clinton impression? I'm sure if they had known it was going to be this big a deal to have Darius speak Aramaic instead of Persian, they might have made a different decision. After all, with so little change in the language, as you say, it would have been easy to find someone with the appropriate accent. But I think the point is valid that he'd have spoken Aramaic to OTHER RULERS, even if he spoke Persian within his own kingdom.

    And in the end, it's just a game. Srsly.

  31. #31
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    Seems pretty clear to me. When talking to other leaders, it is believed (from 2k's research) that Aramaic would be the closest/most accurate language for Darius to use. Unless you can prove otherwise (that Darius would have spoken to leaders of other nations in Persian), then I would suggest Firaxis/2k are not mistaken. Just because the national language at the time might have been old Persian, it does not mean that the diplomatic language used was old Persian. And yes, the Leaderheads are used for speaking to OTHER leaders (ie diplomacy), and is not meant to represent him speaking to his staff/friends/etc.

  32. #32
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    so...

    according to you.... at least unit responses from persian units SHOULD be persian... right????

    well... it seems it is not??!


    regarding diplomacy... as i said before local languages from different parts of the empire were used specifically in that region's formal issues. while the official language of the empire was persian.


    well let me make an example regarding diplomacy.... consider you are from germany and you want to negotiate with the french... do you use french or german... at the same time you want to negotiate with england too... do you use german or english......

    so... which language you would pick up for germany.... ( considering that the language should be the one they use in their diplomacy affairs ) french??? english???? arabic!!!!????


    i hope you get my point.

  33. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by navid View Post
    so...

    according to you.... at least unit responses from persian units SHOULD be persian... right????

    well... it seems it is not??!


    regarding diplomacy... as i said before local languages from different parts of the empire were used specifically in that region's formal issues. while the official language of the empire was persian.


    well let me make an example regarding diplomacy.... consider you are from germany and you want to negotiate with the french... do you use french or german... at the same time you want to negotiate with england too... do you use german or english......

    so... which language you would pick up for germany.... ( considering that the language should be the one they use in their diplomacy affairs ) french??? english???? arabic!!!!????


    i hope you get my point.
    You seem to be missing a basic understanding of language within history.

    Depending on the era, the German-speaking diplomats negotiating with either the French or English would have used French. The same with Italians or Spaniards, etc. It was the common "trade language" and every educated/high ranking person was expected to be fluent in it. That is why at the Olympics, for instance, they still give everything in both the language of the country hosting the games AND in French. Going back earlier than that, it would have been either Greek or Latin or Aramaic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stins View Post
    Internet = internet tough-guys. Internet tough-guys + internationalization = major problems.
    Just like Hitler if he had the internet.

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    again according to you.....katenigma...

    so all the European nations in the game should speak french... because it was the diplomatic language of the time...

    so why the german leader speak german in the game.... and why the aztec leader speak in their native language.... why ramsses speak Egyptian accent of arabic..... ALL because they are talking in their native language.. not the one they use for diplomatic relations..... man this is the most simple thing....

    and please.... i'm a veteran civ player from the days of civ:call to power.... so i have tons and tons of reasons to defend and support firaxis for their beautiful games....
    i'm trying to point out a mistake.... which i hope to get corrected.

    persia almost missed civ V and was added in the last days.... i don't even want to go over the description they wrote for the persian civilization....


    and i don't get it why persian units don't speak persian.... i think that doe not have anything to do with the diplomacy....

  36. #36
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    still getting no reply...!!!


    and i have a question... how one can contact firaxis???.... emails ...numbers...
    thanks...

  37. #37

    Bullox

    Greetings to ye good, honorable gentlemen of this thread.

    I have read the arguments here, supported by considerable evidence, and to my understanding, it goes something like the following: Aramaic, and not his native Old Persian, was spoken by Darius as a diplomatic language when interacting with other leaders and, thus, it is historically accurate to have him speak Aramaic in this game's leader screen because he is, indeed, interacting diplomatically with leaders of other nations.

    There is one large problem with this logic.

    The fault in this logic is that if this is in fact the reasoning we are adhering to in choosing the languages which leaders speak, then what can explain the reason why Von Bismark and Catherine don't speak French? French was, after all, their diplomatic language (and even Catherine's court language) just as Aramaic was Darius's. This is a fatal inconsistency. The reasoning behind the decision to have Darius speak Aramaic cannot be defended. This is simply the case; and we can hope that it is only a mistake and nothing more dubious.

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    You know, I would understand if, say, the Koreans protested that their leader was speaking Mandarin and not Korean. Or if the Indian leader spoke English (even though it's Gandhi who did speak English). Or if the Turkish leader spoke Arabic.

    But Iranians protesting that Darius is speaking Aramaic just seems a bit....over-the-top and unnecessary. Aramaic is hardly a "western" language. Furthermore the Persian music is based on the theme from a much more contemporary Iran, so I don't see what all the fuss is about.

    And let's face it: unlike talk of gameplay changes, bug fixes or other, all this talk of making Darius speak Farsi isn't going to go anywhere or change anything. Personally I prefer the current Aramaic (even though Nebuchadnezzar apparently speaks it too), and I think it's more historically accurate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mythdracon View Post
    You know, I would understand if, say, the Koreans protested that their leader was speaking Mandarin and not Korean. Or if the Indian leader spoke English (even though it's Gandhi who did speak English). Or if the Turkish leader spoke Arabic.

    But Iranians protesting that Darius is speaking Aramaic just seems a bit....over-the-top and unnecessary. Aramaic is hardly a "western" language. Furthermore the Persian music is based on the theme from a much more contemporary Iran, so I don't see what all the fuss is about.

    And let's face it: unlike talk of gameplay changes, bug fixes or other, all this talk of making Darius speak Farsi isn't going to go anywhere or change anything. Personally I prefer the current Aramaic (even though Nebuchadnezzar apparently speaks it too), and I think it's more historically accurate.
    Farsi is the current Persian language. Darius made Aramaic the official language of persia, but they also spoke Akkadian and Old Persian.

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    I thought it was 'Simlish'.

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