Welcome to the International Translation Discussion forums! Below is a guide that covers the dictionary entry format,, manual of style, and how to approach translating the dragon language dictionary into your target language.
- About the International Dictionaries
- Entry Format
- Official Sources
- Translating Dictionary Definitions
- Translating the Usage Section
- Translating Connotations, Etymology & Notes
- Translator Rules & Guidelines
About the International Dictionaries
The goal of the international dictionaries is to expand the dragon language to Skyrim fans outside of the English-speaking world. Our ultimate hope is for fans everywhere to be able to speak to each other using the dragon language without needing English. The new dictionary supports both “Dragon to Language” and “Language to Dragon” formats for any language. The Search and Translator tools are also capable of searching the international dictionaries.
Translated entries are provided by Translator members of the community. Translators have the ability to add and edit entries in the languages they are approved to edit. If you’re a Translator, you will see grayed out entries in your dictionary indicating entries that don’t have a translation yet. Click the “Add Translation” button to provide a translated entry for a word.
Translating is a dedicated effort, and we strongly encourage you to seek help or suggestions here on the International Translation Discussion forums from other Translators if you have a question or are looking for advice.
Before you begin writing entries, please read the About the Dictionary page, which details all of the sections found in a dictionary entry. As a Translator, you won’t have to worry about the Pronunciation or See Also sections, as those should be the same across all languages.
Please use the English entries as an example for how to write your own dictionary entries. Here are the formatting guidelines for dictionary entries:
- Write dictionary definitions in lower case unless a word must be capitalized for grammatical reasons (e.g. German nouns).
- Dictionary definitions should be lists or sentence fragments, never complete sentences. For example, a dictionary entry should read “dragon, wyrm, a giant winged, reptilian creature” rather than “This word means dragon, wyrm, or a giant, winged, reptilian creature.” Be as brief and concise as possible.
- When listing words, separate synonyms by comma and senses by semi-colon unless the target language has another punctuation convention. For example: “death, loss of life; end”.
- Italicize the target language in the Usage section. In all other sections, italicize dragon words.
The English dictionary entries were written based on examining official sources, which can be found here.
Main sources include the Prima Games Official Game Guide and Skyrim’s dialogue files exported from the Creation Kit. Unfortunately, non-English versions of these two sources do not exist. Non-English dialogue exports still contain English developer notes. This means that some words may not have have any official definition in your target language. If this is the case, please provide a “No official French/German/Spanish/etc. translation exists” note in the Official Definition section.
The main sources for official non-English definitions will come from the in-game Shouts menu and the in-game book Dragon Language: Myth No More, which you may be able to find on The Elder Scrolls Wiki. You may also reference the in-game book Songs of Skyrim, but approach this source carefully as the song’s lyrics may be adapted to rhyme in the target language rather than be a direct translation.
Translating Dictionary Definitions
Before translating an entry, examine the original English entry and think about which word or words would best fit in your target language would best fit the definition. Pay special attention to the Connotations section, which may help narrow the definition further.
Only list base words in a dictionary definition - that is, words that are not declined or conjugated in any way. You may choose to list several close, related words if there is no single word in your language that fits the dragon word. If your target language has gendered nouns, consider listing all possible forms unless the dragon word is also gender specific.
If your target language has no close translation to the dragon word, describe its meaning as concisely as possible. For an English example, see the entry for diiv ‘wyrm’.
Translating the Usage Section
The Usage section cites specific occurrences of the dragon word in official sources such as dialogue, in-game books, or Word Wall translations in the Prima Games guide. Do your best to find an official translation in your target language if the usage is from a Shout or in-game book. The vast majority of the time there will be no official translation available.
In these cases, do your best to provide your own translation. Put these translations in square brackets to mark that they are your own and not from an official source. See the entry for faaz as an English example.
Otherwise, please keep the usage entries intact, including the dragon text and source citations.
Translating the Connotations, Etymology & Notes Sections
Where these notes sections use examples that are specific to English, write your own notes to address any misconceptions, similarities, or differences the dragon word may have with words in your target language. If existing notes would not make sense in your target language, you are welcome to replace or delete them.
Adding new entries can be a complicated process, so here’s how I approached writing and adding word entries:
- Write your entry either on the webpage or in a separate document. Having it in a separate document may be handy in case you are doing many entries at once, or want to save your work.
- Once you’ve added a translation entry, click “Submit New Translation” in the profile menu.
- Add a translation for each unique word in the entry’s definition. For example, aak has the following definition:
v. to guide
n. guide; guidance
So aak would need three new English-Dragon entries: guide (verb), guide (noun), and guidance.
Translator Rules & Guidelines
Please observe the following rules when adding translations to the dictionary and using these forums:
- Do not post incomplete entries with the intent of completing them later. Only post finished word entries.
- Do not use any different fonts, colors, or font sizes in dictionary entries. Follow the style of the existing entries.
- Do not add irrelevant content to dictionary entries. Entries are for word definitions only.
- Try to add revision notes to any correction you make in your dictionary. Do not add new entries with extremely minor changes simply for the sake of having authorship.
- Do not submit low-effort entries for the sake of farming gold or experience.
- Stay on topic in your subforum.
Since the regular moderators may be unable to effectively moderate the international dictionaries and forums, it’s the responsibility of you and your fellow Translators to keep them in good shape. Breaking these rules can result in the immediate removal of Translator privileges.