Barbarians (tv series)

meisenimverbis

Civis Illustris

Romans speaking Latin. Let's discuss.
 

Cinefactus

Censor
Staff member
Luke Ranieri discusses the Latin in detail here.

Personally I wish all movies about Rome used Latin.
 

meisenimverbis

Civis Illustris
Luke Ranieri discusses the Latin in detail here.

Personally I wish all movies about Rome used Latin.
I saw this. I'd have shared, if no one had...

Isn't he here in this forum?
 

Godmy

Sīmia Illustris
The [Latin] translation may be quite good, but it's hard to understand* (of course, one could hypothetically say that anyway if they were transported to actual Ancient Rome, but here it just seems, as usual, actors do not know the language, attempt their best....well, ok). The modern German there is really really awkward, almost off putting. They should have used something closer to proto-germanic (something we have somewhat attested, a bit of Gothic perhaps), this is very lazy in a series where they bother with actual Latin, very lazy! I wouldn't probably watch it just on these grounds.

*that was in this trailer; the bits that Scorpio showed on his channel were better, quite understandable, I would also agree with Rodericus
 
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meisenimverbis

Civis Illustris
(Is he Portuguese, this Rodrigo?)

I think it's unreallistic to expect a (German) show spoken in any old Germanic language, but it would be off putting to me, knowing that it'd be mere speculation and efforts of appearance that wouln't correspond to anything real... We do have written Latin at least, to know that Romas spoke Latin and that Latin is what it is, and was as they said it was (...). It is a series made by Germans primarily to Germans. So the modern German doesn't bother me any more than any film in English about and with characters in Russia or Medieval France, or Italy, ancient Greece, or where ever. And I think there will never be a series or a film from the US or UK about Romans (as the good guys) spoken in Latin. They will always speak English, because English speakers will make them for English speaking audiences... As Plautus wrote "Greek" comedy in Latin for a Roman audience (...).

I'm glad this show came about. (I'm not much fond of Roman militaristic stories, and I've seen as far as (I don't remember, maybe episode 3 or 4...). I'm really only watching it for the Latin. And I'm glad for it because, as you specialists pointed out, I realized that my pronunciation is FAAAAR BEHIND the expected, and that I have to work (hard) in vowel lengths.
 
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Adrian

Civis Illustris
Afaic; the pronunciation and styllistic of spoken latin in above mentioned TV series is acceptable (the producers did better job than Mel GIbson.:))
I somewhat concur with Luke Ranieri and Metatron's opinion).
I can only hope there will be more pre-medieval historical TV shows with classical latin (or even koine greek):)
 

Godmy

Sīmia Illustris
@meisenimverbis I see. The fact that it's a German TV shows explains something then. But still, I think that in 2020 we have made some progress even when it comes to authenticity of TV shows. I concur that I don't mind at all when films about Greece and Rome are shot in Hollywood and the actors speak English: the illusion is that they speak Greek or Latin in reality, but you can understand every word as if you were there. That's fine. But once you start striving for authenticity and then do this, then it's off, the illusion is broken. Mel Gibson's Latin in the Christ movie wasn't the best (as @Adrian notes), but the films felt way more authentic, because it wasn't like the Jews spoke Hebrew and Aramaic and Romans broke into modern English, no... the illusion of authenticity, albeit far from perfect was kept. What I'm looking for first and foremost is internal consistency in movies! Like if there is a TV show with dragons and witches (Game of Thrones), I still do mind when they are able to e.g. melt solid gold by using [not magic but] just some camp fire (that's just not possible, the temperature is not nearly high enough), because, even though they might have established the existence of dragons, they didn't establish changed laws of physics and chemistry when it comes to something so fundamental, I want internal consistency! :)

Mel Gibson is internally consistent in his movies (at least when it comes to languages).

The level you're suggesting is similar to the Chelmsford 123 AD old English TV show, where Romans speak occasionally not bad Latin, but otherwise the actors of the Anglo-Saxon characters use some modern Cockney Brittish English dialects that take you out of it... but you know, that was maybe 30 years ago or more, it was basically a comedy and you couldn't really expect anything stellar back then. But I think we have made some progress ever since. I still think the modern German next to the Latin is a mistake and it is off putting to me :)

That said, I do respect that for you specifically it might be an ideal combination that makes the show very enjoyable :)


Edit: then there is the TV show "Vikings" where they speak English with a Scandinavian accent and occasionally use the ancient languages (Old Norse, or the Anglosaxon in England, in France maybe some form of Old French), but there, somehow, I didn't mind this inconsistency that much, since in 95% everyone speaks English, only sometimes they put here and there some ancient language: that in my eyes, can indeed enhance the experience and not break any illusion the viewer has, since English seems as the default for everyone. But when you have a movie/show about two tribes, you dedicate a similar amount of time to each, but you let one speak with an ancient language and the other one with a modern one, that still seems lazy to me.
 
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Godmy

Sīmia Illustris
Btw., I wouldn't mind at all if a language used in a movie was a speculation to some degree, if it was well done and adhered to the latest scientific discoveries and models in that area. Everything historic, including the Latin we use, is a speculation / a model to some degree that is closer or further from the reality. (although with spoken Latin this particular model has been quite well established through the middle-ages up to modern days... but I'm quite sure you know this is not 100% how Romans would speak, it's close, but it's never the reality, it is our established model/speculation. Nothing wrong with models or speculations btw. as long as they are backed up by some real research.)

but it would be off putting to me, knowing that it'd be mere speculation and efforts of appearance that wouln't correspond to anything real...
So, with that said, this isn't a very good argument in fact.

I wouldn't mind if Proto-IndoEuropean was used in a movie with some form of acceptable pronunciation and a little bit of license here and there as long as competent linguists were behind it, that would be awesome! But you cannot even compare Proto-Germanic to PIE: we have much more indirect data for that, it wouldn't be difficult at all. And it wouldn't need to be Proto-Germanic either, it would be enough if they used some Gothic + a little bit license where the vocabulary and phrases are wanting. As long as competent linguists are behind it, it's awesome in my view :)

Just like I didn't mind a huge portion of the reconstructed Black Speech of Mordor used in the Hobbit movies (where Tolkien left very little to nothing concerning this particular language, unlike Elvish) or some kind of spoken Ancient Egyptian (=where we, in the least, don't know the vowels at all) in the Stargate feature film or the Mummy movies. I think we need more of this! As long as competent linguists are behind it, let's go for it!
 
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Laurentius

Civis Illustris
@meisenimverbis I see. The fact that it's a German TV shows explains something then. But still, I think that in 2020 we have made some progress even when it comes to authenticity of TV shows. I concur that I don't mind at all when films about Greece and Rome are shot in Hollywood and the actors speak English: the illusion is that they speak Greek or Latin in reality, but you can understand every word as if you were there. That's fine. But once you start striving for authenticity and then do this, then it's off, the illusion is broken. Mel Gibson's Latin in the Christ movie wasn't the best (as @Adrian notes), but the films felt way more authentic, because it wasn't like the Jews spoke Hebrew and Aramaic and Romans broke into modern English, no... the illusion of authenticity, albeit far from perfect was kept. What I'm looking for first and foremost is inner consistency in movies! Like if there is a TV show with dragons and witches (Game of Thrones), I still do mind when they are able to e.g. melt solid gold by using [not magic but] just some camp fire (that's just not possible, the temperature is not nearly high enough), because, even though they might have established the existence of dragons, they didn't establish changed laws of physics and chemistry, I want inner consistency! :)

Mel Gibson is internally consistent in his movies (at least when it comes to languages).

The level you're suggesting is similar to the Chelmsford 123 AD old English TV show, where Romans speak occasionally not bad Latin, but otherwise the actors of the Anglo-Saxon characters use some modern Cockney Brittish English dialects that take you out of it... but you know, that was maybe 30 years ago or more, it was basically a comedy and you couldn't really expect anything stellar back then. But I think we have made some progress ever since. I still think the modern German next to the Latin is a mistake and it is off putting to me :)

That said, I do respect that for you specifically it might be an ideal combination that makes the show very enjoyable :)


Edit: then there is the TV show "Vikings" where they speak English with a Scandinavian accent and occasionally use the ancient languages (Old Norse, or the Anglosaxon in England, in France maybe some form of Old French), but there, somehow, I didn't mind this inconsistency that much, since in 95% everyone speaks English, only sometimes they put here and there some ancient language: that in my eyes, can indeed enhance the experience and not break any illusion the viewer has, since English seems as the default for everyone. But when you have a movie/show about two tribes, you dedicate a similar amount of time to each, but you let one speak with an ancient language and the other one with a modern one, that still seems lazy to me.
But I think a normal fire can reach those temperatures, depending on the part of the flame we are talking about.
 
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meisenimverbis

Civis Illustris
I disagree, Godmy. Come on. You cannot compare the speculation level between Latin and some sort of proto-Germanic (even reconstituted/made up from some Gothic register). I do know that we don't actually know how the Romans really spoke, and that no reconstitution will ever be an actual ancient Roman speaking Latin, because there's no way for us to be 100% certain, but we have to agree that we might have at the least 80% accurate, maybe/probably more. Any form of Germanic language thought to be spoken in the day back then of the forest massacre would be at the least 50% (not an accurate number, but) a con-language.

However I do agree with you that it would produce a more interesting effect.

I only understand and accept that they used modern German because it is a German series made for German speaking audience. It makes sense to me. But I agree with you: have me some linguists make a proto-Germanic language based on the oldest Gothic, and it would be (almost) perfect...

I'm not so into the series though... I'd love to have a series like a M. Didius Falco series, a detective story in Rome or around Roman Italy, with Roman characters. I'm not into these militaristic stories. And I definitely don't like Vikings series, which this is quite alike, only in Germania, with Roman 'vilains', bad guys. I don't want to see the bad part of Rome. I'm only seeing it for lack of options. (And even so, I'm stuck in episode 3 for a couple of weeks now, because Mandalorian is way more interesting, and there was Queen's Gambit too, that I'm watching for the second time now.)
 
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Godmy

Sīmia Illustris
Ok. (I'm not reengaging a part of that conversation any more)

I do love the Vikings series though :) When you watch everything else (movies etc.) made about Vikings prior to this, they don't compare by the feeling of authenticity by far. I love also the music: some of the projects/bands that produce music like that on Youtube were occasionally involved there, like Danheim: I think the show is one of its kind :) But there are no Romans though (not sure what you mean, it's 9th/10th century). (Edit: or you talked here perhaps about Barbarians.)

I heard about & saw some clips of Mandalorian (the baby Yoda) - I think I would like that, I don't know about Queen's Gambit (I know it's a chess move though ;p). Otherwise though we may have quite a different taste, haha :- D
 

meisenimverbis

Civis Illustris
lol ... I meant that Barbarians (to me) is very much like (what I imagine of) Vikings (that I haven't watched), only, it's with Romans as the bad guys. (And, obviously, set centuries earlier --and miles south--, when (and where) there were Romans.) Or, another way to put it, if I look at Vinkings adds and Barbarians adds... looks like the same, except for Romans in Barbarians.
 
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