Talk:Languages

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I'm really not convinced by the statement that you can only tm from things written by players no more than 9 levels below you or above.

In the last 10 days I've tmed from something I've written at klatchian spoken 29 up to level 56 and going.
What is the basis for the not less than 9 levels below statements?
I've heard it in the past for levels 91-99 but not where it came from. Frazyl 02:55, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

I think it would be a good idea for someone who knows more than I on the subject to mention that points are a big factor in capping your tms in language. I started a newbie in Uberwald, got her to A-M and learned all the Morporkean I could from Vanya. Then I tm'd quickly up to 51 in spoken at which point it was capped. I looked here, at the help files, asked newbie chat etc. etc. When I brought it up with a liaison, they asked about my pe.po, which turned out not to be the problem -- as I was an adventurer, my gp was capped by ad.po, which I had no levels in. Once I raised it, the mysterious cap was gone. I think that this is a worthwhile thing to mention in the article (and also in the gp article itself, which makes no mention of this feature of **.po, just the commands aspect).

When I asked on the newbie channel prior to finding the proper answer, I was given all sorts of advice that are neither in this wiki nor in the help files. I'm curious as to their validity; if they are true, then they should maybe be added to the page...

1. I was told that I should "do other things", as though this would somehow help me in a way more fundamental than distracting me from my very REAL problem of not tming. As far as I can see, this is just a psychological piece of advice (ie self-distraction) unless there is some honest mechanic in game for this, in which case it would be really great to see it on the page, along with how exactly it's implemented (would you have to stop 'speak'ing the language you are trying to learn and go back to your default? Is there a timer? Is there some sort of gp ratio? etc)
2. I was then told that listening to the same things over and over was a problem. I went all over A-M, listed vendors like mad, and eventually went to Genua's docks. My problem was something else entirely, of course, so none of this did a thing, but I'm curious as to whether or not this can be verified as true or false. Is there really a drop off due to repetition? Is hanging out in the Plaza of Broken Moons really just not good enough? Would this be expressed via a timer, a set number of reps (by the word? by the phrase? by the speaker?), etc?

Yours humbly, Ktastic 22:34, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

That's a good point and I've clarified the bit about it using gp (saying you need to have that much people gp available). I can see why they asked about your pe.po, though, since it's your people gp that matters... I'm guessing that specific problem doesn't come up much, but it sounds frustrating. :(
Regarding #1, when I was trying to tm languages, it seemed like an effective way to do it was to try for a tm in the language, then when I got one, try to tm something else (I was doing ad.direction) instead, then try for a language tm again after tming the other thing. I don't know if it's an actual coded thing, or just a psychological effect, but it does feel easier to tm a different skill than the same one again once you've gotten a tm. It also seems like it gets easier to tm the longer it's been since you tmed that skill. As far as I know there isn't any hard data on this, though (sort of hard to gather it :( ), just people's experience and what seems to be the case (but might not be).
Also, last time I was trying to tm languages, I don't think I really stopped speaking them, so I don't think you have to do that.
Regarding #2, I've noticed that if you read or listen to the exact same thing twice in a row, you don't spend gp the second time, so presumably can't tm (erm... I think it's just the text that matters, not the source. I remember that there are (or were?) two signs somewhere on the Klatch Road, and they both say the same thing, and if you read one after reading the other one without reading something else in-between, it doesn't take gp). I forget if reading/listening to one different thing in between is enough or if it has to be more, but it's not too harsh.
It also seems harder (but not impossible) to tm twice in a row, immediately, from listening to the same person, even if you're still spending gp. When I made my Djelian character, a couple of friends and I (one who spoke Morporkian natively and one who was also trying to tm it, about the same level as me) got some pamphlets and grouped together spamming and following the communications imp to tm Morporkian. It worked pretty well and we got a bunch of tms from it iirc, but I noticed that normally I would tm from listening to one person, then tm from listening to a different person a couple of minutes later. Only once did I tm from the same person twice in a row. Again, though, that's just some "seems to" and "feels like", so make of it what you will (it's the source of the "spoken language seems to TM much more easily when you're listening to multiple people" comment, I think, unless someone else added that).
--Ilde 23:31, 22 December 2010 (UTC)


(The following written before seeing Ilde's reply, might duplicate.)

While we can't be sure how exactly language tms or generally how the taskmaster work, most of what was mentioned to you are considered to be ways to work off the perceived penalty to the chance to get a tm if you do the same thing over and over constantly. Breaks are thought to help by letting the chance "reset", which may or may not be what's happening in the code.

Gp limitations
  • For all actions you need to have enough gp to do it, the issue with languages is probably that they don't give error messages when you listen to speech in the hope of tming if you don't have enough for the attempt to go through.
    • If listening doesn't take gp or if all your gp is completely drained by listening to one phrase you probably need more gp or something is wrong like you're not speaking the right language.
    • Learning languages usually tms people.points rather well, but it can't tm your ad.points because you're not really using it, so it couldn't give you more gp to spend on language learning.
Alternating commands/languages
  • While more to maximize the amount of gp one gets for using commands, it's also often said to increase the rate of tms you get.
  • Trying to get a specific skill to tm by constantly doing just one thing seems to become less likely to work after you've done it non-stop for a while and taking "a break" and trying about 10-30 minutes later is often thought to be more efficient than continuing to hammer on it. It could of course be a coincidence that you get a tm soon after your break... But it happens a lot.
  • This might be less the case for languages than with other tms, but speaking something else for a while and coming back often produces a tm. Whether the system was penalizing you for trying constantly by repeatedly lowering the chance for it and if you give it a rest bring the odds back up is not really clear.
  • By experience, if I spam commands right after I first login on a given day I usually get one tm soon, other tms usually take a while after that which could mean many things.
Repeated phrases for language learning
  • You don't use gp if you hear the same phrase repeated right away, there needs to be about 3 different phrases that alternate so that it uses gp each time and so gives you a chance to tm.
  • Alternatively, the same phrase does work again after a few minutes or so but this is much slower, not using all the gp you regen thus being much less effective.

While we could add some of that to the pages, most of it is conjecture and we don't know much or what is really effective. Basically if something doesn't work we try to change something. --Frazyl 23:54, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

That was a very interesting read, thanks! -Ktastic 20:56, 24 December 2010 (UTC)


This is from my own experiences, take it as you will. When I was trying to learn Uberwaldean, originally I just idled in the town square and occasionally ran an alias to generate some extra xp. In this way, I gathered something like 5 TMs in 6 hours (my level was in the high 40s at the time). A few days later I came back to try again, but this time I brought some engraving supplies. By working on engraving until it TMed (either cr.sm.bl.to, cr.po, or cr.ar.de) then switching to working on Uberwaldean, I went through the remaining 40 levels in about 10-12 hours. While sitting in the square could produce no tms for an hour or more, I could often get a tm 5-10 minutes after tming a crafts skills up until I reached the 80s when I noticed that some of the npc chats weren't using gp. -Aragorn



Post 90 Written TMs

Had anyone ever actually encountered a post 90 written TM? I wrote a mini primer at 89 levels of written Djelian, then tried to read it once I got to 90 written Djelian - it did not use GP. I gave it to another player to read, and it did not use GP for him either. Is TMing a written language past 90 actually possible? -Slitty


Command XP from foreign languages

Based on some experimentation, I have found that listening to a foreign language is a 15X command. Should this be mentioned in the article, or is it considered irrelevant?



Little Agatea vs Bes Pelargic Language Institute

Question for Kemolian or someone that wants to do further research.

On 17 October 2016 Kemolian updated the Languages page.
On the Bes Pelargic Language Institute Kemolian added,
'(Note: Morporkian students should learn from Little Agatea
to save LOTS of time and get more levels than offered here)'
Could you please substantiate that you get more levels from Little Agatea,
with numbers of levels learned in the Bes Pelargic Language Institute?
The Little Agatea listing says you get between 27 to 35 spoken and 14 to 20 written.
Emily (talk) 14:07, 27 October 2016 (EDT)


Tested values obtained by me (on the character Hops) in the BPLI and a friend in Little Agatea:

I should have recorded the exact number, but I believe it
was mid-low 20s for spoken, while a friend learning from
Little Agatea got in the 30s. The friend got over 10 more
levels starting out in spoken than me, and while I believe
they got more written too, I was concentrating on spoken,
so I'm not sure about the accuracy of the written part.
The BPLI also took MUCH longer than Little Agatea, which,
from the resulting levels, seems kind of a rip-off timewise.

Kemolian (talk) 16:31, 27 October 2016 (EDT)


Turns out that my friend who learned from Little Agatea
got 32 spoken and 26 written, which are both higher values
than I got from learning in the BPLI. It could however be
possible that the BPLI gives a range and I just got VERY
unlucky and got the lower side of the range on both values
and perhaps the higher values of the range makes the BPLI
worth it? Right now, however, I spent a lot more time in
the BPLI for much lower levels than the very fast learning
from Little Agatea. Research is needed on the BPLI range.

Kemolian (talk) 10:25, 28 October 2016 (EDT)

Just tried Little Agatea again, 35 spoken and 44 written was learned.

Kemolian (talk) 00:07, 6 February 2018 (EST)