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Multilingual Telephone • 2018 rpg

Amr ammourazz El-Azizi • no link

Choose a speaking gimmick: Pick from the list, write it down, and display it clearly to everyone else.

Gimmick List:
Third Person.
Metaphors only.
Solely Monosyllabic vocabulary.
Iambic Pentameter.
Rhyme with a set structure.
Always Alliterate.
Create your own.

The player to your right is your translator: Whenever you speak, they must repeat what you said using their gimmick so that your intended target can understand you.

Whenever you talk: Other players can only understand you if you and your translator meet the requirements of your gimmick.

Choose a starting player: They set the first scene. Play continues until it's their turn again.

On your turn: Set the scene and a task that you need to accomplish. Pick from the list or make your own. Everyone else picks an important role or character in the scene.

Example Tasks:
Buying groceries.
Getting a credit card.
Going on a date.
Applying for a VISA.
A doctor's appointment.
Making a friend.
Completing a day at work.
Resolving a family argument.

The scene ends ONLY when the task is complete. No matter the barriers, you MAY NOT give up. Failing is NOT an option: this task is ESSENTIAL to your day.

Author Comments

Living somewhere with a language you don’t speak often involves jumping through linguistic hoops and internal translations to be able to understand and make yourself understood. Whether you’re a child learning the language in school forced to be translator to your parents, or if you’re working a job learning things you don’t know in your primary language but are expected to understand in a secondary one, or if you’re a translator forced to help mediate a family argument without getting involved, the struggle of working through multiple languages is one that many can relate to. My goal with this RPG was to replicate the back and forth of internal and external translation, the barriers and difficulties, the ease with which meaning can get lost, and the satisfaction when you finally break through. Thanks to Andy Berdan for helping me edit. Check out his amazing entry at

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