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I am playing a game called Magicka and the characters appear to be speaking Swedish. Is there a way to get them to speak English?

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    Even though I don't understand (most of) the speech, I still find it quite entertaining to listen to.
    – JonK
    Mar 8, 2015 at 1:44

3 Answers 3

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The characters are already speaking English. Well, OK, they're speaking some English. Or at least nonsense with a few English words thrown in. Anyway, that's the only language spoken in the game (expect for the between-level narration).

As to what language the characters in Magicka actually are speaking, the developers were asked this in this YouTube video from 2011 (at about 4:55):

Host: We've got a lot of people asking about the language in Magicka. Is it really Swedish?

Dev #1: No, that's ridiculous, Swedish doesn't sound at all like the talking in this game.

Dev #2: Well, it's certainly... inspired by our native language.

Dev #1: Yeah, we actually just tried to, uh... what's it called... wang it? (confusion) Wing it? Yeah, wing it when we were recording, but that didn't really work.

There was also a follow-up question later in the same video series (at 0:30):

Host: What languages were you inspired by when you created the Magicka language?

Dev #1: (Heh.) Icelandic, mostly. (Yeah.) Which is the closest to, uh, ancient Norse.

Dev #2: Initially, yeah, but I think it turned out to be a mix of Swedish, and... strange American accents, here and there, depending on what character we were trying to portray. I don't think the Icelanders, or whatever...

Dev #1 (interjects): Yeah, dude, we added "-ur".

Dev #2: Yeah, the "Fornskogur", yeah, all of the names are very, like, Old Norse style, but, I mean, the language, I don't know...

Another detail mentioned elsewhere in the series (part 2, at 6:20, if you're curious) is that Vlad is the only character in the game with a real voice actor; all the other NPCs are voiced by the devs. As far as I can tell, a lot of what they're saying is just random gibberish, or deliberately mispronounced English words ("se-rye-ously"), with some "creative" translations (like "dunka-dunka" for "party" in the first level; in Swedish, it's basically slang for loud thumping disco music) thrown in for good measure.

Anyway, the upshot of it all is that the spoken dialogue is basically there just for comedy. To actually understand what the NPCs are supposed to be saying (not that it generally matters much), you will need to read the subtitles.

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A user on giantbomb.com discovered that they are speaking a english/Swedish hybrid but, there is no way to change to plain english.

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  • Huh, so it is comedy then. Mar 8, 2015 at 2:52
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    basically yes it is
    – TheAce
    Mar 8, 2015 at 3:06
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    Is this a non-sense hybrid, or one that makes a lot of sense to many Swedes (who presumably speak Swedish natively and also know English, since so many Europeans are multi-lingual and speak English).
    – TOOGAM
    Mar 8, 2015 at 13:05
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    @TOOGAM: As far as I can tell based on a few YouTube videos, it sounds like a random mix of Swedish, English, Fake Old Norse and Gibberish. And different NPCs seem to have somewhat different "dialects". Mar 8, 2015 at 16:01
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Are you getting English subtitles? Because if so, that's all you're gonna get, yeah. There's no English voice acting in the game.

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