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I don't know if its still current in WoW, but back in the first extensions, if an alliance player tried to write to a horde player, the game would scramble the message to make it like both factions are simply talking different languages.

Was there any logic behind that system? Could you write something in a way where it would come out in english to the other faction? Or was it simply randomised with a few keywords that would always translate the same way, like lol being always translated as kek?

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The game doesn't really translate what's said but just replaces it with one of a few gibberish words depending on the length of the original word. Wowpedia has lists for the different languages, for example I've copied part of the table for Orcish below. It goes up to replacing thirteen letter words.

  • One-letter words: A, N, G, O, L
  • Two-letter words: Ha, Ko, No, Mu, Ag, Ka, Gi, Il
  • Three-letter words: Lok, Tar, Kaz, Ruk, Kek, Mog, Zug, Gul, Nuk, Aaz, Kil, Ogg
  • Four-letter words: Rega, Nogu, Tago, Uruk, Kagg, Zaga, Grom, Ogar, Gesh, Thok, Dogg, Maka, Maza

Since the replacement is not random there are addons that try to generate readable words by generating specific text that will be replaced into something similar to what was typed in, for example https://www.curseforge.com/wow/addons/hermes-commonorcish claims to do this (not a specific endorsement, I've never used it).

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  • For a relatively well-known example, "lol" transliterates to "Kek". I believe "Bur" is the equivalent from the Alliance. Jan 16 at 22:08

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