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Simlish is a fictional language featured in Maxis' Sim series of games. It debuted in SimCopter, and has been especially prominent in The Sims, The Sims 2 and The Sims 3. Simlish can also be heard in SimCity 4, but far less frequently. Civilized Creatures in Spore can also be taught to speak Simlish. It also featured to an extent in the Firaxis game Sid Meier's SimGolf. Designer Will Wright was conscious of the need for dialogue in the game, but thought that using a real language would make it sound too repetitive and would also be too costly to hire translators for world languages.

Initially, inspired by the Native American code talkers of WWII, Sims creator Will Wright and language expert Marc Gimbel suggested experimenting with the Navajo language to create Simlish. However, they ultimately decided that Simlish worked best as a "language" made up of gibberish words that couldn't be translated, so that its meaning would be left open to the imagination of the player.[1] Wright later commented that using "nonsense language" turned out to be the right development choice, as people were capable of imagining it more realistically than a computer could simulate a real one.[2] The actual sound of Simlish was created improvisationally by voice actors Stephen Kearin and Gerri Lawlor.[3]


[edit] Music

Sims have been able to listen to Simlish music on their cheap boomboxes, or fancy stereos since its inception; since Hot Date, they have also heard music on wall speakers on Community lots.

In The Sims: House Party and The Sims: Vacation, Sims sing campfire songs. They are sung to the tune of "She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain", "Michael Row the Boat Ashore" and "On Top of Old Smoky". Lyrics for these songs were posted on the official website. A free full-length soundtrack album for The Sims: Superstar has also been released for download (complete with cover art), with several tracks sung in Simlish. [4]

[edit] Outside artists

For The Sims 2 expansion packs University and Nightlife, rather than creating unique Simlish music, recording artists cut new performances of their songs with Simlish lyrics. These artists include Annie, The Pussycat Dolls, Dexter Freebish, Paramore, Abra Moore, Charlotte Martin, Da Riffs, The Daylights, The Perishers, Cansei de Ser Sexy, Reggie and the Full Effect, Acceptance, Go Betty Go, Steadman, The Faders, Adam Freeland, Hyper, Junkie XL, Lemon Jelly, MxPx, Scary Kids Scaring Kids, Timo Maas, Barenaked Ladies, Natasha Bedingfield, Lily Allen, Katy Perry and Trivium. The songs included in any one game depend on the localization. Kajagoogoo's Too Shy also appears on the New Wave music channel. Fellow Briton and synthpop artist Howard Jones re-recorded his hit song "Things Can Only Get Better" in Simlish. It also appears on the New Wave channel.

Keke Palmer contributed her song "The Game Song" from her album So Uncool in Simlish for Fashion Stuff.

In their album We Started Nothing, The Ting Tings recorded a song called Impacilla Carpisung in Simlish.

The Black Eyed Peas also contributed to the recording exclusive new songs Urbz: Sims in the City. They also re-recorded "Shut Up" and "Let's Get It Started". They released the EP "Let's Get It Started: The Urbz Edition" which features the English single version of the song and the simlish version that was featured in the game, the EP also includes the simlish song "Friddy Dope", that can be heard in the game, and a new English song, "The Sticky". The song is credited in the game, but can't be heard anywhere in it.

British electronic band Depeche Mode recorded a Simlish-language version of their single "Suffer Well" for Open for Business.

Heavy metal band Anthrax made a Simlish version of their song "Now It's Dark" from their album State of Euphoria in The Sims.

Barenaked Ladies re-recorded three songs ("Easy", "What A Let Down", "Wind It Up") from Barenaked Ladies Are Me in Simlish for inclusion on the Family Fun Stuff pack. Skye Sweetnam recorded her song "Boyhunter" in Simlish prior to its appearance on her album Sound Soldier. Several artists re-recorded hit songs in Simlish for the expansion pack Pets, including Aly & AJ doing their "Chemicals React"[5], The Flaming Lips with "Free Radicals", The Pussycat Dolls with their top chart hit "Don't Cha", The Format with "The Compromise", and Saving Jane with "Girl Next Door". In the Spanish version, La Oreja de Van Gogh remade their hit "Dulce Locura". The band Malbec has also had their song "Given the Times" translated into Simlish.

Country artist Cowboy Troy also recorded his song "I Play Chicken With the Train" in simlish for an expansion.

Lily Allen re-recorded her hit "Smile" in simlish, which also has a music video, featuring a "sim Lily Allen". It has been watched more than 4 million times on the site YouTube.[6]

In the Seasons expansion pack, The Veronicas have re-recorded their single "When It All Falls Apart". The Breadbox Band also added their song "N". Pop star Tata Young contributed a Simlish version of her song "Zoom".

Natasha Bedingfield has also recorded a new song in Simlish. The song, as well as the new album, is titled "Pocket Full of Sunshine" (which is the U.S. version of her N.B.), and appeared in the Sims 2 Expansion Pack, The Sims 2: Free Time.

Celtic band Gaelic Storm made a Simlish version of their song "Scalliwag" from their album Bring Yer Wellies. It appears in The Sims 2: Bon Voyage and The Sims 2: Castaway. The Simlish version of Chemicals React can be downloaded in iTunes.

NLT recorded their song, "That Girl," in Simlish.

Katy Perry's song "Hot n' Cold" features in The Sims 2: Apartment Life

Gabriella Cilmi recorded "Sweet About Me" in Simlish for The Sims 2.

Paramore recorded "Pressure" in Simlish for The Sims 2 on PlayStation 2, Game Cube, and Xbox.

[edit] Written Simlish

In this screenshot, taken from The Sims 2,written Simlish appears similar to Zodiac symbols, taken from the Wingdings font.

Signs in The Sims games usually do not contain text, but consist entirely of graphics. For example, a pet shop sign in Unleashed displays a paw, a stop sign in Hot Date displays a white hand, and in The Sims 2 the sign for a grocery store depicts a cornucopia.

In The Sims, the headline The SimCity Times is visible on the daily newspaper, in English and in the Comic Sans MS font. (The game uses this font, with the Simoleon sign [closely resembling §] as the currency symbol.)

In The Sims 2, most text is only distinguishable at very close zooms. On book covers, newspapers and Nightlife's "Sims Must Wash Hands" sign, the lettering is all nonsense characters that bear about as much resemblance to Latin characters as they do to Cyrillic. Almost no actual characters from any known alphabet are used. When Sims are writing novels or term papers, dingbats from the Wingdings font appear as text on the screen. The notebooks used for homework contain writing composed of random lines.

In The Sims 2, Simlish words occasionally appear on television screens. They are written in the same Simlish alphabet described above, or using the font Wingdings to produce symbols like Aum or Zodiac signs. In The Sims 2 University, eight "SimGreek Letters" appeared as signs intended for fraternity and sorority houses. University also contains the most unambiguous existence of actual English language in the whole The Sims 2 series; the words "Open house" are shown on a decorative noteboard on the top right announcement various times. It can only be seen at a very close zoom and is slightly garbled because of the JPEG compression. Most other appearances of English are logos for Maxis, Electronic Arts, or GameSpot. Also, the video games SSX3, The Sims Bustin' Out, SimCity 4 and The Sims 3 (available exclusively in Mr. Humble's Computer object in FreeTime, brought by Mr. Humble, a Rod Humble Sim character), found on the Sims' computers and TVs have numbers and English letters and a rug from the H&M Fashion stuff pack features the letters H&M. The marketing of The Sims 2: Free Time contains excerpts from phony "hobby magazines" with front cover texts bearing some resemblance to the Latin alphabet. For instance, one magazine about car restoration has a title which can be read as "skitbil", meaning "shit car" or "shitty car" in Swedish. In Create-A-Sim some of the clothing has writing on it too.

Sleeping sims are illustrated by Zs floating around their heads, as usual in comics.

Also when a vehicle arrives on the lot, the number plate shows real numbers; similarly, police cars in the game have the numbers 329 on top of them. When a sim plays on the electronic entertainment, "EA Games" is mentioned in English, but "Challenge Everything" is in simlish.

In The Sims Online, however, all text is in English.

In a recent trailer for The Sims 3, a bill board in the town shown in the video depicting a local celebrity who later in the trailer performs for the town, the words Coming Soon can be read easily, with the letters only being turned different directions. The rest of the text on the billboard is the usual simlish, and is unreadable. Because Simlish is gibberish, an example of a Simlish sentence is "Hingu Calasu!" A male sim with low needs may look up and shout "Wa Kabola!" or something like that. Strangely, male and female sims never say the same things when in need of attention. An example of a female's speech may be "Shooflee!". Also one more thing that would only be suitable for a female sim to say is their speech for giving birth, unless a male sim gets abducted by aliens (they will come back a few hours later pregnant)...

[edit] Outside of The Sims

Throughout the 'Sim' genre created by Will Wright, nearly all games will use Simlish in the same manner that The Sims did. For instance, in most SimCity games, citizens can be heard conversing if one zooms close enough. In a similar manner, creatures created with a primate mouth in Spore will also converse in Simlish, and hovering above a city will inspire gibberish conversation from the masses below.

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ The Sims Bustin' Out Designer Diary #3
  2. ^ Celeste Biever (24 September 2008). "Interview: The games master". New Scientist (Reed Business Information) 199 (2675). 
  3. ^ "Gonna Play the Sims? You Gotta Speak Simlish". Savvy Gaming. 2008-09-08. Retrieved on 2009-02-15. "The voice actors who were working on The Sims are credited with actually giving voice to the Simlish language. These voice actors were Stephen Kearin and Gerri Lawlor." 
  4. ^ Make Your Own Superstar Soundtrack CD!, Retrieved 14 October 2007.
  5. ^ EA and Aly & AJ collaborate on signature song for The Sims 2: Pets from GameZone. March 1, 2007.
  6. ^

[edit] External links

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