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Convert Tagalog to Mandarin
It's called 'Chinatown' for a reason.

After some recent discussion on Game-Help where Tagalog and its representation of South-East Asia's presence in Withmore's languages was brought up, I wanted to make the suggestion that Tagalog be swapped for Mandarin. Reasons are as follows:

First, the Chinese Empire has an enormous geopolitical presence spanning most of Asia and holds the largest population in the world. The Philippine Protectorate, on the other hand, is theme-wise a relatively small corporate protectorate without a lot of geopolitical sway. Tagalog is meant to be a representative of various South-Eastern languages, but sort of ignores the 500lb gorilla that is China.

Second, Chinese culture and influence is fairly prevalent in Withmore (enough that there's a Chinatown) and sees a lot of use in character backgrounds.

I also get the impression that OOCly, its relative obscurity makes Tagalog a bit of an unpopular choice while Mandarin would have more recognition and draw.

Hopefully this would be a relatively minor OOC change that would better represent China's presence in the world, lore and in Withmore itself, giving some scale to the size of their population and their influence abroad.

Makes sense. When Tagalog was put in game I was like “ Wtf is this?” And had to google. Mandarin or even simplified “Chinese” seems much more fitting.
With Chinese being a big quarter in Red? +1
I have wondered about this for a long time as well. My question is Mandarin or Cantonese? If it's Hong Kong based it would be Cantonese, but considering the fact that a good deal of China has been pushed out by disasters I'd say Mandarin has probably spread more worldwide through displaced people. With more would very likely be populated by some of these immigrants/refugees.
I'd definitely be down for that kind of change. Seems reasonable enough, though since languages aren't widely used I would assume that anyone who has learned Tagalog has a good reason for their character to know it. Would the change step on their toes?
I thought that's probably the one caveat. I'll, you know, let a GM answer that one but I'd imagine it's probably as simple as just checking 'hey, does anyone mind if you speak Mandarin instead?' but just at a guess, I'll be surprised if there's anyone super attached to Tagalog.
+1

As a new player, my assumption was that something happened to China such that Mandarin was not a viable option.

If China is part of the lore and / or still relevant in the present day, then Mandarin should definitely replace Tagalog.

I just always assumed there is something in the lore about it. If you walk around china town people are speaking in tagalog.
I personally have viewed south-east Asia language much the same as Europe, central & south America, the middle east and the like.

China had taken over most of that area in the early 2000's. Then they lost pretty much all of their army in 2018 then had an economic collapse in 2031. During all this time you had the people of south-ease Asia intermingling and the languages melding (aside from Japan who held themselves separate). The result? One dominant language called Tagalog (probably a mash between it and Chinese languages) with regional dialects.

Why Tagalog? I am assuming that this was an intentional choice by staff. Perhaps Manila had a huge influence on China after they lost their military and were sucking it economically. In the end you have one language that covers all of south-east Asia. Some speak it with a Mandirin dialect. Some with a Thai dialect. Some with a Korean dialect. But it's all Tagalog bakas!

I see the as the same for Euro in Europe, Spanish for central and south America and Farsi for the middle east. The tongues mixed to a standard core for each major landmass with regional dialects. Of course, this is just the way I've come to justify the limited selection of languages and make it jive with the timeline. I do not claim this as "the truth."

Johnny also throws in his thoughts on the matter of "Languages and countries" here: https://www.sindome.org/bgbb/open-discussion/anything-really/languages-and-countries-876/