As one of TheGamer’s resident Englishmen, I’ve become used to some of the old clichés about British people. We’re a little pale and moldy from the constant rain, we have a lust bordering on mania for tea, and when holidaying overseas, we will not learn the language. Instead, we’ll just repeat our requests or comments again, louder and more slowly this time. The thing about bad teeth? That’s a myth. But the language business? That's a fact of life.
When it comes to The Sims, then, there are certain things I can’t fully comprehend. The language difficulties I just mentioned extend to Simlish, the bizarre and gabbled words Sims use to communicate. Controlling every aspect of these tiny freaks’ lives as we do, we understand the context, and get a little thought bubble above their heads to further explain, but without those things? Nope, it’s gibberish.
If —for instance— a Sim's partner has just left them and they’ve collapsed on the kitchen lino and peed themselves, it’s pretty damn clear what they’re saying. I’m generally displeased with this whole situation, frankly, is what they’re saying. It’s all about social context. If somebody on the street accosted you and started howling the same KYALNA OOGNA BOOGNA sounds in your face you’d be utterly nonplussed.
So let’s make everything a little clearer. With the help of a Simlish-to-English dictionary, let’s take a look at 15 Crazy Things We Know The Sims Are Saying.
15 Taking Training Seriously
Now, at this point, there have been four installments of The Sims, as well as add-ons, and DLC out the wazzoo. Our little virtual guys and gals are more advanced than ever before, as is the game itself as a life sim. So, really, can we believe that Sim personal trainers haven’t yet started using motivational Rocky quotes to spur their clients on to losing that saggy ass weight? Of course, we can’t. That’s most definitely a thing.
So, yep, this is the kind of conversation that’s going on in many a Sim-gym across the world right now. Personal trainers in the Sim world might not be cycling behind you as you run in Baywatch-style slow-mo across the sand, but they’re certainly offering words of support. Like "Ooh Be Gah," which simply means "Very Good!"
14 Vampires, Huh?
Across the series’ various expansion packs, content has been added to cater to all kinds of lifestyles. After all, this is a life sim, and life is one holy hell of a diverse thing. We’ve had packs that give our sims a taste of the university life, packs that add magic to the mix, all manner of exotic pets, take holidays, experience the thrills, chills and soul-crushing crap-your-pants rejection of dating life…
Vampires existed in the original Sims (Makin’ Magic) as a solely cosmetic change. It wasn’t until 2005, with The Sims 2: Nightlife, that this became a true life state. A Sim bitten by the Grand Vampire will turn, and can also transfer the status to other Sims. "That’s Awful," the victim would no doubt say, or "Sass Awrful" in Simlish.
13 25 Things You Didn't Know About Llamas
As I say, sometimes it’s a little frightening how well The Sims can replicate our real lives. The drunk Sim who arrives home, tries to cook spaghetti, sets fire to the curtains, passes out on the carpet and dies in the flames? Well, clearly, we’ve all been there. That’s just a normal Saturday night for me.
This situation? This is also far too relatable. You go to the bathroom with your phone or tablet, hop on to social media, and next thing you know you’ve been missing for days and the family have registered you as a missing person. The Internet is an unlimited source of procrastination and time-wastery. Just a quick surf and you’re reading a page of useless but intriguing llama facts. "This Is Cool," you think, or "Whippna Choba Dog!"
12 Hitting The Motherlode
One reason fans so enjoy The Sims is the whole escapism factor. In The Sims, we often make ourselves, our families, partners, and friends, and we can take the opportunity to live out our dreams. We can be tall, burly, confident, super smart; we can be the high-flying fancy ass executives we always wanted to be.
It doesn’t matter if we haven’t had much luck on the dating front in real life. In the Sims, we can be the ballsiest lotharios this side of Hugh Hefner. We can live right next door to the damn PlayBoy Mansion, if we want, and schmooze every bunny there. Just watch out for the dreaded "Baba" (which means "I’m Pregnant").
11 WooHoo? Woohoo!
And speaking of WooHoo, here comes (yep, that was intentional, so sue me) one Simlish word you’re probably familiar with already. Still, it’s one of the most iconic, so we can’t leave it out of the list.
Here’s the thing. The Sims is, of course, a life sim, and a crucial part of that is the whole making-more-life-using-the-contents-of-your-undercrackers thing (recreational genitalia gymnastics is all well and good too, obviously). The series is also, however, not a mature-rated one, so we’ve got to deal with the subject carefully. How do they do that? With a lot of blurring, action hidden under bedcovers and innuendos that wouldn’t look out of place in the Austin Powers movies. Yep, "WooHoo" is The Sims’ euphemism for "sex," and their word for it in Simlish.
10 All The Girls
From schmoozing PlayBoy bunnies to WooHoo, I sense a bit of a pattern forming here. I’m not quite sure whose lives we’re simulating here, this isn’t Hugh Hefner: The Game (although PlayBoy: The Mansion is a thing), but let’s roll with it.
Now, this is nothing but a video game fantasy for me. I’ve never been a tomcatting sort of guy. I’m lucky to have the one partner I do have, as I’m sure she’d tell you given half a chance. It can be fun to vicariously experience how the other, popular-with-the-other-sex half live, though. Like this dude right here, with his disinterested groupie like he’s one of the guys from One Direction or someone. What's he really saying to her? "Za Woka Genava," that’s what, which means "You’re Hot!"
9 I Can't Beliebe(r) It
Now, maybe it’s just me. I might be becoming a crotchety old miser without even realizing it, but the music playing in shops these days just isn’t my bag. I’ve heard many horror stories about working in retail, from abusive customers to the hours and such, but nothing is more painful than working the shop floor all day while The Greatest and Most Nauseatingly Cutesy Hits of Celine Dion plays on repeat.
With DJs, I’m sure, you have to pander a little to what’s popular, to the mass-produced dirge that people want violating their ear-sockets. As always, I’ve just mocked up what I think this Sim should be saying, but a more accurate translation would probably be "Plerg Majah Bliff" (meaning: "Can I Do Something Else?")
8 When The Grim Reaper Reaps… Himself
tVia: farm4.staticflickr.comHow many Grim Reapers would the Grim Reaper reap if the Grim Reaper could reap Grim Reapers? An unusual take on the old woodchuck tongue twister, but anything is possible in the batcrap crazy world of The Sims.
The wonderful world of PC game modding, along with the sandbox possibilities of the series itself, make for some hilarious scenarios. I remember one story a modder told about a Sim’s death. The Grim Reaper came to collect them, only to die himself on the job. Whereupon, a second Grim Reaper came along to collect the first. What did the original Grim Reaper say to the second one, horning in on his job like that? "Blursh! Meshaloob! Blursh!" (which translates to "Excuse me! Get out of my way!"), probably.
7 The Meaning Of Life
Now, you’re probably sick of seeing the phrase ‘life sim’ by now, but it’s time to think about what that really means. Virtual life? That’s one damn slippery road to go down. One minute, you’ve got a harmless Tamagotchi, and the next, SkyNet is here, and Arnold Schwarzenegger is being sent back through time in the nude to save John Connor’s sorry ass from robo-assassins. Does any part of that sound like a good time? No, no it doesn’t. The man’s almost seventy, for crying out loud, nobody wants to see that flapping around.
This thoughtful shot makes me wonder, then: what do Sims think? We can control their actions, but we can’t control their thoughts. Probably something simple, like "Oh Feebee Lay" (read: I’m Hungry).
6 Man’s Best Friend
Up next, more of an elementary sort of Simlish lesson.
Back in high school, I remember my French and German classes. They’d start you off with rudimentary words, teach you to tell somebody your name and age, ask for the time, that sort of thing. After a good few years’ solid work, you knew everything you needed to have a totally canned, scripted conversation with your teacher in a test environment. Did it matter that you were horribly butchering the pronunciation of the words themselves, to the point that native speakers would just think you were drunk and/or crazy? Nope.
Here’s part ten of your super simple Simlish class: "Woofum" means "Dog." The word’s been corrupted to doggo by the internet meme brigade, but I prefer this if I’m honest.
5 When Sims Get Engaged
As the series has progressed, the relationships between Sims and the possibilities offered have become more and more sophisticated. They can, as I’ve said, become vampires and bite each other, but there’s a little more to it than that. The games are able to capture more and more of those little intricacies and moments that define us as people, and make our relationships and families what they are.
One of these, as we see, is popping the question to your partner. I myself was super calm during this moment, which says more about my partner than about my socially-terrible sweaty self. Score. As Learn Simlish tells us, "Wee-bow" means "I Do/Will" when proposing.
4 When Hunger Strikes
If you’re a good, respectable, ethical Sims player who wants your little virtual guys and gals to thrive in the lives you make for them, you have a responsibility. A sacred duty. You have to manage their needs. Fail to keep them clean, fed, busy, and all the rest of it will result in a Sim who craps their pants in the fetal position on their doorsteps, muttering about the weather on Saturn. A lot of players seem to be into that, hilarious a-holes that Sims players can be, but it’s not for everyone.
Let’s not starve our Sims to death, then. Let’s make sure they get plenty of "Chum-Cha" (or "Pizza"), assuming that actually is a pizza in that image. It’s tough to tell, it’s a little shonky looking.
3 Them’s Fightin’ Words
Much of the time, if you’re not being an a-hole to your Sims and you’re cultivating their needs, goals and dreams, you can have quite a harmonious little community going. I once made pretty well my entire neighbourhood in the game, and everybody was popping over and borrowing sugar and generally being pretty freaking pleasant to each other. I had captured the zeitgeist, if you will; a zeitgeist made of neighbors who don’t all hate each other or lust after each others’ spouses behind closed doors.
In any community/family, though, there’s going to be conflict. That’s just how life is. When that sort of thing comes up, you’re going to need to know phrases like Boobasnot (I Don’t Like You) and Depwa Spanewash Depla Blah (You! Yes You! Go Away!).
2 House Party!
For me, The Sims is always at its best when there are a lot of the little guys and gals together. You don’t want to be rattling around a huge, cavernous mansion alone, bitterly bitching about the whole money-can’t-buy-you-love thing, do you? That’s not entertainment. If the next Big Brother series consisted of one dude wandering around the house by himself all day and scratching his ass, who’d be watching? I wouldn’t, that’s for darn tooting.
It’s the interactions between the sims, their animations, that I keep coming back to the series for. Some of the scenarios that unfold hit a little too close to home, and it’s fascinating. So, for best results, remember the phrase Harva Sol Labaga along with Hava So Lawnumg (Hey! Party At My House!)!
1 Money, Money, Money
Finally, another key aspect of the series that has developed right along with it: Aspirations. Like actual real human fleshbags who are shuffling along on the surface of this planet right now, Sims have dreams. Goals. Plans for the future. On first creating each of your teeny human playthings, you’ll manually alter some of the priorities. Different paths you choose for them to go down will change how they approach life, what their endgame aims are and such.
How do you measure success? That’s different for everyone. You can't just poke it with a stick or give it a sniff to see if it’s done yet. Like all of us, some Sims consider making a lot of money being ‘successful,’ while others don’t have a freaking dime but an RSVP list as long as the Kardashians’. As the Sims themselves say, Benzi Chibna Looble Bazebni Gweb (Nothing Is Impossible If You Believe).