April 24, 2005

Tho Fan

Here's a welcome contrast with the shabby treatment of Said el-Gheithy, the inventor of Ku (= "Ch'toboku"). When Stephen Totilo wrote on 4/19/2005 in the NYT about the language Tho Fan, invented for an X-Box game called Jade Empire, linguist Wolf Wikeley is front and center. With a picture and everything.

Now we need to work on those linguists' consulting fees. The NYT article says that that BioWare paid Wolf "just over $2,000" for four months of work. Unless he gets big-time residuals, that must be way under minimum wage, even if it was US dollars rather than Canadian ones. (And the University of Alberta Linguistics Department web site suggests that he had to take a leave to do it.) I'm sure BioWare can't get programmers or graphic artists to work for wages like that.

Wikely says he had fun ("This was really a dream job because as a hobby I write and as a profession I work with languages so to combine those, working creatively and scientifically, was a blast"), but all the more reason to give him a proper payday, says I.

[The University of Alberta press release is here.]

Posted by Mark Liberman at April 24, 2005 01:54 PM