A shocking question!

Posted by (twitter: @McFunkypants)
August 18th, 2010 9:46 pm

I have a shocking and highly embarrassing question to ask. I fully expect to be ridiculed and berated and will surely feel like a complete ignorant fool.

What does “Ludum Dare” mean?

Where did the term come from? What is the history? What language is it? Is it an acronym? A secret password? Latin?

I’ve heard people prononouce it “Loo-dum Dah-ray” and also “Luh-dum Dair”, so the second part of my question is: how do you pronounce it?

11 Responses to “A shocking question!”

  1. PoV says:

    We used to have an FAQ, then we started having spambot problems. Here’s Ludum Dare 16’s:


    So yes, latin. Ludus and Do, conjugated somehow. We were looking an websites the other day to check.

    I think proper pronunciation is the first one, but I’ve never cared about done much research in to latin, so I say dare as you would dare to say it.

    • Thanks PoV!

      So Ludum is Latin for “game” or “to play” and Dare is Latin for “to give”.

      Now I know. And knowing is half the battle.

      So the next question still stands: how do I pronounce it? Loo-dum or Luh-dum? Dah-ray or Dare?

    • Jonny D says:

      Verbs are conjugated. Nouns are declined (declension). 😉
      Ludus (game) is a second declension noun. The accusative form is Ludum. Accusative means that something is being done to the game. Dare (to give) is the infinitive. You could use them in a full sentence like “do tibi ludum” (I give the game to you), or, more usefully, “ludum tibi dedi” (I gave the game to you). Word order doesn’t usually matter.
      Latin pronunciation is very straight-forward. I say it as Loodum Darr-Uh.

      Of course, if there’s someone who knows this stuff better than me, speak up!

  2. moltanem2000 says:

    In all seriousness, Mike Hommel (Hamumu) Gave a very accurate description of Ludum Dare’s illustrious history in his LD15 Keynote address. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6xT4zxWjys
    In case you wish to know more

  3. Covenant says:

    About the pronunciation, I think it’s “Loodoom Dahre”… Basing this on the fact that latin is very similar in pronunciation to portuguese, and that’s how we would do it.

    • Jonny D says:

      The -um ending has a short vowel sound in Latin.

      • Covenant says:

        Yeah, the “oo” I did there is more to show the type of sound than lenght, but you’re totally right… The sound is different from “um” that some posters did, imo… But as I said, I’m basing this in my portuguese knowledge, not latin… The important thing is that the “m” is almost (but not quite) silent…

  4. dreid2694 says:

    It literally means to give or offer a game; it is also an expression meaning to give or let someone have their fun. And it is pronounced as loo-doom duh-reh, but the first u is long and the second is short–unfortunately English uses many letters and combinations of letter to make the same sounds, and most make several different sounds. So the first u would be pronounced like the double o diphthong in mood or moot and the second u would be pronounced like the double o diphthong in soot or foot.

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