Access The Animus, an Assassin’s Creed fan project, worked with Kanien’kehá:ka Onkwawén:na Raotitióhkwa Language and Cultural Center to translate Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’s Mohawk dialogue.
The Mohawk language is spoken by the Kanien’kehá:ka (People of the Flint or Mohawk People). In Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, the player encounters them in Vinland, North America. The region offers a different challenge to players as they must abandon their gear and track down a single target. Furthermore, they must navigate an unfamiliar landscape. This challenge includes a language barrier between the Viking Eivor and the local people.
The game provides no translations for the Mohawk language aside from occasional translations of dialogue by characters who know some of Eivor’s language. Instead, the game leaves the dialogue untranslated using the Latin alphabet. Although this does not prevent Eivor from forming relationships with the Kanien’kehá:ka, the immersive choice left players naturally curious.
Ubisoft confirmed to Kotaku that the people the player encounters are speaking a real language. They further confirmed that they worked closely with Akwiratheka Martin, a Kanien’kehá:ka language consultant, during production. As a result, with enough effort from fans and language experts, it was possible to decipher it and reveal the hidden dialogue.
Access The Animus’ translations include background dialogue, gear names, and the campfire story at the end of the arc. Crucially for fans, the latter provided insight into the Kanien’kehá:ka and Iroquois referencing previously established lore from Assassin’s Creed III and Assassin’s Creed Rogue.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is available now on Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PC, and Google Stadia.
Words by Ibby Bridges.
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