*thinks of cute person* *smushes face into pillow* *melts*
____and thorns for quills_____
a statistical improbability trying to find their place in this world just like everybody else. because we are all improbabilities.
*thinks of cute person* *smushes face into pillow* *melts*
he can play piano
He can play guitar
He can do this
He does the jaw thing
He wears glasses while driving
He rolls up his sleeves
He knows how to use a sword
His acting ability
His warm up drills
The “Loki” Grin
He can sing
He can dance
He cares dearly about children
He cares about world hunger problems
He learned the violin to play the part of Adam in Only Lovers Left Alive
He’s so humble
He’s very inspirational
Making me jealous will only push me away from you. It won’t make me want you more. I’m not very competitive, if I see someone who’s making you a lot happier than I am, I’ll back up because I’ll assume you want that person a lot more. Although it’ll hurt seeing someone other than me make you happy, I’ll leave it to them to keep you entertained. I don’t like the feeling of being unwanted or being just second best. I’m a very jealous person and I hate it.
Anonymous asked: I thought the problem with the "Common Speech" thing in fantasy is that it always seems to be the humans' native language, which makes them into the asshole tourists shouting at the foreigners in English until they understand them.
The original post about the level of hegemony implied in having a common speech doesn’t really speak to that, though. I mean, that issue with common speech seemed to be the unspoken implication that somebody had enough political power to compel or make it necessary for everyone in a huge expanse of territory to be able to communicate with them effectively, regardless of natural inclination. Which, if you’re dealing with a setting that doesn’t have enough trade or travel to make that worth anyone’s while, is really kind of freaky. And in that sort of situation, humans speaking it as a native language doesn’t mean a whole lot*, especially when you’re talking about a setting with a lot of other powerful, unified, non-human races.
But to answer the question you seem to be asking: It depends. Common speech is a literary device, so you have more or less care being exercised depending on the author and editor, and it can run from making sense to making humans look awful.
Sometimes you get points where it specifies that the characters are speaking common to a group of strangers, but there’s like, zero indication if that’s what they normally use amongst themselves, or if they switched to it just then, or what. Sometimes you look in an appendix or a wiki for the work, and you find out that there’s like five different languages in addition to common that everyone’s speaking, but the text rarely specifies what’s going on when or who speaks what. Sometimes there’s no mention of any linguistic difficulties or language barriers no matter how diverse the setting or cast, and you’re left going “So you all speak the same language, or…?” Sometimes you get like Tolkien’s Rohirrim running around speaking common right off the bat, but then it turns out that they definitely have their own language, and it’s just that if you’re not Rohirrim you probably don’t speak it so there’s no use yelling at you in it.
And a lot of times you’re working with a quest narrative, so the author just omits a lot about the main characters’ native cultures/home villages/whatever and leaves you guessing how big a dick they’re being while they’re barging through other cultures, yelling in Human at the top of their lungs like an asshole. (It’s probably worth mentioning here that it’s not so much always the humans’ native language as the main characters’ native language. Granted, most times the main characters are human, but the most influential example of “Common Speech = Main Characters’ Native Language” is probably still hobbits at this point.)
The rest of this friggin’ novel is under the cut, because I’m pretty sure I kind of rabbited away from your question after this.
*The world has roughly 400 million people who speak Spanish as a native language. Spain’s population is just under 50 million. Case in point, you know?
There’s also just the extra-story (as in outside, not more) issue of how much time and attention do you want to spend on language. So for example, in a show like Star Trek (which isn’t high fantasy but where this question rightly should show up A LOT), it’s probably just not worth it because you’d have to go through the same damn motions every single time, and a lot of the time they’re meeting entirely new cultures/species anyway so it’s not like they’d HAVE a translator. (Computers, handwaving, etc.) But they do have some established languages being translated between one another (see: Uhura’s job), and the basic fact of a shared language among the main cast follows naturally from the fact that they all work for an interplanetary military organization. Same “do we really want to keep bothering with this” issue goes for Doctor Who and the TARDIS’s translation faculties, but without those intermediate factors. This makes sense not only because it would be incredibly annoying to go through the same motions every time, but also because it is (or was) a kids’ show, and his kind of practical detail is less likely to be important to those viewers.
But books are different from shows, obviously, in that you don’t have to reestablish this kind of interactive protocol twenty+ times in a row, multiple years in a row. But even with that consideration removed, not every story ought to really spend its time on this. The Enchanted Forest Chronicles benefit from taking place in a relatively small geographical area (and also just being meta as all hell), but you have multiple species of intelligent beings (dwarves, elves, humans, dragons) all reading and speaking in the same languages. But for that story, it makes sense, because it’s very much about playing with the archetypal forms of fairy tales in a way that’s still friendly to a pretty young reading audience. Whereas, given all the geopolitical maneuvering that goes on in the Kushiel’s Dart series, it’s actually super important that all of these places have their own, very different languages, and that we have to see Phedre go through the trouble of learning them, either academically or through immersion, because it shows us a whole lot about a) how difficult her various situations are and b) why she’s special and important; why nobody else could do what she does over the course of her endeavors.
This obviously doesn’t mean that authors never make the wrong choice. For example: I love Tamora Pierce to death. But in the Alanna series, the fact that the Bazhir (basically Arabs) don’t seem to have a separate language of their own is just a terrible choice, because the fact that they’re culturally distinct and historically separate from the rest of Tortall is super important to the way they’re developed in the narrative and the way they reflect on how Tortall itself is changing politically. Now, in that series, the Scanrans (basically Vikings) don’t have a separate language either; but in the Protector of the Small series, they do. The Bazhir still don’t seem to. So she amended the problem on one side, but not the other, and I’m really not into that. The Scanrans are a whole other country, sure, so it makes sense they wouldn’t speak the same language, but the Bazhir really haven’t been part of Tortall for very long. There should still be signs of distinct linguistic heritage, at the very least. And that imbalance is worse because Arabs or Arab-analogue cultures tend not to get the better end of the stick in fantasy, and so the neglect of their distinct linguistic heritage makes the Bazhir that much closer to set pieces (though in most other ways they’re handled pretty well, IMO).
tl;dr: linguistic choices (i.e. who has one of their own and who doesn’t) aren’t always that important; there may even be good non-story reasons for not addressing them as much as one might for pure in-story logic; but when they are relevant, they can be very important to the story, and it really sucks when authors don’t think it through.