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Pixie, no bigger than a tennis ball, has coexisted along side human for as long as history can remember, note that the pixie were never treated as pet, however slavery and smuggling activities are on the rise making these pixie highly sought after in the developed countries.

Suppose the pixie is as intelligent as an average 5yo healthy child, how can we communicate with the pixie effectively without resorting to technology?

Even if they could speak with their tiny vocal cords, all we would hear is just a sharp, high pitched screeching, let alone showing us their middle digit just a few meters away.

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  • $\begingroup$ Pixie like Tinker Bell? $\endgroup$ – Alexander von Wernherr Jan 17 '17 at 8:54
  • $\begingroup$ @Alexander von Wernherr: yes think tinker bell only smaller than a tennis ball. $\endgroup$ – user6760 Jan 17 '17 at 8:56
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There are multiple methods that could be used here, and potentially used in conjunction for greater effect.

1: Interpretive dance (AKA Semaphore): If the pixies wave their arms around then they will be of similar size to a hand, and as such can use their arms, torso or entire body to convey information in a manner similar to sign language. This would be easy for a pixie due to a better strength-weight ratio.

2: Sign language: From the human side, their hands can be used to mimic the pixie dancing and provide communication down to the pixies.

3: Speaking: Think about it. The pixies have been around as long as humans, our two languages will have developed side by side. Their language, though high and squeaky, can still convey meaning to our lower pitched ears. Similarly our lower pitched uttering can still convey information. Even if the two languages are dissimilar we should be able to pick out differences in pitch, timing and timbre from the pixies, and they in us. If the two languages have developed in concert then there is no reason that children of both races won't learn to be bilingual, speaking in their own language and listening in both human and pixie. Even hums, whistles and clicks can be used to convey an awful lot of meaning. Anyone who has brought up a child can confirm that nonsense words and seemingly meaningless syllables can actually mean something (A fact that Roald Dahl uses well in his books). Potentially you could even have this language be musical, with the various parts of pixie/human male/female combining harmoniously in conversation.

4: Drumming: Drum signals can be made on any open surface, or even on the torso of either species, and can be used audibly or just as a gentle tap. There are a variety of tapping or drumming languages available, the most well known is Morse Code, though that's not an ideal language for rapidly conveying meaning, and it's likely that more specific drumming patterns would evolve along with these two species.

Of course, a combination of these methods might arise from the natural formation of the language, so look forward to a pixie tap-dancing on your shoulder while whistling like some form of demented bluebird.

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  • $\begingroup$ Interpretive dance is a great idea! $\endgroup$ – Willk Jan 17 '17 at 14:12
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Magnifying Glass and Sign Language. This would give an analogue language between the two species and eliminate the screeching problem.

While strictly still being technology the following system could be used: One could have a comm-station that works like a telescope. From pixie to human the image is magnified so that the human can see the pixie's gestures. From human to pixie the image is shrunken, easier for our pixie to see than hands twice their size.

Other than that perhaps a morse code-like communication system. Knocking on a bell or drum.

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  • $\begingroup$ Sign language - OK. Magnifying glass? Not really. Tennis ball sized dolls are available, and I'm clearly able to see their digits. Also, small kitten was able to see and comprehend my gestures. So, glass is just optional, signs could work without it. $\endgroup$ – Mołot Jan 17 '17 at 9:51
  • $\begingroup$ @Molot. True. However it would make things easier for both parties in terms of eye fatigue. $\endgroup$ – Lu22 Jan 17 '17 at 9:58
  • $\begingroup$ Depends on parties. For me, I usually skip magnifying glass due to fatigue caused by spherical and chromatic aberrations. But, of course, your mileage may vary. $\endgroup$ – Mołot Jan 17 '17 at 10:00
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    $\begingroup$ Yeah. For instance I have difficulty watching films in cinemas if I don't sit at the last 2 rows, and there are those that can't see unless they're close, so it would be a situational option I suppose. $\endgroup$ – Lu22 Jan 17 '17 at 10:28
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Maybe the Pixies could write on a piece of paper.

For them it would be a big painting and for humans it would be a tiny note, but we would be able to read it. This kind of communication might take a while and it might not always be easy to understand the Pixies, as five-year-olds might struggle to properly express themselves in a written communication.

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They could use cups or other cone-shaped objects to amplify their voice. Or maybe they will sit on your shoulder and talk directly into your ear.

About the high pitched screeching, well, not all humans can understand other creatures.

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