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199

Use of their name forces them to be aware of the one truth they can never know. TL;DR: If demons seek permanent power but trust no one, they put themselves in a strange position where mathematical truisms paint them into a corner which leaves their soul small and frail holding all the strings. Use of their name suggests you might know how to tug at those ...


139

What you describe for a hive mind is also true for a single mind. And yet we all write down things not only for other people, but also for ourselves. The hive mind would not need the first reason, but would still need the second. At first it would surely develop specialized members ("druids" or "librarians" or "lore-keepers") to act as memory cells for the ...


112

Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra. Though the universal translator (in Star Trek: TNG) can translate their words, the Tamarians communicate only through allegory, which baffles the Enterprise crew because they do not know the stories to which the Tamarians are referring. Likewise, the Tamarians cannot understand Picard's straightforward use of language.


97

As a real life example, consider the Chinese writings Pinyin and Hanzi. Pinyin is a romanization of the sounds of the words, while hanzi is the characters like 漢字 *. Now in the real world, people know how to read both, but it would be easy to construct a world where the lower class is only taught pinyin and the upper class is taught hanzi. This would fit ...


97

The lecture hall was still and silent as the old man limped towards the waiting chalk boards. One hand was a withered claw, one eye missing and covered by a patch. Conflicting rumours said his limp came from a wooden leg, or an old injury, or something more mysterious. What is certain is that every student there had heard enough to be nervous. In a quiet ...


94

Simple, make the language Oligosynthetic. Oligosynthetic languages are languages that have 50-200 words and simply combine words to create new concepts. For example; Let's say I want to say hell, in English I would say hell. In an oligosynthetic language, I would say: Inverse-help-place or hurt-place. In an oligosynthetic language, the word that inverses a ...


92

Let's consider a real historical example Let's fix the historical period to the 14th century, and let's say that "language 1" is French and "language 2" is Romanian. Both French and Romanian are descended from Latin (which is thus "language 0"), and in the 14th century, they had had no contact for about 1000 years. No 14th century Frenchman spoke Romanian, ...


89

It’s not only possible, it exists as you describe. Italian, French (Provençal, really), Catalan, Spanish and Portuguese (and many local dialects thereof) merge continuously into each other, and everyone can understand their near neighbours in both directions, even across international borders where the language nominally changes, but Sicilians and Portuguese ...


87

"I hope you get (fatal health problem) and crawl back into the (lower lifeform) nest you spawned from and die, you (deformed) (disease)-ridden piece of (low status) (socially unacceptable habit) filth!" "(Predator) bite me, I'm cursing too much again!" Basically, any bad thing that can happen to one (swearing and cursing), or anything that makes one ...


86

There's practically no correlation between the complexity of a given language and the complexity of the writing system used to represent it. Japanese and Korean are both very complex languages, able to convey a wide range of meaning and context. Yet, Japanese uses thousands of characters to represent it in writing, and Korean uses 24. Also, when talking ...


83

When the Roman conquered Greece, they were so fascinated from their civilization that they put a straw in that land and started avidly sucking their culture. It was common practice for students to go to Greece for studying in Greece. This didn't reach that far to replace Latin with Greek, but it gives you an hint of what could be a solution to your problem:...


75

To not have anything in mind about a particular language is asking a bit much. If the names are to be spoken, and thus based on the sound of the language, you need to know something about that. Similarly, for written names, you'd need a minimal idea about the language's building blocks and their composition. This can't be avoided since it is at the heart of ...


75

I don't have a reference but some philologists and linguists have speculated that you could survive (explain who you are, ask for employment and food, etc.) in a foreign land with as few as 500 words. Henry C. Fenn, author of several language texts, felt that a vocabulary of 5000 words was sufficient to support learning new words by context, e.g. by ...


71

I would recommend google translate for this little effort. Pick a language that fits the style of your world/or a particular nation depending on your scale. This mainly means find a language where the sound fits the world's setting/style Pick words with meanings that fit and then use the one word, or perhaps splice two or three together. Once you do this ...


70

The simplest solution is that in both population you have some rare few scholars who speak language 0 and can communicate in this language, even though they do not actually speak each others' modern day language 1 or 2. This is basically how political and scientific discourse was kept alive in the middle ages in most parts of Europe where Latin became the ...


65

Urdu and Hindi are another example of this. The grammar and a large part of the vocabulary is essentially identical between the languages, but the writing in Urdu is based on Arabic and some vocabulary -- mostly formal or poetic language -- is from Arabic and Persian roots. In contrast, the writing in Hindi comes from Sanskrit, as do the corresponding poetic ...


64

Fear. Speaking the True Name of a Demon, tells the Demon two very important things, one you know its name and two you speak the Adamic language. These two things allow you to do something else - speak the True Name in reverse. This has the effect of unmaking the Demon, just as the act of (the god of your universe) speaking the Name, created him, as (god) ...


64

The Russians did it: the Russian Empire, and its successors the Soviet Union and the Russian Federation established Russian as the language for official and inter-ethnic communication. It worked. Georgians, Armenians, Kazakhs, Turkmens, Azeris and so on learned Russian in school and used it as the language of culture, learning, justice, trade and official ...


63

There are a few ways to go about this... She's not the first Simply put she isn't the first English speaking person to be there, maybe of the few that came before her who spoke English one came into a position of power and the people just took up the language. It happens. Coincidence Simple enough, although in all honesty, it's a 1 in a who-knows-how-big ...


57

Here are some root words and evolutions from various European languages that have been used for king equivalents: Latin Imperator (meaning one who commands) → Emperor Latin Caesar (from the name) → Kaiser (German), Czar/Tsar (Russian/Slavic) Latin Augustus (from the name). Became the senior title to Caesar when referring to the multiple Emperors of the ...


56

What you want is a Pantograph. This is a device used to scale images up and down. It also lets you work in one space while the real rune is in another. You mention that the rune takes all sorts of exotic materials, so if your original is just a piece of paper, it should not trigger the effect. Meanwhile, the copy is your exotic rune material, and you ...


55

Orwell didn't mean that the entire English language would be reduced to just one word, but that each concept would be reduced to one word. That is, instead of having many words with shades of meaning, like "pretty", "beautiful", "attractive", etc, there would be just one word for this idea. The idea is that alternate meanings and shades of meaning would be ...


54

Languages take immense effort to learn, and people will only learn them if it's socially or economically inescapable. Zompist Choose a combination of stick and carrot depending of how powerfull the government is and how dirty they wanna play: Train and license teachers that will strictly teach in the conlang. Open schools that will educate students in ...


53

Language that requires more than sound If your translator works via sound, it would struggle with visual communication. Imagine a language where hand motions indicate the past vs. present, verb conjugations, etc. Update: Smells could also add to the language. Touch, also (let's say you hold your hand against theirs, and press different fingers to ...


52

Yes, it is possible. In general there will be a trend towards a single script, as it has huge practical advantages. But there were and are examples of different scripts for the same language. In Germany Fraktur was used far into the 20th century. Why? Just because (basically). Sure, it is the same alphabet but a different font. Yet a lot of people find it ...


51

No kurwa Lower classes often have a curse word that can mean anything from agreement to joy to disagreement. In Polish, one word ("kurwa") can also mean, with small modifiers, drunk, angry, thrown out of a bar, and many more. If you are creating dystopia, using curse word like this can be your way. Nice to read: https://workout4brain.wordpress.com/2015/...


51

can a number of letters in alphabet suggest how advance the civilization is? There is no correlation between the technological advancement of a civilization and the number of symbols in its alphabet. Do you want some counterexamples? The Roman Empire (and the shepherd founding it) used the same alphabet we use today, yet we are way more advanced then them ...


49

I know language is not easy to learn, so I have a little bit strange idea: would a civilization simpify their language just because it is too difficult to learn?/ I am surprised that there are so many answers stating that is impossible and has never been tried. The best example is the reform of Turkish. http://countrystudies.us/turkey/25.htm With ...


48

Yes, it is absolutely possible. There are 3 easy ways to achieve this I can think of right now: 1: A civilization could advance to a point were global communication is as easy as (or easier than) it is in current day earth and then through some referendum decide to change the official language everywhere to a single global language. Such a change would not ...


48

Get to know other languages as that will give you a good feel for how languages can be constructed. The Frankfurt International School has a set of pages that describe the differences between English and many other major languages. These pages are written in English and discuss alphabets, phonologies, grammar and tenses. Familiarity with other languages ...


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