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The Demosthenes hiearchy of exclusion goes Utlanning, Framling, Raman, Varelse, Djur.

Of these, U, F, V and D are recognizable as Swedish words:

  • Utlanning from Utlänning ("foreigner").
  • Framling from Främling ("stranger")
  • Varelse from Varelse ("creature", "being")
  • Djur from Djur ("animal", "beast")

But what does "raman" refer to? No combination of a, ä or å in the two vowel positions appears to produce any recognizable Swedish word. So where did Card get this word?

(I tend to think of Rendezvous with Rama, but it seems like a strange place for them to pop up. Of course, the piggies did do everything in trees ...).

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up vote 10 down vote accepted

Although the word Ramen literally means "frame" in Swedish (e.g. that which can be built upon) the Ansible Wikia has an alternative and (to my mind) more sensible definition;

Raman : Although not a common word, may be constructed in Swedish from rå + män, where rå indicates "coarse (not refined); brutal (crude or unfeeling in manner or speech)" and män = "man" or "person." (e.g. råmän)

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