I recently got the book Skyward by Brandon Sanderson. I've read the first few chapters, and have a question about the world: What language are the characters speaking?

I would assume English, as it is such a widely spoken second language, but it takes place in the future. So far, I've seen no mention of a language aside from Spensa writing that the group Bim is from came mainly from Korea and China. He speaks the same language as everyone else, so it could be that Korean or Chinese ended up the language.

Is there any confirmation from Brandon Sanderson (or anything within related stories and the book) of what language the humans are speaking on Detritus?

  • 3
    Spensa speaks English "“I . . .” I scratched my head. “What in the stars?” - "“Ah,” the voice said. “Excellent. Minimal linguistic deviation from Earth Standard English. Forgive the slowness of my processing—which doesn’t quite seem up to normal benchmarks—but you are human, yes? Could you tell me . . . where am I?”" – Valorum Feb 21 at 20:41
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    "But they had been human, or at least they’d used our language. Gran-Gran’s generation—the crew of the Defiant and its fleet—had known Detritus was here. They’d come to the old abandoned planet intentionally. To hide, though the landing had been far more destructive than they’d intended. I tried to imagine what it had been like for them. To leave the skies, to leave your ships, being forced to break into clans and hide." - 'Our language' in this case would appear to be English since it's (presumably) Spensa narrating. – Valorum Feb 21 at 20:43
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    "Morningtide blushed and lowered her gaze. She doesn’t speak English. I realized. Scud. I’m an idiot. The old ships had represented various Earth cultures—of course there would be groups that, after three generations of hiding as isolated clans, didn’t speak my language. I’d never thought about it before." – Valorum Feb 21 at 20:46
  • I'm going to leave these her for someone to make an answer out of (or possibly a self-answer) since I know nothing about this novel and have just scanned through it for likely looking words; "English" + "Language" – Valorum Feb 21 at 20:48

It varies.

Morningtide does not speak English.

She doesn’t speak English, I realized...of course there would be groups that...didn’t speak my language. (pp 116-117)

M-Bot says that Spensa speaks English.

“What in the stars?” “...Minimal linguistic deviation from Earth Standard English.” (pg 147)

(Emphasis mine)

  • Page numbers based on the hardcover first edition. – Stormblessed Feb 23 at 20:29

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