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 ...).


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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  • Ramen means "the frame", whereas "frame" would be "ram". It is not necessarily a direct translation of the English word "frame". It is a direct translation when you mean something surrounding something else, or to frame a painting. But not when you refer to building frames as in scaffolding. – Amarth Sep 11 '19 at 17:26
  • "Råmän" seems to be the correct meaning, though unlike the others, it is not a real word. "Rå" might also mean cruel or raw. But rå it is also used to describe an imprecise mythological creature of the forest. Roe deer is I believe a word taken from Swedish, which has the equivalent "Rådjur", which in turn would originate from ancient Swedish. Some creature of the forest. You have the "Skogsrå" for example, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skogsr%C3%A5. – Amarth Sep 11 '19 at 17:30

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