Episode #125 of the Stack Overflow podcast is here. We talk Tilde Club and mechanical keyboards. Listen now
190

In an article addressed, this subject was. “Surprisingly, there are a very few languages—it seems to be in single digits—that use OSV [Object Subject Verb] as their basic or normal order,” Pullum told me. “As far as I know, they occur only in the area of Amazonia in Brazil: they are South American Indian languages. One well-described case is a language ...


119

What is seen in the image means "The world is ahead". The first part is hidden, but it is likely a variation of "Home is behind".1 In The Lord of the Rings books The quote Home is behind, the world ahead was first written in the Lord of the Rings as part of a poem titled A Walking Song. It is sung by Frodo shortly after leaving Hobbiton and encountering ...


117

Rowling is using alternate spelling to bring across Fleur's accent. In English-speaking popular culture, it's common to stereotype French people speaking English as replacing voiced dental fricatives (the "th" in words like "this" and "the") with voiced alveolar sibilants ("z", as in "zoo")1. So "zey" and "ze" are meant to be understood as "they" and "the", ...


91

It is hard to say for certain, as the search terms to apply for "smurfing" aren't very clear. However: Although there's likely to be many stories for children where a character replaces a word with some nonsensical term, it appears that The Smurfs themselves are indeed the first to do it on a large scale, and as part of a species' main language. I started ...


90

C-3PO is programmed for etiquette and protocol; so undoubtedly he would speak Galactic Basic to R2-D2 if any others are present, so that everyone can understand what he is saying. However this doesn't explain why he speaks it to R2-D2 when no one else is around, for example when they are alone in the desert wastes of Tattooine. We know C-3PO prefers some ...


83

I'm not aware of canon answer, but an in-universe common sense answer makes perfect sense. Have you EVER tried to network modem-equipped laptop with a Ethernet-equipped server with an Apple product that has some proprietary network connection (Appletalk protocol)? How about a droid with Token Ring and another one with X.25? How about something more modern ...


71

I'm pretty sure Jules Verne is going to be a frontrunner of this. He wrote originally in French, and is the second most translated author in the world (after Shakespeare and just before Agatha Christie). He has had a major influence on Science Fiction for more than a hundred years, with multiple screen adaptations. EDIT: The question asked for a work. It's ...


68

They almost definitely could talk, probably Melkian. Balrogs are corrupted Maiar. We know that other Maiar can speak (e.g. Gandalf, Sauron). If balrogs can't speak, it would mean they lost that ability in their transformation, which there would need to be evidence of. Durin's Bane not speaking can definitely be taken as circumstantial evidence, but it ...


65

We don't know There are no instances in any of Tolkien's writings of a Balrog speaking, so it's not clear whether they could, or what language they would have spoken. They were, however, definitely able to communicate verbally in some fashion; at the very least, they were capable of making sounds, as Durin's Bane does in the text: Gandalf lifted his ...


65

It likely doesn't, at least not properly. George R. R. Martin has said several times he only creates words as he needs them and is no linguist. In fact the actual language itself is only a handful of words. [How developed is Valyrian?] "How little" have I developed Valyrian is the real question. I am not, alas, J.R.R. Tolkien, and I cannot imagine ...


63

DUDE: The beast at Tanagra, Tenga the master of ways, Arbeth stumbles drunkenly CHICK: Hidden melody, the eye of Axionta DUDE: In the 4th song of Telzat, Subbata stealing seven treasures. CHICK: Sokath, his eyes uncovered. The song of Telzat curdles the soup of Witten. Ascent of Mount Shicta and sing the 10th song of Gizatn, Kinta the lost child Or ...


62

C-3PO learnt the Ewok language through observation. A few points from Legends have to be made to come to this conclusion: The 3PO-series protocol droids are equipped with a TranLang III communications module. It comes with up to six million galactic languages - common and obscure, organic and inorganic - at purchase. It also possessed phonetic pattern ...


62

Picard appears to speak fluent French. Not only was he born and raised in France but we see him speaking French confidently with a French accent, swearing in French under his breath and singing French songs on multiple occasions. The longest instance of Picard speaking (what appears to be fluent) French is from TNG: 11001001 MINUET: Aren’t you going to ...


61

No. In fact, I would say there is small evidence to suggest he is speaking Federation Standard (thought to be a form of English). In 11001001 (S1E15), the Bynars upgrade the Holodeck to create characters and environments that produce more realistic interactions. Riker creates a jazz bar and it is populated with a sophisticated holographic women named Minuet....


59

Out of universe, his strange syntax has a high symbolism of Yoda's personality; he always put action last. This fits well with the old master and hermit guru archetypes. In universe, we don't know much about Yoda's species mostly because "George Lucas maintains a strict policy of keeping the history, name, origin, and whereabouts of this species secret". ...


59

There is some evidence to suggest that Yoda's speech is based on, well, English. In this The Week article (I suggest reading the whole thing, the argument seems pretty convincing to me), Yoda's speech is compared to that which might be found in Shakespeare: Round about the cauldron go; in the poison entrails throw. Else the Puck a liar call. ...


59

We actually know several Wookiee words and phrases, courtesy of the Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know factbook. How to speak Shyriiwook "WYAAAAAA!" = "Hello!" "AARRR WGH GGWAH" = "Jump to hyperspace" "ROOOARRGH UR ROO" = "I have a bad feeling about this" "WWWAH RRROOOAAAH WHA?" = "Want to play some holo-chess?" Wookietranslator....


58

There's an interesting extract from The Open University's OpenLearn website on precisely this: This is easily replicated in other languages that also have follow the SVO order, but others have to be more creative. In the German translation, instead of positioning the finite verb in second place in the sentences, it moves to the end, as in Eure Sinne ...


55

Ardalambion, a fansite dedicated to analyzing Tolkien's invented languages, has asked this very question; according to him the answer is somewhere between 2 and 20, depending on how permissive you are when defining a language (emphasis his): If we consider the "historical" versions of the tongues that are relevant for the classical form of the Arda mythos,...


51

I believe that the truth lies somewhere in the middle: While Tolkien stated his dislike for allegory many times (as Cearon O'Flynn stated), it is a known fact that he did borrow much from European medieval folklore into the lore of Middle Earth — Elves, Odin (Gandalf), Ring of the Nibelungs, the Arthurian legends, and more. The Jews, while being a real ...


50

The binary language of vaporators is different from Binary, the language of droids Binary is specific a language , sometimes called droidspeak, Astromech droids such as R2-D2 communicate through an information-dense language of beeps and whistles known as Binary. It is not "binary" as we use it (having to do with the digits 0 and 1). While the ...


50

Based on what 3PO tells Han, it sounds like he doesn't explicitly know the Ewok language, and that he's extrapolating based on what he does know. He notes that they're using a "primitive dialect" and that he's not 100% sure of what he's saying to them. HAN What are you telling them? THREEPIO Hello, I think... I could be mistaken. They're using a ...


49

From Arika Okrent's In the Land of Invented Languages, page 284, talking about Tolkien and what made him different: Plenty of other authors throughout history have provided fictional languages for their imagined lands. The citizens in Sir Thomas More's Utopia (1516) have a Utopian language that looks very much like Latin. The inhabitants of the moon in ...


48

No: they don't talk at all. From Tolkien's Letters, Letter #210: The Balrog never speaks or makes any vocal sound at all. Above all he does not laugh or sneer. ... Z[immerman] may think that he knows more about Balrogs than I do, but he cannot expect me to agree with him.


47

The main reason Hutts do not always speak Basic is a sense of superiority: they believe their native Huttese is a better language, and often prefer to speak through translators rather than lower themselves. The same goes for others speaking Huttese - C3PO was possibly not deemed worthy of speaking Huttese when translating lesser beings.


44

From a Blue Peter BBC interview with JK Rowling in 2001: BPP2: Good question, good question. I've got another good question here ... what accent is Hagrid supposed to speak in? JKR: West country ... where I come from, I come from the West country. BPP3: So now we know. So Hagrid is intended to have a West Country accent.


44

Like the Smurfs I am Belgian, French-speaking native and also a comic fan since my childhood. I grew reading the smurfs, in their original version. I emphasis on this because it has an importance in this debate. The answer from Nox is very interesting, but not accurate enough when it comes to the Smurf language etymology and origin, probably because he is ...


43

No, it is not Kryptonian. The language is the Pre-Crisis 30th century shared galactic language of Interlac. It is a direct cypher made for comic readers of the Legion of Superheroes. I recognized it from issues of the Legion of Superheroes which used to have coded messages in the stories or in the letter columns when I was a growing up. Interlac is the ...


41

According to Wikipedia, Edgar Rice Burroughs' A Princess of Mars "was possibly the first fiction of [the 20th] century to feature a constructed language" and preceded Tolkien. Tolkien was far from the first to write with any invented words. Part of the problem is that a work with constructed language is either successful or forgotten, with newspeak from ...


41

Tolkien wrote an essay on this subject in 1960, called "Dangweth Pengolod." The essay is rather long, so I'm not going to quote the whole thing, but the highlight for me is this passage: [T]o the changefulness of Ea, to weariness of the unchanged, to the renewing of the union: to these three, which are one, the Eldar also are subject in their degree. In ...


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