Languages

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The population of the known galaxy speak a wide variety of languages, many having developed from species' native tongues - themselves varied - over centuries of contact and need for communication between diverse peoples from across worlds and stars. These are often regional, or common among particular subsections of society, either developed purposefully to serve a specific purpose, or molded naturally by close contact. Many of the Earth languages of the 21st century may still exist in some form, but are rarely used on the galactic stage or have shifted so significantly that they could be considered entirely different tongues, and speaking one in 2574 would be akin to speaking Middle English or High German back then.

While hundreds, if not thousands of distinct local tongues and dialects exist, only a handful of the most common spoken are described here, in the interest of brevity.

Lingua Franca

Galactic Common

Galactic Common, or GalCom is by far the most commonly spoken language in human space, Galactic Common was deliberately engineered over long years by dedicated teams of linguists from 2360 onwards as a hybrid of the earlier Sol Common and Common Skrellian in order to facilitate interspecies communication with the skrell. The language has been adopted as the official language of the Solar Confederate Government, and some degree of fluency is often a requirement for employment by major Trans-Stellar Corporations to ensure that all of their employees are capable of at least basic communication.

Tradeband

Pre-dating GalCom by a couple of decades, Tradeband was originally rapidly developed by human business interests in the immediate years following first contact with the skrell, though it did not come into common use until official cordial relations were established in 2351. Tradeband differs from GalCom in that it was designed specifically to sound especially pleasing to skrellian ears to facilitate trade while omitting syllables that the human anatomy is physically incapable of pronouncing or percieving. Over the years since, close relations between interspecies traders have incorporated more elements that are also pleasing to the human ear, and the language has become something of a common tongue in particularly trade-focused colonies, including much of the wealthy Sagittarius Heights, where it has recently been adopted as an official language in the Five Arrows. Elsewhere, the language is seen as trendy to speak, as the language of the rich and famous originating from those regions.

Sign Language

In an age of commonplace extra-vehicular activity and habitation of airless worlds, sign language is often an essential communication tool for large portions of the population.

The human galactic standard for sign language was developed from International Sign, a pidgin sign language originally developed by the deaf community in the second half of the 20th century, which gradually gained a consensus grammatical structure over the course of the following century before being formalized as a 'true' sign language by international deaf associations. This form was soon adopted by spacefarers in the early colonization boom, where international collaboration butted up against often unreliable radio communications during EVA, and in often unpressurized spacecraft. The current standard remains mostly unchanged - only expanded - with the exception of some gestures respectfully altered in light of "cultural differences" during encounters with other species.

Species Languages

These languages were developed within particular species' cultures, but are not necessarily exclusive to those species - though outsiders may have difficulty producing some of the required phonemes.

Dionaea

Rootspeak

A complex language known instinctively by Dionaea, 'spoken' by emitting modulated radio waves that audibly resemble the rustling of flora. Dionae are capable of producing a wide range of frequencies that are sometimes distinguished between; one uses high frequency waves for quick communication at short ranges, and the other extremely low frequences inperceptible to most species but capable of being detected at great range by other Dionaea

Human

Sol Common

Earth's road to a standardized international lingua franca was a slow one. Driven at first by pushback against English as a global norm within the United Nations, and similarly against the adoption or any particular 'competing' language, an early form, "United Common" was originally developed by out of frustration with the ensuing reliance on machine translation between international delegates. UC attempted to blend grammatical elements from the chief existing international languages; English, French, Mandarin Chinese, Hindi, Spanish, Arabic, and Russian, while eliminating phonemes that would prove difficult for any particular existing cultural group to pronounce. The result was flat and harsh-sounding, but functional.

Even by the time of Icarus' rise and consolidation of the United Nations' power, no clear consensus between traditional national languages had arisen and UC, already popular with many frustrated delegates, was formally adopted for diplomatic purposes and became the official requisite language for colonists departing Earth on many national expeditions. Now the definitive spoken language of space travel, the name "Sol Common" was adopted, and soon became the official language of the unified Solar Confederate Government upon its formation. Adoption on Earth actually flowed 'backwards' from space in the coming decades as supply and commerce between Earth and its colonies became an essential part of everyday business.

Since contact with the skrell and creation of Galactic Common, Sol Common has fallen out of official government use. The language remains common throughout the Sol system due to generations of entrenched use, but is beginning to fade like so many of Earth's traditional languages did in centuries prior. The language is generally recognisable to GalCom speakers, but with many unfamiliar words.

Terminus

A soft language spoken by the people of the sparsely populated, socially-conscious Precursors' Crypt region.

Gutter

Gutter originated as a Thieves' Cant of sorts during the early colonization era. The language eventually spread from the cartels and triads to the disenfranchised people of the Bowl.

Sivian Creole

A hybrid language local to the Vir system, heavily incorporating elements from the local languages of early Scandinavian colonists into a form of Galactic Common.

Many of the original settlers in Vir, particularly on Sif originated from the Scandinavian Union, and while SolCom had by then been adopted as a human national language for colonies, most of these early colonists chose to continue to speak their own languages among themselves, and carried the tongues with them to the stars. While the government would use SolCom officially, a variety of Scandinavian languages remained the language of the people, and this gradually developed into a pidgin form that combined elements of Swedish, Norwegian, Icelandic, and Danish. Following with the SCG, the colonial government would switch to the new lingua franca of GalCom for diplomatic purposes, but the pidgin remained firm.

Sif Pidgin remained in wide use until the large-scale arrival of international corporate miners exploiting the Kara subsystem, when some elements of GalCom began to enter the common vernacular by necessity of communication. During the Karan Wars and driven by Sivian national pride, the pidgin was developed into a full-fledged national language, Sivian Creole, and adopted by SifGov for all purposes outside of international communications. This persisted until the conclusion of the wars in 2412 when the system unified as VirGov and became a SCG member state, when they were required to switch back to GalCom.

In the years since, Sivian Creole has faded in popularity with the large influx of international GalCom-speaking corporate employees and Trans-Stellar fluency requirements. While GalCom has largely taken its place in public life, many Sivian native households continue to speak the language at home, especially those with nationalist leanings, and it's not uncommon for a child to enter their first year of school with only a basic understanding of GalCom, though some go on to largely forget the language once they leave home.

While in decline, the creole is still taught in 40% of Sivian schools - though not usually as the primary language, and VirGov government material from signposts and shuttle timetables to official vehicles and legal documents.

Skrell

Common Skrellian

A set of warbles and hums, the language itself a complex mesh of both melodic and rhythmic components, exceptionally capable of conveying intent and emotion of the speaker. Common Skrellian is a somewhat simplified from of the High Skrellian spoken by most Far Kingdoms skrell, incorporating less high-frequency phonemes and a generally slightly flatter range. It is most commonly spoken in regions bordering human space and by skrell visiting human space, as humans are often incapable of even percieving the nuances of the wider language. Humans are also unable to produce most of the sounds required to speak either form of Skrellian without assistive implants.

High Skrellian

The most common language among the Skrellian Far Kingdoms and government officials in all skrell regions. Has an even higher than usual concentration of inaudible phonemes compared to Common Skrellian.

Tajara

Siik

The most prevalant language of Meralar, composed of expressive yowls and chirps. Native to the Tajaran.

Akhani

The language of the sea-faring Njarir'Akhan Tajaran. Borrowing some elements from Siik, the language is distinctly more structured.

Alai

A standardized Tajaran sign language that was developed in Zarraya and gradually adopted by other nations, incorporating hand gestures and movements of the ears and tail.

Teshari

Schechi

A trilling language spoken by the diminutive Teshari. Though packs most often have their own dialects, they are usually very mutually intelligible.

Positronic

Encoded Audio Language

An efficient language of encoded tones developed by positronics for communication amongst themselves, though humans are capable of taking part with the correct cybernetics, and the language has been adopted by numerous drone manufacturers.

Prometheans

Promethean Biolinguistics

A complex language composed of guttural noises and bioluminescent signals produced within a promethean's body, a trait inherited from their slime ancestors.

Unathi

Sinta'unathi

The common standard language of the Moghes Hegemony, composed of sibilant hisses and rattles. Spoken natively by Unathi.

Vox

Vox Pidgin

The common tongue of the various Vox ships making up the Shoal. It sounds like chaotic shrieking to everyone else."

Zaddat

Vedahq

A harsh buzzing language created by the Zaddat following their exodus from their homeworld.

Quick Navigation
Species Human (Vatborn) - Synthetic (Positronic - Drone) - Skrell - Unathi - Tajaran - Diona - Teshari - Promethean - Zaddat - Vox - Other Species
Organizations Political Parties Galactic Autonomy Party - Sol Economic Organization - Shadow Coalition - Icarus Front
Corporations NanoTrasen - Aether Atmospherics and Recycling - Gilthari Exports - Grayson Manufactories Ltd - Hedberg-Hammarstrom - Hephaestus Industries - Morpheus Cyberkinetics

Vey-Medical - Ward-Takahashi -Xion Manufacturing Group - Zeng-Hu Pharmaceuticals - Other Companies

Other Colonial Assembly - Criminal and Terrorist Organizations - Sif Defense Force - Vir Governmental Authority - Minor Factions
Locations SolGov Sol (Earth - Luna - Mars) - Alpha Centauri (Heaven - Kishar) - Vir (Kara - Sif) - Tau Ceti (Binma)

Kess-Gendar (Nisp - Elysium) - Sophia - Nyx - Isavau's Gamble - Other Places

Almach Protectorate Angessa's Pearl - Vounna - Whythe - Other Places
Five Arrows New Seoul - Kauq'xum - Other Places
Alien Qerr'balak - Moghes - Rarkajar (Meralar)

Ue'Orsi - Epsilon Ursae Minoris - Other Places

Independent Casini's Reach - Eutopia - Natuna Bhūmi Bariśāl - Neon Light - New Kyoto - Relan - Shelf - Vystholm - Other Places
Other Galactic Regions - Map - Abel's Rest
Miscellaneous Events Almach Crisis - 2563 Election - Human and Positronic History - Skathari Incursion
Other Bioprinting - Education - Five Points of Human Sanctity - FTL Travel - Gene Modification - Languages - Lore Characters - Lore Primer - Media and Pop Culture - Prosthetics - Religion - Rumors - Ship Naming