Archives: Languages

Babel Remedies


I took the family to Blue Lake Park this afternoon. Blue Lake Park is about a mile east of Portland and a long arrow flight south of the Columbia River. Portland, and especially the east side of Portland, hosts numerous ethnic enclaves. While wandering by picnics, family reunions, or groups clustered about playground equipment I must have heard at least six different languages spoken.

That got me thinking about the problem in fantasy or science fiction of dealing with characters who don’t savvy each others’ mouth noises. If you want characters to communicate important plot information to each other, you’ve got to work through this issue.