Hi Simon, “The next twenty years” quote is from the new Blue Beetle movie where one of the characters say “People think that crossing the border is hard. You know what’s hard. The next 20 years”

Mark Kermode mentioned it when reviewing the movie on Kermode and Mayo’s Take podcast

Expand full comment
Aug 26Liked by Simon K Jones

Now I need to know who's doing the equivalent of driving to another suburb to dump their hard rubbish by the side of the road. 😁

I've already marked that language tool, to play with. What a great find. I was impressed with the output. I listened on audio, the foreign language was convincing. It was a nice little drop-in for the story.

I'm enjoying the foray to the refugee camp, a new aspect of the triverse. I hope we're going to have a few more episodes.

Expand full comment

As a translator (applied linguist?) who deals with differences in language & culture every day, I'm so glad you made the effort to portray different languages on Palinor! I dream about inventing my own conlang so definitely need to check out Vulgarlang, thanks for that tip.

One thing to think about in general is that language, like any other part of worldbuilding, is connected to & informs its environment. It can be very useful & even fun to think about how a language might express the cultural mindset it's rooted in, ie. which concepts are especially important in this particular culture that might be reflected in its grammar and/or vocabulary. One common example is the Inuit having a lot of words for different kinds of snow. Another might be Japanese having a lot of words & ways to describe hierarchical relations within a group, eg. family or company, because knowing hierarchy & how to treat others based on where they stand in relation to yourself is super important in Japan.

And it's these aspects that aren't directly translatable that make for the most interesting conflict too! Just an idea if you do decide to pick this up again in future chapters. ;)

Expand full comment

Love your thoughts on languages in sci fi! One of my favorite comedic science fiction adventure series makes use of a universal translator that automatically turns bad words into similar sounding gibberish. A clever way to make the tried and true staple something fresh and fun!

Expand full comment