Challenge #02475-F285: Dismantling BabelsteemCreated with Sketch.

in fiction •  2 months ago 


Humans may not be able to recreate the visual cacophony of many species in the Allegiance due to a lack of chromatophoric organs,
(though the "body art" some inflict upon themselves both temporarily with chemical compounds on the Dermis, as well as via repeated and what they call "minor" puncturing of said dermal tissue coupled with the injection of colouring chemicals)
But what they can do with their vocal and pneumonic systems in mimetic creation and improvisation is incredible, and now it seems their version of GalStand, often referred to GalSimple, is starting to become the norm on the outer rim due to its ease of use by everyone for communicating -- Adam In Darwin

Communication is... a problem. Most species rely on sound waves, specifically compressing and de-compressing air in rapid oscillation to make specific and unique noise. The form these noises take are as many and varied as the concept of noise itself. Others communicate strictly visually with flashes of light or with movements of their body. Some communicate mostly through scent. Understandably, this has lead to many difficulties and assistive communications devices.

Further problems occurred when linguistic contamination occurred, species picking up other species' words or phrases because they were just so darned useful, mashing them into their own means of communication, and moving onwards from there. Something had to be done, and that something was GalStand. A collection of the most popular, useful, and versatile words and phrases with the pronunciation adjusted so that the most peoples can say them with the least amount of garbling. For those with non-verbal communication, there is GalStand Sight and GalStand Scent. GalStand is relatively easy to translate into GalStand Sight and GalStand Scent.

Then the Humans came along. They had languages with long, complicated histories out of creatively borrowing words from other languages and cultures, and using them for their own nefarious purposes[1]. The creoles fissioned as a direct result. What also emerged was a new, pared-down language with a minimal grammar structure and simple conjunctions of meaning. Humans took one look at the increasingly-complicated GalStand, figured out the minimal possible ways to communicate meaning, and created GalStand Simple. Which, in turn, was quickly pared down to GalSimple.

Humans were adept at imitation and mimicry. They could, with a few false starts, echo sounds they hear with remarkable accuracy. Anyone who doubts the vocal plasticity of Humans has never heard a Beatboxer at their trade. The N'Ozzies, especially, seem to be very good at mimicry. Nevertheless, the Humans were the one that refined GalStand to its barest basics. They were also the ones who pared down GalSight and GalScent down to their most basic forms of meaning. They invented communication rigs that could input one and output another for the relevant users. They weren't as effective as a living translator but, in emergency situations, in extreme and unpredictable situations, they could make meaning understood.

It should be no surprise at all that GalSimple spread like wildfire. Not just through the Edge Territories, not just within the Galactic Alliance, but into any space where Humans and Human allies spread their near-viral influence. GalSimple has become so universal that species who have never heard of the Galactic Alliance have a grasp of it. It has become, intentionally or not, the Lingua Universa, even if the cogniscent only knows the words, want and trade.

Humans have certain knacks. One of them is mimicry. Another is creating things so inherently useful that nobody is willing to believe that anyone created it in the first place. Then other species use it to complain about how useless the Humans seem to be.

[1] Looking at you, English.

[Image (c) Can Stock Photo / dagadu]

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