Oct 21, 2019 10:52 AM
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"Home is like that too, that's why a lot of people speak three or four languages. Although I can pronounce two languages from home, are you in the market for another one?"

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"I will acquire any languages that are spoken in my vicinity."

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"But do you want them enough to pay for them?"

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"I do not make financial transactions."

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"Will anyone who does make financial transactions want them that much?"

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"I do not know. I know about translation software and languages."

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...She asks the translator about the kinds of magic it has words for. That'll get her some false positives - her language has a word for telepathy and she thought that was fictional until today - but it would be weird if it got her any false negatives.

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The translator has words in various languages for many types of magic vague and precise. Telepathy, or psi, is not considered technically magical.

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"What's the exact definition of the word you're translating 'magic' as?"

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"Magic is a force or effect without a basis in the conventional laws of physics, especially one which does not derive from a source understood to be divine."

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"Of or pertaining to gods, beings greater in any of several senses than typical persons, especially if understood to have moral authority."

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Echan frowns.

"...Are you thinking of warlords? People you obey because they're strong and will protect you from other people?"

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"No. 'Gods' are beings understood to be different on a fundamental level, although some cultures have believed that godhood could inhere in a member of their own kind."

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"...Are any of the people or things I've mentioned so far gods?"

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"No."

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"Okay. I think there's an inferential gap here. Do you know how soon I should expect to meet a god after we reach civilization?"

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"I do not know. I know things about languages and about translation software."

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"Is meeting a god something that has a word and if so can you tell how common a word it is?"

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"Some languages have words or idiomatic phrases for meeting gods in various capacities. They are sometimes used metaphorically. These words are roughly as common as words for planting trees, specific varieties of collateral relative, and certain processing steps in the production of various goods, to name some examples."

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Probably not a daily thing, then.

"Thank you. Do you have any words for the sort of person who rescues people stranded in space? And if you do, what can you tell me about the connotations?"

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"There are no specific words for people who rescue people stranded in space except in languages that can formulate special-purpose words on the fly."

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"So it isn't common. ...That could be because space travel is new or this is an unusual situation. What about words for people who rescue others from any life-threatening danger?"

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"There are various words for that in most languages, most positively connoted, referring to an emergency services profession, or both."

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"Positively in what way? Does it imply usefulness, wealth, foresight...?"

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