May 26, 2019 9:10 PM
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"Usefulness, courage, and good moral character are all common associations."

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"Good moral character? Clearly you don't know how to translate that or you wouldn't need a loanword, but can you give some other examples?"

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"Concern with idealistic principles for personal behavior and/or practically living by such principles, including but not limited to nor consistently incorporating all of the following: honesty, fairness, generosity, forgiveness, kindness, various cultural conceptions of honor, nonviolence, loyalty, mercy, various cultural conceptions of appropriate sexual, psionic, and etiquette behaviors, and resistance to incentives of personal gain when making certain classes of far-reaching choices."

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"Resistance to incentives of personal gain? You sounded like you were describing good neighbors until then, but that sounds more like an insane person."

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"Responding to incentives of personal gain when making political decisions or other decisions that affect many other people is called 'corruption', a negatively connoted term."

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"What do you expect people to do instead?"

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

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"Does 'corruption' have an antonym?"

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"In some languages, yes." It lists words.

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"I'm still confused but you probably can't help because you know things about languages and not about cultures. Do you know if there are other resources besides you and the laws that I have access to right now?"

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"I do not know."

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Sigh. "In that case let's get back to the laws."

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It resumes translating laws.

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Eventually T'Mir asks if she wants vegetables with cheese or lentil soup for the next meal.

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"I don't know what cheese is, so I suppose I'd prefer lentil soup."

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"Cheese is a product made from intentionally curdled milk," T'Mir says, sticking both things in the warmer, "but if you haven't had it it might not agree with your digestion, so the lentils can be yours."

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"Where I'm from we don't drink milk except as children."

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"Some humans naturally have the ability to digest milk comfortably even as adults, but not all of them. Probably best you avoid dairy, I don't have any of the medicine that would let you try it."

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"Thank you for the warning. And the lentils."

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"You're welcome."

The warmer dings. She hands over the lentils and eats the veggies and cheese herself.

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"I don't understand what that means, is it an idiom?"

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"It's something that people say after being thanked. It would expand into 'you are welcome to the free use of the thing you just thanked me for' but is often used more as a matter of course."

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"...That sounds like you're trying to say it's acceptable not to repay you."

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"That's not actually a generally understood implication - people say 'thank you' and accordingly 'you're welcome' about financial transactions sometimes - but yes, that's the etymology."

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"Ah." She has so many questions about that but it's probably not worth asking them. "It turns out that foreign etiquette is confusing."

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