Sarah Hoyt was born and raised in Portugal, and now lives in the USA — and makes a living from writing *in English*. Her thoughts upon the nature and history of language as it has evolved among humans (specifically Homo sapiens sapiens) AND why the “universal translator” is a Bad Idea are well worth consideration by ANYONE who must deal with differences in the way we communicate with one another.
And that means Every. Single. One. of us who use the Internet, or make a meaningful living from the exchange of goods, services — and words.
Come closer. Yes, you. Come here. Listen to me. Do you hear what I’m saying? Do you understand it?
I bet you don’t, or not quite as I mean it.
Look, a recent alleged science fiction read had nanocites that adapted people to speak a universal language.
Why is it that languages get no respect when it comes to world building and future projection? Oh, it’s not a science in the sense it’s not predictive. (No, I don’t even care if some colleges consider them almost a science – mine did) but it’s a science in the sense of analysis collection and observation.
Is it because we don’t have math? (We do, you know? It’s just weird and done with different symbols.) Or is it because to paraphrase Pride and Prejudice “Any savage can talk?”
I do understand the unique difficulties of writing future language or past language for that…
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