For EllenMillion‘s prompt. Captain Fuze, who appeared in the Alder by Post, is my new favorite character..
They were having trouble with the Senedacht.
The Senedacht were… well, that was part of the problem. Nobody was
quite certain what they were. Best guess was a created intelligence,
but humanity had yet to deal with a created intelligence in a created
body, so they weren’t sure if the Senedacht were what it would look
In the Senedacht language, as far as the translators could tell,
“Senedacht” was a pointer that meant the creatures who called
themselves that. It didn’t mean “people” or “those who live on
Sene-something” or anything else.
The whole Senedacht language was like that. Their words had no nuance,
no borrowed meanings, no connotation. Very rarely did their words
even appear to have any relationship to each other: Their word for
ghost, for instance, looked nor sounded nothing like their word for
ghastly. It was almost as if someone had gone through their world and
cataloged things, labeling each with a collection of sounds.
That was not where the humans running the translators gave up, crying. The Senedacht were
more than willing to spend hours pointing at things, reciting the word
for them. it was tiresome, in a language where you could not
extrapolate, but it was honest work.
It was in concepts that they came to the real problem, and not even all concepts, but specific concepts. When it came to the idea of “maybe,” both human and Senedacht translators ended up breaking down, the human crying, the Senedacht fluttering its antennae and muttering, over and over again, “yes or no, yes or no.”
Captain Fuze watches it all with more than a little amusement, but only because Captain Fuze had learned how to be amused by most things. “This planet,” she murmured to her navigator, “is not going to deal well with Fuzzy logic.”
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