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Westeros's Linguistic differences


Falcon2909
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10 minutes ago, Falcon2909 said:

How come a wildling north of the Wall is perfectly able to understand and communicate in the 'common tongue' with someone all the way down in Sunspear? In real life this would not be possible! 

For narrative's sake we have to believe they can communicate efficiently with each other

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12 minutes ago, Daenerysthegreat said:

For narrative's sake we have to believe they can communicate efficiently with each other

Yeah.  The original text was in actual Westerosi and was 5 times as long because of the number of times people had to say "huh" and "what" and explain and repeat themselves.  But after this was duly translated, Anne Groell insisted on editing it down. 

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5 hours ago, Falcon2909 said:

How come a wildling north of the Wall is perfectly able to understand and communicate in the 'common tongue' with someone all the way down in Sunspear? In real life this would not be possible! 

For the same reason that orcs in LOTR speak Westron instead of other languages. It makes a story possible.

None of the characters in Slaver Bay for example have much trouble in communicating around, when it should be like you being put in Turkey or Arabia.

Really, who would like to read a story where characters are unable to communicate?

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3 hours ago, rotting sea cow said:

 

Really, who would like to read a story where characters are unable to communicate?

You could have an interpreter like Jorah is for Dany until she learns Dothraki.

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3 hours ago, rotting sea cow said:

For the same reason that orcs in LOTR speak Westron instead of other languages. It makes a story possible.

The in-story explanation was that, since different tribes of orc all had their own tongues, they were obliged to learn the common tongue in order to communicate with each other and be organized into large armies.

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2 hours ago, Falcon2909 said:

You could have an interpreter like Jorah is for Dany until she learns Dothraki.

Dany has Jhiqui for that. Nevertheless, we see how quickly people learn languages and how easy people understand each other.  I got no problems with that. Having an hyperrealistic worldbuilding would be detrimental for the story.

1 hour ago, Mister Smikes said:

The in-story explanation was that, since different tribes of orc all had their own tongues, they were obliged to learn the common tongue in order to communicate with each other and be organized into large armies.

I know, but why Westron and not Orcon, a derivative of the black speech? Simple because we readers need to understand those orcs. We are talking of fictional works.

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33 minutes ago, rotting sea cow said:

I know, but why Westron and not Orcon, a derivative of the black speech?

Well, in the case of the Uruk Hai, I don't know why Saruman would train his own breed of Orcs to use the Black Speech.  In the Uruk Hai chapters, what we mainly hear is Saruman's Orcs quarreling with Mordor's orcs, as well as communicating with their prisoners.

In the Cirith Ungol chapters, it is hinted that Sam can understand the Orcs because it is one of the powers granted him by the One Ring.  A second Mordor encounter has two orcs from different tribes use the Common Tongue to talk to each other.  A third encounter is ambiguous, and it may be that only Frodo, who bore the Ring, could understand the Orcs; who are however, also addressing who they believe to be members of a different orc tribe.

Quote

Simple because we readers need to understand those orcs. We are talking of fictional works.

Sure.  But suspension of disbelief is a thing too.  It helps if you address the problem.

Edited by Mister Smikes
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2 hours ago, rotting sea cow said:

I know, but why Westron and not Orcon, a derivative of the black speech? Simple because we readers need to understand those orcs. We are talking of fictional works.

Actually, it is more likely due to influence of Numenor. Numenor conquered massive areas, and thus spread what would become Westron with time. Orcs are crude and tribal however, and while Sauron attempted to create the Black Speech as Orcish lingua franca, he ended up dead for a long time, and it was pointed out in the text that the Black Speech a) never took root except among the Orcs of Mordor, and b) was forgotten by everyone except the Nazgul. So Westron - which would be known by the western Orcs (in the Misty Mountains, White Mountains, Gundabad...) - was likely a natural choice.

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17 hours ago, Falcon2909 said:

How come a wildling north of the Wall is perfectly able to understand and communicate in the 'common tongue' with someone all the way down in Sunspear? In real life this would not be possible! 

How come an Alaskan north of the Canada is perfectly able to understand and communicate in the "English" with someone all the way down in Miami. In real life this is possible 

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12 minutes ago, Hugorfonics said:

How come an Alaskan north of the Canada is perfectly able to understand and communicate in the "English" with someone all the way down in Miami. In real life this is possible 

Does that really seem like a fair analogy to you? I would add that when this Edmontonian went to South Carolina a few years back I had all kinds of problems communicating in English with some of the English speaking locals.

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It is strange tbh. And it’s not like nobles can’t learn 2 languages. They are given the absolute best education, and in the Middle Ages it was perfectly normal for nobles children to learn a foreign language (unless your a Norman ruler in England). But even the Scotts learned and spoke french. 

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2 minutes ago, The Young Maester said:

It is strange tbh. And it’s not like nobles can’t learn 2 languages. They are given the absolute best education, and in the Middle Ages it was perfectly normal for nobles children to learn a foreign language (unless your a Norman ruler in England). But even the Scotts learned and spoke french. 

Even with the Normans and English, the Norman conquest of England changed the English language a lot. Dorne especially should've had more of a Rhoynar linguistic influence following this example.

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