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My Work

The Rabbit Hole, Volume Two

Challenge 47

Challenge 45

Jody Lynn Nye

by Dennis M. Myers, 06/8/2019

I recently met Jody Lynn Nye. What a wonderful, generous human being. She was one of the leaders of a writer's workshop with Allen Wold. Allen's been doing those things for so long they should just call them Woldshops. Jody gave me some great encouragement, and during the course of events, helped me work out some issues I was having with the opening of my Silvernut story (yes, that's my squirrel story). I wanted to name a character after her, but I need to be cautious about that. In this context, human names are only a coincidence. The beings I am writing about don't speak English, and are not human. I named the lead Kayla, after my niece, but have had to bend over backwards to make sure other names sound similar enough that it can be ignored.

In this particular story, I am being adamant that the people do not speak English, and even so-called related languages are not even similar. Of course I need to write it in English so that my readers can understand the story without having to learn an invented language.

That makes me wonder, though. Are we going to someday progress to a point where we'll have stories presented in their native, real or fictional, languages, and simply have that skill uploaded to our minds?

While I'm not sure that's how it will actually work, it is a fun thought experiment. In the Rise of the Automated Empire stories, I have embedded "controllers" or computer systems that could translate languages on the fly. It didn't mean you could understand Japanese, but you could read their subtitles in real time. I might even go so far as to say they could be dubbed into your audio nerve in real time too. That means we get to really understand each other while we converse.

But I listen to some really good Japanese rock music (Band-Maid). Now I have to wonder, would the translator also be able to keep the melody while it shifted the words around? Probably only if it already knew the lyrics. Because word order changes from language to language, real time melody synchronization might be a bit of a task. Although... maybe you could have the song on a slight delay. Now isn't that a nice rabbit hole to climb down?

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