When reading in an alien's POV, do you except alien terms?

Meaning, if the alien is on its own planet, and is telling the reader about a blanket, do you expect the alien to say ‘blanket’ or use its word for it?

  • Use whatever language the story is written in
  • Use the alien’s word for it and give description or subtext for readers to figure out the meaning

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You can mix it up. Doesn’t have to be limited to a specific language.

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Neither. I give a translation of the alien’s word. So it’s a blanket. Sometimes there’s no word with the right, so first a bit of research is need to see if there actually is an appropriate word. If there isn’t then construct a word out of recognizable word parts. If the word is either constructed or obscure use it in such a way that the reader can figure out the meaning from the context.

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Are asking us if you should translate the whole story into English or just some it? Most of us don’t speak alien languages, so leaving alien words untranslated in it wouldn’t help us read it very well.

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I would use the books language as if it’s being translated for the reader, no one wants to sit there and read things they don’t understand.

Depends on what you are doing it’s Accept, except is exclusionary. If you are trying to torque with the readers head then yeah any form of whatever language is fine…
“There was me that is Alex, and my three drooges, that is Pete and Gorgie and Dim, and we sat in the Karova milk bar trying to make up our razoodocks what to do with the evening. The Karova served milk plus that is milk plus velocet, or drencrum,”
Okay paraphrased a little I didn’t get the quote exactly right, but you get the idea, but a clockwork orange is a good example of where language plays a part. You get this a lot too with Phillip K Dick, … Do Robots Dream of Electric Sheep… stuff like that… Hope that helps a lil.

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Being a FarScape fan, I absolutely have no problem with alien terms for things like time measurements, food items, or tools. As long as the reader can discern the meaning.

Personally, for common, everyday objects, I would just use the word we’re all familiar with for the object. If there’s something special about the object, perhaps an alien material that the blanket is made out of, then I might come up with an alien term for it.

The aliens uses a different pattern of speech, so I suppose it is both.
For example.
humans would say
“Would you like some cake?”
they would say
“Oh for you to have the cake today?” written in English but rearranged in a way that still gives the aliens a little social construct with the dialog.

If someone was paying too many compliments to a human, we would wave them away and say something like oh you, get outta here, or shut the door or simply oh pffft,

They would say
“Too much from you to me in that for this time,”

It seems implausible to me that the aliens would use our words with mixed up grammar(patterns of speech) Normally vocabulary and grammar are translated at the same time. So

PATER noster, qui es in cœlis; sanctificatur nomen tuum: Adveniat regnum tuum; fiat voluntas tua, sicut in cœlo, et in terra.

is rendered as

Our father who art in heaven hallowed be they name; they kingdom come; they will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Not as

Father ours. Who is in sky; sacred name be; come reign be; done will yours be in sky and in earth.

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The aliens probably have their own word for blanket, which in English translates to blanket, so if the entire story is in English, then it should be too, unless it’s something that has no exact equivalent on earth.

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The translators do the translating… it’s the context which is different. It separates the alien from the human.
in my works you would know if the aliens are speaking by the way they get it out.
but it is sci fi… just keeping the fiction in the science :wink:

The translators scramble the grammar. This show more about the translator than it does about the aliens. Lets be clear. “Translator” is used for written material. “Interpreter” is used for spaken material. If in the story there’s some sort of technology translating spoken communication, it’s doing interpretation. If it’s translating written communication that is translation.
How you handle this relates the the POV structure of the story. You can have the narrator within the story and assume that they told the story in their native language. Then a translator comes through as a second POV layer rendering the story in English. This gives a 4 layer POV:
1)POV character. 2)narrator. 3)translator. 4)author.
Scrambling grammar is on level 3 or 4, not on level 1 unless the POV character is using glitchy translation/interpretation software.
You can compress the layers by combining author, translator, and narrator, but this tends to destroy suspension of disbelief by make the author intrusive.

Its sort of at least in my head, like this. There are ceratin mannerisms in their speech patterns that don’t translate over quite correctly.
The speech pattern is very very loosly based of the Babylonian Me’s as in Innanna and the 94 Me’s(Me’s are actually divine objects or attributes but the way the 94 Mes is written check it out sometime.
It is duplicitous, but there is hidden meaning between the very like statements. I don’t do Author intrusion unless is a funny transition like mean while a billion and one mile away.
The aliens I have are bi pedal felid aliens, and they have a lot of inferred communications, with their ears tails and other tells.
There are some food items that are specifically alien that have no human name, so it is described by its physical condition.

I’m having a bit of trouble with the spellling here I assume this means

I will check it out.

ME’s explained
[I assume this is a book title and so italiicized] ~ no book, no tablets with decrees vitures holy relecs. combined Inanna and the 94 Me’s is kinda how to build a sumer babaloynian culture.

( Mes are actually divine objects or attributes but the way the 94 mes is written[something missing from this sentence].
Yes missing this The duplicitous manner in which the me’s are written give feel of something that has a name in words but is also has a dose of semiotics to complete the meaning of the words. the me’s are not relateable in todays terms at all, they are their own thing.
I believe it is one of the first written attemps to explain prefered social behaviors.

Good stuff. My confusion comes from spelling. The apostrophe indicates possesive: as in [the me’s language is Sumarian] If it’s plural there’s no apostrophe. “Me’s” could also be a contraction of “me is.” Thus my confusion.
I was also considering that it might be 49 of me. Maybe you have 49 clones.
I’m sorry. I’m a poor speller myself and can usually skim right over non-standard spelling, but I was stumped. You might want to try Grammarly or some other spell check program.

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thank you I have grammerly and it doesn’t really recognize ancient Sumerian terms … actually grammerly doesnt recognize a lot of my words. ME (may) or Mes(mays)
the apostrophe is my bad… it was not a thing then…