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Can’t You Read The Signs 4/15

Can’t You Read The Signs 4/15 published on 16 Comments on Can’t You Read The Signs 4/15

Elisa: I’m pretty sure the government only buys fluent users of Sønheim Sign to work in other countries. It looks cool and impressive to visitors when we coordinate smoothly without making any noise.

And one of my dads is deaf — not the miner one, the other one. He uses sign, so I grew up bilingual.

That’s why everyone else here has longer contracts than me . . . You’re the ones who’ve been servants for long enough to get fluent on the job.

Leif: . . . does that mean we sign with an “accent” compared to people who got fluent from deafness?

Elisa: Yeah, it does! You hold everything closer to the chest.

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16 Comments

This begs the question: how many of the guards, admins, etc can understand sign language? If they’re deliberately targeting sign language users for overseas use, it wouldn’t exactly be out of character for some of the non-property staff to also be fluent to keep an eye on things.

The “secret” servants language, used so far for minor subterfuge, might be a good deal less secure than Leif and Thorn thought.

For the sake of the servants? Hopefully not enough.

Marks to mantecadas, Katya knows each and every non-servant who knows anything more than “move your hand like this for yes and like that for no” at the embassy, and her plan puts them against the wall first.

Not that anyone’s going to die. That’d be silly. They’re just going to find it very difficult to put down the insurrection in their skivvies with nothing more dangerous than cutlery at their command.

Cutlery can be pretty dangerous. It’s better to chop their food up into pretty small pieces for them and only give them chopsticks.

What? That’s *totally* the reason the ancient Chinese ruling class went down that path. Yes, I know chopsticks can be dangerous, too. A single grain of sand can be dangerous in the hands of the enemy. And I know somewhat where that reference comes from, and it’s not just random chance that it’s translated from something originally said in Chinese over a hundred years ago. (I’m being cautious there, because I suspect that General Tso was also quoting, but I don’t have his sources.)

A few of the non-servant Embassy workers definitely understand it. You don’t sign anything subversive without being very careful about who’s watching!

The biggest advantage for Katya and co. is that sign doesn’t show up on audio recordings. And it’s relatively easy to hide from video recordings (as Thorn was careful to do, for his one brief signing moment).

In this setting do same sex non-polygamious couples have babies the normal way, through adoption, or do they have some sort of spelltech to blend their dna and make a baby?

It varies from couple to couple!

Thorn’s moms used magical spelltech blending. Elisa is descended from her blond dad’s sperm plus a donor egg (maybe from a relative on her other dad’s side of the family). Hedge and Grassie eventually adopted kids. I’m thinking Bram’s kids are adopted too.

Would the magical spelltech blending fall under a single-purpose crystal made for each couple? Or would it be more medical spelltech that is less couple-specific but requires a high skill for the technician to use?
Based on the “not cheap or easy process” on the “Thorn has Two Moms” Saturday Sketch I figure there’s something there making it not straight forward :p

Late response, but: it works basically the same as IVF in our world, except that the equipment is powered by magic rather than electricity, and there are some extra steps to wrangle DNA from an egg into a sperm-shaped package so it can fertilize the other one.

…and with two sperm, they haven’t figured out how to make a working artificial egg yet, so you also need a donor egg to “empty out” and fill with the DNA from one of the sperm. That’s an even touchier process, so a lot of couples, including Holly’s and Elisa’s parents, just use a donor egg as-is.

As with IVF, the embryos might not implant, or might fail to develop, or any number of other complications.

Why do they call it Sønska Sign and not Sønheim Sign? Google only pulls this storyline for “Sønska Sign”.

At a guess?
It’s the same reason English-speakers call the language of Deutschland “German”.
‘Sønska’ is the “Sønska” word for the language as well as the demonym in the language of Sønheim. Sonheim is used as the Ceannic word for Sønheim and Sønheimer is the demonym.

They’re both valid translations — “Sønheim” and “Sønska” are the same word in sign, you’d just figure out from context whether it was the noun form or the verb form. But I guess I should change it to Sønheim here, just to be consistent.

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