The world “heathen” has religious connotations, so it isn’t a perfect translation for the Sønska word, but “barbarian” sounds a little too harsh. (Either way, Thorn doesn’t catch the subtext; he only recognizes that it’s one of the terms for “foreigner.”)
Sønheim Embassy: Cultural Exchange Celebration
An event to honor the contributions of Sønska art and culture to Ceannic society. All kinds of Sønska expats living in Ceannis are invited.
There’s an open bar.
Guest: Another glass, my boy, and step on it!
Guest: I tried to tell them “on the house”, but translated it as “at my house” . . .
Ragnild: Easy, Ketil! You can’t play with these visitors. Some of them are allergic to cute.
blah blah blah
Thorn: I see you on the guest list, sir. Go ahead in!
Guest: You have passable Sønska for a heathen!
Thorn: That’s very kind of you, thank you!