Trope-a-Day: Strange Syntax Speaker

Strange Syntax Speaker: Mostly averted by well-programmed translators; of course, this is not the case for relatively recently contacted species (whose linguistic corpuses may not be complete and conclusive, and who may well therefore play this absolutely straight, along with some vocabulary peculiarities) or, of course, cheap knock-off translators.

Also sometimes played straight because many languages include linguistic features not found in others, and if you want a full-fidelity translation, this would make languages like English sound a little strange while all the evidentials and attitudinals and politeness markers and dubifiers and other such qualities are inserted in-band.  This is most evident with the attitudinals, since given differences between different species body languages and expressions, everyone’s playing I Do Not Speak Nonverbal straight, and so a full-fidelity interspecies translation would generally involve everyone talking like Mass Effect‘s elcor (“Grumpy: Inconvenient as it is.”).

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