LAST EDITED ON Mar-21-10 AT 05:09 PM (EDT)
>>As they say aboard the ships where one of
>>Earth's ancient religions has found a foothold in the last few
>>decades, mazel tov.
>Sing it with me now!
>"We're Jews, in space..."
Well, the way I figure it, once the Flotilla had a permanent address and a proper connection to the Internet, a lot of stuff probably filtered into quarian culture from outside - and though Tali doesn't mention it here, there are probably people within the fleet who are mighty ticked off about it and expect it will bring about the downfall of civilization. For better or worse, one of the things that often makes an appearance in situations like that is religion, all the more so because the quarians have largely lost their own (as alluded to in a couple of places here, they were ancestor worshippers- but they lost most of their historical records of who those ancestors were during the war). And it seemed to me that certain aspects of Judaism would appeal to the quarian mindset. They know, more than most other peoples, the importance of keeping kosher, for instance. And there's the whole promised-land thing. Obviously quarian Jews don't literally believe that they belong to one of the tribes of Israel, but there's at least enough of a feeling of kinship there that some cultural cross-pollination is happening.
>Quite amusing, as was G's use of every language in the book to end his
>letters saying "I love you" :)
I was hoping somebody would pick up on that. :) In order, the languages he used in part 1 are (according to the website I cadged them from - yes, dangerous as it is, I had to Trust The Web™ for this):
French (one of only three or four French phrases he knows)
Cheltarese (obviously I didn't get this one from Freelang, I made it up)
Irish Gaelic (he also uses an Irish endearment, a chuisle - literally "o pulse", as in "of my heart", often Anglicized "acushla" - in the body of this letter)
>P.S. Minor nit: the date on Tali's first reply in 2386 says 2385...
Oops, fixed. Thanks.
The Cheltarese one is linguistically interesting; I'm no Tolkien, but I do like these things to mean something, and though tayyôr qitæn is used contextually to stand for "I love you", it doesn't literally mean that at all. It's quite an old-fashioned thing to say by 24th-century Salusian standards, the equivalent of throwing an Anglo-Saxon phrase into a modern English letter. Qitæn is the first-person singular of an Old Salese verb - it forms the root of the modern Cheltarese adjective quitayn, which is the word Salusians (and other linguistic precisionists) use when they mean what we mean when we say we're "only human". It's a more philosophical concept than just "sapient" - it implies a whole constellation of interrelated concepts such as the capacity for compassion and the different forms of love, what we with our single-species bias would use words like humane and talk about "our humanity" to try and describe.
Tayyôr, on the other hand, is a modern but quite old-fashioned Cheltarese word meaning, depending on how you shade your translation from context, something along the lines of "thanks to you" or "for your sake" or even "in your honor". ("Tayyôr, my Queen" is the traditional rejoinder when one is knighted by the Salusian monarch and bade to rise.) So if you break it down, tayyôr qitæn can't be translated directly, but it basically means something like, "For your sake I am a thinking, feeling creature," or even, if you want to be really florid with your translation, "By your grace, I possess a soul." Quite a lofty sentiment, but that's Old Salese for you.
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