Well done! I appreciate the thought and effort in creating this background material on the Cardassians. One of the things that has always bothered me about the canon Star Trek universe is how the cultures seem to be simple derivations of human culture - particularly with the military factions. Your explanation of Cardassian rank structure has a more "alien" feel (a very good thing, imho).
It's funny...when I was first playing with the system, I was thinking of trying to directly equate the ranks to human equivalents--but once I got what you see here, I started looking at it and thinking the system just made so much sense as it was that to add to it would cause more problems than it would "solve." In addition to the linguistics issues that made me overhaul the rank system shown in the Terok Nor
novels, that's the other reason I decided to stop: I liked the fact that this system could not be directly equated to human culture.
A Cardassian looking at Lieutenant Commander Spirodopoulos, for instance, might equate him to either a dalin or a glinn depending on the role they saw him acting in: as tactical officer, he'd be a dalin, but if he were chief engineer, or for whatever reason ended up filling the XO's shoes or something similar, he'd be thought of like a glinn. Making the correct translation requires one to actually observe what a particular crew member is DOING rather than just looking at a conversion table.
The other reason in my mind for fewer rank gradations is the role that we know age/seniority plays in Cardassian culture. They very much respect a person's years, so I could easily see age accounting for the finer gradations between ranks that you see in Starfleet. (Which also means that when somebody gets promoted early, it can cause friction--the gul of the Sherouk
, for instance, has his age going against him as well as his disability.)
Would you mind if I borrowed from this for future reference?
Sure if you credit it, and same thing to DavidFalkayn.
One warning, though: by and large I don't think the Sigils and Unions
continuity is going to mesh well with United Trek considering the direction I intend to take things, but if you'd like to use this part, feel free...the rank and language stuff I doubt is going to be a continuity issue for us.