Spoilers Romulan Language in PIC

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Picard' started by NCC-73515, Feb 7, 2020.

  1. NCC-73515

    NCC-73515 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The preview for the next episode reveals that jolan tru means "Greetings, sisters!"

    So all the Romulans in Unification called Spock sister! XD
     
  2. DEWLine

    DEWLine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    No, it just means "Greetings".
     
  3. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    PIC has a score to settle.

    Namely, in ENT "Minefield", Hoshi Sato, with a head for languages, does not recognize the language spoken by Romulans as being closely related to, much less indistinguishable from, modern Vulcan.

    But in the 2009 movie, a Starfleet communications officer can't tell Romulan from Vulcan to save his life.

    So how does this work? Did the ENT folks speak the northern dialect which is very distinct from High Vulcan, while the officer in the Abrams movie was only familiar with the southern Romulanese on which the old Treaty of 2161 had been negotiated, indistinguishable from Vulcan? Moreover, did Nero's miners hail from a third dialect region, so that their talk could not be identified as Romulan or Vulcan back in 2233?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  4. Kor

    Kor Admiral Admiral

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    The little snippets of Romulan that we have gotten have been nicely done, actually sounding like a foreign language and not just a bunch of English phonemes put in random order like a lot of sci-fi languages tend to (what little we heard of Bajoran, for instance).

    Kor
     
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  5. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Current Romulan might be closer to Old high Vulcan than modern Vulcan.
     
  6. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    But every effort should be made to avoid similarity to anything remotely Vulcan: nobody back in 2161 realized that the folks negotiating this treaty via subspace calls were Vulcans in exile, and nobody back in 2233 realized that the folks addressing Robau's crew and looking like Vulcans were the same Romulans who had fought Earth till 2161. How to do that when the Kelvinverse movie insists that the two languages are almost identical?

    Or is it just that the communications officer in question wasn't well versed in either of the languages involved, and his modern equivalent would be a guy unable to tell Russian from Polish or Romanian, say? Even then, PIC has some 'splaining to do. Why did the Romulans get a language of their own? Did they invent it out of spite? Or were those who went to exile mainly from a region where a language greatly differing from mainstream Vulcan had been spoken? Did that language then go extinct on Vulcan?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  7. Kor

    Kor Admiral Admiral

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    This was the dialog in question in ST09 (as transcribed at chakoteya.net):
    I think we just have to write it off as the lieutenant not being familiar with either language (and apparently not being able to have the computer tell the difference for him).

    Kor
     
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  8. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It would indeed help if we read Pike as saying that the Lieutenant simply did not speak Romulan or Vulcan. And it's nice to think that Romulan comes in at least three distinct variants, so that PIC isn't beholden to repeating phrases from ENT!

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  9. DEWLine

    DEWLine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    So, we assume that Romulans have multiple languages that they've used amongst themselves across the centuries. That can work.
     
  10. DEWLine

    DEWLine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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  11. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    That was only three dialects of standard Romulan. Who knows but that there might be other, even unrelated Romulan languages?
     
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  12. DEWLine

    DEWLine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Two thousand years is long enough to generate a few hundred (or thousand?) languages on a single planet. Never mind how many there might be in a multi-system polity such as Old Romulus governed.
     
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  13. DEWLine

    DEWLine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I wonder if Pehrson and company have figured out how they want to handle numbers, math notation, punctuation, etc..
     
  14. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Quite. Even if the proto-Romulans came from a single state on Vulcan, that state could easily be multilingual. If you got a mission from Canada that represented the diversity of Canada accurately, and if there was no post-arrival homogenization, then the two major languages would come from different branches of the Indo-European language family, you would have at least some significant numbers of speakers coming from other world languages outside of the Indo-European family, and you would have speakers of indigenous languages which diverged from those of Eurasia-Africa tens of thousands of years ago. An Iberian peninsula, similarly, would carry large numbers of speakers from 3-5 related Romance languages (much depends on how you count Valencia and Galician), speakers of the isolate Basque, and at least some speakers of other languages of immigrants. Etc.
     
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  15. NewHeavensNewEarth

    NewHeavensNewEarth Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    On Romulus, the cafe owner didn't miss a beat with grilling Picard & Data about not sounding Rateg while they were in disguise in "Unification," so it's been a thing for awhile.
     
  16. bookworm8571

    bookworm8571 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I doubt there is only one Romulan or Vulcan language any more than there is only one human language.
     
  17. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    But there probably is. Data basically thought French was dead, and for all we know, it is, and only people with their heads buried in the past (like our favorite amateur archaeologist) bother to learn it.

    Here on Earth, two thousand years has seen the death of, oh, ten thousand languages at a timid estimate, and the birth of perhaps half a dozen, one of which is Klingon! Just a hundred years more and it might be that only about fifty are left. Or perhaps just one.

    Romulans may come off as totalitarian, but (as per the conventional national myth) they left Vulcan in order to protect their freedom to hotly disagree with each other. Insisting on a single language between the emigrants might not have worked too well.

    It may also be, though, that those who left came from a single ethnic group and perhaps were evicted for that very reason. Say, the Vulcans might have kicked out the ridgeheads for their disagreeable appearance; perhaps all of them spoke a northernly tongue, the various dialects of which died out when the space colony established modern global communications.

    Of course, we probably soon will learn that the national myth is wrong. And hopefully also other facts about the Romulan culture. Until then, though, I'm more willing to believe in the death of languages than the birth of those, considering how massively the reality of today favors the former.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  18. F. King Daniel

    F. King Daniel Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I'm curious if the ST: Picard Romulan language is the same one Marc Okrand developed for the 2009 movie?
     
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  19. Kor

    Kor Admiral Admiral

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    It's been stated that there are three Romulan "dialects." It's not stated if these are closely-related and mutually intelligible, or if they are different enough to be really considered different languages. After all, a language is a dialect with an army and a navy.

    Kor
     
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  20. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Supposedly, as per the Reddit link above, it's fully compatible with what we heard or saw previously. But all-new otherwise.

    Which is cool. Might be Okrand's language and Pehrson's both exist in-universe, and intersect on things relevant to starship ops and space adventures, much like every European language out there merged into a universal naval jargon half a thousand years ago and still remains tangled up in that respect.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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