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PostSubject: Chimeric Communication?   Tue Jan 24, 2012 1:26 pm

Just something I think needs addressing. From the Demi-chimera entry in the wiki:

"Their mouths are unable to modulate any human sounds though, making communication with them difficult, but some of them are adept at writing and use this means in order to deal with humans."

I'm confused as to why being unable to make human sounds would prevent communication - the automatic translation system ought to take care of it. If a diver underwater encounters a chlaena, they are able to understand the skin colour changes as they would human speech, meaning that the ability to produce human sounds isn't a necessary one for communication.

I actually like the idea of the demi-chimera race being difficult to communicate with, but this particular explanation doesn't seem to justify it really.
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PostSubject: Re: Chimeric Communication?   Tue Jan 24, 2012 2:59 pm

GlobFish wrote:
Just something I think needs addressing. From the Demi-chimera entry in the wiki:

"Their mouths are unable to modulate any human sounds though, making communication with them difficult, but some of them are adept at writing and use this means in order to deal with humans."

I'm confused as to why being unable to make human sounds would prevent communication - the automatic translation system ought to take care of it. If a diver underwater encounters a chlaena, they are able to understand the skin colour changes as they would human speech, meaning that the ability to produce human sounds isn't a necessary one for communication.

I actually like the idea of the demi-chimera race being difficult to communicate with, but this particular explanation doesn't seem to justify it really.

The translation effect only works on audible language, and even then there's some exceptions (Mermaid song being an example, and perhaps chirps and clicks some insect hybrids could produce by rubbing their legs/plates together).

It wouldn't translate sign language, or body language such as chlaena color changes. It also does not work on mermaid song (the form of communication they use underwater since physical talking doesn't really work). Someone who is mute would not be able to communicate verbally, and the translation effect couldn't do anything to help them.

It's like the motion-pictures they show in Negav. Most are imported from offworld, and while the translation effect works on the speech, it can't do anything about things like written language, or things such as culturally specific gestures/body language. There ARE still ways to communicate in Felarya without people being able to understand it, it's just tougher.

Considering that it doesn't work on written words, I imagine it is much more likely that a demi-chimera would have to use pictures to communicate instead of writing down words, alongside simple, easy to understand sign language and gesturing.
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PostSubject: Re: Chimeric Communication?   Tue Jan 24, 2012 3:16 pm

And now you made me think of a black and white propaganda film with Bootlegged Star Wars translation quality. Although because of near-universal translation, it would be impossible, I still think would be hilarious.
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PostSubject: Re: Chimeric Communication?   Tue Jan 24, 2012 10:18 pm

Ah, ok, so a human underwater would find themselves suddenly incapable of understanding - well, anybody really? Razz

That's interesting, I hadn't realized that before - I'd assumed the translation would work on all methods of communication, but you're right, that by all logic really should allow people who are incapable of speech to go ahead and somehow be perfectly understood anyway.

The entry makes perfect sense then, thanks for clearing that up.



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PostSubject: Re: Chimeric Communication?   Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:09 am

Hang on, hang on, wait, just thought about that properly. That raises a few other issues - does this mean that merfolk and chlaena (and presumably various other underwater races) are by default, unable to communicate underwater, due to the translation not working on their respective methods of communication?

That would contradict a lot of what's already been done by writers, and I'm not just talking about me. And we'd have to wait for Karbo to come and voice his opinion on the matter, but somehow I don't think it would fit with his idea of Felarya either, having communication obstacles between underwater races but not above land. The whole translation system was, in the first place, after all (presumably) invented really just to stop these kind of problems being an issue.
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PostSubject: Re: Chimeric Communication?   Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:20 am

As far as I know, It does work between sound based things like mermaid song.

But yes, the Chlaena colour based method of communication isn't translated underwater. But they still have vocal chords.

Quote :
That would contradict a lot of what's already been done by writers, and I'm not just talking about me.
Honestly, you and they should have done the research. We have a forum and threads dedicated to answering these kinds of questions before. It really isn't hard, it doesn't take a whole lot of effort. Less effort than what was put in into creating and working out that particular part of the setting and certainly less effort than having to rewrite.
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PostSubject: Re: Chimeric Communication?   Wed Jan 25, 2012 6:43 am

Quote :
Hang on, hang on, wait, just thought about that properly. That raises a few other issues - does this mean that merfolk and chlaena (and presumably various other underwater races) are by default, unable to communicate underwater, due to the translation not working on their respective methods of communication?

Yes, they're underwater. Things cannot verbally communicate underwater. Mermaids can communicate between each other using mermaid song, chlaena can communicate with each other using their color changing, and I imagine some kind of sign language or gesturing would be important too. If two underwater preds actually wanted to talk, they would need to surface, or pop into an air-bubble in an underwater cave or something.

Quote :
That would contradict a lot of what's already been done by writers, and I'm not just talking about me

People make assumptions about the canon all the time. Sometimes they turn out to be wrong. That's a risk that comes with doing fan-fiction.

Quote :
And we'd have to wait for Karbo to come and voice his opinion on the matter, but somehow I don't think it would fit with his idea of Felarya either, having communication obstacles between underwater races but not above land. The whole translation system was, in the first place, after all (presumably) invented really just to stop these kind of problems being an issue.

The translation effect is meant to get rid of the language barrier that exists between different species and people from different worlds. It isn't necessarily meant to let everyone communicate perfectly. There are ways to cheat around it, and things it does not work on. Chlaena color changing is a form of body language. It'd be like, if someone from Earth gave someone from Grammamlammalammalon IV the middle finger. The non-Earth person would have no idea what that means. The translation effect wouldn't chime in and go "He's insulting you".

Verbal communication is generally impossible underwater though. That's why mermaids have to use something akin to whale-song to communicate in any way other than gesturing and sign-language.

Quote :
s far as I know, It does work between sound based things like mermaid song.

It doesn't work on mermaid song. It is a different form of communication than, say, talking. If it translated mermaid song, what's to stop it from translating whale song? Or dog barking? A cricket's chirping? Or other forms of animistic communication?

Life in the ocean is very much different than that on land. I mean, almost no humans get eaten out in the ocean, for example. Most undersea preds will go their entire lives without seeing, or even hearing about humans. Most of the vore in the oceans are going to be between giant preds, and human-sized hybrids. The only ones who would get the chance to eat humans are the ones who can go up on land (sea krait nagas), or those who happen to live next to a human-controlled island.

The oceans of Felarya aren't just like things on land, but wetter.
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PostSubject: Re: Chimeric Communication?   Wed Jan 25, 2012 7:23 am

Quote :
Most undersea preds will go their entire lives without seeing, or even hearing about humans.

Well, to be fair I'm sure there are enough boats that most preds living even remotely near the shores or inhabited islands would have at the very least heard of them. And those near the various trade routes have a decent chance of capturing some from a ship.

And yes, the translation effect doesn't work on chlennea, but I don't really see why it wouldn't work on mermaid song... After all we don't really know what it sounds like, it's possible that it could be structured in a similar enough manner to speech in air for the spell to affect it. After all, what is speech? We use our vocal chords to produce our sounds that we interpret as words, and so would mermaids. Whales, dogs and crickets aren't saying words. Babies don't try to say words when they babble, as they haven't grasped the concept yet, as soon as they learn how to form words the spell kicks in. I think we would need Karbo to answer this one for us...

As for chlennea talking to other species, I assume their form of communication can be learned rather easily, otherwise the city of Ryzelm'oire is going to have a problem...
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PostSubject: Re: Chimeric Communication?   Wed Jan 25, 2012 7:30 am

Quote :
Well, to be fair I'm sure there are enough boats that most preds living even remotely near the shores or inhabited islands would have at the very least heard of them. And those near the various trade routes have a decent chance of capturing some from a ship.

There aren't going to be a ton of boats traveling the open sea. Barring a vanishing land, the only boats in Felarya would have to have been built by locals, people who know going across the open ocean is damn-near suicidal. I think the only real stead boat travel will occur in, around and between various island chains. Its still potentially dangerous, but if you know the terrain, you can probably keep out of reach of ocean-going preds for most of the trip.

The only preds who would really see humans are the ones living near those islands.

Quote :
And yes, the translation effect doesn't work on chlennea, but I don't really see why it wouldn't work on mermaid song

Because it isn't speech. It's something different. A human should not be able to dive underwater and understand mermaid song, just like other non-mermaids shouldn't be able to.
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PostSubject: Re: Chimeric Communication?   Wed Jan 25, 2012 8:18 am

We're going off-topic. This is about the demi-chimera speech. The wiki says that they can't modulate human sounds. Well, what kind of sound come out of their mouth then?
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PostSubject: Re: Chimeric Communication?   Wed Jan 25, 2012 8:50 am

Probably none at all Sean, I assume they lack vocal chords and that something about their mouths prevents them from modulating sounds like our whispering, but that's just a guess. Maybe they chirp or whistle? Could be cute Razz

Did you read the rest of my post Cliff? If so, I'd like to hear your counter-argument.

I (Along with AJ, it seems) think that any sound-based language should be translated, as long as it has some sort of structure resembling what we understand as speech: individual words, syntax, grammar etc. What defines 'speech' here exactly? And at what point is it too alien for the translation spell to work? Whistling? Chirping? Click sequences like in 'Predator'? Try to be less arbitrary, this is worthy of discussion... But as Sean said, maybe we should take this to another topic.
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PostSubject: Re: Chimeric Communication?   Wed Jan 25, 2012 8:58 am

Quote :
id you read the rest of my post Cliff? If so, I'd like to hear your counter-argument.

Unfortunately, I think most of my counter-argument would involve "I made it, and I never intended for it to be understood by non-mermaids" =P I'll try to avoid playing that card though, for the sake of discussion.

Quote :
I (Along with AJ, it seems) think that any sound-based language should be translated, as long as it has some sort of structure resembling what we understand as speech, individual words, syntax, grammar etc.

See, that's where I think the difference would be. I don't think mermaid song WOULD be all that similar to speech. It's communication through pitch, music, rhythm and a hundred other different subtleties. Just because it can convey meanings and phrases doesn't mean that it is analogous to speech. Who's to say it is even truly a language? Is bee dancing a "language"? It can convey directions and meanings, but you can't really have a conversation with it. Mermaid song could be similar in a way. Not something you can use to have full-on conversations, but something to express simple concepts, directions and thoughts over longer distances than the line-of-sight needed for sign language and gesturing. If two mermaids wanted to have a long, complicated conversation, I think they would probably need to surface.

I just think there needs to be some things the translation factor doesn't cover, and many species probably have their own unique ways to do that.
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PostSubject: Re: Chimeric Communication?   Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:05 am

Personally, I think mermaids could hold conversations underwater. When it comes down to it, how is a mermaid supposed to hold a conversation with a human and such underwater? I don't think they'd be able to reply very well, and while no expert, I don't think diving gears let you speak easily. So for all intents and purposes, the whole idea of trying to understand a mermaid underwater is a moot point.
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PostSubject: Re: Chimeric Communication?   Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:39 am

Anime-Junkie wrote:

Honestly, you and they should have done the research. We have a forum and threads dedicated to answering these kinds of questions before. It really isn't hard, it doesn't take a whole lot of effort. Less effort than what was put in into creating and working out that particular part of the setting and certainly less effort than having to rewrite.

From what I've done and seen, most good writers actually put a lot of research into their writing. It's inevitable that there will be the occasional oversight or mistake. I'm quite aware that it "isn't that hard," - if something is bothering me personally, I do come to ask on the forum (as I am now.) The reason I didn't with chlaena/mermaid communication beforehand is because it didn't occur to me that it would be an issue in the first place.


I do find the idea that the various Felaryan underwater races would be, by default, unable to communicate, very odd simply from the standpoint that if all species on land can, it's just a bit... discordant to have it be so different underwater. Although I'd obviously work with it if need be. Cliff, I know that's "technically," the reason that the translation system exists, but you can't pretend it doesn't make life a hell of a lot easier for writers. :p


Sean Okotami wrote:

We're going off-topic. This is about the demi-chimera speech.

Yes, but the whole issue of demi-chimera speech (or lack of it) has a lot to do with the way the Felaryan translation system works.
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PostSubject: Re: Chimeric Communication?   Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:12 am

Quote :
I do find the idea that the various Felaryan underwater races would be, by default, unable to communicate, very odd simply from the standpoint that if all species on land can, it's just a bit... discordant to have it be so different underwater.

I think it should be different, personally. The ocean is an alien world, even on Earth its more like another planet than part of our own. Why should it work exactly the same as land, only wetter?

No one said they couldn't communicate. Sign language, gesturing and body language are perfectly valid. I could see chlaenas being able to teach friends of other species what some of the more obvious color changes mean, and maybe exaggerate some things when around non-chlaenas, so they can understand easier. I don't think undersea creatures should be able to have full-blown conversations underwater though. Its an alien world, full of strange creatures, where no one can actually speak to each other in a natural manner. Considering most sea-faring hybrids will almost never see or hear of humans, and have little to know interaction with or knowledge of the surface, it really is more like an entirely different setting than just another part of Felarya in some ways.

I think that makes things more interesting, personally. It forces undersea characters to be more expressive, more alert, and to have to rely on things other than direct speech to convey and understand ideas most of the time.

Plus, it makes for some potentially interesting ideas too. Maybe there are underwater "gathering halls" or something, air-filled parts of underwater cave systems, or something constructed using magic, where undersea hybrids can come to actually converse. There really aren't many reasons for undersea hybrids to gather together in fixed locations, but that could be one of them. Could explain how some underwater communities, be it human-sized or giant, started up...built around one of these gathering halls.

Quote :
es, but the whole issue of demi-chimera speech (or lack of it) has a lot to do with the way the Felaryan translation system works.

Indeed, its an interesting topic. It hasn't really come up before due to how woefully underused the Felaryan oceans are.
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PostSubject: Re: Chimeric Communication?   Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:42 am

rcs619 wrote:
Quote :
I do find the idea that the various Felaryan underwater races would be, by default, unable to communicate, very odd simply from the standpoint that if all species on land can, it's just a bit... discordant to have it be so different underwater.

I think it should be different, personally. The ocean is an alien world, even on Earth its more like another planet than part of our own. Why should it work exactly the same as land, only wetter?

No one said they couldn't communicate. Sign language, gesturing and body language are perfectly valid. I could see chlaenas being able to teach friends of other species what some of the more obvious color changes mean, and maybe exaggerate some things when around non-chlaenas, so they can understand easier. I don't think undersea creatures should be able to have full-blown conversations underwater though. Its an alien world, full of strange creatures, where no one can actually speak to each other in a natural manner. Considering most sea-faring hybrids will almost never see or hear of humans, and have little to know interaction with or knowledge of the surface, it really is more like an entirely different setting than just another part of Felarya in some ways.

I think that makes things more interesting, personally. It forces undersea characters to be more expressive, more alert, and to have to rely on things other than direct speech to convey and understand ideas most of the time.

Plus, it makes for some potentially interesting ideas too. Maybe there are underwater "gathering halls" or something, air-filled parts of underwater cave systems, or something constructed using magic, where undersea hybrids can come to actually converse. There really aren't many reasons for undersea hybrids to gather together in fixed locations, but that could be one of them. Could explain how some underwater communities, be it human-sized or giant, started up...built around one of these gathering halls.

Quote :
es, but the whole issue of demi-chimera speech (or lack of it) has a lot to do with the way the Felaryan translation system works.

Indeed, its an interesting topic. It hasn't really come up before due to how woefully underused the Felaryan oceans are.



I personally was lead to believe that Mer-Song/Whale-Song (whatever its called) was the universal language which the merfolks used while underwater, and that when underwater it works the same as human language and with the translation spell it makes Mer-Song/Whale-Song understandable but only while underwater, if on land I picture it to not work at all or work while a person is above water and a merfolk is talking underneath the water.

As for non-mermaid races like chlaena, I believe they used the Mer-Song/Whale-Song but not by being born with knowing it like merfolk, I was lead to believe through mimic they learned it, meaning they just simply mimic Mer-Song/Whale-Song but aren't naturally good at it.

However taking the translation factor into mind I was convinced by mimic of the universal underwater language Chlaena words could easily be understood by merfolk and other races that are underwater.

Just stating my point of view on underwater language since I'm working in the area of the oceans and waters.

Also if Mer-Song/Whale-Song isn't universal like me and I'm sure others have been lead to believe it works for all underwater races (or at least races underwater), then Kikijonson's game in the underwater areas where Seliky gets turned into a mermaid and mets up with friendly non-merfolk races will need to be delayed in order for communication issues when underwater and above water to be worked out.

Just saying is all, plus its ultimately up to Karbo himself on how talking underwater works in Felarya. He does insist slimoids can talk so I'd agree with whatever his statement on the matter is.
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PostSubject: Re: Chimeric Communication?   Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:22 pm

Quote :
if on land I picture it to not work at all

Yeah, they can't do it above water at all. The sounds are made to be used in water, which conducts sounds much differently than air.

Quote :
and that when underwater it works the same as human language and with the translation spell it makes Mer-Song/Whale-Song understandable

That's not what I originally intended. I didn't figure the translation spell worked on it. Like I said in a previous post, it might not even be a "true" language you could have a conversation with. It could be more for conveying meanings, directions, feelings and so on. It's main advantage would be the fact that it works over longer distances, and that only mermaids understand it. It could be very likely that different groups/families/species/tribes of mermaids each put their own unique twist on mer-song, making it to where some mermaids couldn't understand others' songs.

Perhaps the translation effect is relative. Humans, and nearly all non-mermaids cannot understand it because their brains are not wired right to understand it. But mermaids can understand all other mermaid songs regardless of species, tribe or whatever, because their brains are actually made to understand it. Lots of ways to go about it, really.

Quote :
As for non-mermaid races like chlaena, I believe they used the Mer-Song/Whale-Song but not by being born with knowing it like merfolk, I was lead to believe through mimic they learned it, meaning they just simply mimic Mer-Song/Whale-Song but aren't naturally good at it.

Not really. It isn't like just singing, or just talking. It is extremely subtle, and probably requires specialized vocal chords to make all the sounds. Could a non-mermaid be taught to understand some of it? Possibly, but it would be like a non-chlaena trying to learn to understand their color changing. They will only really be able to understand some of the simpler, more obvious stuff and not as much of the subtler aspects of it.

Quote :
Also if Mer-Song/Whale-Song isn't universal like me and I'm sure others have been lead to believe it works for all underwater races (or at least races underwater), then Kikijonson's game in the underwater areas where Seliky gets turned into a mermaid and mets up with friendly non-merfolk races will need to be delayed in order for communication issues when underwater and above water to be worked out.

I don't think kiki's game was ever intended to be canon, or even close to canon. It's meant to be a fun little RPG, not an accurate representation of Felarya.

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PostSubject: Re: Chimeric Communication?   Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:02 pm

We get it. You view the way mermaids speak underwater one way and others another way. Can we PLEASE go back to the chimeras, which was the whole point of this thread?
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PostSubject: Re: Chimeric Communication?   Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:05 pm

Sean Okotami wrote:
We get it. You view the way mermaids speak underwater one way and others another way. Can we PLEASE go back to the chimeras, which was the whole point of this thread?

No one is forcing you to be in this conversation, Sean.

Its GlobFish's thread. As long as he doesn't care that the topic has changed slightly, it's fine.
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PostSubject: Re: Chimeric Communication?   Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:47 pm

TheArchvile wrote:

As for chlennea talking to other species, I assume their form of communication can be learned rather easily, otherwise the city of Ryzelm'oire is going to have a problem...

Indeed. The very existence of Ryzelm'oire, and the fact that it interacts with non-chlaena, makes it clear that there is a common method of communication between chlaena and other species underwater.

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PostSubject: Re: Chimeric Communication?   Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:51 pm

French snack wrote:
TheArchvile wrote:

As for chlennea talking to other species, I assume their form of communication can be learned rather easily, otherwise the city of Ryzelm'oire is going to have a problem...

Indeed. The very existence of Ryzelm'oire, and the fact that it interacts with non-chlaena, makes it clear that there is a common method of communication between chlaena and other species underwater.

You can communicate without speaking. Sign language, gesturing, body language and so on are all viable options. Non-mermaids could probably be taught some of the simpler elements of mer-song, so they can understand. Non-chlaena can probably be taught some of the simpler elements of their color-changing, to understand it better. I even mentioned that "gathering halls" can form naturally in caves, or probably be artificially made with magic, allowing undersea creatures to swim into an air pocket to talk normally to others.

I just find the idea of all underwater species being able to communicate just as easily as those on land to be overly-convenient at best, and a cop-out at worst. Its a totally alien environment that should have its own rules and limitations when compared to others.
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PostSubject: Re: Chimeric Communication?   Wed Jan 25, 2012 2:06 pm

You're worrying largely for nothing. Aside maybe ichtys, no other creature can really talk underwater without a mouthful filling their lungs. Besides, even in the unlikely event that someone was crazy enough to put on a diving gear and run into a mermaid, I think that guy would just try to get away, useless as it may be, instead of trying to talk. Bottomline, mermaids communicating to each other underwater pretty much. If you really want to wonder about underwater communications, you should focus more on sea slug girls, sea krait and oceanic nagas, because none of them have any established communication method when submerged, if they even have one.
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PostSubject: Re: Chimeric Communication?   Wed Jan 25, 2012 2:31 pm

Sean Okotami wrote:
You're worrying largely for nothing. Aside maybe ichtys, no other creature can really talk underwater without a mouthful filling their lungs. Besides, even in the unlikely event that someone was crazy enough to put on a diving gear and run into a mermaid, I think that guy would just try to get away, useless as it may be, instead of trying to talk. Bottomline, mermaids communicating to each other underwater pretty much. If you really want to wonder about underwater communications, you should focus more on sea slug girls, sea krait and oceanic nagas, because none of them have any established communication method when submerged, if they even have one.

That's partially what this is about. GlobFish and French Snack are proposing that there be some kind of universal underwater communication method, and that the translation effect works on mer-song.
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PostSubject: Re: Chimeric Communication?   Wed Jan 25, 2012 2:41 pm

Well, first I think we need to establish if the non-fish people down there are capable of audible communication in the first place, because it'd just be a one-way conversation anyway, and in that case, it wouldn't be so much as being able to converse underwater, but that only these two species can easily be understood. Also, I just remembered that Sea Krait Nagas hold their breath or something when diving, so they wouldn't have audible communication.
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PostSubject: Re: Chimeric Communication?   Wed Jan 25, 2012 2:45 pm

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