Here’s the problem: much of the action takes place in a non-human world and in a variety of non-human languages. In describing the world, especially the social structures, my current draft jumps back and forth between “alien” terms, and terms that are English (or English-ish) approximations of the meaning of the “alien” terms.
Here are a few of the terms that I have in my notes, their literal translations, and the “English-ish” terms I’ve been using:
|anat (pl. anatee)||immaterial creature, spirit, angel, soul||spirit, presence|
|dynat||power or energy, esp. power of an immaterial creature||energy, dynamism|
|eudalex (pl. eudalecai)||council, congress, parliament||convenium / conveneum|
|eugex (pl. eugecai)||ordinary person, worldly person||commoner|
|gantra (pl. gantrai)||magician, conjurer, witch||witch (pejorative) / magi|
|gantralla||magic, summoning, witchcraft||witchcraft (pejorative) / art|
|kefan (pl. kefanee)||priest, shaman, holy person||hierophant|
|malanadha (pl. malahadhai)||avatar, hero, divine person or demigod||fulfillment / union|
|mehan (pl. mehanee)||leader, ruler, commander||principal|
|nok (pl. nokoi)||scholar, academic, intellectual||reasoner / rational|
|pradix (pl. pradicai)||wise person, teacher||loremaster / speaker|
|thruja (pl. thrujoi)||slave, indentured servant||slave, bound|
My inclination is to use one set of terms consistently throughout the text; but I’m not sure which one. The “alien” language gives a sense of, well, alien-ness; but it could be confusing and/or off-putting. The “English-ish” could be clearer, but it also could come off as pretentious or it might just give rise to confusion with human things that those terms refer to.
Do you have any opinions or thoughts? Any feedback you have would be much appreciated!