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How many languages are there in the show world?


ARagY
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Inb4 already a post about this

 

I wanted to tackle this in a bit of depth because I find it very interesting and it’s been making me wonder for a good week or so. So here it goes.

The question is: How many languages are there in Equestria? Well, let’s tackle this one step at a time.

 

We know despite lack of communication with dragons, Spike is able to speak to the teen dragons easily, and the ponies. This indicates that there may be just one language that everyone speaks. However, there appear to be things that even Twilight is unable to read (ancient scripts? Glyphs?). Furthermore, some beings seem unable to communicate, or just can’t communicate in such ways, such as Winona or the timber wolves. You could say they’re of lower intelligence, but Angel seems perfectly sentient and I’m almost positive timber wolves are further down the line than bunnies.

 

We don’t really know where Zecora is from but her accent and way of talking make it clear she is either not native to whatever language she speaks, or where she is from a place where it is culturally structured differently.

 

Then, there’s the fact that Lotus and Aloe have accents. I can’t quite place it, but I think it’s close to Norwegian (if you’re from wherever the accent is based off of, please don’t kill me). Then again, I listened to it in 240p quality with 10% sound. Whatever the case, it's supposed to be implied that they are foreign, right? Outside of some languages such as English, you will find very little diversification between regions of the same country. In other words, no matter where they're from in that specific country, they will all sound the same. 

 

Rainbow Dash can talk to Gilda pretty well, and I don’t feel as if she (Gilda) has an accent, which suggests she’s not an active resident of some other country (Griffon Kingdom is canon, right?)

 

Before anyone wants to bring up Applebloom speaking French, I’m almost positive that that’s OOC. This has been done many times in shows and movies before; such as in Tom and Jerry, where they speak Old English, French, and Italian. Brother Bear, where there’s a Croatian bear, Cars – where there is a Russian car (actually there are several..), and Spongebob, which featured Italian, French, Spanish, and Old English.

 

These sorts of things don’t go to show that the languages actually exist in the Universe, but are used as a plot device or to be funny. In Apple Bloom’s case, I guess French is a cutie-mark worthy talent. Therefore, I would not call it a real language in the show. (also obviously the language we hear (English for most) is really just a translation of something we otherwise wouldn’t understand in the same way we can hear lions speak in the Lion King or the Elites/Grunts/Jackals in the Halo universe).

 

Additionally, I would think that some creatures are unable to mimic the sounds that ponies can produce because of physical limitations (facial/skull structure, tongue length, teeth size and length, jaw distance, etc.) but there could be one that’s able to be spoken by everyone fairly well. (Like how typically, you cannot pronounce Icelandic correctly, but you can pronounce say, German pretty well, and an Icelandic person cannot pronounce Mandarin well, possibly, but can speak German pretty well).

 

I’ve come to two conclusions. Either

1.       There is a universal language that everyone speaks

OR

2.       There is an “ultimate” language spoken amongst everyone (kind of like English/Chinese/French/Spanish/Russian depending on where you are in our world) but individual languages still exist amongst different populations (Such as Griffins, Dragons, weird abominations like Discord, Previous-millenium ponies, possibly other regions of Equestria, Zebras)

 

I’m interested to hear all of your thoughts :) 

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Like Star Wars, you have galactic basic standard, with local dialects spoken by other nations/peoples. Galactic basic (or its pony equivalent) is used in government functions and advertisements/writings in large cities with a more diverse population (like Manehatten, were all 2 tribes of pony intermix regularly). Under this you probably have regional dialects, and native languages that they speak in areas like cloudsdale, the zebra plains beyond the everfree forest, and other distant locals.

  • Brohoof 2
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Before anyone wants to bring up Applebloom speaking French, I’m almost positive that that’s OOC. This has been done many times in shows and movies before; such as in Tom and Jerry, where they speak Old English, French, and Italian. Brother Bear, where there’s a Croatian bear, Cars – where there is a Russian car (actually there are several..), and Spongebob, which featured Italian, French, Spanish, and Old English.

Well, Fluttershy mentioned "french haute-couture", Rarity sometimes speaks french, Applebloom's cutie mark was a Fleur de Lys, a french symbol..., so I think there's French in the pony world. But it's not spoken in Equestria.

IMO, there are many languages in the pony world, but English is the main language of Equestria.

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But who decides that? If you watch the Russian version they speak Russian, for example

Yes, just like every show in the world, it can't be avoided.

However, the characters are originally speaking in English (because it's an American show).

There's also the fact that Equestria could be the pony version of the USA....

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  • 11 months later...

The Crystal Ponies are able to understand the Mane 6 despite having been gone for 1000 years.  This implies there is 1 standard pony language, at least (IRL, English is VERY abnormal & has changed extremely fast.  After 1000 years most languages are still more or less understandable with some difficulty)

 

On the other hand, the cows seem to have an accent.  This implies other languages or at least dialects.

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