Before begin discussing the hanar language, we must first talk about Nyahir, or “The First Cresting Bloom,” celebrated among hanar.
This religious holiday honors the “gift of speech.” Many hanar believe they are able to talk thanks to the Protheans, the ones they call the “Enkindlers” and worship. Their homeworld, Kahje, contains many Protheans ruins, which might explain why the hanar worship them so intensely.
It’s possible quarians spoke different dialects before the Morning War but are now speaking one language named Khelish. We’re lucky enough that we know some words and sentences from Khelish, unlike other alien languages that are still a bit of a mystery to us. During an AMA on Reddit, Catherine M. Valente, the writer of Annihilation, explained that she used Hebrew as a model language for Khelish.
What Do Elcor Perceive?
Elcor’s sense of smell is extremely powerful. With a whiff of their surroundings, they can receive a flood of information about their location and the people around them. An elcor can even smell a corpse from miles away, as seen in the book Annihilation. Some situations can even be painful to them due to sensory overload.
The information they receive has to be interpreted. It still allows them to get a good understanding of their homeworld and other places they travel to, like the Citadel.
What are translators? How do they work?
Humans in the Mass Effect universe converse in different languages (Spanish, Mandarin, Arabic and Swahili are among the noted ones). Aliens, meanwhile, also have multiple languages and dialects. All species use a translator, which allows for simultaneous and accurate translation. To make the translator work, every species first provides glossaries and linguistic rules. Since languages are constantly evolving, regular updates are made.
Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a great time celebrating and are ready, resolutions or not, to kick start the year.
Here at MEL, we’ve been terrible at being active and posting stuff. Sure, we do tons of things behind the scenes, but you rarely get to see the results. I often joke that working on MEL projects is like working on a very long WIP that might never end. We’ve sure been full of promises. You know, the, “We’ll do this and that!”. Yeah, no. Those don’t really last. So, in order not to jink myself, I won’t promise anything and simply tell you: we’ll do what we can. Our new motto at MEL is “Start somewhere.”
The Mass Effect universe is both beautiful and strange. It has never finished revealing itself to us. As lore gremlins, we can never truly know something for sure because a lot of what we do is making sense of canon and interpreting it. We’re human and we don’t have a perfect memory. That’s okay. If we don’t remember every obscure fact about elcor, salarians or batarians, someone will remind us. That’s how it goes, and that’s why having such a strong community of fans is really fun. So let’s chill out and do our best here.
Thank you for loving the Mass Effect universe so much. You keep it alive every day with a variety of new content including walkthroughs, fanart, and fanfiction. Thank you for reminding me that this fictional universe and its lore are special.
One last thing: the MEL blog now uses the Disqus commenting system. You can comment as a guest or use a profile. Hope you’ll enjoy our next blog posts! 😉