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Idioms

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When plans were made for two astronomically different sessions to cross, both parties thought they had considered of every possible problem. Date and location were set, pictures exchanged, and even introductions were scripted. Nothing could possibly go wrong.

They did, however forget one thing: the language barrier.

As it turns out, Trollian conveniently (or, not so conveniently) translates each participant's contributions to the conversations, which constituted simple understanding. Trollian, however, does not apply to the real world. Thus,  John's peppy "Hi, Karkat!" was returned with a rather pissed "D'szg gs'v ufxp rh sv hzbr'mt?"

This simple miscommunication in the planning stages led to disaster when it came to living with one another. "Pass the salt" was purely gibberish to the poor trolls, while the very simple "Kz'hh gs'v hzog" lost all meaning to the humans. When this lingual difference was combined with the already over-complicated troll terms for things, everything just went to hell in a hand basket.

After "Kanaya" (Pz'mz'bz') and "Ilh'v" (Rose) spent countless hours spelling and respelling and talking, the two came to a the surprisingly simple conclusion that only the pronunciation of words differs between the two languages and, once their revelation on how to communicate was shared, the first REAL introductions between the two groups occurred. John began with a chipper and poorly pronounced "Sr, P'zipzg!" ("Hi, Karkat!")  who in turn mispronounced "That was really fucking bad."

After some time using only the others' language, a diplomatic and awkwardly-stated agreement was reached: since there were more trolls than humans, English was supplementary, whereas Trollish was required.

The details of how the humans managed to transition will not be recorded in depth, but it should be noted that it was painful, long, and involved two tubs of glue and a rather small statue to finally get the broad aspects of Trollish through the thick skulls of the humans.

It wasn't long after the humans grasped the basics that they began using more traditional complex phrases taken directly from English. Rose quickly reverted to her normal speaking pattern and intricate vocabulary, Dave was once again able to throw down his sick rhymes and analogies, John slipped back into his (frankly, terrible) habit of rambling about his movies to anyone who'll listen, and Jade developed better pronunciation in Trollish than she had in English ("I can't help that a dog had to teach me to speak!"). Allusions to English words were tossed in, bad puns that only made sense in English were made, and English idioms made an appearance—all of which only served to confuse their interstellar friends. Especially the idioms.

The trolls did not have trouble with human idioms because of pronunciation or things lost in translation, but because they make absolutely no sense. I mean, really, how does having a wingbeast in one's hand have anything to do with having two creatures in a short shrub? None of them had ever made guttural sounds up a "tree," or "driven" any kind of wheeled vehicle at one of the humans and forced them up a wall. All of these so much less sense than classic idioms such as "as joyous in mood as a shellbeast" and "invoking the musclebeasts to feed on you." But the biggest problem between the cultures' idioms surfaced when John made a terrible slip of the tongue when discussing death.

"So Karkat, what do you want to get done before you kick the bucket?"

As is imaginable, this did not bode well.

"WHAT?!"

Due to the massive amount of time and space that it would take to pen both the English and Trollish dialogue, only the English will appear here. Remember, however, that it is not English that is being spoken, but Trollish, and thus traditional troll conventions apply.

"WHAT THE FLYING FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT?!" Karkat screamed.

John flinched. "Wh-what? I didn't—I mean—huh?"

"WHAT THE FUCK ARE MY EARS HEARING?" Karkat's livid expression (wait, was he blushing?) was enough to send the strongest of musclebeasts running for the hills.

John thought he was going to wet his pants.

"YOU STUPID-ASS WRIGGLER PROTEIN CHUTE IS SPEWING NONSENSE PROFANITY AND YOU HAVE THE FUCKING COURAGE TO ACT CONFUSED?!" Karkat continued on his screaming rant at poor confused John. "ARE YOU FUCKING PROPOSITIONING ME?! JEGUS THIS IS SO FUCKING RETARDED YOU HAVE NO FUCKING IDEA."

From the corner of the room where he had so ironically materialized (or had he been there the whole time?), Dave raised a single blond eyebrow. "What are you screaming about now?"

John turned towards Dave, fearful tears welling in his eyes. "I don't know!"

"How the fuck do you not know?!" Karkat's eyes were practically bulging out of his skull out of the sheer fury and embarrassment coursing through him, but his voice dropped from its exhaustingly loud scream to a more tolerable yell. "You fucking said it!"

"I know what I said," John whimpered, "but I don't get why you're yelling at me!"

"Well," Dave began, "what did you say?"

"I asked what he wanted to do before he kicked the buck-" John was hit with the sudden realization of his words' implications. "OH."

"OH?" Karkat screamed once more, "THAT'S FUCKING ALL YOU HAVE TO SAY?!"

"It's an idiom!" John exclaimed happily, now understanding why Karkat was about to burst from anger, "'kick the bucket' means die!"

"What stupid fucking moron thought of that?" The blush was beginning to fade from Karkat's face. "Dying has nothing to do with—er, sordid receptacles."

"What's wrong with saying bucket?" John chirped, "is it profanity for you or something?"

Karkat's face returned to the apple red it had been mere moments ago. "Well, no, but I don't like to say it…"

This time, it was Dave who asked a question on it. Completely ironically, of course. "But you say 'fuck' all the time and don't have a problem with it. Why is bucket so different?"

"Well," Karkat sighed, "I guess it's not. It's just like," He paused and thought for a moment, "I suppose it's just one of those things that people just do."

John tilted his head in confusion. "Huh?"

"Gah." Karkat glanced from John to Dave and back to John. They were legitimately interested. He sighed. "It's fucking like how someone can say 'fuck' as much as they want but don't talk about… It."

Dave gave a barely visible smirk. "Sex?"

Karkat glared at his shoes. "Yes, Dave, fucking sex."

"But aren't those both the same thing?" John cocked his head to the side with a goofy grin.

Dave gave a hearty but totally ironic laugh. This was too good. "Yes, Karkat. Please enlighten us."

"YOU KNOW EXACTLY WHAT THE FUCK I'M TALKING ABOUT, GRUBFUCKER!" The troll gave the most vicious snarl he could to the humans, and, predictably, failed miserably in his attempt to come off as fierce.

John continued with his wide smile. "But you still haven't answered my question! Are they the same thing?"

The red-blooded troll threw his hands down in disgust and sheer frustration. "You know what?" Karkat raised both of his middle fingers and directed one hand at each of the humans before storming off.

Dave clapped an arm over John's shoulder. "And that is how you troll a troll."

"Oh, I know!" John smiled mischievously. "I've been waiting for months to do that."

Dave's mouth twitched, almost as if his jaw was about to drop. "You planned that?"

John bounced excitedly. "Yeah!" He threw his arms up in the delight of victory. "It went exactly as planned!"

"John, my friend," Dave began proudly, "you are on your way to becoming the best prankster ever."
Just a little tidbit I came up with. Plot: "What if someone said 'kick the bucket' to a troll?"

Many thanks to ~TalonRide1122 for being my beta reader for this--or at least reading it over once and saying it was good XD
Published:
© 2012 - 2021 ChocolatStruhBerrys
Comments12
anonymous's avatar
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PugTime01's avatar
oh my gog this is fabulous XD
ChocolatStruhBerrys's avatar
CrunchyCrowe's avatar
Brilliant, just. brilliant, none of the charas ore OCC, especially Karkat, perfect. brilliant. brilliantness.

i always have trouble writing him angry enough, this.

i just......

my mind, blown

:icongreenheartplz:
ChocolatStruhBerrys's avatar
Thank you very much ^^
I've never written Karkat before, and I had some trouble with it at first... That first bit of dialogue was rewritten something like 4 times >.<
But thank you sooo much :D
HaloKitty10461's avatar
That was awesome XD I am still chuckling as I write this comment lol
chaotically's avatar
ahahahahah that is epic. x)
ChocolatStruhBerrys's avatar
why thank you! XD
I actually have another one in the works right now :3
chaotically's avatar
yay!

also you're online. o:
TalonRide1122's avatar
HEY IT WAS GOOD

Lol I still love the end XD
anonymous's avatar
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