Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Interlactose Intolerant

Don't pick on the Legionnaires for talking funny. Don't you realize they don't speak English?

Yes, they speak freaky wacky Interlac, the Interstellar Language of the Future. Actually, DCU aliens in the present also know Interlac, but somehow "The Interstellar Language of the Present" doesn't have quite the same ring to it.

If you didn't already know Interlac, I'm sure you've had plenty of opportunity to ponder, peruse, and even decode it, while waiting for something to happen in the Lightning Saga (such as the death of Geo-Force).

Now, for convenience sake, Interlac is presented as a transliteration of English. But Interlac is different from English. Deeply, perversely different, as any attempt to translate it shows.

How do I know this? Grife, just listen to people in Legion stories talk! Almost every sprokking word balloon sounds something like this:
"Oh, how I despise Sun Boy for dooming us this way!"

"For displaying such weakness, we are imprisoning you here for all time lest you betray us again!"

Not even I talk that way. It's like reading a strict translation of Livy (in this particular case, his synopsis of the Peace Treaty from the Second Punic War).

"Ha! Ha ha! All your base are belong to us!"

Panels like this have allowed me deduce that Jim Shooter was, in fact,
a Japanese teenage girl.

Starman would have loved Interlac.

You remember Alaktor, inventor of the transdimensional adult diaper-tard? I assume the "thing he's after" is a changing station, which would explain his walk. Anyway, try to picture yourself saying, "I'm getting near the thing I'm after!" Now picture that you're wearing that outfit when you say it.

Sometimes I think Interlac is kind of like Mohican or maybe Chippewa.

And sometimes it's like...
okay, I give up on this one. It sounds like when I tried to speak Hausa in high school and all I could ever spit out was stuff along the lines of "Your pigs are eating my yam field".

Anyway, don't blame the Legionnaires if they sound "funny" to you. English simply isn't well suited to translating the genius of Interlac.


Chiaroscuro said...

This has nothing to do with the Legion, I just don't seem to see any way to email you. I and friends were talking about Green Lantern, and the question comes up: "Why doesn't Sinestro just, say, drop a taxi on his head?"

Our calculated Taxionnahead reactions:

Alan Scott, Taxionnahead: "OOOF" Alan wakes up in the next panel, unharmed but tied to a wooden chair.
1960's Hal Jordan, Taxionnahead: "I'll grab this iron oxide powder and throw it with a power beam at the taxi! Now I can handle this! (Ed. Note: Iron oxide turns yellow paint blue, due to an amazing chemical reaction!)
1980's Hal Jordan, Taxionnahead: Hal drops flat to the ground and lets it land harmlessly just above him. He makes a joke about traffic in Coast City.
John Stewart, Taxionnahead: He breaks it apart into umpteen million pieces via the transmission, carefully keeping yellow body panels balanced against metal. He makes a joke about taxis never stopping for black guys.
Guy Gardner, Taxionnahead: Guy punches the muffler and makes the whole taxi fly up and off him. He makes a lame joke about no tip.
Kyle Rayner, Taxionnahead: Spins the whole taxi in his palm on the right hind wheel going "Uhm, you know the wheels aren't yellow, right?" Then he has woman trouble.


MaGnUs said...

That was funny.

Siskoid said...

You have just corrected every Legion story that didn't make sense.

Just like Infinite Crisis fixed every continuity mistake since the original Crisis with Superboy punches.

SallyP said...

Mongoose, that's EXACTLY how the Green Lanterns would do it. Except that somehow, Hal would be hit in the head.

Anonymous said...

Right, but it would be after the battle with Sinestro. You know, just walking down the street.


And it would be a ceiling tile.

And there would be no explanation why a ceiling tile would be falling outside.

Scipio said...

"Hello, police? I'd like to report a hijacking..."

Anonymous said...

One possible problem with your Jim Shooter theory is that many of the panels cited here (and that one in particular) are from way before he wrote any Legion stories. Good theory regardless.

Scipio said...

Huh, that's true.

Then it's just intrinsic to Interlac, I guess.

Phillip said...

"I am shamed at the actions of my pigs. Let me pay for your yams at the established market rate."