Event Type



Virtual Access

Thursday, December 16, 2021

2:30 pm EST

Language in Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror

Congressional On-Site Viewing (Virtual), 2:30 pm EST View Replay

From The Languages of Pao to Embassytown, authors from all eras have explored the limits of humankind’s greatest invention: language. In this panel, linguists and language experts discuss what works and what doesn’t, and how to walk the line between science and science fiction with respect to language.

Type: Panel

Friday, December 17, 2021

1:00 pm EST

Learn Lang Belta: The Language of The Expanse

Calvert Room, 1:00 pm EST *

Far from Earth’s gravity well, the brave and resourceful Belters have developed their own Creole language. Lang Belta combines languages from all over Earth with the unique culture of the Belt. This course is a friendly, hands-on introduction, teaching you to understand spoken Lang Belta and to produce original sentences of your own. No knowledge of The Expanse is required, and there will be no plot spoilers.

Type: Workshop

Lost (or Gained) in Translation?

Older (Virtual), 1:00 pm EST *

Translation is more than simply replacing words. Translators must ensure that the target audience can understand the work, while communicating the author’s voice as closely as possible. Panelists will discuss the creative art of translating and how translation can enhance, detract from, or even recontextualize an original text.

Type: Panel

2:30 pm EST


Kress (Virtual), 2:30 pm EST View Replay

What makes a language alien, or at least non-human? This may involve grammatical systems not found (so far) in natural human languages, or even modes of communication distinct from spoken, signed, or written language. Will aliens have different understandings of the context in which a communication takes place?

Type: Panel

4:00 pm EST

Translation Slam

Cabinet Room, 4:00 pm EST *

Many of us enjoy reading speculative fiction in translation, but don’t appreciate the nuanced work that goes into creating it. In this translation slam*, each panelist has translated a piece from its original language into English. They will share their translations with the audience and discuss their decision-making process and the nuances that went into their choices.

*slam (noun, informal): a performance in which competitors recite their entries to an audience

Type: Panel

Sunday, December 19, 2021

10:00 am EST

Representing Multilingual Worlds

Kress (Virtual), 10:00 am EST View Replay

Civilizations of the past have tended to be multilingual, sometimes with more than one common language along with various local languages and dialects. What are some ways to represent this diversity in a fictional text? How can linguistic diversity enhance other facets of storytelling?

Type: Panel
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