Encyclopedia Entry: "Shatarin"

From The Acadian Xenolinguistic Encyclopedia, 4th ed.

Published 2871 Æx. by The Ayn Rand University Press: Chesapeake, Acadica

The Shatarin language, or le-Shatarīyin, is the demotic speech of the Shatarin Empire, and the liturgical language of the Shatarins’ holy book, The Eternal Mutalbin.

Shatarin is believed to be unrelated to any extant language in the former Convergency. It does, however, share many features with the forgotten isolate languages of the ancient Fertile Crescent of Old Earth. Researchers have concluded that it likely diverged from its hypothetical relatives in the remote past, possibly due to Procyon social intervention.

Because of the Shatarins’ historical opposition to any translation of their “illustrious” language, the initial decipherment of their tongue was a painstaking process, involving time-consuming, tedious research. The effort was undertaken by a team of Colonial xenolinguists at the time of the Vega Autonomy, recruited from renowned academic institutions. To the present day, an estimated 85% of the Shatarin lexicon has been recorded and deciphered. It is unclear as to when the ongoing research will be considered complete, though it has seen a rapid increase in funding within the past several years, due to its strategic importance for Arterran eparchial security.

It comes as no surprise that the translation project was originally organized out of immediate necessity: to facilitate the interrogation of a then-unidentified illegal migrant in the Vega Autonomy. The criminal trial, popularly called the “Close Encounter of the Filth Kind,” was the first documented encounter with the Shatarins. Subsequent writings, notably the memoir of the prolific Colonial Justice Ricaerdis Yorke, correctly predicted that the trial would be forever viewed as a milestone in Colonial history. It proved to be a foreshadowing of the modern, turbulent relations between the Shatarin Empire and the galaxy’s more civilized systems.

Justice Yorke describes his initial impression of the Shatarin language in his autobiography, The Laws of Life and the Land, as follows:

“My first encounter with the infamous Shatarin reproductive colonist brought about an unsettling mix of emotions. Naturally, I was disgusted by the very nature of her mission: to unleash dozens of children from her wretched womb as a form of demographic subterfuge. Her and her people’s passion for bloodshed, too, was abhorrent and wholly unfamiliar, as the Vega Autonomy was, and is, a haven for peace. But at the same time, I found myself captivated by the hardworking linguists’ utterances in the Shatarin language. Its native speakers were hideous, both physically and in their mentality, but their mother tongue was strikingly pleasant, as was its system of writing. Guttural consonants aside, its sounds are quite soft and gentle on the ears. It was a juxtaposition of aural beauty and visual ugliness that I will never forget. I only pray that such beauty will not lure the innocent and the curious into the ideological trap of the Shatarin religion, which, quite unfortunately, goes hand in hand with this otherwise fascinating language.”

It was only in more recent years that the Mutalbin was fully translated into Millennial Anglic, though its central tenets were well-known beforehand. The following is a passage from the eighth chapter, or Book (S. Sarvōqin) of the Mutalbin, entitled “The Inheritance” (S. le-Zeqathin), which is one of many instances in which the Shatarin god Lekaah allegedly bestows the entire universe upon the Nameless Prophet. It has been traditionally used by both the Shatarin Empire and its collectivist sympathizers as evidence of the Shatarins’ universal indigeneity.

« Veh mātan le-shavā’in-eh zhruqīyin el-nūtr shemāmin beh le-thenawātin vejālīyin zemetuq, ḥalqathni le-Vazān Darmuzōshī il Rūqqin Ravadhat-eh el-jummin, veh gōwaznihō ‹ Ḥezhūz, āyyu le-Kāh-eh Qiyyār, le-ghawārim beh le-ḥōshin zala’iyān; shnuyasharsha kakhalsha-veh, sashamiran beh tō riyālin thenawātīyin, beh veh dāl veh khul le-thenawātin vejālīyin. Dinesheh zamzarinsha vekhelin-veh il muvekhshatarin ba zirān veh beh hōrān, yahaninsha shaqazīnsha-heh el-yahanin beh shirātīn-eh hathanat-eh-veh el-dhayāmin, nudiramrasha, āyyu Qiyyār, tō khom, qadhin, ghawārin-veh, ba dayim darsashazōsh zarqānīn mārqamīn-veh. Mūshqaz shōḥalqath ḥet araqqin mesh radamrasha, dinesh dardiramōrasha mesh le-Kāh el-Majār, veh ō zeqathinrasha majrīyin, mesh yezhadhin tulqa ilamat yezhadhim-eh el-qa’alin. Veh mū tulqīn dīn ōpavaqma rahav meshrasha darshōzavrāmma mesh vedinrasha, veh shnukhazemōm ba shār ba ḥōshin, veh shōreshtamma ba qorbanin belesh. › Veh le-Vazān Darmuzōshī razhbārōnōsh dinesheh khavadinnōsh, veh dageshōnōsh sharāzzirshārsh hathanat-eh jakhtārin mesh kawalim rebkan veh havtam, bū’at neh ō shaqazīnō-veh veshāvmahem, dinesh tulqa shatarinōm. »

“And when the third full moon of the new year rose in the night sky, We took the Nameless Messenger to the summit of Mt. Ravadhat, and We said to him: ‘Behold, O Beloved of Lekaah, the stars in the darkness above; We shall bless you and your progeny, and you shall dwell in every sphere of heaven, in and through and across the night sky. For your piety and your zeal in spreading Shatarin by the sword and in the marriage bed, baptizing yourself and your men in the blood of nonbelievers and virgins, We grant to you, O Beloved, every world, moon and star, to which you will be called natives and rightful owners. No one shall take a single stone from your land, for it was given to you by Lekaah the Most High, and it is your divine inheritance, from this day forth until the end of days. And those who try to steal from you shall be brought to justice by your hand, and We shall punish them with fire and darkness, and they shall suffer in hideous agony forever.’ And the Nameless Messenger praised Us for Our benevolence, and offered unto Us a sacrifice of one hundred thousand virgins from tribes near and far, after he and his men had had their way with them, as was their sacred right.”