Reviews for Babel
Hebi R chapter 1 . 6/11
The lack of linguistic drift does not make sense, but most of the humans in Narnia descend from King Frank and Queen Helen, who spoke a dialect of London English. It makes sense that the animals would need to understand their rulers.

Considering the differences between British English and American English after just a few hundred years, however, that they still all speak the same language is a puzzle. Frequent trade would help, but only so much. And that still leaves the question of the giants and gnomes.
rosebudmelissa chapter 1 . 8/24/2012
I've never thought about this, but you make some very compelling points in your livejournal post. Interesting food for thought.
Ralinmil Dax chapter 1 . 5/16/2012
I think that is very clever! :)
Gramina from LJDW chapter 1 . 1/8/2011
I enjoyed this - and I probably enjoyed it most for the subtle play between Narnian English and English English, and how easy it was to distinguish the two modes despite the shared grammar and vocabulary :)
TrisakAminawn chapter 1 . 11/5/2010
Heh. I was actually thinking about this earlier today. The obvious reason everyone spoke English is that it was instituted as standard language when Aslan built a small-scale world and brought in English children for witness and an English couple for king and queen, but since there's /never/ any account of where the Calormenes came from, let alone folks like the Archenlanders, it's all a bit up in the air. Evidently Aslan threw up another crop of non-Earth-derived humans at some point, probably after the original royal line failed, since there were no children of Adam and Eve in the world when the four of them arrived. And then there were Telmarines.

I've always wondered where the Calormenes came from, apart from 'straight out of the Arabian Nights, which is to say Fantasy Persia.' Racist old man.

I liked them switching. It was funny.
excessivelyperky chapter 1 . 10/14/2010
Nicely done! Of course, among all the Talking Animals, surely there were Babel Fish, yes?
Kittenn1011 chapter 1 . 5/10/2010
They all speak English because the first King and Queen of Narnia did. Then their decendents moved along and became Archenland, then Calormen, then moved up as far as Telmar. Because of the relationship between the counties, it would have been easier to all maintain the same language.

But I always did wonder why the Pevensies didn't question that...
Eavis chapter 1 . 4/28/2010
Wonderful!

Narnia, as you cleverly pointed out in the title, had no Tower of Babel, and therefor, no confusion of languages was needed...though the thought that the Narnian's might have had an Old Language has always been most intriguing to me...
ChroniclesofNarniaGleeandDW chapter 1 . 2/25/2010
Great oneshot! I'm going to see what other fanfics you've produced and read the ones that sound interesting.
Shizuku Tsukishima749 chapter 1 . 2/24/2010
Oh! What an interesting concept! Goodness, it is! *U* That IS wonder, really, that all of them, even the islands closer to the Utter East...! Nice idea! Such a cute moment between them, though Susan does seem a little distant already (though that may just be me)... Anyway, the ending was so telling: how bittersweet! U *U*

Ever-so sincerely signed,

Shizuku Tsukishima749 :D ;D :) ;)
ilysia chapter 1 . 2/24/2010
Oh, this is wonderful. It really is a troublesome question, if you're looking at it from the perspective of desiring realistic world-building, this speaking of English. But then, that's not what Lewis was going for, was it? So the English in Narnia (and surrounding neighbors, no matter how distant) is something that we all must accept.

I love it. And the Susan/Edmund dynamic is so very well done; poor Susan, putting up with Edmund when no one else will.

And now, off to read an LJ post!
Autumnia chapter 1 . 2/24/2010
I liked this! Having all these different countries in that world speaking the same language was a general assumption I had made when I read the books so long ago. It's a very strange thing, to be sure, and I could see it making some sense since everyone-Beasts, Humans, and Aslan-were all able to understand each other on the day that Narnia was created.
rthstewart chapter 1 . 2/24/2010
So, the only flaw in this is that it is not an update to The Courting Dance. Unlike some (Metogator, Anastigmat, are you paying attention?) I am not enthralled by the oddity of Narnia language. I do, however, adore this little bit for its humor and marvels and deft meta-ing and worldbuilding even if it is a part of the world building that others delight in more than I. It is a question that many have asked and debated and discussed on NFFR and other spots and it is wonderful that you've tried to tackle it. Nevertheless, my favorite line:

One windy afternoon, he crept up on her in the library and startled her into reaching for a nonexistent bow when he cleared his throat. "Make some noise when you walk!" she scolded him, before looking back down at the poem she'd been reading. She rather liked Yeats; he was romantic and just a touch wild, which suited her mood these days.

Fabulous. Fan grrl squee here
Metonomia chapter 1 . 2/24/2010
I saw the title and knew I would love this, then saw "She rather liked Yeats; he was romantic and just a touch wild, which suited her mood these days," and knew I was right. This is lovely and well-phrased and well-characterized, and it answers such a wonderful meta question.

I did feel like it dropped off a bit suddenly at the end, for me - I almost wish the last sentence wasn't there and it just ended with Susan's advice and with a sort of wondering, unanswered question. But that is such a minor thing, and the whole of this is so delightful. Your writing is impeccable, the dialogue is crisp and believable, Susan and Edmund's dynamic is great, and overall it's just a perfectly glorious piece.

I must go read your discussion of this topic, now. So interesting, and so well-done. Thank you!