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Orion language referred to a number of languages used by the Orion civilizations of the Alpha and Beta Quadrants.

Variants

The major divisions of the primary Orion language are High Orion and Low Orion. High Orion was used by the upper class and in diplomacy and formal documents, while Low Orion was used in passing in everyday life. While similar, pronunciations are different. High Orion often sounded musical and lyrical, with flowery terms, precise rules for grammar and careful shades of meaning. Low Orion, however, had more nasal and exhaled language sounds, broader vowels and was generally much simpler and cruder. Both are trickier than they appear. (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge) In the Orion language itself, this is called Kolari. Some Orions may choose to speak older and more antiquated or poetic forms such as High Kolari or Imperial Kolari, primarily to score social points or confuse non-speakers. In any language, they enjoy ornate speech and veiled insults. (Decipher RPG module: Aliens)

The Orion language was full of double meanings, ambiguities, intentionally vague words and interpretations that depend on context. There are no single words for 'yes' or 'no', but are instead qualified as, for example, 'yes, if...' and 'no, but...'. It is said to be an excellent debating language, though with no direct answers.

It is also a good swearing language. Low Orion has more base words and vile epithets, but High Orion had a sophisticated cursing case that can be used to deliver delicate and elaborate insults in ambiguous terms. These are sometimes in verse, and count as works of art, but are rarely heard by non-Orions.

In general, Orions preferred not to use their language around others. (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge)

There is a 'backcountry' dialect that is spoken by provincial commoners. (TOS novel: Crossroad)

Trader's Tongue was a variation used in business. Related to this was the written language, Trader's Script, as well as Trader's Measure. (TOS novel: Prime Directive)

Another variation was Yrevish. Ambassador Spock felt that it was important to have an interpreter fluent in Orion Yrevish in the Federation delegation to PojjanPiraKot. (TNG - Double Helix novel: Red Sector)

A common Orion language is called Orion Prime. In an alternate reality, Cadet Nyota Uhura spoke to Cadet Gaila in it. (TOS novelization: Star Trek)

Orion language tends to have a guttural, sibilant quality and many soft consonant sounds. Once, while on a cadet training scenario, Tasha Yar was surprised to find an operating computer system on an Orion vehicle. When the computer issued a vocal query, she responded with the common Human exclamation "ssh", which matched one of the computer's Orion language voice commands. This set off an alarm, as the Orion signal for danger was apparently to hiss like a snake. (TNG novel: Survivors)

Interpreters and speakers

Due to the large number of Starfleet encounters with Orions beginning in the 22nd century, many members of Starfleet are schooled in spoken Orion. Notable personnel with instruction in this language included Nyota Uhura, James T. Kirk, Wanda Worrenstill, Marvin Wanglestien, Kristine Reardon, Stoan, Jack Thompson and C'Raal. By the 24th century, Orion language was a second year elective course at Starfleet Academy. (FASA RPG modules: Cadet's Orientation Sourcebook, The Strider Incident, Decision at Midnight, Star Trek: The Next Generation Officer's Manual)

Klingons also learned Orion to help in their dealings with that civilization. Klingon Empire personnel with instruction in this language included Madra tai-Vurstic, Kagga sutai-Formorax, Kepel zantai-Venonn and K'Zinh sutai-Velai. (FASA RPG modules: Termination: 1456, Decision at Midnight, The Triangle)

Many other civilians and members of non-aligned powers are noted to have been instructed in Orion, such as Kellie Louise Baker of Baker's World; Bhind'rr of Lanroche VIII; free traders Thorapolis Creole, Wilton Tull and Linda Robbins, Dirk of Remfry, Jonny Farlo of Jonny's Retreat, Jonas Elley and Lee Willson of Mantiev; Captain Patch of the Dark Phoenix; Jean Carislon of Jemison; Q'Kuattr; Zeenne; Selene Trikaka and T'planna. (FASA RPG modules: Decision at Midnight, The Triangle)

Manager Friel of Wagner Trading Post was prone to swearing in Orion, with passable pronunciation. She did so once in the 2260s upon hearing that a merchant starship convoy had been attacked by Klingons. (TOS novel: Dreams of the Raven)

Hikaru Sulu also knew some Orion curses, and used them when experiencing difficulty piloting in 2270, testing the Wraith-class shuttlecraft. (TOS - The Lost Years novel: Traitor Winds)

Glossary

Coming from a range of sources, these terms may not all be from the same Orion language.

bhar 
a term or rank for a ship's lieutenant or executive officer (TAS novelization: The Pirates of Orion)
caj 
great family, clan (plural caju) (Decipher RPG module: Aliens)
cheltol 
A term that discreetly translates as a 'capable male student'. (DS9 novel: Twilight)
chuulak 
Back country dialect term for a type of Orion public execution by slow torture to deter others. In an alternate timeline 25th century, Adajia recalled that a Consilium master was going to order mentally incompetent Thad Smith executed by chuulak for dereliction of service to the Consilium Institute. (TOS novel: Crossroad)
cluros 
'cold' or 'coolness'. Cluros is an Orion code of conduct. For example, to keep one's cluros is to keep one's cool. (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge)
delbaj 
'lieutenant' (Decipher RPG module: Aliens)
dubi 
'slave'. This is a diminutive of dubyal, or 'contractor'. (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Deep Knowledge)
dubyal 
'contractor' (plural dubyaln) (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Deep Knowledge)
elt 
a term or rank for a ship's captain or commander (TAS novelization: The Pirates of Orion)
etadubran 
'contractor-holders', 'the obligated'. These are slave owners and slave drivers. (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Deep Knowledge)
F'deraxt'la 
A term for the Federation, pronounced as to rhyme with "Federation" in the Trader's Tongue, referring to a person born of three parents, all of whom were related. The adjective form of the noun was f'deraxt'l. (TOS novel: Prime Directive)
fesin 
'hutch'. A training house for the lodubyaln. (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Deep Knowledge)
ganzu 
The term ganzu seems to translate to 'revenge society'. (plural is also ganzu) (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge)
gisjacheh 
Possibly a profanity. For example, "this gisjacheh drug" that caused an Orion pirate ship a great deal of misfortune. (TAS novelization: The Pirates of Orion)
j'hordak 
'shadow', or less politely, 'hanger-on'. (Decipher RPG module: Aliens)
-kar 
'House of -'. This suffix signified a mansion or estate, such as Keroskar, the 'House of Keros'. (FASA RPG module: Orion Ruse)
Klong 
'the Wall'. A term for the Klingons. (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge)
kohl'ash 
An Orion word which means something akin to 'retreat'. (ENT novel: Age of the Empress)
koledru venaru 
'thieves' honour', the code of the Orion Syndicate (Decipher RPG module: Aliens)
korgasant 
'tentacled-mauler' The Korgasant is a predatory animal native to Daros IV. (plural korgasanti) (FASA RPG module: Orion Ruse)
lisk 
'associate' (Decipher RPG module: Aliens)
lodubyal 
'life-contractor'. These are entertainment slaves, particularly slave women that work as courtesans and sex slaves. (plural lodubyaln) (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Deep Knowledge)
lodubyal ot 
executive or mistress of a group of lodubyaln (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Deep Knowledge)
magren 
'operator' (Decipher RPG module: Aliens)
morakos 
'shadow-killer' The Morakos is a predatory animal native to Daros IV. (plural morakoi) (FASA RPG module: Orion Ruse)
morl 
'crewman' (Decipher RPG module: Aliens)
muni 
'blends' (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Deep Knowledge)
Oromente Qualfn 
'Qualf Liberation Force' (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge)
plounla 
underground cities (plural apparently pounla; may be in error) (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge)
poden 
cities-on-stilts (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge)
rhadaman 
'arch-executive' (plural rhadamanen). These are business leaders and starship captains, including pirate captains. (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge)
rhadaman anthus 
'prince of executives' (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge)
shodar 
'chief' (Decipher RPG module: Aliens)
slethi 
'winged-torturer' The Slethi is a predatory animal native to Daros IV. (plural slethii) (FASA RPG module: Orion Ruse)
tabadi 
'matriarch' (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge)
tahedri 
'patriarch' (also tahedrin) (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge)
The Orions: Book of Deep Knowledge makes tahedrin the singular and turns tahedri the plural. According to the pattern of pluralism established in it and The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge, where n is added to form the plural of various occupations (eg. dubyal/dubyaln, uta/utan), then tahedrin ought to be the plural form of tahedri. Following this, tabadin would likely be the plural of tabadi.
Thakolarivaj 
'Great Orion (Kolari) Empire' (Decipher RPG module: Aliens)
Thana Kolari 
Orion term that meant 'Extended Orion', where 'Orion' is called 'Kolari'. These words refer to the area of space occupied by the Orions, excluding the Rigel system. (Decipher RPG module: Aliens)
tiradosir 
'rapacious' (FASA RPG module: Orion Ruse)
uktas bo urndo 
'blasters and book-keepers'. An Orion sentiment referring to military and political control versus trade and economic forces. One must fall before the other, though it doesn't specify which. (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge)
uta 
'master' (plural utan) (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Deep Knowledge)
vaj 
'empire' (Decipher RPG module: Aliens)
Vyun-pashan 
a type of Orion suicide (TAS novelization: The Pirates of Orion)

Other translations and examples

The word 'stealing' in either the English language or Federation Standard is translated by the Orions into their term for 'getting paid'. (TOS novel: Doctor's Orders)

There is no one word for 'spite' in the Orion language, and the concept is difficult to explain and understand. However, they can easily conceive of it as a type of revenge and readily practice it. (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Deep Knowledge)

"Shandaken, dgr'xt en. K'laxm f'dactla en str'ln axltr'dn. Pr'dyn dgreilt jarras'tla en axm b'rerr–" Uhura translated this message and said "He's telling them [lead by Police Commander Shandaken] to give up. He says he wants them to go back to Orion, where they can all be charged with high treason–" (TOS novel: Death Count)

Loan Words

After developing a love for the culture of Earth up to the 20th century, the Orions picked up some slang words of the Human languages, particularly from Russian and American. (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge)

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