Solo Learning Letters

Aster meets Atmish at the Reading Room for lessons in Shiber.

(This is a thread from Mizahar's fantasy role playing forums. Why don't you register today? This message is not shown when you are logged in. Come roleplay with us, it's fun!)

Herein lies Xyna's Outpost, and her gift to Mizahar's people. It is a magical place full of potential and possibility where all can gather and exchange ideas and commerce.

Moderator: Gossamer

Learning Letters

Postby Asterope on November 13th, 2021, 2:43 am

3rd of autumn, 521 AV

The last time Aster had seen Atmish, she had asked about learning Shiber. She hardly had the resources or, in her opinion, knowledge to pick up every language from every race she would change into. But her Benshira form had been her first, and it held a special place in her heart for that reason, silly as it may seem; she was keen to learn more about the culture behind the face she wore. Besides, she was lucky in that she had the resources to learn Shiber, that being Atmish.

They had agreed to meet at the Reading Room that afternoon; Atmish was hopeful that he would be able to find at least one or two books written in Shiber, given how the Outpost was such an amalgamation of cultures and races from across the world. When Aster arrived, she saw Atmish already sitting at one of the desks, and he waved her over. "Asterope," he said, warmly, keeping his voice low and quiet. "It's good to see you again."

Aster smiled at him, taking a seat next to him. She noticed he had a few sheets of parchment already laid out, with a small inkpot and a quill, though she didn't see any books. "You as well, Atmish. How have you been?"

"Quite good. Yourself?"

"I've been okay," Aster nodded slightly. Saying 'good' felt like an exaggeration, so she settled for a more neutral word. The pleasantries were superficial but still nice as they settled in, Atmish explaining that he wanted them to go over the basics before he started pulling out any full books. Aster nodded; that made sense.

"Well then, straight to business, shall we?" Atmish smiled warmly at her, leaning in close in order to keep his voice down so that they didn't disturb any other library patrons. Aster nodded, also leaning her head, then wincing and mumbling an apology as her horn bumped Atmish's head gently, her cheeks flushing with embarrassment. He chuckled, waving off her apology.

"So, you know nothing of Shiber?" He asked, and Aster shook her head, mindful of her horns this time. "Well then, I do not promise I am the best teacher, but I at least know my alphabet. This is 'A' in Shiber..." He picked up the quill, dipping it carefully in the inkwell and tapping off excess ink before drawing a curving shape on one of the pieces of parchment in front of them, and then smaller, beneath it, the letter 'A' in Common. "Try saying it, 'A'," Atmish said, pronouncing the letter clearly and slowly in Shiber. His warm, rich voice took on a more lilting accent when he spoke in Shiber, Aster noticed.

"Okay. 'A'," Aster said, doing her best to mimic the sound. Atmish grinned, shaking his head slightly.

"No, no. Close, but not quite. Like this." He repeated it back to Aster, and she repeated it again as well, the two going back and forth until Atmish was satisfied with how she was saying it. "Now, try writing the letter." He slid the paper over to her and handed her the quill. Aster hesitated, tracing the now dry quill over the letter Atmish had written a few times; once she felt she had the motion down, she dipped the quill into the ink and carefully, painstakingly drew out her own letter beside it.

She felt proud, sure she had gotten it almost perfect until she sat back and glanced back at the one Atmish had written, at which point she felt herself deflate slightly. Hers was clumsy, shaky, and slightly slanted. Atmish smiled encouragingly at her. "Not bad for your first try," he said, resting a hand on her shoulder. "Here, like this."

Word count: 619
Image

The sun will rise, and we will try again
User avatar
Asterope
A light that never goes out
 
Posts: 632
Words: 639035
Joined roleplay: August 16th, 2017, 11:11 pm
Location: The Outpost (Sunberth)
Race: Ethaefal
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Featured Thread (1) Mizahar Grader (1)
Overlored (1) Alvadas Seasonal Challenge (1)
Power Fork (1)

Learning Letters

Postby Asterope on November 13th, 2021, 2:45 am

They spent what felt like bells going over the letters of the alphabet one by one until Aster remembered most of them, and could pronounce and write them to Atmish's satisfaction. "Well done," he grinned at her. "Now, onto numbers."

Aster couldn't help the groan that left her, wincing and mouthing an apology to the older man who sat next to them when he shot her an irritated look. Atmish chuckled quietly, low in his throat. "You're doing well, Asterope. Do you want a break?"

Aster sighed, shaking her head. "No, that's okay. Let's keep going." Academics, she was realizing, was incredibly boring. Interesting, but tedious, and repetitive too; although perhaps that was just because she was learning the very basics, the foundations of an entire language, and was having to repeat things in order to memorize them. Still, she could feel herself becoming impatient. She much preferred hands-on activities. Inhaling a deep breath, she forced herself to relax, focusing on the fresh, blank sheet of paper that Atmish set in front of them.

"Now, this is the letter 'zero' in Shiber..." The process began all over again, with Atmish teaching her the letters zero through ten, having her repeat them back and draw them out until she had them memorized. "Good," Atmish nodded, as Aster finished writing out a line of digits. "Now, the same as Common, and I imagine most languages, you spell out words by putting letters together. Why don't you try writing your name?"

Aster nodded, grabbing a blank sheet of parchment; thankfully, Atmish had thought ahead and brought plenty. She set the sheet with all of the letters on it to the side, and began painstakingly copying them down one at a time. A - S - T - E...as she worked, Aster asked Atmish, "Does the pronunciation of my name change at all in Shiber?"

"Not really. It would be said with more emphasis on the 'ah' syllable, since it is a common one in Shiber, and obviously with a bit of a different accent, but names do not particularly change between languages that I know of," Atmish said, watching her work. ...R - O - P...Atmish nudged her gently. "There should be a line there to distinguish it from the 'O'," he pointed out. "They are similar letters, it is important to make sure you write them clearly to differentiate them."

Aster grimaced, nodding, and corrected the letter by carefully drawing in the line she had forgotten before finishing off her name with the letter 'E'. Atmish looked it over, then nodded in approval. "Now why don't you try again, make it more smooth, like one word instead of a bunch of letters near each other?" His voice was gently teasing, and Aster wrote her name a few more times until the letters flowed smoothly as one word, rather than spaced out letters.

"So now you know the alphabet, but you don't know the sounds the letters make. I will tell you the basic ones, like 'A' in Common is often said 'ah', but there are many exceptions. Common is the same in this way. I won't be able to teach you all the exceptions, but you will learn as you go. Now, let's start with 'A'..." Atmish said, sounding out the sound the letter made.

Word count: 548
Total: 1,167
Image

The sun will rise, and we will try again
User avatar
Asterope
A light that never goes out
 
Posts: 632
Words: 639035
Joined roleplay: August 16th, 2017, 11:11 pm
Location: The Outpost (Sunberth)
Race: Ethaefal
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Featured Thread (1) Mizahar Grader (1)
Overlored (1) Alvadas Seasonal Challenge (1)
Power Fork (1)

Learning Letters

Postby Asterope on November 13th, 2021, 2:46 am

And so it began again, Aster mimicking Atmish, the two going back and forth until she was pronouncing the sound as best as she could, writing down an approximation of the sound so she wouldn't forget it. Once Atmish was satisfied, they moved on to the next letter, until they had made their way through the alphabet. "Very good," Atmish praised her. "Now, it is getting rather late, but let us put together everything that we've learned at least once or twice. We'll try a basic word now. 'Hello' in Shiber is 'falim'," Atmish pronounced the word slowly and clearly. "Fa-lim," he broke it down into two syllables. "Now you try."

"Fa-lim," Aster repeated, and Atmish nodded. "Falim," she repeated, more confidently, and Atmish grinned at her.

"Excellent. Now, think of those sounds you just used. How would you write that word?" Atmish asked, and Aster bit her lower lip nervously. She sounding the word out in her head again; falim, fa-lim, f-a-l-i-m...picking up the quill, she hesitantly began to write. F - A - L...she began writing the Shiber letters, glancing at Atmish, who was watching her and nodding. Aster hesitated, then scrawled out the Shiber letter 'E', and Atmish shook his head. "Not 'E', though their sounds are similar sometimes in Shiber. It's an 'I'."

Aster crossed the letter out, writing an 'I' instead, and continued, finishing the word with an 'M'. "Exactly so," Atmish nodded. "Now, I shouldn't, but I will teach you a swear. It's half the fun of learning languages," Atmish smiled. "It is a very simple word, one syllable. 'Hik'," the word sounded guttural, coming from deep in Atmish's throat. "It is very common. The literal meaning is 'spit', but it is used much like you say shyke in Common," Atmish explained.

Aster had never been fond of swearing in any language, but she humoured Atmish. "Hik," she said, or at least tried to say, but the sound caught in her throat and she ended up coughing as she attempted to mimic the guttural pronunciation from Atmish. He chuckled.

"Some words are hard to pronounce for outsiders; it is hard on the throat, if you are not used to it. You can pronounce it softer if you want, like 'hik'," he spoke with less of a guttural sound, instead speaking the word more smoothly. "Any Benshira will know you are not technically one of us, but they will understand what you are saying."

"Hik," Aster repeated the word in a smoother tone, and found it much easier to say without trying to force it out as a growl deep in the back of her throat.

"With practice, you might learn to say it right. But for now, that is fine," Atmish nodded. "Now, how would you spell that? It is a simple word, I'll give you a hint, it only has three letters." Aster made a thoughtful, quiet humming noise, then begin writing hesitantly. 'H' was the first letter down; recalling what Atmish had just said previously about 'E' and 'I', she tentatively wrote an 'I', her confidence boosted when Atmish nodded, and finished the word off with a 'C'.

"Not quite. It is hard, because same as Common, 'C' and 'K' often make identical sounds," Atmish explained. "But it is a 'K', not a 'C'." Frowning, Aster nodded, crossing out the 'C' and replacing it with a 'K'. "Now, let's see...you know 'hello'," he paused, looking at Aster.

She had to take a moment to search her memory, her brain full of everything she'd been memorizing that day. "Falim," she said, after a moment, and felt herself smile slightly when Atmish nodded proudly.

Word count: 608
Total: 1,775
Image

The sun will rise, and we will try again
User avatar
Asterope
A light that never goes out
 
Posts: 632
Words: 639035
Joined roleplay: August 16th, 2017, 11:11 pm
Location: The Outpost (Sunberth)
Race: Ethaefal
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Featured Thread (1) Mizahar Grader (1)
Overlored (1) Alvadas Seasonal Challenge (1)
Power Fork (1)

Learning Letters

Postby Asterope on November 13th, 2021, 2:49 am

"So I suppose I should also teach you 'goodbye'. It is very similar, only two letters change, and it is pronounced similarly. In Shiber, we say 'mahim'." Atmish explained, doing as he had done previously and breaking the word down into its syllables clearly. "Ma-him."

There was that guttural noise in the middle of the word again; Atmish made it seem easy, and while it was a rough sound, in his lilting, natural accent, it sounded quite nice. Aster was sure if she tried again she would sound more like a cat trying to puke up a hairball or a dying crow, so she saved herself the embarrassment and used the smoother pronunciation that Atmish had showed her. "Mahim," she repeated, diligently, and was rewarded with a smile...and having to spell out the word.

Atmish had said only two letters changed, and they seemed rather obvious, but Aster needed a moment to go back over the alphabet to recall which letter specifically made the different sound at the start of the word. After a moment of searching and thinking, it came back to her, and she began writing. M - A - H - I - M. That guttural sound wasn't a hard one to forget. Atmish nodded, "Well done, Asterope. I feel that we've done more than enough for today, don't you?"

Aster nodded in agreement; her back was sore from sitting hunched, her fingers cramping from gripping the quill, and her throat was slightly sore from the new sounds she had been pronouncing. Not to mention her eyes and head hurt slightly from all the reading and writing in the dim light of the Reading Room, and all the information she'd had to take in. "That was a lot to remember," Aster admitted, her voice still hushed as she sat back, stretching and wincing slightly when her shoulders popped.

"It is a lot," Atmish grinned. "And in only one day. But you're a grown woman, and you seem smart at that. If a child can learn these, so can you. It is only the alphabet and some numbers." Aster flushed, nodding. She wasn't sure if she was supposed to take that as a compliment or not. "Maybe next time we meet, we can actually look for a book written in Shiber in here."

She helped Atmish pack up his things, but he shook his head as she handed him back the sheets with the alphabet and her scribblings. "Keep those," he said, sincerely. "Use it for practice and to study. I expect you to remember everything we went over today next we meet."

Word count: 431
Total: 2,206
Image

The sun will rise, and we will try again
User avatar
Asterope
A light that never goes out
 
Posts: 632
Words: 639035
Joined roleplay: August 16th, 2017, 11:11 pm
Location: The Outpost (Sunberth)
Race: Ethaefal
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Featured Thread (1) Mizahar Grader (1)
Overlored (1) Alvadas Seasonal Challenge (1)
Power Fork (1)

Learning Letters

Postby Asterope on November 13th, 2021, 2:51 am

"Of course," Aster said, clearing her throat once they had exited the Reading Room, relaxing her throat as she spoke at a normal volume for the first time in bells. "Thank you so much, Atmish. I know you said you don't know much about teaching but you were very helpful."

Atmish chuckled, holding out his hand; Aster reached for it to shake it, but he pulled her into a brief hug instead, squeezing her shoulders slightly. Blushing, Aster tentatively hugged him back briefly until he stepped away. "Of course, it was my pleasure. I cannot take all the credit; you're a good student. Be safe, Asterope. I'll see you soon. Mahim," He waved at her with a grin.

"Mahim," Aster smiled as she waved back, watching him saunter off down the street, letting out a slight sigh when he was out of view. It was getting late, and Aster was getting tired. The amount of mental work and memorization she'd done had exhausted her, apparently.

Carefully and neatly folding up her papers, Aster began walking back to the inn, repeating letters out loud to herself as she went. "A...'ah'," she made the sound, not caring if she looked or sounded crazy. She was determined to practice between then and the next time she saw Atmish; she didn't want to let him down, after all.

"B...'buh'," Aster said to herself, as she walked, enjoying the warm evening air of the desert. That night, when she shifted, she chose her Benshira form, and despite her exhaustion she stayed up a few bells longer, going over her sheets of paper a few more times, and then a few more...it wouldn't hurt to rest her eyes a moment.

Aster folded her arms on the desk, resting her cheek on her forearms, and closed her eyes. Just a few moments...'A'...'ah...she was asleep moments later, Cressida also fast asleep curled up on her lap. When she awoke the next morning, it would be with parchment sticking to her cheek and dreams of Shiber letters following her fading from her mind.

Word count: 344
Total: 2,550
Image

The sun will rise, and we will try again
User avatar
Asterope
A light that never goes out
 
Posts: 632
Words: 639035
Joined roleplay: August 16th, 2017, 11:11 pm
Location: The Outpost (Sunberth)
Race: Ethaefal
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Featured Thread (1) Mizahar Grader (1)
Overlored (1) Alvadas Seasonal Challenge (1)
Power Fork (1)


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest