beatrice_otter: Sam and Teal'c (Sam and Teal'c)
[personal profile] beatrice_otter
The story I was scrambling to get a beta for?  The deadline got extended!  For everyone!  Apparently, multiple people had contacted the mods saying they had a story mostly done but it wouldn't be done on time, and one of the mods was having computer trouble such that they can't get their FINISHED story off the hard-drive, and so they said, screw it, we're moving the deadline back a month.

On the one hand: Yes!  This story is one of those which I have occasionally, in which it is just going to go on for a while and even if I know where the ending is going to be (I do now, thanks to excellent betaing from [personal profile] tielan and [personal profile] princessofgeeks) it's not going to get there without many thousands of words in the middle.  Like, no, no shortcuts, either you write all this other stuff or you don't write anything, even if you know the ending you will not be able to write it until all the other stuff your hindbrain wants to put in have been exhausted.  So, having the extra time to get it done is good.

On the other hand, I had staggered my ficathons so I could finish up [community profile] stargate_summer and then concentrate on my [community profile] ssrconfidential fic.  And now ... I will have to be working on both at the same time.  Aaaargh.

Also: much time and effort on my part would have been saved if not for the confusion and eurocentrism of historical linguists.  So!  The kingdom of Kush was the southern Egyptian kingdom, which ruled Egypt for a while.  I have a planet full of their descendants.  And I got names for them from modern languages (mostly Somali) from the Cushitic branch of the Afroasiatic language family (Afroasiatic is the language family that contains Egyptian, Arabic, Hebrew, Ethiopian, Somali, and most of Northern Africa's languages).  EXCEPT it turns out that no, the "Cushitic" name has nothing to do with the historical kingdom of Kush, it was all about 19th Century scholars getting confused about which African nation and language was which.  No, the historical Kingdom of Kush spoke Nubian!  Which is a branch of the Nilo-Saharan language family, and thus as closely related to the "Cushitic" languages as English is to Mandarin Chinese!  Aaaaaaaaargh.

So!  I then had to go try and find names that would work within that language family.  Except it turns out that is HELLA HARD.  Somali names, you can find a baby name website where you can filter down to just Somali (not Arabic, which is a large part of North African naming patterns in many ethnic groups, given how many of them are Muslim, which is SLIGHTLY anachronistic for a Stargate fic).  Somali is a language spoken by a lot of people.  Somali is an important language in North Africa, and its online presence shows it.

Nilo-Saharan languages ... um.  First, the whole language family is kind of a grab-bag, they're not sure all of them are even related.  And the reason why, a century after the Nilo-Saharan language family was posited, they're still not sure if it's one language family or two (or more) is that not a lot of scholars have spent much time with these languages.  Any of them.  Second, mostly these people are minorities in their own countries.  Nobiin, the language directly descended from the Nubian spoken by the Kingdom of Kush?  It's one of the largest in that language family.  Spoken by people in Egypt and the Sudan.  And from what my google-fu can find there is ... precious little information about it and the people who speak it online.  A teeny bit of scholarly work, even less aimed at a popular audience.  (There is lots of "Nubian" stuff, but mostly it is on a "Yay black Egyptian Pharaohs!" level, and a lot of times not even that, just used as a positive identifier for African diaspora people.  Which is awesome, don't get me wrong, but did not help me find authentic Nubian names.)

I did eventually find a list of names from the Kingdoms of Kush and Meroe, mostly royalty.  So that's where my OCs are getting their names, now.  (And we'll see if I can remember who's who, after 13k words of Somali names.)  (Yes, this is what my brain decided was more important than actually writing, even with a deadline breathing down my neck.)

(no subject)

Date: 2017-05-01 05:39 am (UTC)
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
From: [personal profile] alexseanchai
the confusion and eurocentrism of historical linguists

Heh. I hear you! Also, well done on the research, even if it didn't turn out terribly fruitful. Re remembering who's who, cheat sheet? [Somali girl] is now [Nubian girl], et al? :P

(I mean, my idea of an authentic Nubian name is "Aida". Which I know is bullshit I got from some Italian opera composer via Elton John, and if I were to attempt anything involving actualfax Nubia I'd attempt serious research first, but still.)

(no subject)

Date: 2017-05-01 01:08 pm (UTC)
princessofgeeks: (Default)
From: [personal profile] princessofgeeks
I am so glad you have more time. I'll be happy to read another draft if that would helpful.

Go you!!!

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