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Roberts Space Industries ®






November 23rd 2019

Smoother Sailing in the Protectorate
A Rust Society Guide To Interacting with The Banu

Last year, two of our members who spend a lot of time in the Protectorate were hanging out in a bar on Mya and met Regina “Reggi” Poole, a really interestingcool expert on Banu culture from Song University on Terra. She was totally fluent in Banu and the locals were buying her drinks left and right. Turns out she was just weeks away from defending her dissertation on Human indenture. She was on Mya for a couple of days to attend the Divestment ceremony of one of her oldest Banu mentors, Ssunda. The stories she told us about them and their culture blew our minds, so we asked her to help our membership make the most out of trading with Banu and stay out of trouble in their territory. She in turn hooked us up with Albion “Al” Le Coi, a language teacher at Song. This guide is the result of those discussions.

It’s broken up into sections with all kinds of cultural stuff and do’s and don’ts spread across it, with a sample dictionary at the end.

Banu Language

The main language Banu speak is a verb-heavy one with a lot of classifiers and few nouns. Kind of a weird one from a Standard-speaker’s perspective, but you get used to it quick with a bit of practice. Banu are pretty forgiving of Humans who make mistakes when learning to speak Banu, so if you want to get some speaking time in, don’t be afraid to head to your nearest Banu-friendly bar and try out your skills!

Language Lessons in This Document

  • A detailed guide to reading Banu
  • Vowel hierarchy scale
  • You want verbs? We’ve got verbs!
  • Glue speak vs. chop speak: what is it, anyway?
  • Nouns and their classifiers
  • Numbers galore
  • And more!

Banu Culture

Real aficionados of language know that you can’t fully understand a language without understanding the culture. The Rust Society guide dives deep into what makes the Banu Banu. We talk about the food they like, rules around contracts, the way they spend their days, their timescale, their lifespan, their cultural values, their proclivity to party, and a bunch of other stuff that should come in handy to linguists and travelers alike.

Cultural Lessons in this Document

  • Banu friendships
  • Going out on the town with your new friends
  • What “thank you” really means
  • Soulis to seek out
  • Advice about food, drink, and sleep
  • A breakdown of Indenture
  • Notes on Banu time
  • Advice on contracts
  • And more!

Knowledge is Power

We’re just throwing this out to any Rust Society members who don’t want to end up owing the wrong Souli like 700k credits. Who wants that kind of debt on their head, right? Stay safe out there in the BP, y’all, and happy pacho -ing!

Download: Smoother Sailing in the Protectorate: A Rust Society Guide to Interacting with the Banu

A corrected and updated version of this guide was posted on August 7, 2020.

  • Pervasive corrections of typos, typesetting, and punctuation errors.
  • A few small new anecdotal sections on asking about color, etc.
  • Answers to sample questions provided immediately preceding the sample dictionary
  • Over 350 new lexical items added to the sample dictionary
  • Numerous new notes and example sentences given for lexical items in the dictionary
  • Numerous new cross references to related or relevant terms in the dictionary

It is strongly recommended that serious students of the Banu language read through the updated dictionary at their own pace with an eye out for new cultural context hints and notes; along with new example sentences which are given in a mixture of zo pamba and zo yiilo styles of speech. Those who have already begun to master the language will find many fun and unique parsing challenges utilized in these examples, both related to word order and phonological (zo yiilo) contractions. Many new colloquialisms and idioms have also been added.

An updated version of this document with over 1700 new terms was posted on June 21, 2023.

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