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Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
#1 Copy

Questioner

How long did you keep the whole High dialect being Spook... How long were you waiting to do that?

Brandon Sanderson

How long was I waiting to do High Imperial? Which is Spook's dialect, turned into a pseudo-religious ancient language. Oh, man, that was so much fun. And you know what, that was one I came up with pretty late in the process. Because, if you know about the Mistborn trilogy, Spook became a larger character as I wrote him. The biggest deviation between my original outline for Mistborn and the final of the Era 1 trilogy is that I added a big sequence with Spook in the third book that had not been in the original outline. So, it was pretty late that I decided that Spook would have an influence over that. I just laughed uproariously when I came up with it, so I knew it belonged in the books. But if you haven't read the new Mistborn books, High Imperial is an ancient and important language.

Words of Radiance Philadelphia signing ()
#2 Copy

Questioner

Is there any chance that we could get a lexicon or grammar book high Imperial?

Brandon Sanderson

I can give you a few basic rules. Put everything in the present progressive, number one. Then, you're usually gonna go verb first, and you're gonna throw lots of "to be" in, and you're gonna add extraneous words in order to confuse the people who don't speak it. They actually do this. If you look in the books, it mentions they put in extraneous words. There's one other rule I'm forgetting. But you kinda go through that, and then you say whatever feels right to you as you're speaking it. The thing about High Imperial is it's supposed to evolve, and each little group that was speaking it was kinda making up their own slang of it as they went. And so, even if you met someone from another city who spoke it, you would have a lot of trouble. Now, now it's all been nailed down. But you can get pretty close by doing those things I said to you. There's one other one, I can't remember what it is.

Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
#3 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

If you hate Spook's dialect, I apologize for this chapter. This is the place in the book where I spent the most time on it. I really like some of the phrases here–I tried to make the dialect focus on rhythm and sounds, making it alliterative and interesting simply to say out-loud. In case you need it, here's a loose translation of the exchange in this chapter:

Spook: "It;s not nice to play with people like that."Kelsier: "Oh, don;t worry about what he does to you. He;s not worth your concern."Spook: "You're probably right."Breeze: "What are you two babbling about?"Spook: "He wants to be clever. He pushes people around because he wants to prove that he is clever."Kelsier: "He's always been like that."Ham: "He's insecure. I think he worries that he's really not that clever."