It wasn't really a surprise that Haresz had been angry, given the givens. Unpleasant and unreasonable, yes, but not a surprise. That he had found out that there was anything to be angry over, well. Different matter, but not important right now. What was important was finding out what he had done to them.
"What do you speak to not-forest people?"
"In Faessaya they speak Faessayan. In the Dragonlands they speak Flametongue. In Manafall they speak Continental. In Heaven they speak Angelic, and in the Blessed Lands they speak Angelic and Continental and I don't remember what-all else. I don't speak most of those; I only know Sylvan and a little Continental."
"...Is Continental your Basic? Basic is the language that everyone speaks, so you can communicate with strangers."
"...I guess Continental is sort of like that..." he says, dubiously.
"How's it different?"
"Most people who don't live in Manafall don't speak Continental."
"Do you just--not mix languages when you meet?"
"That--can't be right, can it?"
"Mix languages?" says Sunpatch, puzzled.
"So you can understand each other! That's the point of a group language, is universal communication!"
"...A... group language?"
"As opposed to a personal one."
Sunpatch stares in utter bafflement.
"People don't have languages by themselves..."
"I mean, you teach it to your friends, of course, but--of course they do."
"I don't have a personal language and nobody I've ever met or heard of has one either," says Sunpatch. "It's not a thing here."
"How do you talk about things most people don't want to talk about?"
"When something's--obscure or overlooked or whatever--so there's no words for it in the common language--how do you talk about it if you don't have your own language that focuses on the things you care about? How do you talk about your feelings if you have to use words meant for everyone's feelings? How--how do you tell what someone's like, without a vocabulary?"
"...Maybe our languages have more words than your common ones because everybody isn't hoarding them," says Sunpatch.
"Words aren't zero-sum. If Basic has a simpler vocabulary than your languages it's because it's less used."
"I think it's used differently," says Sunpatch. "I think the way you use languages where you're from and the way we use languages in Imbria are really different."
"If you don't have a universal language or personal ones? Then yes. Absolutely."