Q&A with Nick Farmer, Linguist, #TheExpanse

Rick Liebling
Jan 12, 2016 · 6 min read
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The Expanse airs on Syfy, Tuesdays at 10pm Eastern

Welcome to The Adjacent Possible: Source Material for Intelligent Sci-Fi. If that sounds interesting, consider signing up for our weekly email newsletter.

In addition to the newsletter, we run an exclusive Q&A series with authors, editors, writers, creators and technical experts who are contributing to the genre. We’re thrilled to have had the opportunity to connect with Nick Farmer, a linguist who is working on the new Syfy original show, The Expanse.

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Nick Farmer hard at work on the Belter language for an upcoming episode. Photo via Ann K. Farmer/Twitter

…you also have to take into account the socio-linguistic factors that influence a language’s development and its usage.

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Belters crowd the streets of the station on Ceres.
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Gia (Sarah Mitich) teaches Belter to Havelock (Jay Hernandez)

Advances in communication technology certainly do allow languages to spread more widely and quickly, and have allowed for more registers to emerge, but these are issues of quantity, not quality; though I must admit that widespread languages have a greater effect on other languages.

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Jared Harris plays Anderson Dawes, a Belter.

I have a spreadsheet Belter dictionary, with the word in Belter, the pronunciation in the international phonetic alphabet, translation in English, part of speech, etymological roots, etymological explanation, and notes on usage.

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Rick Liebling

Written by

Passed the Voight-Kampff test. Broke the Zeroth Law. Made the Kessel Run in 11.84 parsecs. Member of F Society. Ex-Weyland-Yutani and Tyrell Corp exec.

The Adjacent Possible

The nexus of science, technology, innovation and intelligent speculative fiction.

Rick Liebling

Written by

Passed the Voight-Kampff test. Broke the Zeroth Law. Made the Kessel Run in 11.84 parsecs. Member of F Society. Ex-Weyland-Yutani and Tyrell Corp exec.

The Adjacent Possible

The nexus of science, technology, innovation and intelligent speculative fiction.

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