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High Imperial

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High Imperial
Related to Spook
World Scadrial
Featured In Mistborn (series)
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High Imperial is the official language of Spook.

It is the eastern slang that Spook spoke before the Final Ascension of Harmony. After the ascension of Harmony, High Imperial turned from an eastern street slang into a scholarly, formal language that was rarely used outside of important legal documents.

One thing about High Imperial, or Eastern Street Slang, is that it was devised by those who spoke it in order to be intentionally obtuse. So it was hard for people to understand. And so there are a lot of nonsense words thrown in the middle. But, it's also got reversed grammar. 'Wasing the wanting of doing the thing' is 'I wanted to do that.' But you can also throw random words in there. As long as those parts are in there, it'll make sense to those they're speaking to. 'I wanted to do this. Wasing the wanting of doing the thing.' You're putting everything into a gerund. You're starting with the verb and the tense. And you're turning everything into ridiculously bad gerunds. That's it in brief.
—Brandon Sanderson on making sense of High Imperial[1]

Quotes[edit]

Wasing the where of needing
—The message left on the aluminum pistol[2]
Ups in the where above the doing
Vin meets Spook[3]
Not of the yetting yet.
Wasing the place when I was young.
—Spook's name is Lestibournes and he speaks in Eastern slang[3]
Someone's coming! Out the night with the calling!
—On Sazeds arrival with Vin[4]
You're awaking!
Notting as the now. Kelsier wasing the hit with my name; changed it to Spook.
[5]
Wasing the Dox to come and be without the stay.
Weapons for the getting, giving the time to be.
Dockson arrives with the weapons for the rebellion[6]
"Nicing the not on the playing without.

Losing the stress on the nip. Notting without the needing of care. - Kelsier
Riding the rile of the rids to the right.
Wasing the was of brightness. Nip the having of wishing of this.
Ever wasing the doing of this. - Kelsier
Ever wasing the wish of having the have. Brighting the wish of wasing the not. - Ham

Wasing not of wasing is.
[7] conversation between Spook, Kelsier, Dockson and Ham
I'm not of the seeing. Uncle, you really the burn, right?
[8]
Keep Hasting. Elariel soldiers with the attacking tonight.

Wasing the want of this.

Wasing the Snap when I was five.
[9]
Wasing the where of calling out.
[10]
Wasing the where of what?
Lestibournes. Lefting I'm born. I've been abandoned
—Spook [11]
Wasing." Was doing.

" 'Wasing the run of there' would mean 'I was running to that place.' "
"Wasing the how of wanting the doing." Beldre (reading Spook's writing)
"Wasing the how of wanting the doing.
But that's the best part, Beldre said. "It's gibberish on purpose, right?"

Spook remembered with fondness how his parents had responded to his adoption of the slang. It had been a kind of power, being able to say things that only his friends could understand. Of course, he'd started speaking in it so much that it had been hard to switch back.
—Conversation between Beldre and Spook [12]

How To Speak[edit]

  • The pronoun is assumed to be you unless contradicted.
    • Using your name is redundant.
    • If you must refer to the subject do so at the end.
  • Use nicknames for people, the language is based off moving the structure of a sentence into as many confusing manners as possible. In fact, using a nickname of a nickname is best.
  • Adjectives come first, Then verbs, even if you form them as nouns
    • In general, verbs should be gerunds, meaning they should end with -ing, even if that's not normally correct.
    • The only exception is if the verb can't become a gerund without loosing the needed meaning.
  • Form sentences (Tense-Adjective) (Verb-Gerund) Noun
    • The longer the sentence is it becomes symmetrical.
    • Remember it TAV-GuN; Nug VAT Those in parenthesis (see above) can be swapped around with each other.
      • I don't know where the u came from; this is how a friend explained it to me.
  • It's better to use shorter sentences, the longer ones give more clarity, which we are trying to avoid
  • Don't use possessives unless they are formed as adjectives.
    • To refer to a subject say "of <subject name>".
  • Many phrases begin with Wasing or Ising.
    • Ising (in the) now is incorrect, don't pair them. This changes the tense.
      • If you must change the tense, you'll have to cycle again, or you risk adding too much clarity to what you say.
    • Don't neglect Notting, Nowing, Nearing, Having, Kind, Good, You, He, Wanting and other words as they work well too.
  • Remember that you'll learn to understand it before you speak it near as well.

Reference Mistborn:The Final Empire for Lestibourne's parts. Guide dictated by Lady Amdin , written by Sir Kit

An English to High Imperial translator is being worked on by Richard Kopelow. It can be found here: http://highimperialtranslator.com/

Notes[edit]

  1. How does one make sense of Spook's High Imperial?
    Theoryland - Sep 22nd, 2012
  2. The Alloy of Law chapter 14
  3. a b The Final Empire chapter 6
  4. The Final Empire chapter 15
  5. The Final Empire chapter 16
  6. The Final Empire chapter 22
  7. The Final Empire chapter 24
  8. The Final Empire chapter 26
  9. The Final Empire chapter 32
  10. The Well of Ascension chapter 6
  11. The Hero of Ages chapter 23
  12. The Hero of Ages chapter 56
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