Languages: Simplifying Communication & Unification
Because Sternbergopolis is the product of many settlers, immigrants, and native populations, many different methods of communication once divided different parts of the Continent. Today, unified as one nation, there are very few languages left, but some still remain, and some are spoken in different ways than other places that speak the same language. You can learn more about the different languages, vernaculars, and other language-related topics below. For more on communication through the use of technology, you can visit the "Technology & Communication" section.
Maylin is the second most popular language in Sternbergopolis, and has its roots in the Lerkenshardniff language. Modern-day Maylin is far different from earlier version of the language. It was an official language of Sternbergopolis until 2008, and it was a recognised language by the Federal Government until 2012. In a nationwide movement to teach everyone English and eliminate other, less common languages to break communication barriers, the 2012 Nationalism Act passed by the Assembly stated that Maylin would no longer be taught as a first language, and that school classes for students that speak English no longer be conducted in Maylin. Currently, about 3% of the total population of Sternbergopolis. is able to communicate in Maylin. Of this, 63% live in East Nickelford, and 34% live in Nickelford. 1% live in Griswold, 1% live in Persyton, and the other 1% live elsewhere. 23% of all people who speak Maylin know another language, which is usually English or Castilian.
Lerkenshardniff has its roots in some of the oldest peoples to inhabit Sternbergopolis. It is the basis for Maylin, however, there are some noticeable differences in modern Lerkenshardniff and modern Maylin. Lerkenshardniff is less polished, and more rugged. The sound of it to the average English-speaker is comparable to that of a dialect of Russian, while Maylin sounds a bit more like an Arabic. However, both utilise the same alphabet, the same grammatical structure, and are taught as a second language in the same fashion. About 1% of the population speaks Lerkenshardniff as a first language, and nearly all of these are both from Seenetro or the Idemedesa area and know English as well.
Pixeanean is a nearly dead language, as it is the least spoken major language in Sternbergopolis. Spoken by the Pixeana people of the mountain range in Seenetro or Griswold, the language is somewhat primitive, and nearly all of the native speakers know at least another language. Typically, speakers of native languages tend to learn other, more popular native languages before learning English as they are discouraged by the major differences. A national education initiative has been launched to put an end to this.
English is obviously the most commonly spoken language in Sternbergopolis, and the only official language that the government recognises. Most people speak it as a first language, and most people who don't speak English at first end up learning it eventually in their lives. English first arrived in the 1400s with settlers though it was not the first language (see Castilian below). In Sternbergopolis, there were no traditional English language grammatical rules and structures to abide by as in most other English-speaking countries, so the language was governed by a loose set of de facto rules that often meshed the different cultures of different English-speaking countries. In an attempt to minimise confusion and differentiate our language and culture from that of others, Sternbergopolis decided to adopt and begin using the version of English used in the United Kingdom and a few countries in the Commonwealth Realm, most notably Canada. However, in the west, the version of English varies greatly in both spelling, grammar, and pronunciation from that of the east.
Castilian (more commonly known to both Earth and the English-speaking world in general as Spanish, is the third most common language in Sternbergopolis, and the most common second language in Sternbergopolis. It was the first language of the settlers to arrive in the 15th century, and was the native tongue of Seymour Persyton, who may have had origins in Castilia, or Spain. It is commonly spoken in the east, and the version spoken is closely associated with the version traditionally spoken in Spain, with the exception of a looser pronunciation of the alphabet, and some Maylin and English words have worked their way into the vernacular. Spanish is a romance language, learned and enjoyed by many for both communication purposes with the Latino population, and for fun. In 2010, it was announced that President Sternberg was taking classes to learn how to speak Castilian.