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ORSON SCOTT CARD

Doll back: A screw-up, can't do anything right (Russian: Dolbak)

Dow: Weapon (Vietnamese: Dao, "knife")

Dull Bob: Idiot (Russian: Dolbaeb)

Eemo: Hick, person who's "out of it" (Japanese: Imo, "potato," derisive term for a country hick)

Emossin': Half-baked, lousy, fifth-rate (Japanese slang: Imasen, literally "a thousand things are missing")

Goffno: Excrement (Russian: Govno)

Greeyaz: Worthless trash, said of people or things (Russian)

Jeesh: Troops, army (Arabic: Jaish)

Kintama: Testicle (Japanese)

Koncho: Traitor (Japanese: Kancho, "enema")

Kuso: Excrement (Japanese)

Marubo: A violent, dangerous punk. Japanese slang, it means literally "B label," which may have meant "a second-rater" or (more likely) the B stood for boryoku, or "violence," the idea being that as a kid in school, this guy was stamped "B for boryoku."

Nuzhnik: Toilet (Russian)

Oomay: A jerk or worse (Swahili: Uume, "male generative organ")

Piff: Screw up (Portuguese: Pifar, "to fall apart")

Shtuka: Thing (Russian)

Soak a noky: Get out of the way (Japanese: soko noke)

Toguro: A thing that's really cool. (lit. a huge coiled turd)

Vang: Electronic money, virtual money (Vietnamese for "gold")

Yelda: Male generative organ (Russian)

Zhopa: Buttocks (Russian)

Copyright © 1999-2000
ORSON SCOTT CARD
used with permission

The very first glimpse we get of what battleschool will be like for Ender is when he is in the shuttle, going up. We get a taste of what children can be like, and a taste of the manipulation the adults engage in to get the responses they want from the children.

In a lot of ways, Battleschool is like any typical school. Children take classes. They engage in competition. Friendships grow, and groups are formed.

In a lot more ways, Battleschool is very very different. The classes are more accelerated. Every child there is of the Earth's best and brightest, so that the slowest child there was probably top of his class on earth. The classes also have a distinct slant towards things military. Strategy and military history, for instance. Ender took a class in self defence. But we also learn that once a child becomes part of an army, classes lose their importance in the eyes of the adults running the school. How one does in the simulators and battlerooms is what is really important.

That is the competition that these children engage in. You are allowed to do all sorts of simulator games, including Free Play, known to the adults as The Mind Game. It's primary function is not to learn strategy and tactics, but to evaluate the psychology of the player. The children, of course, do not know this. At some point though, you are put into an army. The armies are set up with toon leaders, and commanders. They are pitted against eachother in safe battle simulations. What you have set up here, though, are simulations not only of battles, but also of military hierarchies. These heirarchies are encouraged even more by giving commanders special privleges.

The children, while sharing a type of comraderie, are forced into an artificial system, where they are controlled by the group or military authority. As such, social conventions usually passed on through the parents disappear, and others become prevalent. Also, such activities normally engaged in by children, such as pretend or playacting, do not occur at battleschool. There is no structure for it. The games, the simulators, the battle, all artificially created and maintained by the adults are all that matter. Thus, creativity is also supressed. This may have been one of the reasons Ender was able to suprise the other armies so much with new tactics and strategy.

It is not suprising that the children, coming from many different ethnic backgrounds, developed their own slang derived from their diverse native languages. Of course, they had to speak a common language, English, but over time, certain native words showed up in the vocabulary and became a one of the only parts of their culture that was evolved from the children themselves. Here, we have a list of this slang.

In a nutshell, the children dwelled in a highly structured enviroment, and were chosen specifically for their special abilities to function well within that enviroment. As a result, discipline remained high, yet creativity was supressed, for the most part. This may have been an oversight of those who created the program, as it is creativity and individuality which allows the leaps in judgement which makes the military leader genious. On the other hand, perhaps they were looking for the child who could break through this barrier.



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