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x-esiv-4c
29-06-2005, 18:13
The Gaunts Ghost books makes mention of a "battle-cant", a language that guardsmen can use to converse with eachother if they are from different planets and have different native languages. Does anyone know anything about battle-cant speak? Is it a totally new language or is it a bastardized low-gothic? Does it use sign-language at all?

Thanks!

Talkie Toaster
29-06-2005, 20:14
I understood battle cants to be shortened, quick to speak languages for use in a combat situation, which differed from Low Gothic or any comon languages to prevent interception by the enemy, but I may be wrong.

Brusilov
29-06-2005, 20:20
It's probably a standardised form of low gothic, with a very limited vocabulary that guardsmen would be taught.
It could be a language sign, it would depend on how much you want to convey with that language. If it is strictly for battle then it could be limited to a few common signs, like those currently used by armed forces to say :"move there", "stop", "enemy sighted", "scout ahead", "spread out"...

If you want to say more complicated things you'll need words probably or spend a significant amount of time teaching guardsmen, which defeats the whole purpose

EVIL INC
29-06-2005, 21:17
That pretty much covers it. Think of it the way our modern military uses hand signs, codewords and so forth. It would be easier for the 40k people to have it because the cultures are so different and the very planets they are from are so varied. What would be a blaringly obvious signal from one world could be nothing on another because the other world has no relativety. Or somthing like that. I'm sure you at least catch the drift.

Damage,Inc.
30-06-2005, 04:27
Without having readthe books, here'san idea-recently we got together with some paratrooper from England. Although our English is fairly similar, there are many subtle differences and nuances that can cause confusion. The one thing we all understand is basic operations since we all do the same thing. I think battle-cant is a meld of the common names for Imperial equipment, tactics, and slang that is common throughout the military forces.

Donut
30-06-2005, 04:41
I was under the impression that battle-cant was homeworld specific, with each regiment sourced from planet X having particular phrases and gestures that were incomprehensible to those from other planets. These individual signals were used as a form of private sense, according to Abnett, so I'm not sure how canon it is.

Lord of ???
30-06-2005, 05:22
Each Regiment has their own Battle Cant.

In the GG series iirc one of the other regiments soldiers organised a word from their battle cant to be used as the codeword for the Tanith needing assistance.

Brusilov
30-06-2005, 06:07
Wouldn't that defeat the whole purpose of trying to allow communications between regiments with very different forms of low gothic...

Emperor's Light
30-06-2005, 08:15
Dan Abnett novel not make sense? Could such a thing be true? :rolleyes:

I vaguely remember reading this. The idea that each planet has its own battle-cant makes sense to a degree. Different English speaking militaries have their own terminologies. An example from WWII pop to mind. British forces used called a concentrated artillery barrage a "murder" and a wide carpet barrage a "stonk." An American artilleryman who hadn't fought with the British or otherwise instructed probably would have had no idea what you wanted if you radioed him for a "stonk."

Sai-Lauren
30-06-2005, 11:37
Dan Abnett novel not make sense? Could such a thing be true? :rolleyes:

Nah, surely not. :p

IMO, there's probably two kinds of combat language used, one a general form allowing differently founded regiments to communicate, and a planet (or in some cases country) specific version which allows the individual elements of a regiment to communicate more quickly between themselves, based on their particular dialect of gothic and local symbolism (for example, a regiment drawn from a particular world might name Tyrannid creatures after local fauna or geographical points that they resemble, wheras another from a more spiritual world might name them after mythical creatures, one from a world where swordsmanship is highly prized might name them after blade types and one raised from a more industrialised world might just use letters from the alphabet) - a benefit being that the enemy can't intercept and decode the signals - at the very least gaining intelligence about where a particular force is, a drawback being that no one else on their own side can do that either - with the official language having the reverse.
Although some regiments (say Terran, and probably ones from very martial or devout places like Tallarn, Mordia and Cadia) may only use the official language, and very succesful regiments might have elements of their langauge working their way into the formal one (eg Tread-Fether).


In the GG series iirc one of the other regiments soldiers organised a word from their battle cant to be used as the codeword for the Tanith needing assistance.
First and Only. The Vitrians give Gaunt some of their phrases so that he could signal for assistance.

Talkie Toaster
30-06-2005, 15:34
Wouldn't that defeat the whole purpose of trying to allow communications between regiments with very different forms of low gothic...
Different regiments don't usually communicate between each other though other than at a personal, squad-to-squad level. Most of the co-ordinating different regiments would be done higher up the chain of command using a real language to avoid confusion.

Brusilov
30-06-2005, 17:28
I would strongly disagree with that comment. How do you expect an infantry regiment to get armoured support? or artillery? or Ogryn auxiliaries? None of those are an integral part of the regiment.
People think that because all those things are included in a single army list they are part of the same unit. This could not be further from the truth. IG regiments are specialised and have to work together at the company or battalion level to form a coherent force.

The IG works on the basis of uncombined arms at the regimental level, as to avoid a rebellion in a single regiment from causing too much damage (a bunch of grunts without tanks and artillery won't go very far).
Thus there is a serious need for a common language. Not necessarily at the level of the basic grunts (and even then you need to coordinate infantry platoon with the tank(s) supporting them), but even junior officers need to be able to communicate (although they'd usually be educated people who would speak a standardised form of low gothic).

Thus there is a real need for a language that can be understood by everyone, even on the most basic of levels.