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Quiz about The Secret Messages of Polly the PseudoPolyglot
Quiz about The Secret Messages of Polly the PseudoPolyglot

The Secret Messages of Polly the Pseudo-Polyglot Quiz


Polly the Pseudo-Polyglot has received paper dispatches from all her secret agents in the worlds of literature, film, television, and video games. The only problem: she's not terribly good at translating these fictional languages!

A multiple-choice quiz by trident. Estimated time: 5 mins.
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Author
trident
Time
5 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
367,510
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
8 / 10
Plays
381
-
Question 1 of 10
1. Polly receives a secret letter utilizing the world's most spoken fictional language:

Dispatch from Agent Worf: "Polly, it has been ages, «bIpIv'a'». I am hoping that your health is good and that you are taking care of yourself. It is vital that we meet. I suggest we meet where Benedick and Beatrice fall in love in the play «paghmo' tIn mIS» by that ancient Earth author, Shakespeare."

What fictional language should Polly use to translate the letter and where should she meet Agent Worf?
Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. Dispatch from Agent Arwen: "I have secured a «sigil» with important information about our enemies. I wasn't sure what to do with such a trinket, but now I have it cleverly disguised as a common lavaliere around my «iaeth». You shall have it soon."

This message was written in the Elvish language of Sindarin. What item should Polly be expecting?
Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. Dispatch from Agent Winston Smith: "We must be careful. «Minitrue» watched my movements. I understand you want to pick up the documents in Eurasia. This location would be «doubleplusungood»."

According to Agent Smith's dispatch, would it be a good location to pick up the secret documents?


Question 4 of 10
4. Dispatch from Agent Neytiri: "You «Tawtute» have laid waste to our home, so it is with great anguish that I must ask you for a particular «'ewll» from «'Rrta» known as "monkshood" which contains certain healing properties not found here on Pandora."

Polly's Na'vi isn't very good. What is the agent requesting from Polly?
Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. Dispatch from Agent [User Name]: "Polly, I'm having a problem with the secret weapon you gave me, and I don't mean the giant green plumbob above my head. The problem I'm having with the weapon is the same problem I have when I buy and use a cheap oven. Oh no! I'm on fire! «Wabadebadoo!»"

In what fabricated language is this agent speaking?
Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. Dispatch from Agent Daenerys Targaryen: "As a fellow polyglot, I must admit that I admire your talents. But I recommend you stay away from Westeros when I bring my «zaldrīzes». Oh, you don't speak that language? I'll try another. I shall burn down my enemies with my «zhavorsa»."

In which Essosi languages is Agent Targaryen saying the word for "dragon"?
Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. Dispatch from Agent Alex DeLarge: "It's a bit crazy in this safe house you sent me to, but not everything is bad. Once I drink a little «moloko», I think these «lewdies» are real «horrorshow»."

Polly knows that in Nadsat, «moloko» means "milk". But what does Agent DeLarge think after he's had a little milk?
Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. Dispatch from Agent Apophis: "Our hidden base will be easy to access. Though it is lightyears away, you can simply travel through the «Chaapai'ai». Don't worry about the time it takes to travel; you're going through a wormhole."

The note is signed in some hieroglyphic-looking script known as Goa'uld. What will Polly have to travel through to get to her secret base?
Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. Dispatch from Agent Fiver: "I humbly request that you refer to my Lapine name «Hrairoo»... wait, what was that? «Zorn! Zorn!» The whole warren has been murdered! It had to be the «elil»."

With which animal is Polly communicating?
Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. Dispatch from Agent Kal-El: "Don't worry, I've got this."

Polly was able to translate the above dispatch using which of the following alphabets?
Hint



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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Polly receives a secret letter utilizing the world's most spoken fictional language: Dispatch from Agent Worf: "Polly, it has been ages, «bIpIv'a'». I am hoping that your health is good and that you are taking care of yourself. It is vital that we meet. I suggest we meet where Benedick and Beatrice fall in love in the play «paghmo' tIn mIS» by that ancient Earth author, Shakespeare." What fictional language should Polly use to translate the letter and where should she meet Agent Worf?

Answer: Klingon - Messina

Created by linguist Marc Okrand for the "Star Trek" universe, Klingon is the world's most spoken fictional language and is spoken by a race of the same name in the series. Worf is one of the most well-known Klingons, serving aboard the USS Enterprise.

In Polly's letter, we see the phrases "bIpIv'a'" which means "How are you?", or perhaps more accurately "Are you healthy?". Worf references the work by Shakespeare, "Much Ado About Nothing", which has been fully translated into Klingon. The setting of the play is the port city of Messina on the island of Sicily.
2. Dispatch from Agent Arwen: "I have secured a «sigil» with important information about our enemies. I wasn't sure what to do with such a trinket, but now I have it cleverly disguised as a common lavaliere around my «iaeth». You shall have it soon." This message was written in the Elvish language of Sindarin. What item should Polly be expecting?

Answer: a necklace

Sindarin was created by the master of fictional language, J.R.R. Tolkien. It is a language often spoken informally by elves in Middle-earth, while the formal language of Quenya is the language of the high elves used in very formal situations. The written alphabet that many of Tolkien's Elvish languages adopt is known as Tengwar.

The word "sigil" can be translated to either "necklace" or "dagger" in Sindarin; however, a lavaliere is a type of necklace and in this case, is worn about Arwen's "iaeth" or neck.
3. Dispatch from Agent Winston Smith: "We must be careful. «Minitrue» watched my movements. I understand you want to pick up the documents in Eurasia. This location would be «doubleplusungood»." According to Agent Smith's dispatch, would it be a good location to pick up the secret documents?

Answer: No

The dispatch in this case is written in "Newspeak", a language created by George Orwell in his novel "1984". The language is based on English, but removes any trace of negativity and complexity from English. It is a constructed language based on an existing language.

Here, "Minitrue" is the Ministry of Truth, an organization of propaganda for which Winston Smith works. When the agent states that the location would be "doubleplusungood", he is stating it is an extremely terrible location with the prefix "un-" added to "good" meaning "bad". But the language doesn't allow for words that mean bad, so they are "ungood". The prefixes "double-" and "plus-" simply add more gravity to the "ungoodness" of the location.
4. Dispatch from Agent Neytiri: "You «Tawtute» have laid waste to our home, so it is with great anguish that I must ask you for a particular «'ewll» from «'Rrta» known as "monkshood" which contains certain healing properties not found here on Pandora." Polly's Na'vi isn't very good. What is the agent requesting from Polly?

Answer: a plant

Na'vi, created by Professor Paul Frommer, is the language of the inhabitants of Pandora in the film "Avatar". The language is said to be close to Polynesian languages.

The word "Tawtute" means "Skyperson", but refers to humans. In this case, Neytiri asks for monkshood, which is a plant ('ewll) from Earth ('Rrta).
5. Dispatch from Agent [User Name]: "Polly, I'm having a problem with the secret weapon you gave me, and I don't mean the giant green plumbob above my head. The problem I'm having with the weapon is the same problem I have when I buy and use a cheap oven. Oh no! I'm on fire! «Wabadebadoo!»" In what fabricated language is this agent speaking?

Answer: Simlish

Simlish is a fictional language created for the video game franchise "The Sims" by game creator Will Wright. To replace English, Wright originally considered using Navajo in the games, but eventually decided that using a fabricated language was a better fit. He worked with linguists to develop the game's own language and Simlish was born.

While there is no official Similish dictionary, it is widely accepted that "Wabadebadoo!" translates to "I am on fire!" Starting on fire is often a problem in "The Sims" when using a cheap oven.
6. Dispatch from Agent Daenerys Targaryen: "As a fellow polyglot, I must admit that I admire your talents. But I recommend you stay away from Westeros when I bring my «zaldrīzes». Oh, you don't speak that language? I'll try another. I shall burn down my enemies with my «zhavorsa»." In which Essosi languages is Agent Targaryen saying the word for "dragon"?

Answer: High Valyrian and Dothraki

High Valyrian and Dothraki are two of the languages in the fictional land of Essos in the book series "A Song of Ice and Fire" by George R. R. Martin. Originally, in the novels, Martin created a small vocabulary for the languages, but once the books were adapted into a television show, he sought the help of linguists to help expand the languages so they could be spoken on the screen.

Daenerys Targaryen is the Mother of Dragons and one of the last descendants of the House Targaryen. Her lineage provided her with opportunities to learn the Essosi languages, even though her dynasty had ruled Westeros for many generations.
7. Dispatch from Agent Alex DeLarge: "It's a bit crazy in this safe house you sent me to, but not everything is bad. Once I drink a little «moloko», I think these «lewdies» are real «horrorshow»." Polly knows that in Nadsat, «moloko» means "milk". But what does Agent DeLarge think after he's had a little milk?

Answer: The people are really good.

The fictional slang of Nadsat can be found in the novel "A Clockwork Orange" by Anthony Burgess, who himself was a known polyglot. When writing the novel, he decided that the youth of the book needed their own slang terminology and he created it from a combination of Russian and English. There are some cognates taken straight from Russian such as "moloko", which is the Russian word for milk.

However, Burgess decided to have a little fun with language. The word "lyudi", which means "people" in Russian, became "lewdies" in Nadsat, giving people a sort of misanthropic appeal. The Russian word "horosho" (which means "good") became "horrorshow", in a sense, the exact opposite of what the Russian word means.

Perhaps Burgess foresaw the future as some words in the English language that traditionally represent something bad (such as "sick") have been slangily adopted to mean the opposite.
8. Dispatch from Agent Apophis: "Our hidden base will be easy to access. Though it is lightyears away, you can simply travel through the «Chaapai'ai». Don't worry about the time it takes to travel; you're going through a wormhole." The note is signed in some hieroglyphic-looking script known as Goa'uld. What will Polly have to travel through to get to her secret base?

Answer: Stargate

The "Stargate" franchise is set upon the premise that Earth was ruled by alien overlords known as the Goa'uld during the time of Ancient Egypt. As such, the language of Goa'uld is said to be a precursor of the Ancient Egyptian language.

The language is said to be guttural in nature when speaking it. The word "Chaapa'ai" is the Goa'uld term for a "stargate" which is a device that exploits wormholes through space for interstellar travel.
9. Dispatch from Agent Fiver: "I humbly request that you refer to my Lapine name «Hrairoo»... wait, what was that? «Zorn! Zorn!» The whole warren has been murdered! It had to be the «elil»." With which animal is Polly communicating?

Answer: rabbit

Lapine is the rabbit-language found in the novel "Watership Down" by Richard Adams. There are only a few words in the language's vocabulary and it is typically used for naming rabbits and the places where they live.

Adams intended the language to be soft and "fluffy", somewhat like the typical nature of bunny rabbits. However, the events of the book don't quite match that description.

"Hrairoo" is the Lapine name of Fiver, the main protagonist of the book. His interjection "Zorn!" can be translated as someone shouting "Murdered!" or "Catastrophe!" The main enemy of the rabbits in "Watership Down" are known as the "elil".
10. Dispatch from Agent Kal-El: "Don't worry, I've got this." Polly was able to translate the above dispatch using which of the following alphabets?

Answer: Kryptonian

The introduction of Kal-El, or Superman, led to a natural need for a language and alphabet from his homeworld Krypton. The many incarnations of Superman have led to scattered differences amongst the Kryptonian canon. Sometimes the differences between two different incarnations of the language aren't reconcilable.

However, the alphabet has been standardized in more recent times and now one can translate it with relative ease considering one letter of the Kryptonian alphabet can be coordinated with one letter of English (or other Earth languages).
Source: Author trident

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor kyleisalive before going online.
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