• Member Since 3rd Sep, 2011
  • offline last seen 17 minutes ago


I review horsewords and stuff. :B Tip jar cuz I'm broke. :C

More Blog Posts2266


This is great world-building · 3:30pm July 29th

I've seen a scant handful of ideas over the last decade for how deaf ponies might communicate. Fanartist Meadowmood has come up with something pretty original!

You'll want to look at the source URL to read the full thing. Discuss!

Report PresentPerfect · 348 views ·
Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!
Comments ( 16 )

Awesome. I love it

Personal head canon (and what I write into my stories) is "Equestrian Standard Ear Language" or "ESEL". Using ear motion and flagging as the means of communication.

Author Interviewer

I left a comment on that art about how ear-based signing is the only other sort of similar thing I've really seen. Well, beyond very vague things like "she signed 'What do you mean?' with her hooves". Like, that can just sort of happen with no explanation, but it's not exactly world-building. :B

KudzuHaiku, of whom you probably should already know, a very prolific writer in this site, have a female deaf donkey char on one of his stories that uses "ear language".

Wanderer D

I remember using hoof-taps and scratches way back in 2011 for The Empty Room for Jade, and Trixie would use her magic to form words for Big Mac to know what she was saying.

I will openly admit "The Chase" is where I got my idea and adaptation of "ESEL"

The story "Your Human and You" does some pretty good stuff with it. Twilight teaches the mute protagonist "hoof language" so that they can communicate

That’s impressive! I could imagine all of these plus the ear language coexisting across the world, their usage varying by culture and circumstance. Signing to somebody who’s deaf and blind for example requires touch.

I suspect some sort of sign language, probably using ears, forelimbs, and maybe tail would be most likely as a baseline Equestrian Sign Language. As the artist showes, pegasi would probably involve wings, as they're shown to be ludicrously dexterous, and at least some unicorns would be able to project words, though it's not clear whether most could manage that. I figure chalk on a slate would probably be fairly common, too, especially for unicorns, who wouldn't have to have chalk in their mouths to do so.

As 5324961 said, tapping would probably be used for deaf & blind ponies, as could drumming & possibly stamping, depending on how sensitive ponies are to vibration in the ground.

I have a partially written story where Featherweight is mute, and he communicates with a pegasus version of pony sign language, which consists of arm, ear, eyebrow, and wing movements. The only ponies who can fully understand him are his dad Heavyweight, or "Bulk Biceps" as he's known on the pro lifting circuit, Miss Cheerilee, and his best friend Pipsqueak... mostly.

Horses are very sensitive to ground vibration. If you need a ‘bomb-proof’ horse (one that works in public), it’s one of the things you work on.

As someone who is (late) deaf, stomping is used by deaf and Deaf humans to get attention from a group/entering a room/to say “I’m behind you”/etc. We also ‘listen’ to music through high bass (vibrations). The tapping is more than reasonable. Haven’t you ever tapped Morse code to a friend w/ a pencil or pen in school?

This entire thread is the kind of worldbuilding this community needs more of. This is excellent.

I also love that the language the author has laid out is called "ESL," which in our world means "English as a Second Language," which is my field. I don't know if it was intentional or not, but I like the parallel for learning how sufficiently communicate across barriers.

Sorry, I should've been more specific. What I meant by "tapping" was tapping hoof-on-hoof, specifically. I knew about high bass, didn't know about horses being sensitive to ground vibrations, though. Can't say I ever used Morse code in school; even in my geeky friend group, I don't think most of us knew how.

But if you did, you totally would have, right? Just for the sake of getting away with passing notes in class?

Maybe. In some classes we'd just talk over the teacher to assert dominance. I'm glad i've grown to be a better person than I was in middle and high school.

Login or register to comment
Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!