• Published 12th Apr 2014
  • 4,949 Views, 84 Comments

Language Barrier - ViolinAnon

A man must learn to live in a new world, where he does not speak the same language as the locals.

  • ...

Chapter Two: The Tour

Author's Note:

Please note that the dialog that is in <> is in the Equestrian language, and that the protagonist cannot understand it.

You're currently being pushed around by a light green unicorn and her purple-maned friend, as they give you a tour of their town. Said town is in a world you slipped into while having a transdimensional slumber... or something like that, fuck if you know how you got here. Having a strange day would be the understatement of the century. You’ve already been shown a strange pink and purple building with what looked like a carousel on top of it. It confused you greatly.

Why would these ponies have a carousel? Would the carousel have fake plastic humans for the ponies to ride on? Your puzzled thoughts were interrupted by the mint green guide. She was tugging and pointing at your shirt while spouting nonsense.
You smile worriedly and nod as an answer, not really sure what else you could do. She eventually lets go of your clothes, after a few more tugs on your shirt, and starts walking further into town.

Minty HarpButt is now apparently taking you through a plaza and to some tall construction with a bunch of flags on its roof. She’s probably giving you information about what it is, but you're too busy not speaking equine to understand. While she's focused on her explanations, you turn around to face Sweety McCandyFlank. You point at HarpButt with your thumb, touch your ear and then shrug, trying to explain that you can't really understand what the hell the mint pony is blabbering about. She gives an annoyed sigh and walk to the gesticulating unicorn, who was now making crashing sound effects and ramming her forelegs together. You have no idea on how those explosions are related to what looks like a frivolous town hall, and start to question the sanity of your guide. The confection-themed pony tap your exuberant guide on the shoulder and the two of them trade a few words. Afterwards, the green spazz turns back towards you.


A sound of dumbfounded realization if you ever heard one.

Next stop, a gingerbread house. Awesome. There’s also a few stalls randomly spread around, most likely a small marketplace, but the candy construction really caught your attention. You see Minty take a deep breath, sure to resume her endless flow of words. However she quickly slams a hoof against her mouth, preventing words from leaving it. Instead of her incoherent babble, she trots over to the sugary building and beckons you to get closer. Heh. Why not? Once near the unicorn, you follow her pointing hoof to a window and- Cakes! Lots of them! You can't believe that the bakery really IS a gingerbread house. You love this place so much, logic be damned. After having your your drool-stained body pulled away forcefully from the pastry-making pastry house, you are presented with a tree.


Sarcasm aside, the tree is actually pretty interesting. There's a bunch of windows and balconies jutting out from it, a sign that pictures an open book is also planted next to the front door. From the looks of it, it's either a library or a bookstore. You wonder what kind of literature there is in this world. It could be interesting to read about the history of this place. You receive a mental slap, courtesy of your brain. Right. Language barrier.

Speaking of language, you finally notice a conversation going on behind you. Turning to face the discussion, you notice that it involves a lot of pointing at you and at the library alternatively. Their dialogue is interrupted by a loud yawn. Your yawn. How can you be so tired? You just slept through the entire afternoon! Travelling between your world and theirs may have drained you of your energy or something. Science fiction isn't really your forte. Apparently you’re oscitation is contagious, as your two tour guides both let out an adorable yawn. They exchange a few more words and start to lead the way to another part of town.

You're now in what you would describe as the residential district. The fancy and colorful shops give way to a bunch of thatched roof houses, and Candyflank opens the door to one of them. You guess Minty’s going to help you find a place to sleep alone. Wait... Nope, looks like these two are roommates. You’ll have to figure out something yourself. You wave goodbye at the light green unicorn as she enters her domicile. She turns around and raise an eyebrow, and motions you to get inside. Oh. Even better. After bending down to pass the entrance, you immediately notice the interior looks way bigger than expected. Fortunately, you can stand without hitting your head on the ceiling.


Nevermind. You drop your things somewhere near the door as Minty starts to guide you towards a bedroom, probably the guest room. She motions to the smallish bed and says a few words. You give her a large smile, happy to receive such hospitality, and she returns it. She turn around and move further in the house as you enter your designated room and close the door. Tired as hell you remove your shirt and throw it on the ground. You don’t bother with blankets and other trivialities, choosing to fall face first on the pillow instead and for the third and final time of this day, you fall asleep.

You wake up, still sprawled out on your stomach. However, something feels different than last night. It could be the large furry thing you can feel lying on your back. Those equines better not be raising giant spiders or you’re taking the first trip in the Nope Train, first stop? Anywhere other than here. You open your eyes and slowly turn your head to see what’s resting on your spine. And by god are you relieved by what you see. It’s Minty, she’s curled up in a ball and lightly snoring... God, that's adorable.

How are you going to get out of bed? Waking her up would be a crime against nature. Maybe you can just... Try something. You slowly slide your hands under her and carefully lift her an inch above your back before quickly slipping your lower body out of bed and gently laying the sleeping unicorn back on the bed. Success! She's probably a heavy sleeper. Now to leave the roo- You instantly notice the hardwood paneling. If they’re as reliable to stay silent as they are back on Earth, you’re fucked. You softly tiptoe your way to the door, picking up your shirt on your way there, managing to not make a single noise, due to some sort of miracle. You glance back to make sure your equine host is still there before opening the door without a noise. Still sleeping.

Satisfied with your mostly silent operation, you leave the room. Aaaaand slam your head into the doorway with a loud THUD. Clutching to your face, you fall to the ground.

"Fucking fuck fuckfuck." You quietly exclaim, both in surprise and light pain.

You twist your body around and get on your knees. Still sleeping. Guess she’s a pretty heavy sleeper. As you get back up on your feet, the floorboards let out a soft squeak.

”Rrrnn...” Moans the sleepy Minty.

Damn you floor! I thought we were cool, we could have been friends! But noooo, you had to be a dick. Well fuck you too, hardwood. You stop mentally insulting the floor and freeze in place, trying not to make any more noise. Her ear does the most adorable twitch you ever witnessed and she goes back to her snoring.

"Daaaawwwwww..." Slips out of your mouth.

Looking around, you notice something strange. Now that the room is well-lit with the sunlight coming from a window, you can see that it’s way too... Dishevelled, to be a guest room. A few books scattered here and there. The closet is wide open, revealing a dress of some sort. Is that... sheet music? And a lyre? Wait, didn’t Minty have a lyre on her flan- Oooooohhh! Ohhhh... When she showed you the room yesterday, she probably only showing you around the house. And you just went in and crashed on her bed like an asshole.

'Nice job, dickmunch.'

You wonder why she didn’t wake you up though? Well, in any case, she did manage to get comfortable on your back without waking you, so you guess you’re an even more heavy sleeper than her.

You exit the room, putting your shirt back on and watching your head as you pass the doorway, glaring at it. Fool me once... As you slip your head past the collar of your garment and you meet with the other occupant of the house. The off-white pony is looking at you, her left eyebrow higher than it has any rights to be. She got that morning after roommate look. You know, the one you give to a stranger that you see leaving your roommate's room in the morning. Does she thinks that you and... You roll your eyes. It’s not like you slept with her. Well you kind of did, but you didn’t sleep sleep with her. It’s just a fuzzy cartoon pony that slept on your back, what does she thinks you did? Hell, you're not even sure they even have the-


You rub the small bump on your forehead, interrupting this line of thoughts. When will this morning end? With a quick movement of her head, the purple maned equine motions you to follow her. You pick up your things, carrying your violin case on your back and your headphones around your neck before the pony starts leading you outside. You hope she’s leading you to breakfast, you’re starving.

Nope, you’re back to the tree-library-bookstore thing you saw yesterday. Candyflank knocks on the door a few times and a female voice can be heard from inside the tree and the sound of footsteps is getting closer. Or rather, hoofsteps. The door swings open with a purple flash. Weird. A purple unicorn is standing inside the hollow tree, her mane is a darker shade of purple with a pink streak in it. There’s also a star on her flank, seriously what’s up with all the ass tattoo in this world? She’s staring at you with an incredulous look. The cream pony at your side steps forward and start to converse with what you assume is the town librarian. The conversation is short and they soon wave each other goodbye. You turn around to follow CandyFlank, but something is holding you by the neck of your shirt. You hear PurpleStar say something behind your back while you are slowly dragged inside. By the tone of it, you could tell she said something along the lines of "Oh no, you dont!"

As you are pulled further into the tree, the door closes with yet another purplish-pink glow. The force that hauled you indoor let go of your shirt. You stand up and look around, trying to see who dragged you in. Damn, that’s a lot of books. There are books surrounding you in bookshelves. Books on the ground all around you in large piles. Books on every surface you can see.
Books everywhere.
Pretty disorderly for a library.
The purple librarian is rummaging through a large pile of books, obviously looking for something in particular.

”Ah-ha!” She exclaims proudly.

She jumps down from the mountain of literature and a book emerges from it, glowing with a familiar purple hue. And now, PurpleStar’s horn is glowing too. Coincidence? You think not. You are clearly in the presence of a pony-wizard. This world is AWESOME!

Nevermind. Pony-wizards are boring. You’ve been sitting still for half an hour, watching the purple unicorn flip through what appears to be an animal encyclopedia. You did try to make her understand you’re probably not in the book. Every attempt made was answered with magic making you sit back down on this small wooden stool. The book is starting to run out of pages for her to read and you can see she’s getting irritated about not figuring out what you are. She flips the last page and then throws the book back in its pile of brethren.

”AUGH!!!” She yells, exasperated.

The sorcerous equine starts to massage her temples with her eyes closed. You shift awkwardly on your stool, hunger making you squirm. If only you could go back to that gingerbread house... You saw cupcakes, muffins, candy, cakes, gingerbread, doughn- Your food related daydreaming is interrupted when PurpleStar slams her han- err, hooves on the desk she was sitting at. She turns her head towards you, her face bearing a ominous grin and a certain spark is lodged in her eyes. You see her blink out of existence and reappear a few feet away, near a bookshelf.

"Yo, what?" You say, surprised and incredulous.

Teleportation? Pony-wizards are back to awesome. After making a few books fly off the shelf, she settles on a large grimoire. Rapidly riffling through the book, she stops about halfway into it and her grin widens. She slowly starts to close the gap separating you and her, her horn glowing with progressive intensity. You don’t like the look she’s got on her face. You stand up an-HOLYSHIT! SHE’S CASTING MAGIC MISSILE!!!

'You fucking dork.'

You shield your face with your arms reflexively and a ray of light passes through your arms and forehead. ...That’s it? Either her magic sucks or she wasn’t attacking you. You’re going to go with the latter. You lower your guard and look quizzically at her and she says something, but her lips are not moving. Your expression changes to a surprised one when you realise the words are echoing through your head. And you still can’t understand a single one of them.

PurpleStar smiles at your change of facial expression and she unleash torrent of words in your head. You don’t know what she thinks happened, but she seems to be tooting her own horn pretty hard. Heh, puns. The storm of words annoying rapidly, though. Her head seems pretty far up her own flank as assume that whatever she did worked. Heh. Flankface.

She suddenly stops talking, a surprised look on her face. It quickly changes to a deadpan expression. Hey! You see a picture form in your mind. Is that your hea- Why did your head just explode? The unicorn smirks at your disconcerted face. Okay, let’s see if you got this straight. Flankface over here tried some telepathic spell or something on you. You don’t know if it was supposed to make you understand each other, but now you can apparently share pictures with your mind. That’s sorta cool. You could have done the same with a pen and some paper, but now you don’t have to actually draw stuff. Which is good, you're not really a good drawer, all things considered.

Looks like she had the same epiphany, you see her sit back down at her desk. A scroll and a quill magically float to said desk. Well, if she prefer to draw you can- Oh. Wait. Mental picture coming in. It’s you and her, standing side by side. A bunch of strange symbols appear under her, it looks like... letters? Probably, yeah. The alphabet is different than anything you've seen before, though. It's.. nice. Really cursive. You notice the unicorn is pointing at herself.

”<Twilight Sparkle.>” She says.

Must be her name, it sounds like... Well, like the writing does, it's inexplicable.
You try repeat after her.

“<Twilit Sprkel.>”

God damn, that sounded like a badger trying to claw its way up your throat, as you can't quite reproduce some of the noises she made. Something is forming beneath the image of your person. Are those... question marks? Do they really have the same punctuation as you have? This is going to make things so much easier. You remove the question marks and add your name.


The unicorn repeats your name without any flaw.


...Showoff. While on the subject of names, you should ask Twilight Sparkle- Wow, it still sounds weird, even when you simply think about pronouncing the name. Anyway, you should ask... her, the real names of Minty & Sweety. You replace the pictures of the unicorn and yourself with HarpButt and CandyFlank, putting question marks underneath them. Twilight seems to understand as symbols supersede the interrogative punctuation and Minty’s image grows bigger.

”<Lyra Heartstring.>” She says, in a teacher-like tone.
“<Lyra Artsryn.>” You repeat.

Alright, that was a bit better. With some practice, you'll be good enough to actually say words without feeling like your throat is peeling itself inside out. Min- Lyra’s mental representation shrink back down and it’s Sweety’s turn to get larger.

”<Bon Bon.>”
“<Bon Bon.>”

That sounded about right, though you definitely had a very thick accent. Maybe you could eventually try to learn to speak this language, if you're to be stuck here forever. ...You noticeably falter at the thought of having to stay in this place forever, but you shake it off. Not the time to think about it right now. You finally notice Twilight's been giving quick glances at your neck for a few minutes now. Is there something on your throat? Nope, only your headphones.

...Oh right! Technology! You chuckle as you remove the headphones from around your neck. This is going to blow her little pony-wizard mind. You don the earpiece to show her how to wear it, then gesture her to try it. The unicorn signature purple glow envelop the headgear as you hand it over to her. She awkwardly puts your headphones on, probably worried about wearing something an alien just gave her. You can't say you blame her, you'd be reluctant too. Anyway, you pull out your phone and look through your music library. She looks like she would enjoy some classic.

Surprise isn’t even close to describe the expression on her face when the music begins. You let the song runs for a minute or two and then retrieve your headphones from the purple unicorn's head with a smug grin. She looks at you, her mouth slightly agape and sputtering. Now that you've got her attention, you really need to ask her about something that's been puzzling since you first met ponies. What's with all the ass tattoo? You imagine a sideview picture of Twilight on the mental sketchpad you two share, and add a circle around her flank. The unicorn looks at her flank. She turns back to you with a flustered face and a light blush. The mind version of Twilight’s rump enlarge and a large question mark is added next to it. What the- Damn self-conscious pony-wizard. You give the unicorn a deadpan look. You don’t care if she thinks she has large haunches, you just want to know more about the mark on them! You circle the purple star on her mind-flank a few times and add some arrows pointing at it for good measure. Her eyes expand lightly as she seem to understand what you meant. She smiles then walks to one of the bookshelves that are carved in the walls before a small book comes floating to your hand.

"Nryei Zlusk : Ofly lui yfit? Interesting title" You mockingly say to yourself, still unable to read the strange calligraphy.

The cover represent a little foal looking at his own flank, a sad expression upon him. God these guys are cute. Twilight motions you to go on, and you start flipping through the first couple of pages. So far, the pictures makes no sense since you can’t read the text associated with them. Ah! There we go, a three panel comic without any words.

Panel one: A small unicorn with a trumpet floating next to her.
Panel two: The same unicorn, playing the instrument in front of an applauding crowd.
Panel three: A trumpet appears in a bright flash on her flank.

So... the kid was good at playing the trumpet, and a magic trumpet tattoo appeared on her butt? That’s completely insane. But, on the other hand, you’re currently playing Pictionary with a purple unicorn using your minds. Sanity isn’t really your domain of expertise right now.

Twilight wipes the pictures in your minds and shapes start to form in their place, but your stomach interrupts with a loud groan. The unicorn giggles and erases the small draft she started before making your head appear again. Hopefully it won’t blow up this time. A question mark shows up next to your face, along with an arrow pointing to your open mouth. You fail to resist the urge to mess with her. You flash an evil grin as you draw a bunch of ponies in your mind, moving slowly towards your mouth, which is growing sharp fangs. Twilight’s eyes grow as wide as dinner plates and her pupils shrink to pin pricks. You stand up and start to close the gap between the two of you, licking your canines as you do. Your prey squeaks and trips as she tries to get away from you. Unable to keep it in, you let out a hearty guffaw. The look on her face! Priceless!

She’s now looking at you, dumbstruck. You lean in and pat Twilight’s head reassuringly, and the fear is replaced with a glare along with a single word. You don't need to speak her language to figure out it was probably along the lines of ‘Jerk.’ You cross the ponies in your mind with a large X and starts to ponder about what you want to eat. The gingerbread bakery from yesterday immediately springs in your head. Yeah, that will do nicely. You try picture the sugary shop in your thoughts as well as your memory allows it. About halfway through the drawing, your thoughts starts to blur a little and focusing on the picture becomes harder, you also start to feel a little light-headed as a fuzzy feeling invades your mind. The spell must be running out, or it's starting to strain your mind. Twilight smiles brightly as she recognizes the cake-baking building. She stands up and you follow her to the door.

"Oh!" She exclaims as she stops dead in her track.

Her horn starts to glow and a book comes floating your way, another child's book by the looks of it. The cover is a very young pony reading a book, and you hastily leaf through it, eager to leave and go eat something. Most of the pages follow a similar pattern; a single word and a single picture on each of them. You chuckle and ruffle her mane, while keeping a smile on your face. You get it, she basically gave you a dictionary for simple words. Pocketing the small book, you two leave the tree-library.

The fuzzy feeling in your mind is growing into a fierce headache, but at least the gingerbread house is in sight and you can’t wait to sit down and relax. Unfortunately, that'll have to wait, as you are too busy being on your ass and having problems breathing. The last thing you remember is a rainbow freight train flying straight for your chest, and then there was only darkness. Darkness and coccyx pain. You blink away the dark and see that the thing that made your ass feels like a crash dummy was a cyan pegasus with a rainbow colored mane. You stare at each other in an awkward silence while she sits on your stomach, until Twilight yells something at her in an irritated tone. The purple trots closer and looks you over, slightly worried. You wave a hand dismissively, gesturing her that you're fine and stands up, lightly pushing the Skittles pony from over you. As you dust yourself off, the two ponies argue until Twilight sighs exasperatedly and turns to face you.

"<Rainbow Dash.>" She says as she points to your pseudo-assailant.
"<Rainbro Dash.>" You repeat.

The cyan pony interjects and says her name slowly, adding exaggerated hooves gesture.

"<Raaaiiin-Booow- Daaaaaash.>"

You roll your eyes at her, as you're not a fan of being treated like a two years old.
...Might as well have a little fun with it.

"<Rainbro Dash.>" You say mockingly.

She sighs, annoyed.


Sweet, she took the bait hook, line and sinker.

"<Rain.>" You repeat after her.
"<Booow!>" She utters as she's gesticulating heavily.
"<Broooo.>" You reply, mimicking her with a smirk.
"Agghh!" She shouts.

You chuckle while Twilight is trying to cover her giggling from the rainbow maned pegasus, who eventually catches on.

"...Ohhh!" She says with a sly grin.

Rainbow then adds something you can't really understand while pointing a hoof at you, her eyes filled with a lust for vengeance. You have the feeling she'll get back at you really soon. And with that, the pegasus is gone like she came, with a rainbow trail following her. You gotta admit, that's pretty neat. Meanwhile, your purple unicorn guide resumes her walk to the bakery, still giggling and motioning you to follow her, which you do with haste, avid for pastry.