Two things. 1) he's went up how many chapters in ten pages? and 2) If Mateo can't pick up a language after spending a year immersed in it, how will the woman pick up his language just by him babbling at her?
1) The first quote is in Ch.56, the second in Ch.59, so there are four different chapters there. The longest chapter I've counted pages on so far is Ch.7 at 7 pages. (But even that's divided into 3 sections!
2) Well, the woman is returning with them to marry their king, so presumably she'll be spending the rest of her life amongst his people, presumably more than "nearly a year". (I'm not sure the implication was that she'd learn his "dialect" during the trip, just that it would get her started.) And, after all, the "southern dialect" is presumably simpler than her native one, so it should be easier for her to learn, no? Here's some more from p.287, last paragraph of the "chapter":
Ilrida smiled at him, but Mateo could tell by her puzzled expression that she didn't understand much of what he said. Still, she seemed to enjoy his company and his voice, and he knew she picked up some basic words.
(I keep misreading Ilrida
, which is the home planet of his Ildiran aliens in the Saggy Suns. He must like the sound of it. Or ran out of ideas for names, maybe explaining why he used so many familiar European ones?)
How can he know what she understood, that she picked up anything?
DuneFishUK, I know what you're talking about. There was a British movie I watched a few years back (I can't remember the title now) that was set either in northern England or southern Scotland. At first I couldn't understand a word of what the characters were saying (and ended up reading the Japanese subtitles
), but by the end I was starting to catch on more. And that was in less than a hour.
Since I haven't read the whole chapters (or even looked at all the chapters about these characters' trip to the north), I can't say for certain that KJA doesn't TELL-TELL-TELL the reader about this Mateo's obvious disdain for the northern villagers and their language, or doesn't spell out explicitly how the northerners treat their wives and daughters as inferior (in contrast with the simpler speaking, more civilized peoples to the south). Wouldn't it be funny if these are things he's trying to actually SHOW?
But how likely is that?
"Let the dead give water to the dead. As for me, it's NO MORE FUCKING TEARS!"