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An ancient human word

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How come when a character in an sf story says "[word] is an ancient Terran [or human, or Earth] word, meaning [whatever]," the ancient word being defined is always English? I'd love to see a character say "Yama is an ancient Terran word, meaning mountain." Or "família is an ancient Earth word referring to a common social unit of the time." Or something.

Of course, the example that sparked this thought was actually using a German loanword, and the author may well have intended the comment to refer to the German word rather than the English version. And I may well have seen other non-English examples and just not noticed them.

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