Marain is the language
of the fictional pan-species civilisation
of the Culture
. Created by the author Iain M. Banks
in his novel
s, Marain is a language
carefully devised by the AI
s which form the highest level of power in the Culture. The AIs, being aware of the effects that a language has on the people who speak it, devised a phonetically subtle
, very complex
language. It has a single pronoun for any sentient
being, whether male
, or machine
. Of course, there are ways of distinguishing between the gender
s in Marain, but they're not used in everyday conversation
. "The message is that it's brains that matter, kids; gonads are hardly worth making a distinction over," as Banks would say.
The complexities of Marain would be impossible to describe briefly(especially since they remain largely undefined by Banks). However, much is implied of the complexity of the language, and of the affect it has of shaping the attitudes of the population of the Culture, into a benevolent and pacifist lot.
N.B: Marain's system of numbers is nonary(based on nine), as opposed to our decimal system.