There were way too many languages to know. His head hurt. Bad.
He felt that pushing the envelope, here with his textbook splayed out in front of him, might have been a bad idea. In fact, he felt as though he was going crazy in a bout fifteen different languages, and half of a sixteenth.
When he had failed his pilot’s exam, he decided the next best thing would be translation services. He would be able to go on as nearly as many missions as the pilots. He didn’t realize that there would always be a certain sadness in that – a reminder that he had failed to achieve his main goal, and that his entire career was predicated on exercising an ad hoc backup plan just so he could see the stars routinely.
Interstellar language was not like learning languages on earth. He knew about ten of those. The other five had come up in the course of his work – he was in a burgeoning field, and should have been grateful for the opportunity to pioneer something that could affect his race, his type for centuries to come.
Of course, if he made any type of egregious error, that could possibly turn into something far more severe. He tried not to think about that. Not only would he be a failure in his primary goal, he would be a failure in his secondary goal as well, and possibly noted as the jerk that started an intergalactic dispute. Awesome.
He closed the textbook and settled back in his seat. Maybe he just needed some time to absorb things. Different patterns of thought, that’s really what some of these “new” languages were. And it took people of a certain intellectual caliber to grasp them. He wasn’t worried that he fell short of that. The good thing about being a pioneer is that improvisation is expected, and in fact an asset.