Lyubov considers the meaning of the Athshean word “sha’ab.” What are the two meanings of the word, and how does this connect to Selver’s status as a god?

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According to Lyubov, through the dictionary he constructs with the help of Selver, the two meanings for the word "sha'ab" are "god," or "powerful being," and "translator." Selver proves to be both a god and a powerful being, as well as a translator between the Athshean and Terran communities on...

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According to Lyubov, through the dictionary he constructs with the help of Selver, the two meanings for the word "sha'ab" are "god," or "powerful being," and "translator." Selver proves to be both a god and a powerful being, as well as a translator between the Athshean and Terran communities on numerous occasions in The Word for World Is Forest.

The reader's first introduction to Selver in chapter 1 proves that Selver is a "powerful being," as he withstands Davidson's attack and sends Davidson running home to tell the other Terrans what happened at Smith Strait. In chapter 2, Selver's people refer to him as a "god," fulfilling the first definition of "sha'ab."

In chapter 8, we learn that Selver brought together the multitude of small factions within his people to perform an orchestrated attack against the Terrans, even though the Athsheans possessed no obligation to do so nor a central government to command them to do so, further illustrating Selver's god-like status among his people.

Lastly, we see that Selver learns well from Lyubov to become the "translator" for his people. Not only does Selver help Lyubov write a dictionary of the "Men's Tongue" of Athshean society, but he also learns English. In doing so, Selver acts as mediator and negotiator between the two societies in chapters 6 and 8.

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