Step 3: Teach them to talk

Norns have a simple language that lets them communicate with you and with each other. In most cases, this takes the form of subject-verb-noun sentences along the lines of 'Melanie eat food'. Norns can also express their current need, so you may also see creatures saying things like 'Melanie very tired'. Here are some examples of Nornish conversations:

1. Blueberry the Norn: Blueberry intensely tired
Hand: Blueberry rest
Hand: what
Blueberry the Norn: Blueberry rest

2. Sid the Norn: Sid like Nancy
Nancy the Norn: Nancy like Sid
etc. etc...

3. Ron the Norn: Ron really bored
Alice the Norn: Maybe push toy Ron
Ron the Norn: Ron push toy

The Names of Agents
Norns cannot distinguish between every single item on the station - for instance, they cannot tell Yarn fruit and lemons from each other - to a Norn, they're both just 'fruit'. All agents on the ship have different categories that a Norn will place them in. All edibles, to give an example, are either seeds, fruit or food. Finding out the Nornish names for agents is simplicity itself. Click F1 (or use the HUD) to switch Agent Help on, then left click on the agent you wish to find the word for. The Hand will speak the name of the agent, teaching you and any nearby Norns the word for that agent. The Norns might not get the word right straight away, and you may have to click a few times on the agent to get them word-perfect.

The appendix contains the complete list of category names available to a Norn.

Naming Actions and Feelings
As illustrated by the conversations above, Norns can also express their current emotional state, or declare their current action. These words are slightly more difficult to teach to a Norn, since you can't point at a 'Sad' and tell a Norn to learn the word for it. The Shee, therefore, created a learning device for quick teaching of baby Norns. This is located on the bottom floor of the Meso room, at the far right. This Holistic Learning device can be activated only by the Norns themselves, but once activated, it picks up the Norn in a glow of light, and teaches them the entire vocabulary, including the agent categories. Of course, getting the Norn to use the machine in the first place isn't always easy.
The Holistic Learning Device seems to be a very pleasant experience for your Norns. Some have even been known to become addicted to it...

Talking to your Norns
Once you've taught your Norns their words, you're ready to communicate with them. To talk to creatures, move the Hand near to them (so you are within earshot!), and just type something! Press the enter button to 'speak' your typed words. If you wish to talk to many creatures at once, then do not say any one Norn's name. If you wish only one Norn to listen to you, then use their name, e.g. 'eat food' will be heard by all Norns in the vicinity, but 'Alice eat food' will only be heard by Alice.

Here are some examples of the things you can do by talking to your Norns: