The hesitant voice pulled the linguist's attention away from his work on the data pad beneath him and up to the young one who crouched at the door. The master linguist let his vision slide over the youth, taking in the tightly held legs and the thorax pressed tightly to the floor. The apprentice linguist was nervous, excited, and probably shocked.
"Please come and loosen," the master linguist urged him.
The apprentice came forward with jerky movements and made a brave show of attempting to relax. The master linguist tucked his data pad away and moved over to run a soothing leg over the top of the apprentice's thorax. When the young one had sufficiently calmed he began to loosen and rose to a more comfortable stance.
"You taught me that some of the greatest cultural discoveries happen when you find the words that match but the words that have no direct translation. The ones we have to write whole paragraphs to describe."
"Yes," the Master Linguist agreed. "And why is this?"
"Strange words describe strange ideas," the apprentice quoted. "If they gave it a word it is very important to them. If we did not it is elementally alien to us."
"And you think you found one of these critical words," The Master Linguist urged him gently on.
The apprentice waved on foreleg in distracted agreement and the Master Linguist stiffened a bit. If it was not the trepidation of bearing an astounding claim to a skeptical superior what was causing his distress?
"The humans-" the apprentice began.
The Master twitched. Oh, of course, the humans.
"They have a word that means they are suffering because there are not enough threats in their immediate environment. The soldiers in the base...they say they are bored."