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International Mercantile Pidgin Sign (Trade Sign)

A bastardized mixture of pantomime and various sign languages, Trade Sign is used not only among merchants, but in any setting within which language barriers are likely. One may expect to see it used in markets, courtrooms, congresses, shipping vessels, and construction sites across the craton. Most children are taught the basics in school, though without hitting the streets it’s difficult to learn enough to hold a complex conversation. Depending on the area, different proportions of genuine sign languages are used, meaning true mastery of this pidgin requires learning parts of at least four languages in addition to components unique to Trade Sign. Regardless, it is one of the most widely used languages on the craton, and vital for anyone who wishes to do well in a diplomatic career.   Reality counterpart: ASL, common nonverbal gesticulations, and pantomime


ASL fingerspelling alphabet and number system (when necessary) - no written counterpart.

Geographical Distribution

Technically international; most prevalent in southwest C.A.S.A and Acatlan. Merchants, politicians, and anyone who travels for a living are expected to know this language, as it allows easy communication across language barriers.


Very exaggerated body language is used, though facial expression can be curiously blank due to difference in ability between species. Whether to keep a poker face or not is the signer’s choice, though it is preferred in more formal settings.

Common Phrases

[Curt bow, left hand vertically against forehead] — Salutation, conversation initiated or ended

[Indicate item, chop left hand with right hand, sign number, indicate coin] — Item cost

[Indicate item, loosely interlocked fingers at chest turn out, chop left hand with right hand] — How much is item?

[Indicate person, hooked index finger violently jerked down beneath earlobe] — Person is a cheat or dishonerable (dire insult)

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