Skilled at languages, Gulliver learns rather quickly to talk with the Houyhnhnms. He discovers that they speak a strange language, yet it is similar to High Dutch. Besides the Master Houyhnhnm teaching Gulliver, he too teaches them. They have no books, so he shows them how to write. The Houyhnhnms are truly perplexed by their visitor; he seems to be like a Yahoo, but he also appears to be a rational Yahoo - a blend which they believed was impossible. He described for the Houyhnhnms the defiance that marooned him, and they are amazed by the notion of a "lie." Horses, they say, do not even have a word for the concept of lying. They explain further that besides Houyhnhnm meaning "horse," it is derived from a word meaning "perfection of nature." Gulliver's Houyhnhnm host is inquisitive about his diffidence. After all, he reasons, why would anyone want to conceal what nature has made? When he is unprotected, however, he looks very much like a Yahoo, so his host agrees to keep his visitors outfit a secret. He and his master continue their discussion of concepts that are difficult for the master to comprehend — especially those related to lying and malevolence. He explains the role of Houyhnhnms and the Yahoos in his country, and the master is dazed when he finds out how the positions are upturned. The master observes that the Yahoos in his land are better modified for their lives than Gulliver. The master also compares the Houyhnhnms to the Yahoos and establishes that the Houyhnhnm, as an animal, is much more efficient than the Yahoo.

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