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Thread: Question: Languages of Telara.

  1. #1
    Shadowlander Kazerabet's Avatar
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    May 2013

    Default Question: Languages of Telara.

    Just a question regarding languages used by the various races of Telara, especially human languages given how diverse they are.

    So, how do they sound or on which real world languages are the following based on?

    1) Ethian tribes and the folk of the Droughtlands and Shimmersand.
    2) Northern human clans/tribes of the Mathosian Empire.
    3) The folk of Freemarch.
    4) The Elves (Kelari, High Elves, Aelfwar followers).
    5) The Dwarves.
    6) Brevanic and Ashoran languages. and Lycini variations.
    7) Occult languages (used by Wizards, mostly constructed languages for rituals and spellcasting. I.e. the Kadari language of the Necromancer Kings in the Al'Qadim setting of the Forgotten Realms AD&D campaign setting or the real world Enochian).
    8) Bahmi language.

    Is there any official information on this topic or can we just speculate that Brevanic would be similar to Latin/Medieval Italian-Greek given in-game toponyms and NPC names?
    Last edited by Kazerabet; 07-30-2013 at 09:05 AM.

  2. #2
    Shadowlander Kirselle's Avatar
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    Apr 2011


    I think the official answer based on the current status of the lore is the cop-out "There is only one language." for the sake of easy story telling and gameplay. There might be dialects/accents that differ, but everyone speaks and writes the same language (essentially English)

    However, that is a point of contention with a lot of RPers. From a logical standpoint, there's no way a single language would be used across the entire world over the span of time the lore takes place in, and based on older lore information, we've got base-line, usable RL equivalents for, well, at least mathosia.

    Specifically, one of the older lore Q&A's stated that the races' names were based off of certain languages/cultures, and with names comes language, so a lot of people that I've seen who don't accept the universal language answer tend to go with those listed languages... as best they can, anyway.

    Specifically, Kelari are based on Greek, Dwarves on Russian, Bahmi on Mongolian (Most common route I've seen this done is to treat the Bahmi's language as that of the Shalastir they're descended from, since they're also partially human), Eth on Arabic/Egyptian, and High Elves on a mix of Irish and Native American (I think most people lean towards Irish here because finding online Native American Langauge translators is a pain in the ***, not even touching the issue of how many of them there are). I think the only one that regularly gets ignored from that first batch is that the Mathosians are based more on eastern European languages/cultures, since most of us tend to treat English as Mathosian and the de facto common language.

    Of course, some people choose to do something a bit different, like using Turkish for Eth, or one of the dozen different premade elven languages from other settings for either Elven or Kelari. That isn't a bad thing either, really, since it accounts for sublanguages and dialects that would undoubtedly sprout up over time.

    The occult languages, like the language of the fae or any other such thing are a whole other complicated mess.

    As to the languages used on the new world, specifically those of the Brevanic people and the Lycini, there's not really a lot of lore to go on here. Afaik, the "one language" hammer was dropped prior to storm legion, so they never really touched on it. Given how few and far between people who RP knowing those languages are, it's hard to gauge.

    I think the best course of action for you to use is to simply ask whoever you're intending to talk to in a language different from the common one what language they would use, and whether or not their character would actually know the language or not (some characters are multilingual, after all). There tend to be three reactions to this:

    1) They happen to have a language they use already. If so, discuss whether you do or not, and come to an agreement or a compromise on how to handle it.
    2) They don't know or hadn't considered it. If so, discuss with them as to how to proceed and come to an agreement or a compromise.
    3) They adamantly stick to the "there is only one language" thing, at which point you're better off just dropping the subject and saving yourself the headache that the argument that disagreement leads to will surely give.

    And, when in doubt, <"Bracketed quotes"> can be used as a "We're speaking in a different language but don't want to constantly translate it in tells" sign, or alternatively, you can emote simply that you speak to them in x language and then in tells say what your character said. Which one is most appropriate depends on the situation.

    edit: just to clarify here, This is how I've seen things handled on Faeblight. I have no idea how Argent does it.
    Last edited by Kirselle; 07-30-2013 at 11:08 AM.
    Faeblight Server. R.I.P. Sunrest.

  3. #3
    Ascendant Talila's Avatar
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    Feb 2011


    I would personally not recommend applying a different language to your RP - with few exceptions. It does appear that habitants from the other planes have their own language (I will refer to the fae as the most clear example of this) - but if anyone has actually managed to learn their language is not entirely certain, especially since they seem to have learnt our language first and as such shattering the language barrier.

    But, for us "regular" people, you wont ever see a language local to the races (One exception though for the Bahmi, in the shape of the shalistiri - If we presume here that each plane has their own language, the bahmi's ancestors would have spoken that - But, it's been many many hundreds of years since, and the shalistiri language would probably not be spoken regularily but more used for rituals) The theory seems to go on that we were all (minus the bahmi) taught how to speak by the elves, and as such the elves language became dominant.
    That said, dialects are very much around, there's a quest-line or book I believe that illustrates how some of the ancient eth tech was found with instructions people couldn't understand at first - it was in the same language, but the dialect and the choices of words were so different it sounded like another language. Via that, there's some possibilities to incorporate long forgotten words and phrases into your RP - but again I'm not sure anyone would actually go out and speak for example ancient-dialect-eth-telaran as their primary language-dialect.
    Last edited by Talila; 07-30-2013 at 11:36 PM.

  4. #4
    Shadowlander Kazerabet's Avatar
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    May 2013


    I never intended to use a full ''racial'' language in RP to begin with. More in the style of words or short phrases for that extra effect!
    But the concept of different dialects works just as well for me, and how languages change over the centuries or millenia is something I'm very familiar with and I can work with it easily and put to good use.

    Valuable information posted here from both posters. You have my thanks both!

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