This page serves as a source of information about in-character languages as they are applicable to World 42 roleplaying. Everyone is invited to add to this information.
Language in Roleplay
Across the expansive lands of Gielinor there are numerous cultures and races. Some of these races and cultures came from entirely separate realms of existence and others were isolated from the rest of civilization for hundreds or thousands of years. Naturally, this has resulted in a number of different languages being spoken across the map. Some are simply the result of separate cultures and others are absolutely unique to certain races or types of characters.
In active roleplaying, there is typically a language that every character present in a certain group is expected to know. For example, any elf in Lletya will probably be able to speak elven. However, there may be times when your characters speak a language that others might not know. When this happens, this is the common syntax:
Language name: [Dialogue]
This is the language that nearly every character is going to know. It is the universal language of inter-race communication and can be used just about anywhere in the world. In the case of many humans on the main land, it could very well be the only language a character has ever learned. Its real-world equivalent is English, and its typical abbreviation is CS.
This is the language of the desert peoples. A character who spent any significant length of time in Al Kharid, Pollnivneach, Uzer, Nardah, Sophanem, Menaphos, the Bedabin camp, or the Bandit camp would be able to speak this language with some level of fluency. Its real-world equivalent is Arabic, and its typical abbreviation is KH.
This is the language of the Fremennik peoples. A character who spent any significant length of time in Rellekka, the Mountain Camp, the Fremennik Isles, Waterbirth Island, or the Lunar Isle would be able to speak this language with some level of fluency. Its real-world equivalent is Norse, and it's typical abbreviation is Frem.
Demon language comes in two forms according to two demonic races. It is unknown if the Chthonian demons had their own language. There is no abbreviation for them yet.
This is the ancient language of the Infernal demons. The Chthonian demons adopted it as their own language which in turn Zaros adopted as main language in his empire. It was spoken widely in the Second Age, the Golden Age of Zaros, but has since become effectively a dead language. It is very uncommon for any typical character to have even heard of this language and it is often reserved exclusively for Zarosian ritual, very devout followers of Zaros, (Chthonian) demons and Mahjarrat. The real-world equivalent is Latin.
The Avernic demons have their own language. Its only use is naming their own kin. The meaning of their kin names is largely unknown. Users of the Avernic tongue are exclusively Avernic demons.
This is the language of Karamjan tribesmen. A character who spent any significant length of time in tribal areas of the island like Tai Bwo Wannai, Shilo Village, or the Kharazi jungle might be able to speak this language with some level of fluency. Its real-world equivalent is any tribal African language and its typical abbreviation is KJ.
This is the language of the elves. It is spoken widely throughout most of Tirranwn including Priffdinas, the elf camp, Isafdar, and Lletya. However, this language is unique in that it uses a selection of phenomes which aren't within the capability of most races; the language requires certain acrobatics of the tongue that make it difficult, if not impossible, for any non-elf race to speak it fluently. However, any character who spent any significant length of time in these areas would probably still be able to understand Elven with some level of fluency. In addition, some non-elf races may be able to communicate in broken elven, able to speak it effectively enough to communicate, just awkwardly and with a heavy accent. Though, this is unlikely as it has been confirmed that races such as humans cannot speak Elven. Its real-world equivalent is Welsh and its typical abbreviation is ELF or EL.
Most roleplayers consider Elven to be too difficult for humans and similar races to understand considering the speed of the Elven language. However, it should always be considered that written Elven can be learned fluently, just like any other language, even in other alphabets.
This is the language of the werewolves. It is spoken in the city of Canifis in Morytania and is used fairly exclusively for citizens of that small settlement, though it may also translate somehow into the animalistic werewolf tongue. Its real-world equivalent is Russian and its typical abbreviation is CN.
There have been canon accounts of the use of a growling-type language exclusive to werewolves, which can be spoken both in human and canine forms. It is unclear if this is meant to be Canic or a separate race-exclusive language. For now, interpretation of this is up to the roleplayer.
This is the language of the icyene. It was spoken back in the icyenic home realm and brought over by the icyene to Gielinor. This is a very rare language, teetering on the edge of becoming an extinct language in Gielinor as there are only two icyene on Gielinor and it is unknown if they can speak it. Saint Elspeth is the only confirmed human able to translate icyenic into common tongue and even then, it is unknown if she could actually speak it or if she is only able to translate the written form into common. Learning icyenic would be a very high honor for a character, though it is unlikely to be spoken by any creature but an icyene. The typical abbreviation is I or Icy.
This is the language of the Tzhaar peoples. It is spoken almost exclusively in the Tzhaar City in the Karamja volcano and likely is difficult for carbon-based lifeforms to pronounce in the intended way. Any character who spent any significant length of time around the TzHaar people would pick up on the language with some level of fluency. This language uses an entirely separate alphabet and makes heavy use of hyphenation. It has no known real-world equivalent and its typical abbreviation is Tz.
Old GnomishThis is the ancient language of the gnomes. It is spoken by elder members of Gnomish society and is a dying language. Only scholars and ancient members of the gnomish community would have a chance at being fluent in this language. Its real-world equivalent would be an ancient Celtic language and its typical abbreviation is OG.
This is the language of the dwarves. Characters who have spent a significant length of time in Keldagrim, Ice and White wolf mountain undergrounds, or any dwarven outposts would be able to speak this language with some level of fluency. Its real-world equivalent is most likely Germanic and its typical abbreviation is DW.
GorajianGorajo people. It is spoken by any and all beings summoned from the Gorajo plane. Any character who spent any significant length of time interacting with these Gorajo might pick up on their language and any powerful summoner would be able to understand it. Its real-world equivalent is a mish-mash of Native American languages and its typical abbreviation is GJ.
As referenced in the Lores and Histories section, for Tumeken's Dream, it appears as though Menaphosian is a language used in Menaphos and by the Menaphites. It is ancient and in writing form is based around hieroglyphics. Whether this means it is the actual language of the Kharidian, or only reserved for Menaphite people, it can be assumed that anyone from the southern reaches of the desert would know of it.
The language of the dragonkin, just as the race itself, predates most other things. Their language is as blunt as they are; a very simplistic sentence structure that is short and to the point, it goes as follows: subject, adjective if required, action modifier, action, then object. Sentences like "Jim went for a brisk walk in the park" would become "Jim brisk walk in park". Almost nothing is known about this language, as the dragonkin rarely ever take time to write anything down in it, all that is known is a small collection of words discovered by Robert the Strong and updated by The Adventurer, with some of it being translated while the rest remains a mystery. Only the dragonkin themselves seem to have a complete knowledge of this language, for obvious reasons. The language has no real world equivalent.
This category includes a list of languages that are occasionally brought up but are not common enough to individually recognize or are not accepted as languages by all users.
Non-Custom Content Languages
- Acheronian (Island of Archeron)
- Ancient Armadylean
- Ancient Goblin
- Ancient Vampyric (The common language spoken in Vampyrium)
- Eon-Eo (Northwest of Eastern Lands)
- Gengo (Southwest of Eastern Lands)
- Knight (Spoken in Falador, basically the same as common tongue just more flamboyant)
- Latin (Spoken by residents of Burthorpe)
- Northern (Refers to any language spoken from theoretical tribes in what is now the Wilderness)
- Tuskan (Used by the Airut)
- Yuyán (Central and East of Eastern Lands)
Custom Content Languages
- Archonian (Language of Worshippers of Thane Sounds similair to the Real worlds Aztec)
- Clandestino Signing (Language of the Order of Clandestinos, similiar to Sign Language)
- Gonzo Tongue (Language of the House of Gonzo and Das Kaiserreich der Cruor, similar to German)
- Old Freneskaen (Ancient form of the Mahjarrat tongue, used in Sanskriit-Mah Rituals)
- Sellenos Tongue (Spoken by the Sellenos Tribesmen)
- Worshipper Tongue (Northern language; spoken by Dragonkin Worshippers)
This section addresses common errors that newer players often make regarding their characters use and knowledge of languages in roleplay.
- A normal character, especially a young one, who has not committed his/her life to language would probably only know 1-3 languages, perhaps 5 for an older character who is very well-travelled. It is considered poor form to have a 30-year-old who has heard of and mastered nearly every language on the map.
- Not all Zarosians will have heard of the Ancient Tongue.
- Human tongues are not agile enough to speak fluent Elven.
- A multi-lingual character does not necessarily have to be perfectly fluent in every language s/he knows.