Languages of the Mortal Realms

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A language is a structured system of communication through which beings communicate with one another. Languages serve as the primary form of communication used by countless Mortals, Daemons, Spirits, Gods, and Beasts of the Cosmos Arcane. Languages can be conveyed through speech, writing, visual gestures and signing, and even mental communication.[1a][2a][10a][34a][35][49][50a]

The Mortal Realms are home to a wide variety of languages, many of which have regional dialects and variations. Any given major urban hub or trade centre, such as the markets of the Eternal City of Azyrheim and the docklands of the Sky-ports of the Kharadron Empire, will play host to nearly a thousand different languages and tongues spoken by merchants as they trade, hawk their wares and converse amongst one another.[1a][10a]

Known Language Groups

A Tzeentchian variant of Dark Tongue

Known Languages, Dialects, and Other Systems of Communication

Emblem with Queekish Runes

Arcane Languages

Arcane Languages are those languages used by the denizens of the Mortal Realms that can be used to manipulate or perform magic, rather than just communicate with other people. These languages come in many forms with both spoken and written varieties known to exist, there are some, such as Druhirri and Mordant, that are forbidden to be used by all but a select few.[6a][6c][8a][16a][59a]

Holy Languages

A holy language is any language developed for religious purposes. Known sacred languages of the Mortal Realms include:

Lost Languages

Over the long ages a number of languages have become lost and forgotten, often leaving only ancient texts that behind while others leave no remnants to prove they ever existed. Many of the languages once spoken in the Age of Myth were lost as a result of the devastation wrought during the Age of Chaos, the peoples who once used them driven to extinction. Others, such as certain runic scripts written upon Realmgates, date back to more ancient eras.[32a][64a][65a]

There are some individuals, known as cryptoscholars, who specialize in translating the surviving texts of these ancient, forgotten languages. Such individuals often work closely with the forces of Sigmar's Empire, sending their findings back to Azyrheim to aid in the reclamation of the Mortal Realms.[65a]

Accents and Other Variations

  • People from the Free City of Gravewild, many of whom originate from the Azyrite city of Nordrath, speak with a strange, lilting accent that makes it sound as if they were singing as they spoke.[16c]
  • Some dialects and languages of people hailing from Chamon are noted as being fluid in nature. Such as certain hill dialects and some Chamonian variations on the Celestial Tongue.[15a][15c]
  • Those who speak with a Northern Ghyranese Dialect have a certain melodiousness to their voices, causing even the dourest of words to have a pleasant tone to them.[26b]
  • Those native to the regions around Aqshy's Hot Seas are noted for speaking with a harsh rasp.[15d]
  • Some tribesmen from Ghur supposedly speak with a rough growl.[15d]
  • The people of the Black Marsh Barony, such as the Leatherbacks Freeguild, speak with a pronounced drawl.[16d]

Additional Information

Ur-Gold shaped into Khazalid Runes

The Dark Tongue of Chaos first entered the Mortal Realms in the Age of Myth when the first civilizations fostered by Sigmar began to write their knowledge in the form of the written word. During this time overworked and bleary-eyed scribes hear the dark whispers of daemonic whisperers, servants of Tzeentch, introducing them to the words of their dark language. Over time the Dark Tongue is recorded, syllable by syllable, in the most esoteric of grimoires.[4a]

Despite hailing from the Realm of Azyr, the Seraphon do not speak the same languages as the Azyrites and Stormcast. Instead, they speak their own languages, the one used by Skinks comprised mostly of whistles and clicks. This divide in communication has resulted in formal alliances between the Seraphon and other forces of Order being rare, despite their shared hatred of Chaos[22][23] However, some Skinks will learn the languages of other races. Due to their physiology Saurus are incapable of learning how to speak non-Seraphon languages, instead, some choose to learn the sign languages of other peoples or use Old Ones artefacts to aid their speech.[35]

The basic alphabet used by the Greenskin races across the Mortal Realms makes use of many angular letters. It has been claimed by many Witch Hunters and Warrior-Priests of Excelsis that the angular alphabet and letter forms used by the nomads of Gallet and denizens of Accar resemble the Greenskin alphabet.[46b]

The Dead Languages of Darkest Shyish is a term that has been used to collectively refer to some of the native languages of the Realm of Death, such as the Language of Ossia.[63a]

The Aelementor spirits that inhabit the mountains and hills of the Mortal Realms each have their own personal language. Nasan, an Alarith Spirit of the Mountain, can teach mortals how to learn the personal languages of these spirits.[49]

There are those Lords and Knights of the Stormhosts, such as Lord-Celestant Victrian Cyrocco of the Tempest Lords and Knight-Zephyros Neave Blacktalon of the Hammers of Sigmar, who learn to be fluent in many languages to aid in diplomacy as well as communicate with the disparate peoples of the Realms.[12b][61a]