Languages Of Oerth
“Heed my words apprentice for the ruins across the Flanness are filled with ancient writings an(d) runes and to know them may mean life or horrible death….”
Languages starting characters may learn will be the Pathfinder Core languages; while Greyhawk has its own set of regional languages, they are mostly for flavor and not campaign pertinent. However be sure to check your race and class as not all languages may be available for you to learn. Also, check your region for common languages – e.g. gnome may not be a bonus language to your race or class, but it may be a common language in your region which would open it up to be taken. If you are human, you have the option of knowing one additional language based on your “root” race.
Human languages available to starting PCs:
•Ancient Baklunish is one of the ancestors of the Common tongue, though there is little resemblance between the two in the present day, a thousand years since the two have diverged. It is still spoken by the nomads of the Plains of the Paynims, and by the faithful of Al’Akbar. It is the language of all official and religious documents west of the Yatil Mountains.
•Common, the trade tongue of the Flanaess, is a hybrid language, a combination of the dialect of Old Oeridian spoken in the Great Kingdom and Ancient Baklunish. it is “a mixture of Suloise and Oeridian tongues with some Baklunish admixture.” Virtually everyone in the Flanaess who wishes to communicate with those outside their culture must learn at least a little Common if they hope not to be treated as gibberish-spouting simpletons. Because of its diverse roots, Common is a very flexible language, and it is often easier to translate a text into Common first before translating it into any other tongue.
•Flan, the aboriginal human language in the Flanaess, is still spoken in Tenh, although the Tenha form has been much-changed by the Great Migrations and the passing of time. The Rovers of the Barrens speak their own odd Flan dialect. Flan is a comparatively stagnant language, and modern concepts, particularly magical ones, are difficult to translate into it.
•Keolandish is a dialect of Old High Oeridian with local influences, spoken in the Kingdom of Keoland and other nations of the Sheldomar Valley.
•Lendorian is an obscure Suloise dialect spoken in the Lendore Isles, influenced by Common and containing many nautical terms. It cannot be understood by those who speak only the Cold Tongue.
•Low Baklunish are the contemporary, colloquial Baklunish dialects, descended from Ancient Baklunish but much changed by time. Common is also widely used by traders and educated peoples of the Baklunish West.
•Nyrondese is a High Oeridian dialect of Common, spoken primarily by peasants and commonfolk in the Kingdom of Nyrond. The learned almost always speak Common as well.
•Old Oeridian. was completely free of outside influences until the Great Migrations. Its grammar is thus unique and it is almost impossible to translate it into any language other than Common. Many of the books, records, and holy texts of the Aerdi were written in Old Oeridian, and it is still widely known in the lands of the former Great Kingdom.
•Olman is the language of the Olman people, written with thousands of complex pictographs.
•Rhopan is the secret cant of the Rhennee. Descended from some non-Oerthly tongue, it has incorporated terms from the criminal argot of many peoples.
•Suloise, the language of the ancient Suel Imperium, is a nearly dead tongue, spoken only by a minority of sages in order to read ancient books and scrolls, and by the Scarlet Brotherhood. It can be dangerous to translate spells written in Suloise into other magical languages, as the significance of some Suel inflections has been lost.
•Touv is a name given to a variety of tribal tongues of the Touv people, all of them mutually comprehensible due to the Touv propensity for trade. The Touv language is rich in synonyms, easy to learn but difficult to master. It has its own phonetic alphabet.
•Ulagha is a debased form of Baklunish spoken by the people of Ull.
•Velondi is an Old Oeridian tribal language spoken mostly by the peasantry of Furyondy and Veluna. Those who speak only Common find it incomprehensible.
The Four Major Languages on Oerth are:
1) The Common Tongue with is a mixture of ancient baklunish and old Oeridian.
2) Flan, the oldest tongue in the Flanness. It is a stagnant tongue very difficult to translate.
3) Ancient Baklunish, although an ancestor of common, the millennia old tongue bares little resemblance to the modern offspring.
4) Old Oeridian, very similar to common, but uses old grammatical forms.