Nonhuman languages of Golarion

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Although there are many human languages used across Golarion, there are many more of nonhuman origin. Some of them have existed longer than humanity itself.


The language of the adlet, a snow-wolf-like humanoid species.1


The language of alghollthus,2 also known as the Aboleth language,3 is one of the oldest on the face (and below the waters) of Golarion.[citation needed] It is spoken by the various species of alghollthus as well as some of their traditional enemies.4


In addition to Taldane, most catfolk also speak their own language, called "Amurrun", which is also the term they use for themselves.5 Amurrun is spoken widely in the large community of catfolk living in the Valashmai Jungle.6 As the language of catfolk, this language is sometimes also referred to as Catfolk.7


The language of arboreals and other plant-like creatures is presumably used during moots.84 Arboreal regents are also known as "treants", so this language is sometimes also referred to as Treant.9


This language of croaks and belched pops is spoken by the boggards of the Mushfens in Varisia. A crude pidgin of it is also spoken by marsh giants, and is supposedly even more disgusting to hear.1011


The language of the ceratioidi.12


The language of the cyclops was also once spoken by giants. It developed before the coming of humans, among the cyclops of the legendary realm of Ghol-Gan.13


It is believed that Draconic is among the oldest, if not the oldest language of the multiverse. Because of this, nearly all other languages can trace some roots back to this primordial tongue.14 Draconic is one of the two major languages spoken on the planet Triaxus,15 and is commonly spoken in the Tian Xia nation of Xa Hoi, as it is the language of the Tian-Dan people.1617 Draconic has a throaty character and defaults to an imperative tone.18


See also Iruxi.

Drooni is the language of the lizardfolk nation of Droon in Southern Garund and also serves as the trade language for other nations in the region, including Holomog.1920


For another meaning of "Dwarven", please see Dwarf.

Dwarven is a clipped language of hard consonants and guttural pronunciation. Dwarven shares its runic alphabet with Petran, along with a number of other similarities.14 Dwarven names are full of harsh-sounding consonants, and rarely include soft, or sibilant sounds. Honorifics are common in given names, such as "-sun" ("-son"), "-dam" ("-daughter"), and "-hild" ("-wife"). Family names sometimes contain words in Common such as "gold" or "hammer". Also, the letters Q and X do not appear in Dwarven.21 Dörak is a dwarven term meaning "off-plan", which is not a good thing for dwarves to do.22


Elven or Elvish is believed to be among the eldest, if not the eldest of the languages mortals speak on Golarion. Scholars conjecture that it was formed when elven speakers of Fey tried to introduce grammatical rules and vocabulary from both Empyrean and Draconic.14 The elven alphabet contains thirty-three letters (twenty-four consonants and nine vowels).23 It is a complex language, but sounds poetic in tone and cadence.13 In Tian Xia, Elven is naturally most commonly spoken in the elven nation of Jinin, although it is also common in Kaoling, Zi Ha, Songbai,24 and Linvarre.16

Ekujae shape-script

The Ekujae elves of the Mwangi Expanse encode knowledge and history into patterns cultivated into plants known as record trees. Such trees are a three-dimensional shape-script that Ekujae learn to interpret and write at an early age, and their half-elves can often transcribe it into more portable or rudimentary forms, including an adapted two-dimensional script.25


The language of the fey, also known as Sylvan, is one of the most linguistically static of all languages. Thought to be nearly as old as Draconic or Chthonian, Fey has a tiny vocabulary that has barely changed over the eons.14 Although Fey is spoken by a small minority on the continent of Tian Xia, most creatures whom one would expect to speak Fey there instead speak Senzar.16


Garuda is the name of the language and the name of the creature that speaks it. Garudas are brightly coloured avian creatures living in tropical climates, including on the island nation of Jalmeray. Garudas, being intelligent creatures, may also speak Common and Vudrani.26


The language of the various races of giants—sometimes called Jotun,27 or more simply, Giant—that exists today is a mixture of Cyclops and Thassilonian. First used by the giant slaves of the runelords in the time before Earthfall, it spread to the rest of Golarion after the destruction of that realm.14 In Tian Xia, Giant is most commonly spoken in the brutish nation of Chu Ye.16


Girtablilu is the language spoken by the humanoid-scorpion hybrid creatures of the same name.28


In terms of the sheer number of words in its vocabulary, Gnome, or Gnomish,29 is the largest language known. It has changed dramatically since gnomes first introduced it to Golarion, a process which has by no means halted.14 It shares certain similarities with both Aklo and Fey.1318


Goblin vocabulary is shared by the goblin, bugbear, and hobgoblin races, even if the pronunciations, inflections, and usage differs wildly among them. When spoken by goblins, it is nearly incomprehensible to outsiders, and sounds more like high-pitched yapping. Among the martial hobgoblins, it takes the form of short, barked commands, while the bugbears speak their taunts with a sibilance not heard among the other goblinoid races.13 It is an extremely flexible language, containing a plethora of terms related to subservience, fear, and death.14 In Tian Xia, Goblin is the official language of the hobgoblin nation of Kaoling, although the dialect is different from the Goblin spoken in the Inner Sea region. Goblin speakers there also use the Tien alphabet.16


The language of halflings is believed to have developed from a coded version of Taldane and Varisian. It was first used in Cheliax among the halfling slave population and eventually spread across Avistan and Garund.14 The language has many regional dialects to the point that halflings may find difficulty communicating with foreign halflings in complex areas. Modern halfling has the same grammar structure as Azlanti; scholars can only suggest why this is the case, but it tends to suggest halflings were present within the ancient Azlanti empire alongside the humans.30


See also Drooni.

Many lizardfolk speak a language common to their ancestry known as Iruxi, which is also the language's word for their ancestry.31


See Giant.


Kasathas are four-armed humanoids who have their own language, also called Kasatha.32


Kashrishi speak their own language, also called Kashrishi.33


Keches are evil simian creatures found in warm jungles who have their own language, also called Kech.34


The Kholo language, named for its primary speakers and also known generically as Gnoll, is hard for non-kholo35 to understand and speak because it is made up of countless barks, growls, and yips. Like many other racial languages, its construction is a clear reflection of the cultural priorities of its speakers: Kholo has 37 words for the term "slave" and only two for "work".14


Kuru is the racial language of the cannibalistic kuru who make their home in the Shackles.36


Munavri is the racial language of the albino munavri who make their home deep beneath the continent of Arcadia.37


The hissing Nagaji language is spoken almost exclusively by the inhabitants of Nagajor, specifically the Nagaji. The Nagaji tongue has been heavily influenced by the Naga over the centuries, and even when translated possesses various terms considered strange by non-native speakers.3816


Much like the folk who speak it, Orc, or Orcish,27 is a harsh and violent language, full of sharp delivery and hard consonants.1418 It uses the Dwarven alphabet,14 and is spoken as a majority language only in the Hold of Belkzen.39


Many sentient plants manage to communicate with other plants through a 'language' that is equivalent to a continuous speak with plants spell, called plantspeech. Sometimes, this plantspeech is only effective for communication with plants of the same species.40


Rougarous are shapechanging wolf-headed humanoids, though emphatically not a type of werecreature. Usually able to speak Common to those outside their community, rougarous use their own racial language, also called Rougarou, to communicate amongst themselves.41[citation needed]

Sedacthy (Sahuagin)

The language of sedacthys42 is sometimes spoken by merfolk43[citation needed] and azarketis.44


Even though the Samsaran language is primarily spoken in the mountainous Tian Xia nation of Zi Ha, it is also the racial tongue of the samsaran people,16 and a secondary language of the kitsune,45 nagaji,46 and wayang peoples.47


Sasquatch is the name of the language spoken by the simian species of humanoid called sasquatch or, sometimes, "bigfoot". As well as more normal vocal words, the language is supplemented by howls and "knocking" sounds. The latter are produced when a sasquatch bangs a tree or rock with an implement. This complex language sounds similar to the normal sounds in a forest and thus aids in protecting the privacy of the species.48


Senzar is the truly ancient language of the spirits of Tian Xia, and spoken most frequently by the kami of the Forest of Spirits as well as the inhabitants of the Wall of Heaven Mountains. Scholars believe that it may be the root language of all human tongues on the continent, as many words associated with the spirit world or dragons have Senzar roots.16 Senzar is also spoken natively by the kitsune,45 and as a secondary language by the nagaji,46 samsarans,49 and wayang.47 Although the Fey language is known in Tian Xia, most creatures that one would expect to speak it, instead speak Senzar.16


Shoonies have their own language, also called Shoony.50

Sign languages

Several groups use sign and gesture languages to communicate.

Kasthezvi sign language

Kasthezvis communicate in a sign language involving contortions and jerking limbs.51


While primarily spoken, the Darklands language of Sakvroth also includes a sign language typically employed by creatures who wish to communicate without being overheard.52 It is known to be used by the drow,53 although it is growing in popularity across the Inner Sea region18 and other creatures may have alternate versions.


Sphinx is spoken by the guardians of Osirion. The ability to speak this language is needed to become a living monolith.54


The language of the winged Strix people of Cheliax is a pidgin of Azlanti and Infernal.55 The language sounds to human ears more like an eagle screeching than a form of humanoid communication. The strix refer to their own race as itarii in their own language.5657


Syrinxes are an owl-like humanoid resident on the continent of Arcadia that have their own language also called Syrinx.58


The language of the tengu, which may be found in a number of dialects.59 The language is also spoken by Yamabushi tengus: oni that resemble tengu,60 and is the national language of the tengu nation on Kwanlai in Tian Xia.16


Thriae is the language spoken by the female bee creatures of the same name.61


Tripkees62 are humanoids who resemble tree frogs. Many speak Common tongues such as Taldane, but amongst their own kind they speak their own language called Tripkee.63 The Tripkee language is spoken widely in the Valashmai Jungle, the home of a large tripkee community,6 and in the neighboring nation of Valash Raj.64


Vanaran is the racial language of the forest-dwelling, simian humanoids known as vanara.65


The same word, Vishkanya, is used for the name and the racial language of the dark-skinned humanoids, who are famous for their ability with poison.66


The wayang's racial language is spoken in Tian Xia most commonly in the Wandering Isles.16


Wildsong, also known as Druidic,67 has been guarded so vigilantly by the druids of Golarion that it remains a secret language to this day. Speakers of Elven or Fey may be able to discern a few individual words here and there, but even they remain baffled without a greater context to place them in.14

Wildsong is a tonal language employing melody and more closely resembles animal calls than speech, while its script includes natural features such as the fractal structures of plants, shells, and snowflakes. Druids are forbidden from teaching it to non-druids.68


For additional as-yet unincorporated sources about this subject, see the Meta page.

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