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This article covers the modern language commonly used on Golarion. For the Great Padishah Empire, see Kelesh. For the language's predecessor, see Old Keleshite.
Most Qadirans speak Taldane as well as any Inner Sea region culture, but Kelish is their primary language.

Kelish is the language of the Great Padishah Empire of Kelesh east of the Inner Sea, including its westernmost Inner Sea region satrapy of Qadira.[1] It is a throaty, phlegmatic language rich with poetry, scholarly writing, and history, having served the empire for countless generations. It is also widely spoken by the genies of that land.[2][3][4]


Kelish is derived from the tribal languages spoken within the Padishah Empire of Kelesh.[5] Also known as Old Keleshite, these languages were more grammatically complex with sounds not commonly used in other regions. Their unique and often difficult nature slowed the spread of Keleshite influence, leading merchants to create a simplified trade version that shared more in common phonologically with languages found outside of Casmaron.[3][4]

Features and grammar

Kelish has six vowel sounds (a, e, i, o, u, which can be short or long; and ə, which is either silent or pronounced as a schwa). In most cases, r sounds are trilled with the tip of the tongue, while a second r sound is instead rolled. The spoken language also uses glottal stops.[3][4]

Most words stress the final syllable.[3]


Kelish uses an abjad script, and written Kelish contains only consonants. Each consonant can have two inflections, commonly referred to as "soft" and "hard", depending on context.[3]

In the Inner Sea region

Kelesh is widely spoken in the Inner Sea region in Absalom,[6] Alkenstar,[7] Geb,[8] Katapesh,[9] Nex,[10] Taldor,[11] and of course Qadira, the westernmost satrapy of the Great Empire.[12] The traders of Kelesh are so ubiquitous, that the language is even spoken by a sizable minority in the great city of Goka, in distant Tian Xia.[13]

Despite its usage as a trade language, it remains complex compared to Taldane and is inconsistently transcribed, making it difficult for Taldane speakers to learn.[4]