Hello all, I have an archivist bard who regularly adventures with a tiger loving Druid. Problem is my main bardic performance (Naturalist (See below) is language dependent, which means the tiger is unaffected by it normally. My question is if the Druid casts speak with animals on me, (See below) can it benefit from my bardic performance? (My bard speaks Sylvan, if that matters) Or does the Tiger actually have to learn the language?
Alternatively, would a casting of Tongues (see below) on myself or the tiger allow it to benefit?
All descriptions were copied from Archive of Nethys.
Speak with animals doesn't give an animal a language or give you the ability to speak a different language, it is simply a divination that gives you answers to questions via the medium of an animal.
Tongues is assumed to be cast on a creature that already has language, a translator rather than giving the ability to speak to something that normally can't. It doesn't mention specifically what happens if you try though, and you might get away with it. I wouldn't allow it personally. Tongues cast on you wouldn't work for sure as their is no 'Tiger' language for you to be speaking in.
Speak with animals technically doesn't involve a language, which would preclude language dependent effects from working. It isn't that it's a medium-based divination--the spell works both ways and allows you to request a service from the animal--but it isn't sophisticated enough to grant actual language.
Tongues is fine so long as you cast it on the tiger rather than yourself. It grants the ability to understand any language, and that's all that is required. If you cast it on yourself, it won't help, though; as Dave Justus said, a tiger don't understand any language by default, so no language that you could choose to speak would be understood by the tiger.
BTW, when your tiger gets an ability score increase, if you boost its Intelligence to 3 and either (a) spend months training it (the rules say "usually over the course of months") or (b) give it a rank of Linguistics, it can in fact learn to understand a language and all of these problems go away.