What do the various languages sound like?


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion


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Here would be my guesses:

Common: English (or whatever the group's native language is)
Undercommon: Old English
Elven: French
Dwarven: Either German or Russian
Draconic: Latin
Giant: Either Swedish or Norweigian
Celestial: Hebrew
Sylvan: Gaelic
Aklo: Probably unlike any real language, or maybe like some conlang like Ithkuil.
Druidic: Again, probably unlike any real language.


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Worth noting that Common is a different language in different parts of Golarion; Avistan uses Taldan in most spots (where they aren’t speaking Hallit), while other regions use Mwangi, Tian, Kelish, or Razatlani as their Common tongues.


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I don't think there's a reason to figure this out. Since "common" is supposed to suggest "what the most common human language in this area is" which is going to change from table to table.

Like at your table it might sound like English, but if people are playing Pathfinder in Poland they are free to believe it sounds like Polish and nobody here is incorrect.

Suggesting canonical "accents" to represent non-human languages is just a minefield I don't really care to wander though, either.

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The 1E Inner Sea World Guide has a list of different languages and some of these include descriptions of their sounds. For example, Hallit is described as a "coarse, rough-sounding language" and Dwarven is a language "consisting of hard consonants and clipped syllables." I'd say check out that book for a good starting point.

Relatedly, I once described the sounds of druidic in a home game. What I described has lots of "natural" sounding and breathy fricatives (think 'f' and 'sh' sounds) that sound like actual sounds from nature. So, someone speaking druidic would almost sound like they're making the sounds of flowing water or shaking leaves and so on. The idea behind that is that speakers could safely speak druidic out in nature and anyone hearing the speech would have trouble distinguishing the sounds of speaking from the rest of the natural soundscape.

It's a fun exercise to think about these sounds!


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Using real languages as anything other than an inspiration for a conlang is just asking for trouble. Specially in this type of game that is meant to be played worldwide and have an internal large amount of diverse languages.

For example you probably didn't mean it, but most of the languages you picked were european, or highly related to europeans. Which is easily less than 5% of just human languages.


There are some broad geographic and cultural similarities one might draw on when trying to guesstimate the sounds of things in Earth terms. Avistan is roughly Europe, with Taldor its historic great power now in some decline - so Taldan could make sense as being something like a Romance language, if you wanted to make it parallel to Latin and its derivatives. Lung Wa is pretty transparently leaning on China's role in history, so Tian 'Common' may well be fantasy Mandarin. We've a fair amount of PNW Native/First Nations inspirations in the Kellids recently; Hallit might draw on Haida, Tlingit, and other related language families.

We can make some guesses about Vudran, Kelish, and Razatlani, y'know?


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Luis Loza wrote:


Relatedly, I once described the sounds of druidic in a home game. What I described has lots of "natural" sounding and breathy fricatives (think 'f' and 'sh' sounds) that sound like actual sounds from nature. So, someone speaking druidic would almost sound like they're making the sounds of flowing water or shaking leaves and so on. The idea behind that is that speakers could safely speak druidic out in nature and anyone hearing the speech would have trouble distinguishing the sounds of speaking from the rest of the natural soundscape.

It's a fun exercise to think about these sounds!

That's brilliant, actually!

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