What language do Therans speak?

Discussion on the Earthdawn game line, errata, and feedback not related to playing or GMing.
VolcanicGlassMan
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2017 7:55 pm

What language do Therans speak?

Post by VolcanicGlassMan » Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:06 pm

I am wondering: What is the native language of Thera? Is there a canon answer anywhere?
Since Thera seems to be a human-dominated (or at least human-emperored) empire, would it be a dialect of Human, i.e. Human/Theran?
Or is it its own unique language the same way that Cathayan and Jih'Pen are?
If there is a canon answer, what book(s) is it in?

Thanks!

Lys
Posts: 177
Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2016 4:00 am

Re: What language do Therans speak?

Post by Lys » Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:49 pm

Therans speak Theran, a language descended from Sperethiel, it's discussed in the Theran Empire book. Also while it's common for the position to be held by a human, the races of the First Governor of Thera have varied, and right now it's an Obsidiman. Additionally, the true power behind Thera are implied to be a cabal of Immortal Elves. It's important not to overstate the importance of Humans to the Theran empire, they are very multi-racial in terms of power structure.

VolcanicGlassMan
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2017 7:55 pm

Re: What language do Therans speak?

Post by VolcanicGlassMan » Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:02 pm

Cool, thank you!

User avatar
Mataxes
Posts: 669
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 10:39 pm
Location: The Great Library
Contact:

Re: What language do Therans speak?

Post by Mataxes » Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:22 am

The Read/Write/Speak learning difficulty for Theran is 5, FYI. While related to Sperethiel, it is its own language and not a dialect.
Josh Harrison - josh@fasagames.com
Earthdawn Line Developer, Forum Admin

Personal Website: www.loremerchant.com

VolcanicGlassMan
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2017 7:55 pm

Re: What language do Therans speak?

Post by VolcanicGlassMan » Wed Mar 22, 2017 5:04 am

Oh, okay. Not knowing that, I would probably have set it at 6 in my game. But I guess it makes sense that it would be as easy as Dwarf, since it is even more widespread.

MetalBoar
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2016 9:32 am

Re: What language do Therans speak?

Post by MetalBoar » Thu Mar 23, 2017 6:32 pm

The Read/Write/Speak learning difficulty for Theran is 5, FYI. While related to Sperethiel, it is its own language and not a dialect.
Of course it is, as some wit once said, "The difference between a dialect and a language is an army and a navy", and in this case they have an air force too!

Slimcreeper
Posts: 755
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:44 pm

Re: What language do Therans speak?

Post by Slimcreeper » Sun Mar 26, 2017 1:45 pm

When I visited Sweden a few years ago, I met old ladies who didn't speak Swedish. They spoke the local dialect that was originally spoken by everyone within 1 day's travel by horse of the one major trading hub. Prior to the automobile, that's as far as people traveled. They could barely understand Swedish, and the young people could barely understand them, but the dialect and language where indistinguishable to my ears.

User avatar
Mataxes
Posts: 669
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 10:39 pm
Location: The Great Library
Contact:

Re: What language do Therans speak?

Post by Mataxes » Sun Mar 26, 2017 3:33 pm

Well, the difference between "language" and "dialect" is fuzzy, and largely the realm of academic debate.

It does have a framework in game terms though. "Throalic" is a dialect of the dwarf racial language, as would Scythan. If you found a kaer where the residents spoke the latter, you could speak to them in the former but there would be a difficulty modifier for any rolls to understand each other. Same goes for or'zet and or'zat (both ork dialects).

By the rules though, Theran and Sperethiel do not have this relationship (despite the former being based on the latter).
Josh Harrison - josh@fasagames.com
Earthdawn Line Developer, Forum Admin

Personal Website: www.loremerchant.com

User avatar
The Undying
Posts: 696
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2016 11:25 pm

Re: What language do Therans speak?

Post by The Undying » Mon Mar 27, 2017 5:33 am

For what it's worth, I think a lot of people get "dialect" confused with "accent."

There are a lot of regional accents in the US, but they're accents - they change pronunciation but not vocabulary (or grammar). As long as you can get past the weird sound, there isn't a problem with communication. Some require more ear-training that others, but they're still accents.

Separate from that, American English could be seen as a dialect of British English (or, at least, originally was). There are pronunciation differences, but far more importantly, there are actual word differences and occasional structural differences. One is not derived from the other in the sense that most romance languages are derived from Latin and yet they are so inherently different (both between parent and child and between siblings) that knowing one doesn't really help you speak or understand the other in a meaningful way. With American/British English, the heart of the language is the same, and you can almost always get the gist of things even if the specifics aren't there. However, there's enough vocabulary difference, some that seem connected (flashlight = torch) and some that aren't (bathroom = loo [sp]), that there are occasions that require rephrasing before two dialects can communicate.

Slimcreeper
Posts: 755
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:44 pm

Re: What language do Therans speak?

Post by Slimcreeper » Mon Mar 27, 2017 11:32 am

Yes, and there is no place where anyone speaks 'correct' dwarf. Everyone speaks a dialect.

Post Reply