What language do Therans speak?

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Mataxes
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Re: What language do Therans speak?

Post by Mataxes » Mon Mar 27, 2017 3:23 pm

The Undying wrote:
Mon Mar 27, 2017 5:33 am
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... that knowing one doesn't really help you speak or understand the other in a meaningful way.
Not necessarilythe case. Languages are weird, and there's not a clear line. (Which, of course, can make it hard to make game rules about it.)

I'm decently fluent reading French and, with a little acclimation, can understand spoken French (though not as well). (Sidebar: Back in my youth I was a lot more fluent, having lived in France for a year when I was 11 while my mom was getting her Masters. I took a trip to Quebec City about ten years ago and after a couple days, my brain was pulling up all sorts of stuff it hadn't used in a while. My spoken French is still atrocious, largely through atrophied vocabulary.) This fluency does allow me to understand the gist of written Spanish or Italian. Less so Portuguese.
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Re: What language do Therans speak?

Post by Geekabilly » Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:32 am

Just to add a little bit more to the mix; p.25 of Theran Empire states that 'The Throalic language is a distant cousin of the Theran tongue'. It would appear that Theran is in fact related to the Dwarven family of languages as opposed to Sperethial. Denizens of Earthdawn Volume One also has a small paragraph on Sperethial on p.23 and clearly states that the construction of Sperethial is different than that of Throalic so I don't believe think those two languages are closely related themselves.

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Re: What language do Therans speak?

Post by Slimcreeper » Thu Apr 12, 2018 1:46 pm

I assume that the racial languages are magical in nature at their core. It's the only way I can accept that all orks speak a language in common that they all understand, even with their short life spans and hundred of years spent in kaers.

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Re: What language do Therans speak?

Post by Geekabilly » Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:17 pm

Slimcreeper wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 1:46 pm
I assume that the racial languages are magical in nature at their core. It's the only way I can accept that all orks speak a language in common that they all understand, even with their short life spans and hundred of years spent in kaers.
That's one way of looking at it, and in a setting like Earthdawn, where magic plays a huge role, it wouldn't surprise me. Also, if you take the Shadowrun/Earthdawn links into account, the idea that language is a magical phenomenon is an easy one to agree with.

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Re: What language do Therans speak?

Post by etherial » Thu Apr 12, 2018 3:52 pm

Geekabilly wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:32 am
Just to add a little bit more to the mix; p.25 of Theran Empire states that 'The Throalic language is a distant cousin of the Theran tongue'. It would appear that Theran is in fact related to the Dwarven family of languages as opposed to Sperethial. Denizens of Earthdawn Volume One also has a small paragraph on Sperethial on p.23 and clearly states that the construction of Sperethial is different than that of Throalic so I don't believe think those two languages are closely related themselves.
Fascinating. We've always played with Theran as a Creole of Human and Sperethiel.

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Re: What language do Therans speak?

Post by Geekabilly » Thu Apr 12, 2018 4:32 pm

etherial wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 3:52 pm
Geekabilly wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:32 am
Just to add a little bit more to the mix; p.25 of Theran Empire states that 'The Throalic language is a distant cousin of the Theran tongue'. It would appear that Theran is in fact related to the Dwarven family of languages as opposed to Sperethial. Denizens of Earthdawn Volume One also has a small paragraph on Sperethial on p.23 and clearly states that the construction of Sperethial is different than that of Throalic so I don't believe think those two languages are closely related themselves.
Fascinating. We've always played with Theran as a Creole of Human and Sperethiel.
I was surprised too. I've been re-reading Theran Empire in preparation for my Vasgothia campaign and our group (we've been playing ED for nearly 20 years) have always presented Theran as a Sperethial dialect. I've looked a little deeper and Denizens Volume Two p.19 explains that 'Modern Throalic first began to spread across Barsaive during the Imperial period, when the dwarfs of Throal administrated Barsaive for the Therans'

Depending on how much cultural exchange and assimilation happened between Thera and Throal, along with possible large amounts of Barsaivian immigration into Thera and its provinces, I can see how Throalic may have influenced and been adopted by the empire. I think its clear from the setting material that Throalic was relatively simple for other Namegivers and cultures to adopt, resulting in its current status as the lingua franca of Barsaive. Perhaps its simplicity appealed to the Therans and they assimilated a lot of its structure and vocabulary into whatever they were speaking before, perhaps a mixture of Rugarian and Sperethial, who knows?

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Re: What language do Therans speak?

Post by Lys » Thu Apr 12, 2018 9:25 pm

It's the other way around, Thoralic was influenced by Theran rather than the Therans adopting Thoralic. The origin of the Theran language is clarified on Pg. 163 of the Theran Empire book: "Theran, which is spoken just about everywhere in the Empire, is a radically altered variant of the Elven language Sperethiel. Characters who know Sperethiel will get the gist of a conversation in Theran, but will miss its nuances."

A way to think about this: If Sperethiel is Latin, Theran is French, and Thoralic is English.

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Re: What language do Therans speak?

Post by Geekabilly » Fri Apr 13, 2018 7:32 am

Lys wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 9:25 pm
It's the other way around, Thoralic was influenced by Theran rather than the Therans adopting Thoralic. The origin of the Theran language is clarified on Pg. 163 of the Theran Empire book: "Theran, which is spoken just about everywhere in the Empire, is a radically altered variant of the Elven language Sperethiel. Characters who know Sperethiel will get the gist of a conversation in Theran, but will miss its nuances."

A way to think about this: If Sperethiel is Latin, Theran is French, and Thoralic is English.
Damn, the plot thickens. I don't thing that actually points to Theran influencing Throalic however (although that could be the case, I guess its open to interpretation) Denizens Volume Two p.19 says; 'The language we know as modern Throalic developed from two older, related dwarf tongues spoken in the Kingdom of Scytha and the long vanished city-state of Ysdragyl. The language of the two realms were quite similar, and elements of each appear in the language of Throal'

There isn't any mention of a Theran or Sperethial influence, and yet Merrox states in Theran Empire that Throalic and Theran are cousins. This could be a mistake on the author's part, an in-world misunderstanding or an intentional omission. Denizens was written by Thom Edrull so he could have had his own bias towards the subject, as could Merrox.

Facintating to talk about though, this is why I love ED.

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Re: What language do Therans speak?

Post by utsukushi » Thu Apr 19, 2018 4:58 am

Slimcreeper wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 1:46 pm
I assume that the racial languages are magical in nature at their core. It's the only way I can accept that all orks speak a language in common that they all understand, even with their short life spans and hundred of years spent in kaers.
:shock: Oooh.

I love that idea. The idea of languages being racial instead of geographic has irritated me in, well, every game ever, because it's stupid and they all do it. But if they're part of each race's Great Pattern, then... well, that could be another ridiculous D&D trope that Earthdawn actually makes sense of, which is totally a thing that Earthdawn does all the time.

That implies, then, that Thera and Throal stand out as big enough entities to have Great Patterns that can support their own national language, such that people in Thera, by virtue of being Theran, all speak Theran, and people in Barsaive.. all speak Throalic, even after all that time in kaers. Not because everyone has to take five years of it in grade school, but because Throal, by venturing out first with The Earthdawn and asserting their claim over the province, has established themselves magically. (And I'm not sure if this idea strengthens or weakens that idea in Thera that Thera's Great Pattern has been damaged by the loss of Barsaive -- but the fact that Barsaivians no longer speak Theran, then, would totally support the idea that they have lost Barsaive, in a Great-Pattern-y kind of way.)

This is awesome. I'm, like, stupidly happy about this. Thank you for throwing that thought out! That actually works.

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Re: What language do Therans speak?

Post by etherial » Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:45 am

Slimcreeper wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 1:46 pm
I assume that the racial languages are magical in nature at their core. It's the only way I can accept that all orks speak a language in common that they all understand, even with their short life spans and hundred of years spent in kaers.
I ignored this earlier, but since temporal linguistics is an interest of mine, you've got it all wrong. The thing that causes languages to change is population centers, not population diaspora. The more people you have, the more they talk, and the more they talk, the more they change. If you want to know what Elizabethan English sounded like, go to Newfoundland or the Isle of Man. The local pronunciation has barely changed in 400 years. And if you really want a good time, sing a song in medieval French. You'll need the Quebecois to teach the Parisians how to pronounce it.

Throal itself, due to its size, was the Kaer most likely to leave the Scourge no longer speaking pre-Scourge Throalic.

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