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Project Elvhen: Expanding the Elvhen Language

Chapter Text

"Incidentally, the big reason "I Am The One" doesn't translate is because we didn't write it. "Leliana's Song", in contrast, we did. Either way, you are correct that Elvehn is a cipher. We keep it simple so we can all use it, and I've no doubt that makes it look pretty silly to anyone with linguistics knowledge. I like your posts on the subject, rather a lot."

-David Gaider, Speaking of Project Elvhen, and confirming my theory that the Elvhen used in the games is a cipher

 

INTRODUCTION

From what I’ve read and what I’ve seen (as well as information provided on the wiki, and this wonderful reference), I have made two educated guesses about Elvish:

Firstly, Elvish is both agglutinative and fusional, similar to German. In short, what this means is that words, suffixes and prefixes can be stacked, almost infinitely, to make incredibly long words with variable meanings. 

For example, the German word for bat is fledermaus, i.e. flutter-mouse. 

It also has words that have no true definition outside of german, which are words describe ideas, ideals, or concepts. Portuguese also has this too. For example, schadenfreude: pleasure derived from the misfortune of others. 

Secondly, Elvish shares a lot in common with both German and Portuguese in that it has words that are combinations of other words that make up a completely new meaning through poetic inference. For example, the Elvish word for rest: Ha’ma’in, which literally translates to “Put the old knife away.” But as one word, it means rest or relaxation. 

It also has words dealing with conceptual ideas, such as En’an’sal’in, which is comfort, or healing after a period of event of great pain or loss. 

This shares similar ideas with Portuguese, such as the word Saudade, which is the intense feeling of missing something or someone. 

With that in mind, I made elvish translations of my two favorite words in Portuguese: Saudade and Cafune

Lath’sal’in
the act of fondling someone’s hair, especially someone you care about. Lit. “Love the house of the soul.”

Mi’nas’sal’in
the intense feeling of missing something or someone that is deeply important or personal. Lit. “The knife again in my soul.”

Chapter Text

 

PREFACE

In almost every single language, you have two major sets of sounds: Consonants, and vowels. Consonants are broken down into further sub-categories. These sub-categories change with each language, so we're going to focus on the ones that occur in Elvish (and also English, because again -- English cipher). 

Consonant sub-categories: NasalsStopsAffricatesFricativesApproximants, and Laterals. You can read more in depth about the specifics of English phonology here.

For vowels we have: CloseMidOpenDipthongs, and Tripthongs.

Why do I simply link these articles instead of explaining them? Two reasons. #1. I am no linguistics expert. #2. I am going to be translating the IPA symbols of elvish into the nice and easily understandable Wikipedia pronunciation respelling key. If you do really want to know about the different types of consonants and vowels, I recommend checking out the above-linked articles. Mostly boring if you aren't interested in linguistics, however. 

ELVISH PHONOLOGY

Consonants

/p/ = tip, spent, pit

/b/ = bed, abalone web

/t/ = tent, stop

/d/ = door, rend

/ɡ/ = gone, egg

/f/ = friend, rough, scoff

/v/ = vacation, have, of

/θ/ (th) = thing, teeth

/ð/ = (dh) = then, breathe, further

/s/ = sight, city, risk, yes

/ʃ/ (sh) = shame, sure, ration, fish

/h/ = hot

/m/ = match, camera, ram

/n/ = not, sun

/ŋ/ (ng) = bring, hanger, sink

/l/ = laugh, hall

/r/ = raft, bury (it should noted that in many dialects of Elvish, this is trilled slightly, similar to the scottish or welsh dialects of english, or such as in the spanish word "caro." It is not, however, a hard trill, such as in the spanish word "perro.")

/j/ (y) = yawn

As you can see, Elvish does not have the consonants of /k/, /d͡ʒ/, /z/, /ʒ/ (zh), /w/, or /hw/

Vowels

/æ/ (a - arr) = fat

/ɑː/ (ah) = father

/ɒ/ (o - orr) = hot

/ɔː/ (aw) = law, haughty

/ə/ (ə) = around

/ɪ/ (i - irr) = hit

/i/ (ee) = feet, city

/eɪ̯/ (ay) = pray, bait, create

/ɛ/ (e - err) = met, ahead

/ɜr/ (ur) = word, curd, bird, earth

/ər/ (ər) = butter, winner, 

/ʌ/ (u - urr) = but, must

/ʊ/ (uu) = book, put

/u̟/ (oo) = boon, room

/ju̟ː/ (ew) = view, hue, new

/aɪ̯/ (eye) = why, sigh, kind

/ɔɪ̯/ (oy) = boistrous, annoy

/oʊ̯/ (oh) = no, hold, soul

/äʊ̯/ (ow) = out, how, shroud

/ɑr/ (ar)  = harm, bar

/ɪər/ (eer) = near, leer

/ɛər/ (air) = care, hair

/ɔr/ (awr) = north, force, warm, port

/ʊər/ (oor) = poor, tour

ELVISH ALPHABET

I should note that this is not Elvish orthography, as from what we have seen from the games, the Elvish writing system does not utilize latin script. From my memory and perception, it looked either like a system of runes (such as a more flowery version of a futhark or some kind) or a kind of flowing script similar to Lord of the Rings' Tengwar

This is just the alphabet as it corresponds to latin script. The first letter is the written letter, the second is pronunciation (such as how D is pronounced 'Dee' when saying the alphabet in English). 

A = Ah

Ar = Ar

B = Bah

C = Say

= Deer

Dh = Dhah

E = Ay

F = Fah

G = Gah

Gh = Ghih

H = Hah

I = Eee

J = Yah

L = Lah

M = Mih

N = Nah

O = O

P = Pah

R = ahRah

= Sah

Sh = Shee

T = Tah

Th = Eth

U = Ooo

V = Vah

Y = Eye

As you can see, there are 26 letters in the Elvish alphabet, just like English. Unlike English, however, analogues of K, W, X or Z are not present. 

Additionally, as you can see, J is pronounced as y, unlike in English. For example, the word June (the god of crafting) would be pronounced as yoo-nay not joo-nay. This may seem counter intuitive, since the j sound is often referred to as a 'soft g,' However, I find that the j sound is harsher than the 'hard,' g sound. 

As mentioned before, the pronunciations of the letters, and the letters themselves, are my creation. So consider them fanfiction at this point, not "OMG MARK SOMEHOW FIGURED OUT WHAT THE ELVISH ALPHABET IS."

Chapter Text

PREFACE

For the most part, and this is with utmost respect to the writers at Bioware, the Elvhen language is not well designed. It is a gobbledygook of various linguistic concepts, such as the agglutinative and fushional concepts from German, or Danish, as well as utilizing implied articles (i.e. utilizing "Dog grabbed ball," where the article 'the,' is implied for a full translation of "The dog bit the ball."). 

With that said, it often breaks its own rules, which tells me that instead of using it as a real language, the writers are simply using it as a cipher. This certainly helps in making translation quick and painless, but makes the language sound quite silly to anyone with any measure of linguistics knowledge. It certainly makes it sound very silly to anyone with experience in Conlangs (Constructed Languages). The major fault with using a cipher, is that you will sometimes contradict yourself. For example, the translation of I am the one included with Inquisition makes no sense with a lot of what we've been given for Elvish for far. That just screams cipher. 

For this reason, Elvish, as it is portrayed in games, has no earthly idea what its sentence structure. Sometimes it is portrayed similar to English (with its four major types of structures). Othertimes it only has very basic sentence structure. And other times it has no idea what a subject or verb is. 

Sometimes it conjugates its verbs, other-times it doesn't. I'm also convinced that it sometimes thinks that declension is the act of climbing down a steep hill. 

Because of these problems, among others, Elvish, as it is, will never be a real language. It can be made to sound and write very similar to a real language, but it will never feel as natural as a true Conlang, such as the most well known analogous ones: Tolkien's Sindarin and Quenya

Given that I would have to, basically, throw out a lot of work done by the Bioware writing team to turn Elvhen into a "true" language, that isn't something I am interested in doing. So my mission here is to basically turn it into what I will call a simulated conlang. What that means is that eventually you will be able to write, speak and translate Elvhen as if it were a real langauge, but it will not have the depth or realism of a true conlang. 

With that said, onto sentence structure. 

PARTS OF SPEECH

Given that Elvish is, for the most part, a cipher based upon English, it makes sense to utilize, predominantly, English sentence structure. The parts of speech within English are as follows. 

  • nouns
  • pronouns
  • verbs (broken up into lexical verbs -- run, work, eat -- and auxiliary verbs -- be, have)
  • adjectives
  • adverbs
  • prepositions
  • conjunctions
  • interjections
  • articles/determiners

For the most part, the way these building blocks of language go together is well known. As long as they are there, however, we will understand the phrase. 

For example, the difference between "I (subject) am (verb) hot (adjective)," and "Hot, I am." The second phrase is not grammatically correct, but since all major parts of speech are there, it still becomes its own independent clause and we understand what is being said. It is still, however, not considered proper sentence structure. 

Elvish, however, seems to not know what its 'correct,' sentence structure is supposed to be. Sometimes it is like the first example, sometimes like the second. While this can be explained as different groups of elves having different dialects, sentence structure usually doesn't change within a given language. Dialect and words, yes. Structure? That's rare. 

From what I have seen, Elvish only has the following parts of speech.

  • nouns
  • pronouns
  • verbs
  • prefix modifiers
  • suffix modifiers
  • prepositions
  • articles

Notice something missing? That's right: no determiners, no conjunctions, and no interjections. In fact, the only article that I have seen so far is din (no, not). While it's certainly possible (and indeed probably) that indefinite and definite articles would be implied, it is unlikely that Elvhen would contain no determiners, conjunctions, or interjections.

So here is my modified list of the parts of elvish speech, including the parts of speech I will be adding, either through implied grammar, or in actual words. 

  • nouns
  • pronouns
  • verbs
  • prefix modifiers
  • suffix modifiers
  • prepositions
  • articles/determiners
  • contractions
  • interjections

SENTENCE STRUCTURE

Clauses

Elvish sentence structure is a simplified version of English sentence structure. This is especially true since one long word can, in itself, be a sentence in Elvish. This means that a sentence in Elvish, similar to English, is made up of one or more independent clauses. 

Given this, Elvish would also need its own form of dependent and subordinate clauses. This, for the most part, is given in the form of more complex words (which english doens't have).

For independent clauses, Elvish works like English. All that is needed is a subject and a verb. In Elvish, subjects are often inferred. For example, "Ar ame ir abelas," (I have great sorrow. lit. I am very sorrow) can be shortened to "Ir Abelas." Both of these would have the same meaning as "I am so very sorry," and both would be equally grammatically correct. 

It should also be noted, that the 'to be' verb can be implied as well in cases where it would be obvious. For example, "Ar ame souveran." (I am tired) can be shortened simply to "Ar souveran."

Dependent clauses, however, don't really exist in Elvish. For example, in english, you could say: "The Man, who was angry, drew a dagger."

"The man drew a blade," Is the main independent clause of the sentence. "Who was angry," is a dependent clause, acting as an adjective to "the man."

Elvish, on the other hand, would write it as "The angry man drew a dagger." Or "Nan'isha en'misu."

Verbs

"En'misu," in this case is acting as its own verb, as in elvish, the object of the verb is always attached to the verb. The verb is conjugated, the object is not. For example: "I ran to mike." I is the subject, ran is the verb, and mike is the object. In Elvish, 'ran' would be attached to 'Mike' to denote that Mike is the one being acted upon.

For conjugation, Elvish uses modal, auxiliary and irregular verbs, just like English. Similarly to English, Elvish uses both simple forms of conjugation and compound forms. 

Simple Conjugation

  • Present (run)
  • Present participle (running)
  • Past Participle (run)
  • Preterit (ran)
  • Infinitive (to run)
  • Imperative (run!)

Compound Conjugation

  • Present continuous (am running)
  • Present Perfect (have run)
  • Present perfect continuous (have been running)
  • Past continuous (was running)
  • Past perfect (had run)
  • Past perfect continuous (had been running)
  • Past participle (having run)
  • Future (will run)
  • Future continuous (will be running)
  • Future perfect (will have run)
  • Future perfect continuous (will have been running)

A large number of these are missing from Elvish as we have seen it so far in the games. While it is certainly possible that Elvish simply would not have compound conjugations, or that their compound conjugations would be simplified (i.e.only having perfect, with continuous and perfect continuous being implied by the relation with the subject), it isn't possible that it would have none of them. 

For elvish conjugation, it works similar to spanish, in that each verb is conjugation is very similar ways. 

There are no major forms of conjugation for the present form in Elvish:

Let's take the verb ena (to emerge), for example. 

Ena is the infinitive. (all verbs in Elvish have 'a' at the end in their infinitive form). 

Conjugation:

  • I: enan
  • You: enas
  • You (pl): enaan
  • He/She/It: en
  • We: enir
  • They: ena
  • Imperative: ena

As you can see, conjugation is very simple in Elvish. For I, n is added to the word. You, s is added. Plural version of you, an is added. He/she/it, a is removed. We, a is replaced with ir. They and the imperative are the same as the infinitive. 

As with the rest of english, conjugating these verbs allows the subject to be inferred. For example, "Ar enan." (I emerge) can be shortened to simply, "Enan."

I have only completed the present conjugations, however, so the rest of the simple and compound conjugations will be given at a later date. 

Adjectives and adverbs

Adjectives and adverbs in Elvish are very simple. They fall into three categories: Prefixes, suffixes, and adverb or adjective conversions.

In the first two, the adjective or adverb is simply added as a prefix or suffix to the word that it is modifying. Unfortunately, with how elvish has been used in the game, when a word is supposed to be used as a prefix or suffix is very murky at best. So at this time I can't give a clear answer. 

Adjective conversions are simply nouns or verbs that have been added to another as a suffix or prefix as a modifier. For example atish (peace) is added to an (place) as a modifier. This created the word atish'an (peaceful place) and turns the noun peace into the adjective peaceful

Nouns and Pronouns

Nouns and pronouns are used almost exactly as they are in English, except that pro-nouns can be implied instead of used directly. 

For example "Ar ha'mi'inan." (I rest) can be shortened to "Ha'mi'inan," thus eliminating the need for the pronoun Ar (I) completely.

In Elvish nouns, the only major declensions I have seen is their plurality and size. Additionally, nouns in Elvish, like in English, do not have distinct nominative and subjective forms. For example, the noun 'desk,' does not change forms between, "I sit at the desk," and "The desk is clean."

Pronouns have a few more forms, as pro-nouns in Elvish do have, from what I've seen, different forms, and these forms are exactly like English (see what I said about English cipher?). These forms are: Subjective, Objective, Reflexive, Possessive Determiner, and Possessive Pronoun.

For example, with the pronoun Ar (I):

Ar is the subjective

Em is the objective

Ara'lan (f) and Ara'len (m) are the reflexive

Ara is the possessive determiner

Emma is the possessive pronoun. This can be contracted down to 'Ma (thus giving rise to the confusion between 'ma -- contraction for 'mine' -- and ma  -- pronoun for 'you'). 

Articles and Determiners

I've already touched on this subject, that articles and determiners are very scarce in what we've seen of Elvish, so I have taken it upon myself to make my own to fill in the gaps. The following are a mix between those words and the articles that are already there that we've seen within the games:

bel -- many

din -- no

ga -- all

vin -- yes

The indefinite and definite articles in Elvhen are implied. 

Contractions, Conjunctions and Interjections

From what I can see, there are no created conjunctions for Elvhen, so this is one of the categories I will be creating within the conlang.

An example of a contraction in Elvhen is the above example of "mine." Emma is the possessive pronoun in Elvish, and can be contracted down to 'ma. For example, the now loved phrase that Solas tells the player in a romance: "Ar lath 'ma vhen'an." While in the game it is written as "Ar lath ma vhen'an," I believe this is incorrect (I am love you home? huh?). In this case, 'ma is a contraction of mine. Translated literally it would mean "I am love, my home," (remember, 'to be' can be implied). 

It should be noted that 'home,' has many translations within Elvhen, as they are a very symbolic people. They have a different word for the literal (arla), conceptual (in), and symbolic (vhen'an) meanings for 'home.' In the case of vhen'an, this is the symbolic meaning, which is why a second translation for vhen'an is 'heart.' 

"Ar lath 'ma vhen'an."

I love you. You are my home. |  I love you. You are my heart.

In this example, both the 'to be' verb and "you are," are implied. This means that, "Ar ame lath, ma ane emma vhen'an," would be equally correct, grammatically. Doesn't have the same punch, though. 

Chapter Text

PREFACE

Elvish, as far as I can see, has had no numbers created for it. And well... without numbers there is no math, without math there is no major construction or architecture and... well...

Basically, without numbers, there is no Arlathan. So they're kind of important. So far, there are only two numbers created within Elvish that we have seen, as far as I know: Sa (one) and Tan (three). Going off of these two sounds, I created some numbers that felt natural with each other, and fit with the phonetics of what we have seen so far with Elvish (staying away from hard consonants, agglutinative and fushional langauge, etc). 

1 through 10

 

 

 

 Elvish    |  Pronunciation

1.   Sa    |  sah
2.   Ta    |  tah
3.   Tan  |  tahn
4.   Ny    |  nay
5.   Va    |  vah
6.   No    |  no
7.   Noa  |  NO-ah
8.   Han  |  hahn
9.   Uan  |  OOO-ahn
10. Asan |  ah-SAHN

11 through 20

 

 

 

           Elvish    |  Pronunciation

11.   Asan'sa    |  ah-SAHN-ah
12.   Asan'ta     |  ah-SAHN-tah
13.   Asan'tan   |  ah-SAHN-tahn
14.   Asan'ny    |  ah-SAHN-neye
15.   Asan'va    |  ah-SAHN-vah
16.   Asan'no    |  ah-SAHN-no
17.   Asan'noa  |  ah-SAHN-no-ah
18.   Asan'han  |  ah-SAHN-hahn
19.   Asan'uan  |  ah-SAHN-ooo-ahn
20.   Alan          |  ah-LAHN

30 through 90

 

 

 

        Elvish    |  Pronunciation

30.   Atan      |  ah-TAHN
40.   Anan     |  ah-NAHN
50.   Avan     |  ah-VAHN
60.   Aloan    |  ah-LOW-ahn
70.   Anoan   |  ah-NO-ahn
80.   Ahan     |  ah-HAHN
90.   Anuan   |  ah-NEW-ahn

100 through 1,000

 

 

 

          Elvish    |  Pronunciation

100.   Salan    |  SAH-sahn
200.   Talan    |  TAH-sahn
300.   Tanlan  |  TAHN-sahn
400.   Nylan    |  NEYE-sahn
500.   Valan    |  VAH-sahn
600.   Nolan    |  NO-sahn
700.   Noalan  |  NO-ah-sahn
800.   Halan    |  HAH-sahn
900.   Ualan    |  OOO-ah-sahn
1000. Alan'en  |  ah-LAHN-en

100,000

 

 

 

    Elvish    |  Pronunciation

   Alan'el    |  ah-lahn-el

1,000,000

 

 

 

         Elvish    |  Pronunciation

   Alan'en'el    |  ah-LAHN-en-el

These numbers are stacked upon each other, like other words within elvish. For example, 9,341 (nine-thousand-three-hundred-and-forty-one) would be: Ualan'en'tanlan'anan'sa.

Chapter Text

Plural Suffixes:

-aan = many, large, plural. Used when meaning a large form of something, or when ‘plural,’ is synonymous with ‘large,’ or ‘many.’

-ala/la = many, plural, large number. Used when the modified word already ends in an ‘a.’ Also used as a form of saying a much more potent version of something. Such as the difference between the verb nera (to like) and the verb nerala (to pleasure).

-an = suffix to create a possessive genitive out of a noun or pronoun. Used for nouns and pronounes that end in s, y, l, d and t. plural is aan. Should not be confused with the Elvhen word an, which means place. However, it is related.

-ast/st = suffix used to create adjectives from nouns, verbs or adjectives meaning 'characterized by or inclined to.' Also used to create nouns meaning 'the action of,' with verbs that already end in th, dh or sh.

-athe = suffix used to create nouns or adjectives from other nouns, adverbs or adjectives meaning the physical manifestation of, or the people/places/things embodying the idea. I.e. Dead from dead, living from life. Fearful as a noun from fearful the adjective, or fear the noun.

-el = more, much, many. Used, usually, with adjectives to create a superlative.

-elan = suffix added to a noun or verb to create an agent noun. i.e. dhrua (to believe) + elan = druelan (believer)

-en = many, plural, multiple. Used as the primary method of making a word plural, but is essentially interchangeable with -aan, although -aan is more suitable with different phonemes than -en is.

-es = suffix to create a possessive genitive for nouns and pronouns ending in consonants except s, l, d, and t. plural is esan

-is = unknown number, innumerable, unmeasureable, unknowable, mysterious. Such as its used in Var Bellanaris - our eternity.

-ne = suffix used to create an adjective from a noun or verb meaning "Similar to or representative of."

-or = suffix similar to 'ish' in english. meaning 'belonging to' 'after the manner of,' 'having the characteristics of,' like,' or 'inclined or tending to.'

-os = a suffix that creates an abstract noun from adjectives and participles, denoting quality and state. similar to the english suffix -ness

-re = suffix to create a possessive genitive for nouns and pronouns ending in vowels except y. plural is ren

-sh/ash = suffix creating a physical or abstract noun meaning the product or noun variation of a verb

-sha = suffix creating adjectives/adverbs from nouns, verbs or adjectives meaning 'characterized by or inclined to'

-the = added to verbs to create a noun meaning the action of the verb (I.e. comparison, rejection).

-u = short, small, singular, lonely, isolated, lonesome, empty

-un = suffix that creates a noun from a verb or adjective meaning the physical manifestation of, or having the quality of

Chapter Text

OVERVIEW

Similar to many agglutinate languages, Elvish does not have many irregular verbs. What is the difference between irregular and regular verbs, you ask? Well, you see, it's simple: Irregular verbs are verbs that diverge from the regular pronoun and/or tense conjugation of other verbs in the language. Regular verbs, comparatively, usually change their form very little in their conjugations. This isn't always the case in all languages, but it is the norm.

In English, this is seen in the conjugation of the present tense, past tense, and past participle.

For example, in English we have a lot of irregular verbs. For example, the standard conjugation of verbs in English for tenses (in the case of the verb to hang) is hang, hanged, hanged. Hang the man by the neck until dead. He was hanged by the neck until dead. You will be hanged by the neck until dead.

Contrast that with the verb to hang (ISN'T ENGLISH FUN?!). Which is a completely different word. And means something else. But it's the same word. But it means... God, English is so confusing when you really sit down and think about it.

In this example, we talk about 'to hang,' in terms of hanging something inanimate. I.e. "hang that picture on the wall." In this example, hang is an irregular verb, because the conjugation is: Hang, hung, hung. Please hang that picture on the wall. I hung the picture on the wall. The picture will be hung on the wall later.

With that out of the way, onto the basics of Elvish Verb Structure and Tense.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

REGULAR VERB STRUCTURE AND TENSE

Regardless of whether they are regular, or irregular, all verbs in Elvish end with the letter, 'a.' Dara (to go), Bora (to throw), Dala (to kill). Not all words that end in the letter, 'a,' are verbs, however. When a verb ends in, 'a,' this means that it is in its infinite case.

Similar to Latin, Elvish has a future participle in addition to a present and past participle (believe me, I was very tempted to add deponent verbs and prefect, active and passive participles as well. I didn't).

The regular conjugation for verbs:

  • Infinitive: a
  • I: a -> an
  • You: a -> as
  • You (plural): a -> aan (awhn)
  • He/She/It: a -> remove a
  • We: a -> ir
  • They: no change
  • Present Participle: a -> al
  • Past Participle: a -> em (aym)
  • Future Participle: a -> emah (aym ah)
  • Past Tense: add Un (oon) as a prefix, then conjugate regularly
  • Future Tense: add Ju (yoo) as a prefix, then conjugate regularly

For example, in the case of the verb dala (to kill):

  • Infinitive: dala
  • I: dalan
  • You: dalas
  • You (pl): dalaan
  • He/She/It: dal
  • We: dalir
  • They: dala
  • Present Participle: dalal
  • Past Participle: dalem
  • Future Participle: dalemah
  • Past Tense: Undala
  • Future Tense: Judala

Note that, in the case of past and future tense, the verb must still be conjugated: Ar undalan (i killed), Na undalas (You killed), Ish undal (he killed), Ar'an undalir (we killed), Is'en undala (they killed).

IRREGULAR VERB STRUCTURE AND TENSE

Irregular verbs in Elvish mostly fall into the category of auxiliary verbs. While some of these verbs share similar conjugations with each other, they are mostly different in their conjugation, and most of their similarities lie within tense.

The Verb Ea (to Be):

Ea is fully conjugated in the present tense, but not in the past or future tenses. The past infinitive of Ea is Dea, and the future is Nea. These are not conjugated among the pronouns, except for plurality. All singular pronouns use either De or Ne, and all plural pronouns use Den or Nen.

As you can see, the past and future tenses of many irregular are changes within their form, rather than the addition of a prefix. Therefore, all participles of Ea are a variation of Eal, rather than the customary em or emah.

Ea Conjugation:

  • Infinitive: Ea
  • I: Ame
  • You: Ane
  • You (pl): Anel
  • He: Ise
  • She: Ase
  • It: Re
  • We: Ele
  • They: Ea
  • Present Participle: Eal
  • Past Participle: Deal
  • Future Participle: Neal
  • Past Tense: Dea
  • Future Tense: Nea
  • Singular Past Conjugation: De
  • Plural Past Conjugation: Den
  • Singular Future Conjugation: Ne
  • Plural Future Conjugation: Nen

The verb ya:

Ya (pronounced "eye-ah") is an auxiliary verb with no true translation in English. it is an auxiliary verb utilized when using a verb in its perfect tense. Ya does not have participle forms, or past or future forms, as the past and future tense is dictated by the verb that ya is modifying.

Conjugations:

  • Infinitive: Ya
  • I: My
  • You: Ny
  • You (pl): Nyel
  • He: Ysi
  • She: Ysa
  • It: Ys
  • We: ELy
  • They: Ya

When using perfect tense, the verb ya is conjugated, and the correct past, present, or future participle of the verb is used. For example:

Ar daran (I go)

Ar my daral (I have gone)

Ar my darem (I had gone)

Ar my daremah (I will have gone)

Given that pronouns can be implied by verb tense in Elvish, these could be shortened, respectively, to:

Daran

My daral

My darem

My daremah

The Verb Vya

Vya (Veye ah) is an auxiliary verb similar to Ya. It doesn't really have a translation in English, and is utilized when using a verb in its imperfect tense.

English doesn't really have an imperfect tense, as we utilize the simple past, or past progressive instead. Basically, the verb vya would cover both of these situations.

When using a verb in the imperfect tense, the verb vya is conjugated, and then the appropriate participle (if continuous/progressive imperfect) or the infinitive (if not continuous/progressive imperfect).

Note that the future imperfect exists only in the continuous aspect.

Conjugations:

  • Infinitive: Vya
  • I: Avy
  • You: Vyn
  • You (pl): Vynel
  • He: Ivys
  • She: Avys
  • It: Vys
  • We: Elvy
  • They: Vya

For example:

Ar isalan na. (I need you)

Ar avy isalal na. (I have been needing you)

Ar avy isalem na. (I was needing you)

Ar avy isalemah na. (I will be needing you)

Ar avy isala na. (I would need you)

Ar avy unisala na. (I used to need you)

Given the implied pronouns available in Elvish, these could be shortened to:

Isalan na.

Avy isalal na.

Avy isalem na.

Avy isalemah na.

Avy isala na.

Avy unisala na.

Notice how n(objective you) cannot be implied, because there is no implication for 'you,' in either of the preceding words, whereas avy has an implication for ar (subjective I). 

Chapter Text

PREFACE

 

Dara is not the verb "to be." It is, instead, the verb "to go," or "to pierce," or "to penetrate." Conjugation remains the same (I.e. dara, daran, daras, daraan, etc)

Ea (ay-ah) is the verb "to be." Conjugation is as follows (note that with 'to be' either the pronoun is implied, or the pronoun is used and the 'to be' verb is implied):

I: Ame

You: Ane

You (pl): Anel

He: Ise

She: Ase

It: Re

We: Ele

They: Ea

The future tense of 'To be,' (will be) is: Ne (this is not conjugated between pronouns).

A'min is a compound noun with no real translation in English, that best translates to "The person that is needed." Literally translated, it means, "The Now." A possible English translation is "The One."

Ame Amin: "I am The One"

That translation of I am the One included with Inquisition is starting to make a lot more sense now after this revelation.

Las is a noun meaning, "hope," "ambition," or, "anticipation."

'Ma'las: "My hope." 

A'las: "Your hope."

Melin is a noun meaning "name," or, "title."

'Ma'melin: My name

A'melin: Your name.

Ha'lam: has two meanings depending upon the context. The ancient Elves viewed Ends as synonymous with Beginnings, or something new. Therefore, another definition of Ha'lam is new. After all, when the Dalish founded Halam'Shiral ('end of the journey') they were also beginning another one: that of rebuilding their lost culture. 

Finally, I need to make a change to the possessive determiner for you (aka your). 

The possessive determiner, Na, can be contracted to 'A. 

This should give you context for what Solas says to Abelas at the Well of Sorrows should you bring him along. 

'Ma'las 'a'melin ne ha'lam, Abelas.

This hope of mine that your name will be new, Abelas.

or (as he says): I hope you find a new name, Abelas.

The verb to be is used here instead of the verb to find (vena), because Abelas will not be physically finding anything or finding anything in addition to what he already has. The verb, vena is only used when talking about physical items, or talking about gaining or finding something in addition to what the subject already has. For example, is Solas wished for Abelas to find a second name, he would use the verb vena

Which would read as:

'Ma'las venas ta'melin. (I hope you find a second name.) 

This would be a round-about way, possibly, of Solas hoping that Abelas gets married. As I would imagine ta'melin would refer to the object's or subject's surname. 

Notice that in this example, the number ta (two), is being added to the noun melin (name) as a prefix modifier, thus making it an adjective or adverb, not a number. 

Writing, instead, melin'ta. would mean, "two names."

Sule sal'dirthir, falon'en. Dar'eth shiral. 

Chapter Text

I realize this as I was trying to deconstruct  Var Bellanaris . It is rare, almost unheard of, for synthetic languages to change the spelling of words when comprising compound words.

For example, Aufsichtsratsmitgliederversammlung ('Board Meeting,' in German) is a compound noun consisting of supervision (Aufsicht), board (rats), members (mitglieder) and assembly (versammlung). The words are merely used as one. There are no spelling changes.

Similarly, in proper Elvish (that is, Elvish spoken before the fall of Arlathan, and shortly after), spelling changes would not take place when creating compound nouns. Flemeth didn't exist during Arlathan (as she was born in the Towers Age, at least 1400 years after the fall of Arlathan). If she had existed, however, her name, as known by the Elves, would have been spelled Asha'bel'annar. The woman of many years. 

The Dalish have given Flemeth this name, but they spell it slightly differently: Asha'bellanar. This is despite the fact that bel (many) is having an l added to it, and annar (year) is having an n removed. Additionally, bellanar is being treated as one word, when it is two: bel'annar.

In my opinion, this is not a result of the Dalish having an incomplete knowledge of the Elvhen language. That, in my opinion, is highly unlikely after doing so much digging for the better part of 600 years, let alone the amount of work done during the height of Halam'Shiral. Languages have been born and evolved in that same span of time. Old English turned into Middle English during the span of only 600 years. Middle English into Early Modern english during the span of only 400. Early modern to modern in less than 300. 

Instead, this is a result of evolving language, spelling and a variance in topolects and dialects compared to the original set of El'vhen'an dialects and topolects (the most widely known topolect, of course, would be the Arlathan topolect). Simply put, it's like the differences between the American English and RP English spelling of color and colour. Or Theater and Theatre. You can even go further with the varying definitions of appropriate (in RP English, this means to take money. In American, it means to dispense money). You can go further for different names for similar things. You have aubergine versus eggplant, boot versus trunk, or even the fact that in RP English, you will use first floor in the same definition as second floor is used in American English. 

So Dalish is an evolved topolect of El'vhen'an Elvish, originating with the Dales, and spreading throughout the Dalish tribes. Whether or not this topolect was similar to whatever the topolect was in the area of the Dales during the height of El'vhen'an is unknown. These tribes would then evolve their own dialects within the Dalish topolect. This is why some tribes having a welsh-like accent makes sense, but all of the tribes having the same accent is a bit silly. Each tribe would have its own distinct, if similar, accent. They would each have their own slightly different dialect. Overall, however, they would share the same altered spelling of the Dalish Topolect. 

And so that's why you get Dalish spellings like Var Bellanaris and Asha'Bellanar, when the El'vhen'an spellings would be Var Bel'annar'is ('Our Eternity,' lit. 'Our many innumerable years'), and Asha'bel'annar (woman of many years). 

In this same manner, the El'vhen'an topolects and the Dalish topolect would have differences in pronunciation (as well as grammar, but we'll get to that in a later post). For example, while some El'vhen'an dialects would pronounce dar'eth shiral as "Dar AYTH shee rahl," others would pronounce it as, "Dar ETH shee rahl," or "Dar ETH shih rahl." Others still would pronounce it as "DAR eth shih rahl." Others might even pronounce it as "Dare eth shih rehl."

The Dalish topolect seems to have stuck with the pronunciation of, "Dar ETH shih rahl," is some dialects, and "DAR eth shih rahl," in others. 

This also shows why some Dalish clans you encounter pronounce An'eth'era as "ah NETH ahra," and others pronounce it as "Ahn eh THARA." There would, of course, have been El'vhen'an topolects that pronounced it as, "Ahn eh THERA," "Ah nayth era," and, "Ahn AYTH era."

Despite Gaider's statements on the matter, I consider the Dalish accent shown in Origins as just as much of a valid Dialect as the welsh accent shown in DAII and Inquisition. For the purposes of what I am calling, "project elvhen," I am considering them both valid dialects within the Dalish topolect. 

More on Dialects, Topolects, Grammar and Accents later.

Sule sal’dirthir, falon’en. Dar’eth shiral. 

Chapter Text

DIALECTS AND TOPOLECTS

 

Speech, like all languages, varies to differing degrees within the language. We have come to call these variances accents, dialects, and topolects. Topolects are collections of dialects that pertain to a specific region. Each dialect usually has its own slight variances in word meaning, pronunciation (aka accent), and sometimes even spelling.

So far, we have heard four dialects of Elvish in the game: Arlathanian (Arlathan'vi'dirth), Dalish (Dirtha'va'ren'vi'dirth / Radahlan'vi'dirth), Fereldan (Bresilan'vi'dirth), and Free Marcher (Tarbelasan'vi'dirth).

These dialects each fall within one of four different topolects. During the height of Arlathan, there would have been about ten different topolects. Each topolect would have been comprised of between two and four different dialects.

Given the fall of Arlathan, and the time in which the Elves were enslaved by the Tevinter Imperium, it is likely that most Elvish topolects and dialects are dead. Elves of the 'modern,' era would most likely speak only a few of these dialects.

So far, the only Elves who we can consider might have spoken the Arlathan dialect would be: Solas, and Felassan (and that doesn't help us much).

Abelas, the ancient elf encountered within the temple of Mythal, would not have spoken the Arlathan dialect. He would have spoken the archaic Dalish dialect, Radahlan'vi'dirth, or a similar dialect within the Southern Topolect. 

Most of the Elves we have encountered within the games that have spoken Elvish have spoken either a modern Dalish dialect, Fereldan dialect, or Free Marcher dialect. 

The following would have been the topolects within the culture of Elvhenan. The topolects in bold are topolects which are still relevant in the dragon age. The topolects in italics would be dead in the dragon age.

  • North-Eastern Topolect: The Area of modern day Antiva and Rivain. Would include the dead Arthlan dialect of Arlathan'vi'dirth, as well as any modern dialects being spoken by Dalish of the area.
  • Eastern Topolect: The Area of the modern day Free Marches. Would include both the archaic and modern Tarbelasan'vi'dirth dialects.
  • South-Eastern Topolect: The Area of Fereldan and Kocari wilds. Would include both the archaic and modern Bresilan'vi'dirth dialects.
  • Southern Topolect: The Area of the Dales and Arbor Wilds. This would include both the modern Dalish dialect (Dirtha'var'en'vi'dirth) and the archaic Radahlan'vi'dirth dialect.
  • Western Topolect: The Area of modern day Orlais.
  • Middle-Western Topolect: The Area east of Orlais, south of Tevinter, and west of the Free Marches. Includes the area of modern day Nevarra
  • Far Western Topolect: The Area of The Hunterhorn Mountains, The Tirashan, and The Urthemiel Plateau.
  • Northern Topolect: The area of the modern day Tevinter Imperium.
  • North-Western Topolect: The area of the Anderfels.
  • Seheron Topolect: The Area of (duh) Seheron.
  • Far North-Western Topolect: The Area of the Donnarks

A great many of these topolects would include either new dialects, or modern versions of archaic dialects. Most ancient Elven dialects and topolects would be dead.

Chapter Text

FENEDHIS!

Fen - Wolf

Edh = given that dh is pronounced in elvhen like a voiced th, this is likely a variant of Eth, which means safety. Edh probably means something like privacy or private. 

Is = shortened of ish, meaning he, or isha, meaning male.

Wolf private male

Wolf male privacy

FENEDHIS MEANS WOLF PENIS.

So when an Elf exclaims, "Fenedhis!" he is essentially saying, "Wolf dick!"

So this means when Solas gets exasperated at Sera, and says, "Fenedhis lasa," (lasa means to grant or to allow), he is basically saying, "Go fuck a wolf's dick." or "Go suck a wolf's dick."

You're welcome.

addendum: This also means that edhis would mean penis, and edhas would mean vagina. 

 

SOLAS AND THE FEAR DEMON

Fear Demon: Dirth ma, harellan. Ma banal enasalin. Mar solas ena mar din.

Solas: Banal nadas

PREFACE

Firstly, there are a few different translations for this (as there are for most phrases in Elvish, since it is a poetically inferential language). So let's break down the meanings of each word and then apply them.

Dirth: Speech, Talk, Speaking, Third person and imperative conjugation of verb 'To Speak.'

Ma: Second personal subjective personal pronoun (subjective You)

Harellan: Trickster, rebel, or traitor.

Banal: nothing, empty, nothingness, emptiness, non-existence, destruction

Enasalin: Victory, triumph

Mar: Second person personal possessive determiner (your). Originally I thought that all personal possessives in the second person were all 'na.' However, mar makes more sense, especially since var is the possessive determiner of We/Us (our).

Solas: Pride, ego

Ena: To appear, to emerge, to begin

Din: No, not, negative, dead, death, end of existence

Nadas: Inevitable, unavoidable, inevitability

Firstly, let's keep in mind that Solas has been revealed to be the Dread Wolf: Fen'Harel, the elven god of either righteous rebellion, rebellion, tricks, traitors, rebels, or deceivers, depending on who you ask. 

Additionally, the orb that Corypheus used was Solas's orb (and given his admission, most likely the focus of his god-like powers). Solas willingly gave Corypheus this orb, not knowing that Corypheus would turn out and go all crazy-pants and try to rip open the fade and attempt to become a god. Whether or not Solas gave Corypheus his orb in the near past, or many centuries ago, is not specified. 

So Solas is quite aware during the course of the game that everything that is happening is, in some way, his fault. With that said:

THE TRANSLATION

Dirth ma, harellan.

Given that ma is the subjective pronoun of 'you,' any definition of Dirth except for the imperative of the verb (dirtha - provided it is conjugated correctly) makes no sense. Given that ma is the subjective, that means that you is the subject, you is the active person in this phrase. So the popular translation of, "i tell you," or, "tell me," makes no sense.

Ma, as said before is the personal subjective pronoun in the second person. 

Harellan is either trickster, traitor, deceiver, or rebel. Given, however, that Solas is an Elf from the ancient empire of Arlathan, and 'rebel,' is the archaic definition, while trickster, traitor and deceiver are the modern translations, rebel is the most likely meaning here.

Therefore:

Speak you, rebel.

'Ma,' in this case is being used to dictate whom the imperative is pertaining to. Therefore, the translation could be shortened to:

Speak, rebel.

Ma banal enasalin.

Banal means either nothing, nothingness, or destruction. In this application, it could mean any of the three.

Enasalin means victory, or triumph. If 'ena,' is conjugated it is also the verb 'to triumph,' or 'to win.'

Remember that 'ma,' is the subjective pronoun for the second person. This means that 'you,' is the actor, not the one being acted upon. Therefore, the popular translation of 'Your victory means nothing,' cannot be correct. 

Therefore, we have a few possible translations:

  1. You triumph over nothing (unlikely but possible, as this would be grammatically incorrect. The correct format would be Ma enasalin banal. It is, however, possible that this is the translation that Bioware meant, but they just flubbed it up). Another possibility here is a variant of, You achieve nothing.
  2. You nothing victory i.e. You are nothing's victory / You bring nothing victory / You are victory for nothing. While the definite article is not used, it could be implied. So this could also be You bring the nothing victory. Given that banalhan means either 'blight,' or the 'the place of the blight's origin,' it is possible that banal in this case could be a synonym for the blight. Therefore: You are the blight's victory.
  3. You are nothing, victory / You are nothing but victory / You care for nothing but victory. Conjunctions can be implied in Elvish, so 'but,' could be implied.

Mar solas ena mar din.

Mar is the possessive determiner for the second person (your). 

Solas is pride/ego (or Solas's name, but in this case it's the former as it isn't capitalized).

Ena is the verb to appear, to begin, or to emerge.

Din is either the article no, the adverb not (although in this case, the adverb Tel/Te is used more often), the adjective negative, the noun dead, the noun death, or noun end of existence. In this case, It is obvious that it is being used as either dead or death.

Therefore, we have a few different translations here:

  1. Your pride is to emerge your death. An imperfect way of saying, "Your pride will be your death," (the proper would be Mar solas ne mar din).
  2. Your pride begins your death. A poetic way of saying, "Your pride will be your death," or "Your pride is your death."
  3. Your pride appears as your death / Your death is your pride. A possible, but unlikely translation.

Banal Nadas

Banal means nothing / nothingness / destruction

Nadas means inevitable / inevitability

Therefore there are two possibilities here:

  1. Nothing is inevitable
  2. The nothing / The blight is inevitable

With all of these things together, we have a few possibilities with what the Fear demon says to Solas, and what Solas replies. Out of these possibilities we have three that make sense.

We must remember that the demon speaks of fear, as well as speaking about great regrets (such as with Blackwall, "you are nothing like a grey warden," thus hinting at the fact that Blackwall is, in fact, not Blackwall, but Thom Rainier). 

With this in mind, we must remember what it is revealed that Solas is terrified of, both within his character arc, and in the fade itself.

Solas fears dying alone (although whether this means he fears dying as the last 'true,' elf, or dying alone in a romantic sense isn't clarified). He also fears, and desperately so, that he will fail in his mission (which is heavily implied to have something to do with resurrecting the culture of ancient Arlathan, or 'saving,' the remaining ancient Elven gods from whatever prison they reside within). 

He also most likely desperately regrets and fears that everything happenings is his fault, because he was the one who gave Corypheus the possession of the orb. However, this wouldn't be as large of a concern as the first two. Therefore, it is also highly likely that he desperately fears that because of his 'mission,' that he will achieve his fear of dying alone. He fears that it will be for nothing, that his Pride will be his end. 

Therefore, the most logical translation:

Fear: Dirth ma, harellan. Ma banal enasalin. Mar solas ena mar din.

Speak rebel! You care for nothing but victory. Your pride will be your death.

Solas: Banal nadas.

Nothing is inevitable

You're welcome.

Chapter Text

Every language and culture has its names. They can be names that have little modern day translation, but come from ancient names (such as Robert coming from the Old English Hreodbeorht), or they can be full of meaning, and translated specifically for the child (such as some native american tribes). 

While Elvish is a cipher, the Elvish names are not ciphers of English names (at least not that I can see). Elvish names in Dragon Age seem to take the majority of their inspiration from either Tolkien's Sindarin or Welsh. Possibly both. The reason I say either, is because Sindarin is heavily based upon Welsh, and therefore the phonetics sound very similar. 

However, Welsh and Sindarin, unlike Elvhen Elvish, are not bereft of the majority of their hard consonants. This creates the problem where the phonetics of the language technically do not allow some of the Names to occur. Luckily, there is a solution for this. 

The majority of Elvish names that have hard consonents, belong to Dalish Elves. Given this information, it becomes quite possible that the introduction of these hard consonents are a result of the changes in phonetics and pronunciation within the Dalish dialects.

The Elves that would eventually become the Dalish were enslaved by the Tevinters for over a thousand years. It is logical to assume that after speaking Tevinter for so long, that this language would bleed into Elvish once they rediscovered that language and become Fluent in it once more. 

Therefore, it becomes logical to assume that while true Elvish would be bereft of the majority of hard consonents, that the Dalish would use many of the hard consonents found in Tevinter. Phonetics such as w, k, z, hw, x, and t͡ʃ (ch) don't exist in the main phonetical alphabet of Elvish. Given, however, that they do exist within Latin (and therefore Tevinter) it is possible that they would have been introduced within Elvish when Dalish created names, or new words (or when they spelled or pronounced words). 

And so you get names like Chandan, Hawen, Junar (which is spelled correctly, but pronounced "Junar," when it should be pronounced, "Yunar,"), Panowen, Josmael (same 'problem,' as Junar), Zathrian, and Rajmael.

The reason why J would be pronounced as j (y), and not d͡ʒ (j), is because d͡ʒ is far too close to t͡ʃ (ch). It is the same reason why it makes no sense for the Elvish language to have a phonetic for b, but not p. Given that Elvish has no phonetic, natively, for t͡ʃ, they would also very likely not have a phonetic for d͡ʒ. Once introduced to the k, t͡ʃ, and d͡ʒ sounds of the Tevinter language, however, it is logical to assume that some of these sounds would bleed into modern Elvish. 

The Following is a comparison of Dalish spelling and pronunciation, and how they would be spelled/pronounced in Elvhenan Elvish. 

  • Chandan --> Shandan
  • Hawen --> Hauën
  • Junar --> Junar (same spelling, but pronounced "yoo-nar," not Joo-nar)
  • Panowen --> Panoën
  • Josmael --> Josmaël (same spelling, but as with Junar, it is pronounced 'Yos-myel,' not 'Jos-myel')
  • Zathrian --> Sathrian (it is possible, that this is a 'correct' name, just from a topolect where the Elvish S took on a z sound).
  • Rajmael --> Rajmaël (Possibly a mispelling of Radmaël or Radhmaël. Either that, or it should be pronounced "Ra-yah-myel," not "Raj-myel." This is, however, possibly a name created by the Dalish, and not an old Elvish name)

I have started to use the ë, instead of e whenever the phonetic is ɛ instead of . I think this will make pronunciation rules easier. Basically I'm taking the easy route of, "it's technically a different letter," instead of, "well it's supposed to be pronounced ɛ instead of  when blah blah blah."

Given the changed within the Dalish dialect, however, in Dalish Elvish, Panowen would be considered more correct, whereas Panoën would be considered archaic, although still a correct spelling. I suspect that w was added to the language as it was easier for the Elves than au after they had spoken Tevinter as their 'native language,' for so long. 

Given the amount of knowledge they would have had to recover in order to reconstruct the Elvish language, it is highly likely that the Dalish (or at least the keepers) know about the differences between Dalish Elvish and Elvhenan Elvish. But is has been so long, that Dalish Elvish, along with its spelling, pronunciation, and added phonetics, has become a true dialect family of Elvish. 

As a side note: Dalish clans take their "surnames," from the first names of the progenitor of their clan. For example. Sabrae was started by an elf named Sabrae, Lavellan was started by an elf named Lavellan, etc. It is unlikely that these names are used as first names any longer, and are instead treated as surnames for the clan itself. Additionally, it would probably be considered disrespectful to use them as first names, as it would diminish the memory of these historic elves.

With all of these out of the way:

Onwards to Elvish Names (and how you can create your own Elvish name)

ELVISH NAMES, THEIR MEANING AND CONSTRUCTION

  • Abelas --> Sorrow.
  • Alerion --> He who sleep upon the earth as a friend. He who is friends with the earth, even in dreams. Alas+era+falon.
  • Arianni --> "Friend of many caged years." Caged years would refer to years that are together, rather than years within a cage. The full translation of Arianni would be, "Friend until the end," or, "Friend of unbreakable bonds."
  • Ariane --> Alternative spelling of Arianni
  • Ashalle --> "She of the Halla," Basically, "She who is beloved by the halla." This is the feminine form. The masculine form would be Ishalle (or, more commonly, Ishall).
  • Athras --> "Half in Shadow." 
  • Danyla --> "Little Nightingale." Lit. "Little night blood." 
  • Deshanna --> They who protect the years with the help of Dirth'am'en. This is the feminine. Masculine is Deshan. From Dirth'am'en + shala (to protect) + annar (year). Would probably mean closer to "archivist," or "librarian," or "protector of knowledge," rather than someone who protects people or places.
  • Elindra --> She who goes with our noble blood. She of pure blood. Pure, in this case, is most likely referring to the soul, to the quality of the person, not the quality of the breeding. El+lin+dara
  • Ellana --> One who has the ability to do anything. Masculine variant would be Ellan, or Ellanis. A name variation of the verb Elana = to be able, to have the ability to, can, may, to have permission. Ellana is pronounced Ehl - lahnah (/ ɛl - ‘lɑːnɑː /), whereas Elana is pronounced Ey - lahnah (/ eɪ̯ - ’lɑːnɑː /).
  • Evelyn --> No meaning, this is an Elvish appropriation of a human name, and would have no direct translation in Elvish. 
  • Ilen --> "Many sacrifices." "He who sacrifices for the good of all." This is the masculine. The feminine would be Ilaan.
  • Istimaethoriel --> Sylaise's chosen mother of many. Is in this case is a very shortened version of Sylaise. Ti is a shortened version of Atisha - peace. From Sylaise + Atisha + mamae + lath + aria + el.
  • Josmaël --> "He who runs far ahead." "The Forward Runner." While run (josa) is used here, the name would refer to running ahead to scout an area, or to ensure safety. It is not just someone who is quick on their feet (although that is part of it). 
  • Lanaya --> "She who has given everything." A name meaning someone who is very generous, not someone who has lost a lot, as the root word here is lan (meaning female person) and Lana, which means to allow, or to give. The masculine would be Linayel.
  • Lavellan --> They who journey to a hopeful place. Las + val + an. Could be either male or female, but unlikely used as a first name nowadays, as it is the clan name of Clan Lavellan.
  • Mahanon --> He who moves ahead towards a good place. Mah+an+on. Feminine would be Mahana.
  •  Marethari --> "She who encircles us with safety," or "She who protects us all." Coming from the root words mama (mother), ar'an (we/us), eth (safety), and aria (circle). Masculine would be Haretharin.
  • Merrill --> "She who protects with dread sacrifice." Coming from the roots mama, eth, rahn, il (hunt/sacrifice). Masculine would be Herrillan (notice the close similarity to Harillen, meaning opposition).
  • Mithra --> "She who is sharp as a cutting edge." Lit. "Bladed tool thing." Masculine would be Mithrahn.
  • Mihris --> "The blade that gives lessons uncountable." Possibly also, "The blade that learns lessons uncountable." 
  • Neria --> "She who encircles with joy." Masculine form would be Nerian.
  • Panowën --> "She who emerges ready to fight well." Lit. "Fight good emerge." Possibly a name given to those who give their mothers a hard time during birth, or those whose mothers die in a violent or complicated birth.
  • Panoën --> Archaic spelling of Panowen
  • Radhmaël -->  "He who leads in the far and ahead greens." 
  • Rajmaël --> Modern dalish spelling of Radhmaël.
  • Sabrae--> The one who takes a sorrowful journey within himself/herself. Most likely a gender neutral name, as it could be either feminine or masculine (similar to Aiden, Parker, or Casey). Sa+Abelas+Ara
  • Sarel --> "Fearful One," alternatively (and more likely), "Rebellious One."
  • Seranni --> "Grateful Friend," or "Thanks be," / "Praise be." This is possible a name given to a child that was asked for (such as with a woman/man/couple who had been trying for a child without success).
  • Solas --> Pride, ego. 
  • Solan --> Alternative to Solas. The difference could be that Solan is "Our/My Pride," whereas Solas is "Prideful/Egotistical One."
  • Tamlen --> "Child protected by the sky." Alternatively, "Protected Child of the Sky." Coming from the root words Ta (high) or Tarasyl (sky), ama (to protect), and len (male child). 
  • Thelhen --> Awake amongst the people. True meaning would possibly be something along the lines of, "He/She who sees with true clarity." 'See' in this case would most likely refer to mental clarity, not strong eyesight. Then+El'vhen
  • Varathorn --> "The tool that goes a great distance." This is the masculine. Varathani is the feminine. 
  • Velanna --> "She who rides the wheels of time." Masculine form is Velannor
  • Yevven --> "He who has been in the river of freedom." 
  • Sathrian --> "He with a loving soul in noble struggle."
  • Zathrian --> alternative spelling to Sathrian

As you can see, Elvish names are created by using the roots of various roots to create their meaning. It is highly likely that while Elves will share names, the spelling is changed to give them some measure of uniqueness. It is also quite likely that names are created for children, and therefore while their meanings will be the same, words are changed for poetic inference, or spelling is purposefully changed to either create a unique name, or match the child's gender. 

For example, a boy born at the stroke of midnight might get the name, Lenydhan or Lanydha. Len (child)+nydha (quiet of night)+an/a(to denote masculine or feminine). 

A child who is born in the field, and is greeted soon after by friendly Halla might recieve the name, Hallonin, or Fallani which would mean Halla Friend or Friend of the Halla. Halla+Falon (friend/guide)+Ni(friendly).

Another possible name for this guide might be Enallas/Enallasan, or Enallasa/Enallasani. This would mean Halla Blessed, or Blessing of the Halla, or Blessed by the Halla. Enansal (blessing)+Halla. 

Yet another possible name could be Ghilanna, or Ghilen, meaning Child of Ghi'lan'na'in.

Chapter Text

An update post in the ongoing adventure of Project Elvhen

A few notes up front: 

dh in elvhen is pronounced like the voiced Th in the word The or This. Th, on the other hand is always pronounced like the unvoiced th in thing or threat. 

On is the elvish word for good. Used by itself, it is either a noun, or modifies the entire phrase. Used as a suffix or prefix, it is either an adverb or adjective. 

vun is the elvish word for sun

vun'in is the elvish word for day, and is used for the day as a whole, from sunrise to sunset.

ena'vun is the elvish word for sunrise, or break of day. (lit. emerging sun)

era'vun is the elvish word for night, or darkness (lit. sleeping sun) It refers to the entire night as a whole.

dhea is the elvish word for morning, or from the time of sunrise to noon.

dhea'him is the elvish word for afternoon, or the time between noon and evening. 

dhea'lam is the elvish word for evening. It is distinct from night, and it specifically refers to the time between the end of the afternoon and midnight. Any time between these two points is dhea'lam, or evening. 

nydha is the elvish for 'the quiet of the night,' or the period of time between midnight and dusk.

Used in Phrases:

Good Morning: "On dhea." /own/ /dhay/ah

Good day/Good Afternoon: "On dhea'him." /own/ /dhay/ah/heem/

Good evening: "On dhea'lam." /own/ /dhay/ah/lahm/

Good night: "On nydha." /own/ /neye/dhah/

A Few Notes

The words vun'in, era'vun, and ena'vun are used as nouns to denote entire periods of time, rather than parts of the day. For example, while "On vun'in," would technically translated to "Good day," it would be a grammatically incorrect way of saying that the day itself was good, it would be an improper greeting. The grammatically correct way of the phrase in such a case would be "On'vun'in." A good day. Using it as a greeting similar to "Good day," ("On dhea," or "On dhea'him" depending on the time of day) would most likely result in either confusion or amusement.

Note that in the above cases, on is being used as a modifier to the phrase, thus resulting in a greeting. Putting the words together turns on into an adjective. On'dhea would mean, "This morning is good," not, "Good morning."

Chapter Text

Gender-Neutral Pronouns

Es = Gender Neutral Pronoun. Best translation would be ze or xe, or any of the other created gender neutral pronouns in english.

Es  = ze/zir

Esa = zir/zirs

Len/Lin = Len and Lin flip flop between masculine and neuter (non gender) depending on their definition. When they mean 'person,' Len is Masculine and Lin is neuter. When they mean 'blood,' Lin is masculine and Len is neuter.

da'len = male person

da'lin = person

lethal'lin = male blood kin

lethal'len = blood kin

Family

mamae / mama = mother (mamae would be formal/archaic, mama would be informal/modern)

babae / baba = father

isa'ma'lin = brother / lit 'his blood is mine'

asa'ma'lin = sister / lit 'her blood is mine'

esa'ma'lin = sibling

asha'lan = daughter, offspring, native

isha'len = son, offspring, native

esha'lin = child, offspring, native

ba'isa'ma'lin = uncle

ma'asa'ma'lin = aunt

isa'var'lin = male cousin, male relative

asa'var'lin = female cousin, female relative

esa'var'lin = cousin, relative

Courtship, Love and Sex

esalath = courtship

esalatha = to court, to date, to woo

saota = marriage lit. 'one from two.'

himasa = to bond, to marry lit. to become one

tualatha = to make love

tualath = sex, specifically the sex that would qualify as 'making love'

pala = to have sex, to 

edhis = penis

edhas = vagina

i'var'lin = pregnancy

i'var'lina = to be pregnant

ena'las = birth

ena'lasa = to give birth

Miscellaneous New Words

Av = tongue, lips

Av'in = mouth

Ava = to taste, to eat

bradh = bread, cake, pastry

brah = shoe/boot (plural - 'shoes' - would be braan)

dhar = hound, dog

dhru = faith, belief

dhrua = to have faith, to believe

dhula = hair

dhulaman = seaweed

dian = stop, block

diana = to fill, to close, to stop, to stuff

esay = attempt

esaya = to try, to attempt, to seek, to undertake

i = with, by (as a prefix), and (by itself)

josa = to run, to move swiftly

josh = movement, motion, act, gesture

man = water

mith = near, close

my = after, following

mya = to follow, to be lead

nera = to like, to enjoy

O = From, concerning, about

On = good

On'ala = best

On'el = better

rodhair = thief, rogue, knave, rascal

rodhe = taste, flavour

sil = thought, mind

su = to, towards

telam = bad

telam'ala = worst

telam'el = worse

telamaan = horrible

tharia = wheel

uren = ears

vis = if

Chapter Text

Pronouns and Possessives

[First Person]

Ar = I / first person subjective, nominative
Em = Me / first person objective, accusative
Ara'len, Ara'lan, Ara'lin = Myself / first person reflexive
Ara = my / possessive determiner
Emma = mine / possessive (can be contracted to 'ma)

Ar'an = We / first person plural subjective, nominative
Em'an = Us / first person plural objective, accusative
Var'len'en, Var'lan'en, Var'lin'en = Ourselves / first person plural reflexive
Var = Our / possessive determiner
El = Ours / possessive

[Second Person]

Ma = You / second person subjective, nominative
Na = You / second person objective, accusative
Mar'len, Mar'lan, Mar'lin = Yourself / second person reflexive
Mar = Your / possessive determiner
Nar = Yours / possessive

Se = You plural / subjective, nominative, objective and accusative
Sar'len'en, Sar'lan'en, Sar'lin'en = Second person plural reflexive
Sar = both possessive and possessive determiner

[Third Person]

Is = He / third person masculine subjective, nominative
Ish = Him / third person masculine objective, accusative
Isa'len = Himself / third person masculine reflexive
Isa = His / both possessive and possessive determiner

As = She / third person feminine subjective, nominative
Ash = Her / third person feminine objective, accusative
Asa'lan = Herself / third person feminine reflexive
Asa = Her, Hers / both possessive and possessive determiner

Es = third person gender neutral subjective, nominative
Esh = third person gender neutral objective, accusative
Esa'lin = third person gender neutral reflexive
Esa = both possessive and possessive determiner

Ra = It / nominative, subjective, objective, and accusative
Rasa = Its / possessive and possessive determiner

Is'an = they / third person plural masculine subjective, nominative
Ish'ala = them / third person plural masculine objective, accusative
Is'var'len'en = themselves / third person plural masculine reflexive
Is'var = their / masculine possessive determiner
Is'el = theirs / masculine possessive

As'an = they / third person plural feminine subjective, nominative
Ash'ala = them / third person plural feminine objective, accusative
As'var'lan'en = themselves / third person plural feminine reflexive
As'var = their / feminine possessive determiner
As'el = theirs / feminine possessive

Es'an = they / third person plural neuter subjective, nominative
Esh'ala = them / third person plural neuter objective, accusative
Es'var'lin'en = themselves / third person plural neuter reflexive
Es'var = their / neuter possessive determiner
Es'el = theirs / neuter possessive

[Possessive Genitive]]

-re = suffix added to a noun to indicate possession when that noun ends in a vowel other than y. Plural form is ren. Can be contracted to 'e or 'en
-es = suffix added to a noun to indicate possession when that noun ends in a consonant other than s, l, d or t. Plural form is esan. Can be contracted to 's or 'san
-an = suffix added to a noun to indicate possession when that noun ends in y, s, l, d, or t. Plural form is aan. Can be contracted to 'n.

for example: Solasan sal'in = Solas's head. / Lavellanes dhula = Lavellan's hair.  / Cassandrare dhru = Cassandra's faith. 

In the above examples, the possessives can be contracted, for example:
Solas'n / Lavellan's / Cassandra'e

Note that an elision is only used if the possessive is contracted. This is to avoid confusion with other similar words. For example, Solas'an would mean 'Solas place,' or 'Place of pride,' whereas Solasan or Solas'n is the possessive genitive form of Solas. 

Solasan sal'in brith uva.

Chapter Text

THE RIDDLE OF STRIDER IN ELVHEN

The Riddle of Strider (also known as All that is gold does not glitter) is one of my favorite poems from The Lord of the Rings. As an amusing diversion, and to help create some new words, I decided to translate it into Elvhen. 

Here is the original:

 


All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king

Here it is in Quenya

 


Ilya i laurëa ná, mirilya lá, 
Queni ya ranya ullumë vanwë umir,
I yára ya tulca ná, hesta lá
Tumnë talmar rahtainë nixenen umir
Yúlallo nárë nauva coivaina,
Cálë lómillon tuiuva,
Ceura nauva hyanda ya né rácina,
I ríelóra ata aran nauva.

Here it is in Sindarin

 


Pân i valt law thilia,
Law pain i reviar mistar aen;
Iaur i vell law thinnatha,
Law thynd dyfn na-niss rathar aen.
O lith naur echuiathar aen,
Calad od dúath thuiatha;
Adamminen i vagol vreithannen,
Pen-thôl ad echannen i aran.

And finally, here it is in Elvhen

 


Ga haur te'lea
Es'an ehn shia ga te'laim
Shan ea soun tel'banafelasa
Bre'gen'adahl ea tel'dera i'eireth
Ise juthen o genise
U'lea o bane jushen
Danem'mis tuemah'sal 
Es o tel'tiara ea ha'raj sal

ELVHEN SONGS: DHULAMAN

Because it helps in creating new words and expanding the lexicon, I am going to be translating some popular old folk songs into Elvish, and giving context for each of them.

This is a translation of the gaelic song, Dúlamán. In Elvish, I think that this would be a courtship song for the lower classes of Elvhenan society. 

for reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pH7sg3UjVIQ

ELVISH LYRICS

E tundra'ashalan, esalathal'ishan gara
E tundra'mamae, sul em su josh tuas tharala

Dhulaman o targen'jol, dhulaman Elvhenor
Dhulaman o manala, on'ala Elvhenan

Ea Jol'haur sal'in sul dhulaman Elvhenor
Ea ta rund'uren sul dhulaman galanor

Bana'braan'ina'lan'ehn sul dhulaman Elvhenor
Bared i trius ema dhulaman galanor

Dhulaman o targen'jol, dhulaman Elvhenor
Dhulaman o manala, on'ala Elvhenan

"Ahn ane min," dirth dhulaman Elvhenor
"Esalathal mar'ashalan," dirth dhulaman galanor

Avy dara Sylaise i'dhulaman Elvhenor
"Avy gera braan," dirth dhulaman galanor

Dhulaman o targen'jol, dhulaman Elvhenor
Dhulaman o manala, on'ala Elvhenan

Ar dirthan sul as era, geran dhulathin
As dirtha sul em era, son varthem i athim

"E, mahn amas arashalan?" dirth dhulaman Elvhenor
"Avy ama as i'em," dirth dhulaman galanor

Dhulaman o targen'jol, dhulaman Elvhenor

Dhulaman o targen'jol, dhulaman Elvhenor
Dhulaman o manala, on'ala, on'ala
Dhulaman o targen'jol, dhulaman, Elvhenor
Dhulaman o manala, on'ala, on'ala

On'ala Elvhenan!

TRANSLATION

Oh gentle daughter, here comes the courting man
Oh gentle mother, put the wheels in motion for me

Seaweed from the yellow cliff, Elvish seaweed
Seaweed from the ocean, the best in all of Elvhenan

There is a yellow-gold head on the Elvish seaweed
There are two blunt ears on the elegant seaweed

There are beautiful black shoes on the Elvish seaweed
There is a hat and trousers on the elegant seaweed

Seaweed from the yellow cliff, Elvish seaweed
Seaweed from the ocean, the best in all of Elvhenan

"What are you doing here?" says the Elvish seaweed
"I am courting your daughter," says the elegant seaweed

I would go to Sylaise with the Elvish seaweed
"I will buy her shoes," says the elegant seaweed

Seaweed from the yellow cliff, Elvish seaweed
Seaweed from the ocean, the best in all of Elvhenan

I speak for her the story that I will buy her a comb
She speaks for me the story that she is well groomed and humble

"Oh, where do you take my daughter?" says the Elvish seaweed
"I would take her with me," Says the elegant seaweed

Seaweed from the yellow cliff, Elvish seaweed

Seaweed from the yellow cliff, Elvish seaweed
Seaweed from the ocean, the best, the best
Seaweed from the yellow cliff, Elvish seaweed
Seaweed from the ocean, the best, the best

The best in all of Elvhenan!

Chapter Text

THE TEVENE / CHANTRY CALENDAR

Months

Key: Month Order | Tevene | Chantry | Gregorian Analogue

  1. Verimensis | Wintermarch | January
  2. Pluitanis | Guardian | February
  3. Nubulis | Drakonis | March
  4. Eluviesta | Cloudreach | April
  5. Molioris | Bloomingtide | May
  6. Ferventis | Justinian | June
  7. Solis | Solace | July
  8. Matrinalis | August | August
  9. Parvulis | Kingsway | September
  10. Frumentum | Harvestmere | October
  11. Umbralis | Firstfall | November
  12. Cassus | Haring | December

Days

From in-game material, it is heavily implied that the day names and ordering system are the same as our world, at least in the Tevene/Chantry calendar. Given that the Tevene gods were not the same as the Roman gods, the Tevene names of these days are possibly different than their real-world latin equivalents. There is the chance that the names of these days in modern Tevinter are different than in Ancient Tevinter (A conjecture I have included below)

Key: Day Order | Chantry/Germanic | Tevene Ancient | Tevene Modern

  1. Sunday | dies Tothis | dies Solaris
  2. Monday | dies Lusacanis | dies Lunae
  3. Tuesday | dies Zazikelis | dies Agris
  4. Wednesday | dies Razikalis | dies Mercatis
  5. Thursday | dies Dumatis | dies Caelis
  6. Friday | dies Urthemis | dies Fortunis
  7. Saturday | dies Andoralis | dies Ubertis

The Tevinter names are pure conjecture on my part. The reason I didn't use the latin names for these days, is because those were based upon the Roman gods, and the Roman gods never existed in Thedas. 

THE ELVISH CALENDAR

The Elvish calendar is a solar calendar, and starts the year off after the Summer solstice, instead of after the winter solstice, like the Gregorian/Tevene/Chantry calendar. 

Months

Key: Month Order | Elvish | Chantry | Gregorian Analogue

  1. Soun'vun'ise'man | Solace | July
  2. Alas'mamae'man | August | August
  3. Alas'davhen'man | Kingsway | September
  4. Tua'sal'adahl'man | Harvestmere | October
  5. Ena'eir'man | Firstfall | November
  6. Bre'eir'man | Haring | December 
  7. Vare'eir'man | Wintermarch | January
  8. En'tara'syl'nu'man | Guardian | February
  9. Em'syla'man | Drakonis | March
  10. Soun'tara'syl'nu'man | Cloudreach | April
  11. Adahl'shena'man | Bloomingtide | May
  12. Ena'vun'ise'man | Justinian | June

Days

Key: Day Order | Elvish | Chantry/Germanic

  1. Lean'vun'in | Sunday
  2. Fel'vun'in | Monday
  3. Syl'vun'in | Tuesday
  4. Shi'vun'in | Wednesday
  5. U'lea'vun'in | Thursday
  6. Ghi'lan'vun'in | Friday
  7. Hamiin'vun'in | Saturday

Translations

Soun'vun'ise'man | Time of the Strong Sun's Heat
Alas'mamae'man | Time of the mother of the earth
Alas'davhen'man | Time of the children of the earth
Tua'sal'adahl'man | Time of the tree's renewal
Ena'eir'man | Time of the emerging snow
Bre'eir'man | Time of the deep snow
Vare'eir'man | Time of winter past
En'tara'syl'nu'man | Time of the first rains
Em'syla'man | Time of the cloud's embrace
Soun'tara'syl'nu'man | Time of the heavy rains
Adahl'shena'man | Time of the sprouting trees
Ena'vun'ise'man | Time of the rising sun's heat

Lean'vun'in | Day of light
Fel'vun'in | Day of calm
Syl'vun'in | Day of clouds
Shi'vun'in | Day of wanderings
U'lea'vun'in | Day of stars
Ghi'lan'vun'in | Day of friends and guides
Hamiin'vun'in | Day of rest

Chapter Text

INVITATIONS

Garas, aman na'mis.

Come to me, I shall sheathe your blade.

Yes, this is the pretty elvish version of, essentially, "Stick your dick in me."

From a man (or the actor, if you will) to the woman (or receiver):

Garas, aman ara'mis.

Come to me, I shall sheathe my blade within you.

This is the pretty elvlish version of, essentially, "Let me stick my dick in you."

Given that both phrases have no mention of actual gentials (edhis or edhas), they would be mostly poetically inferential. Therefore, the phrases wouldn't need to change in homosexual relationships, as they are really just the elvish version of, "Fuck me," or "Let me fuck you."

 

I WANT TO MAKE LOVE TO YOU

There are no strange requests, just requests that require me to think slightly longer than others. 

This is another situation where translating directly from English is a bit wonky. Translated literally, “I want to make love to you” (with is grammatically incorrect, you naughty little devil, you) would be Nuvenan tua lath su na but this would be a phrase that most elves would find, well, odd. “To make love,” is an idiom almost exclusive to English, and for a very long time had to do with paying loving attention to someone, not sex (the sex connotation only came about in the 1950s). Idioms rarely traverse languages, although today the idea of ‘making love,’ has become wide spread because of Hollywood, but even then, most languages prefer their own idioms. 

Nuvenan tua lath su na is something that an Elf would understand, but is more than likely something that someone would say if Elvish was their second language, not their first, and they were thinking about Elvish through the lens of their first language. It wouldn’t be a proper phrase, but rather a direct translation of an idiom born from another language. For example, if a human said this to her elf boyfriend, he might find it cute. If an elf said this to his elf girlfriend, on the other hand, she might find it just plain embarrassing.

An elf would more likely rather you just come out and say Isalan pala na (I want to mate you / I want to fuck you / I want to have sex with you), than translating your own language’s idioms into Elvish. 

Instead, an elf is more likely to say something along the lines of: 

  • Isalan hima sa i’na (I lust to become one with you)
  • Isalan hima na (I lust to become you)
  • Isalan gara suin na / Isalan ma gara suin em (I lust to come into you / I lust for you to come into me)
  • Lasa ar’an alas’nira aron fen’en (let us dance as the wolves do)
  • Isalan alas’nira aron fen’en (I lust to dance as the wolves do)
  • Vera em su tarasyl (Take me to the sky)
  • Juveran na su tarasyl (I will take you to the sky)
  • Isalan dara su tarasyl i’na (I lust to go to the sky with you)
  • Isalan dera na aron tuelan (I lust to touch you like a creator / essentially, I will touch you like a god/goddess)

Note how the verb isala (to need, to lust) is used instead of the verb nuvena (to want, to wish, to desire) in order to convey the meaning of the sentence. For example, nuvenan alas’nir aron fen’en (I wish to dance as the wolves do) would be considered a silly way of saying, “I want to be a wolf.” Replacing nuvena with lasa, however, changes the meaning to sexual. Regardless, none of these sayings are something you just say in polite company. You don’t just tell your beautiful elven lover, Lasa ar’an alas’nira aron fen’en in front of her parents. 

All of these various sayings would be considered at varying degrees of vulgarity depending on the Elvish city or Dalish clan in question. For example, some clans might consider Isalan gara suin na to be a bit on the vulgar side, whereas others might view it as innocent as “i wish to make love.” 

A Dalish clan that spends more time in wolf-infested woods might consider Lasa ar’an alas’nira aron fen’en to be perfectly fine. A Dalish clan that spent more time near cities or human-inhabited areas, on the other hand, might considered it lewd and vulgar. 

Long story short: The idiom, “make love,” doesn’t exist in Elvish, and so translating the concept will result in amusement at best. If you’re not an elf, and you’re lucky, the elf of your desires might find it cute instead of awkward. Use one of the aforementioned sayings instead.

 

NAUGHTY SEXUAL PHRASES

Note: len’pala (m)lan’pala (f), and lin’pala (n) are the word for ‘to masturbate.’ It must be modified with the correct possessive in order to be understood. For example, if you are talking about yourself, and you are male, then you use ara’len’pala

Neran ihn bre’palas, i vallasan bredhas i’ma’da’vin. || I like it when you fuck me deep and paint my insides with your cum.

Nuvenan avan ma’edhis sule bre’garas in br’av. || I want to suck your cock until you cum deep in my throat.

Nuvenan inana mar’len’palas, i avanan ma’da’vin tar mar’len. || I want to watch you masturbate, and then lick your cum off your body.

Nuvenan mar’len’pala, i ethan ara’av’in i’ma’da’vin. || I want you to masturbate and cover my face with your cum.

Nuvenan pala asa’edhas, i rosas’da’din in emma’av’in, my avemah ta’se. || I want you to fuck her vagina, and then cum in my mouth so I can taste both of you.

Nuvenan rosa’da’din in ma sule enan’ma. || I want to cum inside of you until I spill out of you.

Nuvenan rosas’da’din in’emma’av’in, sule Ar av’in rodhe u’ma. || I want you to cum in my mouth until all I can taste is you.

Pala ma ara’br’av sule ir rosas’da’din, em avan ma mahnnar. || Fuck my throat until you cum so much that I can taste you next year.

Jupalan ma sule banalan in’em, ma tel’rosa’da’din’el. || I will fuck you until you empty yourself inside of me and can’t orgasm any longer. 

Jupalan ma sule tel mar sule’din. || I will fuck you until you have no endurance left.

Jutuan ma ir rosas’da’din, ma tel’aman melin. || I will make you cum so much that you won’t remember your name. 

Rosa’da’din in’em. || Cum inside of me. 

Rosa’da’din in’emma’av’in. || Cum in my mouth.

Rosa’da’din sule emma’sal’in. || Cum on my face.

Rosa’da’din in’emma’masa.  || Cum in my ass. 

Sathan, dava ‘ma edhas. || Please, lick my pussy.

Sathan, ava ‘ma edhis. || Please, suck my dick. 

Sathan, pala ‘ma masa. || Please, fuck my ass. 

Sathan, dava ‘ma masa. || Please, lick my ass. 

Mar rodhe ir’on. || You taste delicious. (lit. your flavor very good)

Ha’mi’in. Lasa em tua rosas’da’din. || Relax. Let me make you cum.

Ema ‘ma dhula i pala em. || Pull my hair and fuck me. 

Atha ‘ma’edhas’av i mar av. || Separate the lips of my pussy with your tongue.

Pala em elvar’el! || Fuck me harder!

Silal or ma tu ara’len’palan || Thinking of you makes me masturbate. 

Chapter Text

INSULTS

Fool

Felasil (slow mind)

idiot

Dahn’direlan (One who punches bees / Bee puncher)

Moron (You are a moron)

Vyn esaya gera assan i’mar’av’ingala. (You would try to catch an arrow with your teeth).
For he - Vyn becomes Ivysmar becomes isa
For she - Vyn to Avysmar to asa
For ze - Vyn to Vysmar to esa
For they - Vyn to Vya, mar to is’var, as’var, or es’var
For we - Vyn to Elvymar to var
For I - Vyn to Avymar to ara. 

Stupid

Teldirthalelan (One who will not learn.)
Delavir (Bad way, stupid, nonsensical)

Miscellaneous Insults

Fen’harel ver na. || Dread wolf take you.
Nuva vher av ma, i banalhan av vher. || May the cat eat you, and the blight eat the cat.
Dhava ‘ma masa. || Kiss my ass
Lasa adahl su nar masa. || Shove a tree up your ass. 
Pala adahl’en. || Go fuck a forest.
Nuva fen’harel pala masa sule’din. || May the dread wolf fuck your ass until you die.
Nuva Ghi’lan’na’in then asa shud ove arsyl o’tarasyl, i dirash na in masa dur su an’banal. || May Ghi’lan’na’in stir her hoof through the roof of heaven and kick you in the ass down to the void. 
Nuva vunlanas esha’lin esahn lan na ir’tel’sasha || May you give birth to a child that gives you misery.
Su an’banal i’ma || To the void with you
Nuva mar’edhis banafelas i miol’en av ra. || May your dick rot and the insects eat it. 
Nuva uralas telsyl na i’ga syl nyel laimem. || May nature strangle you with all the air you have wasted. 
Nuva iovro av na, i etun na sule ven, dalas manean’en
. || May the bear eat you and shit you into a river so you kill the fish. 

MISCELLANEOUS PHRASES

How is the weather? 

Ahn tarasyldear? (what [is the] sky mood?)

The herds have moved on.

Traden ya shirem mah. ([the] Herds have moved ahead.)

The apples are really good this year.

If good refers to flavour:
Uilen ir’rodhe min’annar. ([the] Apples [are] very tasty current year.)
If good refers to quality:
Uilen ir’on min’annar. ([the] Apples [are] very good current year.)

Buuuut mooooooommmmm!!!!!!

Ahnsul mae?! (What for mom?!)

Buuuut Daaaaaadd!!!!

Ahnsul bae?! (What for dad?!)

Where is the bathroom/outhouse/latrine?

Mahn edh’an’in? (Where [is the] private inside place?)

 

I don’t know

Teleolasan (I don’t know / I don’t understand)

How are you?

Thu ea? (how be?)
Ea son? (Be you well?)

What is your name?

Ahn mar melin? (What [is] your name?)

Where are you from?

Mahn mar an? (Where [is] your place?)

Good luck!

Shathe Shiralen! (Happy journeys!)

I don’t understand. 

Telharthan. (I don’t hear / I don’t understand.)

Please speak more slowly.

Sathan dirtha felas’el. (Please to speak slower.)

Please repeat that / Please say that again

Sathan sal’dirtha. (Please to again speak.)

Do you speak -language-?

Dirthas -language-? (You speak -language-?)
Note: the proper reply to this is Dirthan (I speak) or Teldirthan (I don’t speak), instead of ‘yes’ or ‘no.’

Would you like to dance with me?

Vyn alas’niremah i’em? (Will you be dancing with me?)

I miss you.

If referring to a basic type of regret or noticing absence:
Nuvenan na amahn. (I wish you [were] here.)
If referring to a deep longing, or nostalgic longing for something that you miss terribly,  have a deep attachment to, or know you will never get back:
Mi’nas’sal’inan. (I feel the knife once more within my soul.)

Go away.

Vara. (To go away.)

Leave me alone.

Vara u’em. (Leave alone me.)

May the wind be ever at your back

Nuva tarasyldhe re uth’su mar’veth.

May the dread wolf never hear your footsteps

Nuva mar’shos’lahn’en ir’tel’dera Fen’Harel. 

Shiva’dahl

Tree of Duty, Statue, Great Being bound by duty. Shivana (to do one’s duty) + Adahl (tree). From what I can tell, Merrill is essentially saying that Ketojan is as large as a tree. So she’s calling him a duty tree, or a statue representing duty, because of how the Qunari function. That’s my take-away anyway. 

SLAVERY AND SLAVES

Glandival || Slavery, Debt

Glandivalis || Enslavement, Indebted, Subjugation

Girem’len (m) / Girem’lan (f) / Girem’lin (n) || owned person, slave, chattel

Rahngirem || owned thing, property, chattel

Laimsa || lost one, slave, oppressed thing, oppressed person

Addendum: Girem’le/lan/in, and Rahngirem would be used by non-slaves to describe slaves. Needless to say, Rahngirem would be considered insulting, whereas Girem’len/lan/lin would not. Laimsa would be used by slaves to describe themselves, or by the Dalish to describe their enslaved ancestors.  

 

COLORS

Gra || Red
Telban || White
Dorf || Grey
Jol || Yellow
Rad || Green
Bana || Black
Nislean || Blue
Iovris || Brown

 

DIRTH'ALA MA

Firstly, this is either another example of Bioware using their language incorrect, or it is an idiom. Given that I am loathe to throw out Bioware’s work when I can salvage it, we’re going with idiom. 

Dirth’ala ma.

A lesson to you. Essentially, ‘may you learn’ (as Solas says). This indicates that you are in dire need of a lesson, one that will most likely impact your entire world view. Considered, as Solas states, the worst curse of the Elves, because sometimes such lessons are the last thing in the world that you want to learn. They can sometimes shatter your very being and destroy who you are as a person. For example, Oedipus’s famous revelation that his wife and his mother are the same woman. Or Wander’s revelation near the end of Shadow of the Colossus

'May you learn' as a phrase would be Nuva dirthalas. 

 

DALISH TITLES

Firstly, remember that the Dalish dialect would vary greatly from the Ancient Elvhenan dialects. The Dalish would take many words from the various human languages they have interacted with, and as is seen in the games, they use the common tongue just as often as Elvish, meaning that they are either bilingual or no 100% fluent. Given that the Dalish had to rediscover their language, and turn it from a dead language back into a living language, it is likely that the language changed. Given the close proximity with many human settlements, it is also likely that most Elves either effortlessly switch between the two languages on a whim, or speak of sort of semi-elvish, with words and phrases taken from many languages.

Most of the roles in Dalish society did not exist in Elvhenan, and so it is likely that they do not have Elvish words for them, as those words would need to be created from scratch. Similarly to how there are no words in Latin for television or automobile. 

Therefore, more than likely the titles of these roles are in the common tongue. Elvish would still be second language for most Dalish elves, from what I can tell.

So no, to answer your question, there wouldn’t be elvish words for these professions. However, I can give you some. Mind you, these are most likely not words that most Dalish clans would use. 

Halla’amelan || Keeper of Halla, Protector of Halla

Ajuelan || Crafter, Cratfsman / Craftswoman

Raj’aju’en || Craftmaster, Director of Crafting

Ghi’lan || Guide, Teacher

Amelan || Keeper, Protector

Sael || First

Tael || Second

Len’sila (m) / Lan’sila (f) / Lin’sila (n) || Student, Learner, lit. thinking person

Eolas’esayelan || Apprentice, lit. knowledge seeker

Chapter Text

Ohhhhhh goodness, I've been mulling this phrase over for a while. 

So in the game, Solas states "You are now free," but that's not exactly what this phrase means. I have come to the conclusion that this phrase is, unfortunately, another example of Bioware using their language wrong. As I believe I have stated previously, this is one of the weaknesses of using a cipher: you are going to contradict yourself, and you're going to eventually use your language incorrectly. 

Long story short: This is an incorrect phrase (the correct phrases are below), and one that Solas shouldn't be saying for obvious reasons (given that Elvish would be his first language). Why is it incorrect? Well, let's go over what we've discovered (and I've created) about Elvish grammar and sentence structure. 

In Elvish grammar, you have relatively simple declensions for verbs. You have tense, person and number. Verb case, verb voice and verb mood are indicated by their place within the sentence structure -- similar to English. This is mostly because Elvish is a cipher based upon English, and I wasn't willing to throw out everything that Bioware has done so far on the language, and so I was stuck with, mostly, following English grammar and sentence structure. 

Both the infinitive form and imperative form of a verb end with 'a' in elvish, thus meaning that 'lasa,' in this use is either in the infinitive or imperative form. Given that Ar (first person singular / I) is the person taking the action, this means that it cannot be in the imperative form, as imperatives are only used for the second and third person. Therefore, it is in the infinitive. 

Mala is a noun, adverb or conjunction meaning 'now,' (literally 'time location'). Revas is a noun meaning freedom or escape. 

This means that, in the game, Solas is saying, "I to grant now freedom."

Grammatically, this sentence makes no sense. Yes, we can sort of get the idea of what he's saying, and yes, in Elvish, the object can be implied if the phrase is being said to the object, or the object is being referenced in some other way. 

But remember that Elvish sentence structure is basically English sentence structure, thus making it a SVO language. Additionally, this means that 'mala,' is being used as an adverb to modify lasa, so its place in the sentence, as it is, makes no sense. 

A note before we go further:

The breakdown of revas is:


re: release, rejection, discharge (the verb form is rea: to reject, to release)
vas: chain, bond, bondage, yoke (verb form is vasa: to chain, to bond, to yoke)
There are two verbs you can use that mean 'to free,': One 'proper,' and the other colloquial/vulgar: vasrea (proper), and revasa (colloquial).

Therefore, the correct phrase should be one of the following:


Ar mala lasan revas. (i now grant freedom)
Mala ar lasan revas. (Now I grant freedom)
Ar lasan na revas. (I grant you freedom.)
Ar mala lasan na revas. (I now grant you freedom)
Mala ar lasan na revas. (Now I grant you freedom)
Ane mala vasreëm / Ma mala vasreëm. (You are now free / You are now freed)
Ane vasreëm / Ma vasreëm. (You are free / You are freed)

Sule sal'melana, falon'en. Dar'eth Shiral. Nuvenan lean'or'Elvhen ghi'l mar'vir.

Chapter Text

Had to think a bit about this one, and had to create a few new words until deciding on one. 

'You are welcome,' is a rather new idea in the English language, and is believed to have come from a shortened version of, “You are welcome to be here.” Many languages have a different reply to “Thank you,” and few of them are the same. Take the spanish de nada, for example, which literally means “It’s nothing.” Other languages have words that have just become to mean something akin to ‘you’re welcome,’ or ‘pleased,’ such as the Italian prego (which literally means ‘prayer’). 

The first appearance of, “You are welcome,” was in 1907 and it’s grown in popularity ever since. With that in mind, I present you the current (There will eventually be more) ways to say, “Thank you,” and “You’re Welcome,” in Elvish. 

Thank You

'Ma Serannas

My thanks. My gratitude. ‘Ma is a contraction of Emma, not the pronoun ‘you,’ (which is ma, without the elision). This is oftentimes shortened to just serannas in informal situations. 

Serannasan Ma

I thank you. This is a very formal ‘thank you,’ and is usually only used in extremely formal settings. It is mostly archaic and rarely used by Dalish. 

Nuvas ema ir’enastela. 

May you have great blessings. Essentially, “Thank you so very much,” as opposed to just, “Thank you.”

Enaste

Grace. Blessing. In formal settings, it is usually paired with the speaker’s chosen deity (i.e. Mythal Enaste). In informal settings, enaste is usually enough. 

Ma melava halani

An elvish idiom essentially meaning, “You have spent your time to help me.” Archaic and intimate. Rarely spoken to those who are not very close friends, family, or lovers. 

You’re Welcome

De da’rahn. 

It was a little thing. Essentially, “no problem.” Usually shortened to da’rahn in informal situations.

Sathem lasa halani. 

Pleased to give assistance. Pleased to help. Often shortened to either lasa halani or Sathem.

Nuva lasa su ma enaste. 

May it give you grace. May it grant you favor. A very formal and archaic form of ‘you’re welcome,’ that is rarely used by Dalish. 

'Ma neral. 

My enjoyment. My pleasure. Archaic and informal. As before, ‘ma is a contraction of emma. 

Ara melava son’ganem. 

My time is well-spent. Similar to ma melava halani, is archaic and intimate. Rarely spoken to those who are not close friends, family, or lovers.

You asked for one translation for ‘you’re welcome.’

I gave you five, and three new ways to say, “thank you.”

Sathem.

Chapter Text

GREETINGS


An'eth'ara || Greetings, My place is safe || Used with: anyone, informal
An'daran Atish'an || Greetings, Welcome, The place you go is a safe place || Used with: Anyone, formal
Tuelanen i'na || Creators be with you || Used with: Anyone, Formal or informal
En'an'sal'en || Blessings || Used with: Anyone, Formal
Savhalla || Salutations / Hello || Used with: Anyone, Informal
Savh || Hello, Hi, Hey (shortened form of savhalla) || Used with: friends and colleagues, Informal
On dhea || Good morning || Used with: anyone, morning
On dhea'him || Good afternoon, Good day || Used with: anyone, day/afternoon
On dhea'lam ||Good evening || Used with: anyone, evening/night
Thu ea? || How be?, How are you? || Used with: anyone, formal or informal
Th'ea || How be? How are you? How's it going? (contraction of thu ea) || Used with: friends and colleagues, informal
Ga son? || Everything well? || Used with: Anyone, informal
Ea son? || Are [you] well? Be [you] well? || Used with: Anyone, informal
G'on || Everything well? What's up? (contraction of ga son) || Used with: Friends and colleagues, informal
Nuvenan ma son || Hope you are well || Used with: anyone, formal

FAREWELLS


Dar'eth Shiral || Go safely on your journey / Safe journey || Used with: Anyone, formal
Dar'eth || Go safely || Used with: anyone, informal
Dar'atisha || Go in peace || Used with: anyone, formal or informal
Sal sura || Be here again, come again, visit me again || Used with: Anyone, informal
Tuelanen ama na || Creators protect you || Used with: anyone, formal or informal
On nydha || Good night || used with: anyone, nighttime, evening, informal
Sule tael tasalal || Until we meet again, Until Next meeting || Used with: acquaintances, informal
Sule sal harthir || Until we hear of each other again || Used with: acquaintances, informal

Elvhen, as a language, is very much focused on social standing in its words and phrases. This is coming from the information revealed in both Masked Empire and Inquisition that Elvhenan actually had a very rigid class structure, where social status was a very important part of society. 

Therefore, each major greeting, farewell, and response has a formal and informal variant. Some have more than one formal or informal variant, but they all have at least one, even if it is only in meaning (such as the similarity between an'daran atish'an and an'eth'ara). 

The reason I didn't include this in my greetings post is two-fold: First, I wanted to think on it a bit more. Secondly, I knew it was probably going to become long, so I didn't want to have this gigantic post that was hard to read through. I would rather present Elvish in bite-sized pieces that are easier to digest. 


 

The Difference Between Formal and Informal

Formal

In Elvhenan society, High Speech or Ha'raj'vi'dirth (Lit. King Language) is used in formal settings, such as when dealing with superiors at all times, or dealing with equals and subordinates during formal situations: such as the workplace, court, religious temples and other formal gatherings. 

In Dalish society, High Speech would really only be used during religious gatherings, important clan gatherings (such as Arlathvhen) or when talking to the Keeper. Even then, in most clans, High Speech wouldn't be considered important enough to punish those who didn't speak it during the right times. 

In High Speech, eye contact must be maintained at all times with those whom you are speaking. Contractions may not be used.

Informal

In Elvhenan society, Low Speech or Vhen'vi'dirth (Lit. People language) is used in informal settings, such as when dealing with subordinates or equals outside of formal situations. It is basically used in every situation that doesn't require High Speech. 

Low speech has no special rules aside from the regular grammatical and mechanical rules of Elvhen. Low speech would be the day-to-day vernacular of Elves within Elvhenan, as well as the language spoken by Dalish. 

Formal Greetings, Farewells and Responses

<<>>Greetings<<>>

An'daran Atish'an 

What it means: "The place you go is a place of peace." This is the most formal greeting that most Dalish know, although there are many others. It implies that the place of the speaker is a place that the object will be welcome and feel safe. It implies unconditional hospitality and protection. Essentially, "My home is your home," as well as, "You will not come to harm while you are here."
The Proper Responses are:
-Enaste / En'an'sal'en sul mar arla. (Grace / Blessings upon your house.)
-Enastesha / En'an'sal'enast ea amahn. (Graced / Blessed to be here.)
-Mar enaste lan em lath'in'iseth. (You grace warms my heart.)

Tuelanen i'na


What is means: "Creators be with you." This is a very formal greeting with heavy religious connotations. In Elvhenan it would be a greeting that was used either by very religious individuals, or during religious gatherings. In Temples, Tuelanen would be replaced with the name of the creator in question: I.e. Mythal re i'na. In Dalish society it would be a greeting carrying heavy religious intent and would probably rarely be used to a non-dalish (Not to mention that a Chantry follower might consider it blasphemous). 
The Proper Responses Are:
-Nuva es'an ea tas i'na. (May they also be with you.)
-Es'an ea tundra ghi'la em amahn su na. (They are kind to guide me here to you.)

En'an'sal'en


What is means: "Blessings." A formal greeting without religious connotation but still conveying a sense of wanting well-being for the person you are speaking with. 
The Proper Responses Are:
-Su tas ma. (To you as well.)
-En'an'sal'en. (Blessings. Simply a repeat to convey the same feelings back.)

Thu ea?


What it means: "How be? / How are you?" A formal greeting that usually followers another, asking the object how he fares. While it doesn't necessitate a response, it is considered incredibly rude to not give one. 
The Proper Responses Are:
-Ame son'ala! I na? (I am fantastic! And you?)
-Ame son, i na? (I am well, and you?)
-Ame son, emma serannas. (I am well, thank you.)
-Ame te'son, i na? (I am alright/okay, and you?)
-Ame te'son, emma serannas. (I am alright/okay, thank you.)
-Ame telom, i na?. (I am not well, and you?)
-Ame telom. (I am not well.)

Nuvenan ma son


What it means: "I hope you are well." A formal greeting similar to "Thu ea?" except it is not considered rude to not give a response. 
The Proper Responses Are:
-Ame, emma serannas. (I am, thank you.)
-Tel'ame, y emma serannas. (I am not, but thank you.)
-Nuvenan ma tas son. (I hope you are also well.)

<<>>Farewells<<>>

Dar'eth Shiral


What it means: "Go safely on your journey." A formal farewell used in similar situations as the greeting, "An'daran Atish'an." 
The Proper Responses Are:
-Tas dar'eth. (Go safely as well.)
-Ethas na. (Be safe / Make yourself safe.)

Dar'atisha


What it means: "Go in peace / Go peacefully." A formal farewell used in any formal situations.
The Proper Responses Are:
-Tas ma. (You as well.)
-Julasan atisha mahn daran. (I will bring peace where I go.)
-Dar'atisha. (A repeat to convey the same feeling back.)

Tuelanen ama na


What it means: "Creators protect you." A formal farewell carrying religious connotations similar to "Tuelanen i'na."
The Proper Responses Are:
-Nuva es'an ama tas i'na. (May they protect you as well.)
-Juviran ven es'an hama sul em. (I shall walk the path they lay for me.)

Informal Greetings, Farewells and Responses

<<>>Greetings<<>>

An'eth'ara


What it means: "My place is safe." This is the informal variant of An'daran Atish'an, and essentially means the same thing in a shortened form. 
The Proper Responses Are:
-Enaste / En'an'sal'en arla. (Grace / Blessings upon your house.)
-Enastesha / En'an'sal'enast amahn. (Graced / Blessed to be here.)
-Lath'in'iseth. (Heart Warmth / You grace warms my heart.)

Tuelanen i'na


What it means: The exact same as above, but the responses vary during informal situations. 
The Proper Responses Are:
-I tas i'na. (And also with you.)
-Tundra ghi'l em amahn. (Kindness brought me here.)

Savhalla


What it means: "Salutations / Hello." A basic informal greeting carrying little meaning beyond a salutation.
The Proper Responses Are:
-Savhalla, thu ea? (Hello, how are you?)
-Savhalla, arani! (Hello, my friend!)
-Savhalla, 'ma falon! (Hello, my good friend!)

Savh


What it means: "Hey. Hello. Hi." Same meanings as Savhalla.
The Proper Responses Are:
-Savh. Th'ea? (Hi. How're you?)
-Savh, arani! (Hey, friend!)
-Savh, 'ma falon! (Hey, good friend!)

On dhea


What it means: "Good morning."
The Proper Responses Are:
-On dhea.
-Dhea. (amongst friends)

On dhea'him


What it means: "Good afternoon. / Good day."
The Proper Responses Are:
-On dhea'him.
-Dhea'him. (amongst friends)

On dhea'lam


What it means: "Good evening."
The Proper Responses Are:
-On dhea'lam.
-Dhea'lam. (amongst friends)

Thu ea?  / Th'ea?


What it means: Same thing as the formal version, except it is usually shortened to "Th'ea," in informal settings. The responses also vary slightly in informal situations. 
The Proper Responses Are:
-Son'ala! Na? (Fantastic! You?)
-Son. Na? (Well. You?)
-Son, serannas. (Well, thanks.)
-Te'son. Na? (Alright/okay. You?)
-Te'son, serannas. (Alright/okay, thanks.)
-Telom. Na?. (Not well. You?)
-Telom. (Not well.)

Ga son? / G'on?


What it means: "Everything well?" An informal variant of "Thu ea?" Responses vary slightly.
The Proper Responses Are:
-Ga son. / G'on. Na? (Everything is well. You?)
-Vin. Na? (Yes. You?)
-Ga te'son. G'ton. Na? (Everything is alright/okay. You?)
-Ga telom / G't'lom. (Everything is bad / not well.)
-Din. Ga telom / G't'lom. (No. Everything is not well.)

Ea son?

What it means: "Are you well?" Lit. "Be well?" A similar greeting to "Go son?"
The Proper Responses Are:
-Ame. Na? (I am. You?)
-Vin. Na? (Yes. You?)
-Din, y serannas mar av'ahn. (No, but thanks for asking.)
-Tel'ame, y serannas mar av'ahn. (I am not, but thanks for asking.)

<<>>Farewells<<>>

Dar'eth


What it means: Shortened form of "Dar'eth Shiral." Essentially, "Go safely."
The Proper Responses Are:
-Tas na. (You as well.)
-Dar'eth. (A repeat to convey the same feelings back.)

Dar'atisha


What it means: Same as the formal variant, although responses vary slightly in informal situations. 
The Proper Responses Are:
-Tas ma. (You as well.)
-Julasan atisha. (I will bring peace.)
-Dar'atisha. (A repeat to convey the same feeling back.)

Tuelanen ama na


What it means: The same as the formal farewell. Responses vary in informal situations.
The Proper Responses Are:
-Tas na. (You as well.)
-Es'an jughi'la em. (They shall guide me.)

On nydha


What it means: "Good night."
The Proper Responses Are:
-On nydha.
-Nydha. (amongst friends)
-Son era. (Sleep well.)

Sule tael tasalal / Sal sura / Sule sal harthir


What it means: "Until we meet again. / Come again. / Until we hear of each other again." Used amongst acquaintances and friends. 
The Proper Responses Are:
-Sule melan'an. (Until then.)
-Ea son. (Be well.)
-Sule (Shortened form of sule melan'an. used only with friends)

A Final Note

Greetings, farewells and responses can be swapped and mixed and matched in many cases, just like in English. For example, if it is nighttime, and your friend says, "Sule tael tasalal," you could reply with, "On nydha." If it is morning, and your friend greets you with "An'eth'ara," you could reply with, "On dhea."

Switching responses and greetings/farewells in Formal settings is a bit more restricted, but still acceptable when possible. 

Chapter Text

  • Head - Sal’in
  • Hair - Dhula
  • Eye(s) - Inan
  • Eyebrow(s) - Inan’dhula
  • Mouth - Av’in
  • Lip / Tongue - Av
  • Cheek, Jaw, Jawline - Sal’lavin
  • Ear(s) - Uren
  • Shoulder - Tarlavin
  • Neck - muin
  • Throat - inmuin
  • Arm - lav
  • Wrist - da’lavin
  • Hand - da’lav
  • Finger - mir
  • Fingernail - miringa
  • Palm - in’da’lav
  • Torso/Chest - duin
  • Breast(s) - duine
  • Breast(s) (specifically female mammaries) - duinelan
  • Penis - edhis
  • Vagina - edhas
  • Belly - ghe
  • Hip - tar’shol’lavin
  • Thigh - tar’shol
  • Leg - shol
  • Foot - shos
  • Ankle - shos’lavin
  • Toe - shos’mir
  • Toenail - shos’miringa
  • Teeth - Av’ingala
  • Nose - hron

 

The Sexual Parts of the Body

The Sexuality Post is taking me a lot longer than I anticipated because of translations and such. For I figured I would give you guys a teaser and release the words I have so far for the sex-related parts of the body. 

 


 

  • duinelan / duinelanen - female breast / breasts
  • edhis - penis
  • edhas - vagina/vulva
  • masa - ass, buttocks, behind
  • fani - anus, ass, literally ‘precious, ring’
  • mithsei - perineum, the area between the anus and vulva in a female, and between the anus and scrotum in a male
  • gail / gailen - testicle / testicles. gail literally means ‘bell.’
  • pargail - scrotum. literally ‘bell purse’
  • edhis’diala - foreskin
  • baredhis - the head/tip of the penis. literally ‘penis cap’
  • vianedhis - male urethra, literally ‘penis hole’
  • vianedhas - female urethra, literally ‘vagina hole’
  • asagail / asagailen - labia, also the elvhen word for orchid. literally ‘her bell / her bells’
  • dashalasha - clitoris, literally “little shield”
  • daneralan - the female g spot and the male prostate. literally “small pleasure place”
  • bredhas - cervix, literally “deep vagina”
  • garun - come/cum
  • reun - release, ejaculation
  • asreun - female ejaculation, female cum
  • isreun - male ejaculation, semen
  • vun’tuelan - uterus
  • edhashile - the technical term for the lubrication of the vagina. literally vagina saliva
  • edhishile - precum
  • haurasha - honey, slang term for the lubrication of the vagina
  • blardhea - morning flower, slang term for the vagina
  • iseghialean - warm candle, slang term for the penis

Chapter Text

THE CREATORS

Elgar’nan = Spirit of Vengeance

Elgar (spirit) + Nan (revenge)

Mythal = Mother who has protected

Mamae (mother) + ya (perfect verb) ethal (present participle of ‘to protect’)

Falon’Din = Friend of the Dead

Falon (guiding friend) + Din (death)

Dirthamen = Keeps many secrets

Dirth (Speech) + ama (to keep) + en (plural/many)

Andruil = She who guides through inevitable sacrifice

Asha (woman) + nadas (inevitable) + dru (sacrifice) + ghi’la (to guide)

Sylaise = The giving breath of fire.

Syl (air  / wind / breath) + lana (give) + ise (fire)

June = Crafts with joy

Ajua (To craft) + nehn (Joy)

Ghilan’nain = The Guide Inside of You

Ghi’lan (Guide) + na (you) + in (inside)

Fen’Harel = Dread Wolf

Fen (wolf) + Har’el (dreaded)

THE FORGOTTEN ONES

Geldauran = Thing of terror, hatred and malice

Geal (terror) + daur (malice, poison, hatred) + rahn (thing)

Anaris = That which is forever

Annar (year) + is (innumerable)

Daern'thal = That which brings nightmares / That which the kin dreams of little

Da (little) + era (dream) + en (many) + lethal (kin)

Chapter Text

"On dhea’lam ghi’lan, sorry to bother you. I had a question about the conjugations of vi'dirth and such. Since the suffix is added at the end of vi'dirth, like vi'dirth'ma or vi'dirth'ara, would the same rules be used to specifically list a language. e.g. vi'dirth'(random language)? Or do you think there would be Elvish versions of each language? (At least for the Dragon Age Universe if not for real life) emma serannas :)"

Yes, the same rules would be used to specify a given language. Depending upon the speaker, the name of the language may be “elvhenized,” or it may not. An elf whose first language is Elvhen will most likely use the elvhenized versions, whereas an Elf whose first language is Fereldan probably won’t. 

The following are the names of people and places in Elvhen, Some are new words, others are simply elvhenized versions of existing words. Note that these would be the current names for these kingdoms, given that in the days of Elvhenan, the elves would have spread across the entirety of Thedas and had completely different names for these areas.

Orlais / Orlesians || Orlei / Orleivhen
Ferelden / Fereldan || Radalas / Radalasvhen (Green land / Green land people)
Qun / Qunari || Hun / Hunvhen (remember that Elvhen has no /k/ sound. The closest they have is a hard /h/)
Antiva / Antivan || Targen’i’man / Targen’i’manvhen (Where the cliffs meet the water / The people of the cliffs that meet the water)
Rivain / Rivaini || Mananor / Mananorvhen (Water Nation/ People of the Water Nation)
Tevinter / Tevene || Tavinte / Tavhen
Anderfels / Anders || Andurfelen / Andurfelvhen
Nevarra / Nevarran || Nevara / Nevaravhen

When talking about languages, the word for the people is always used, not the word for the land. So, for example, if you were going to say “The fereldan language,” you would say vi’dirth’radalasvhen, not vi’dirth’radalas. Similarly, you would use vi’dirth’hunvhen for Qunlat, not vi’dirth’hun. 

Speakers of Elvhen who used Elvhen as a second language would most likely not use the Elvhenized words, but instead just use the words in their first language. For example, an Elf whose first language was Fereldan/Common would probably say vi’dirth’qunari instead of vi’dirth’hunvhen and vi’dirth’orlesian instead of vi’dirth’orleivhen. An elf whose first language was Fereldan/Common might possibly also eliminate the “vi’dirth” altogether, and simply just say Qunari or Orlesian when talking about languages.

Chapter Text

Words for Mages

All elves would know magic back in Elvhenan. As Solas said, it was as natural as breathing. They would use various descriptors to indicate the specific specializations that each elf would take, instead of simply saying, 'mage.'

Dinathe'dirthelan || Necromancer / One who talks to the dead

Lin'thanelan || Blood mage / One who wields blood

Ena'sal'in'amelan || Arcane Warrior / Knight Enchanter / One who protects victory. This should not be confused with the Elvhen word for the discipline, which is Dirth'ena Ena'sal'in. Calling an arcane warrior by "Dirth'ena Ena'sal'in," would be akin to calling a martial artist, "Kung fu."

Ladarelan'elgar || Spirit Healer / One who heals spiritually / One who mends with the aid of spirits. Elgar'ladarelan would be incorrect, as that would mean "One who heals spirits."

Dun'himelan || Shape shifter / Body Changer

Panathe'virelan || Battle mage / Battle walker. A commander of battle mages would be known as Raj'panathe: master of battle. This should not be confused with panelan, the Elvhen word for fighter/warrior.

Uralas'falon || Keeper / Nature mage / Friend of Nature. This is the discipline of magic that would later be known as the defacto discipline for many Dalish keepers.

Ala'syl'ise'man'thanelan || Elementalist / Elemental mage / Wielder of the elements. Note that the elvhen word for elements is quite literally just, "Earth, air, fire, water."

Sou'alas'rajelan || Force mage / One who commands the earth's power.

Sou'i've'an'thanelan || Rift Mage / Fade Mage. One who wields the energy of the fade.

Erelan

There would, of course, be mages that would rise above the rest in terms of skill. These mages the elves called Erelan: dreamer (plural would be Erelanen)

This would be used as a modifier before the word to describe a particularly skilled mage. For example: Erelan dun'himelan.

This is not to be confused with the Tevinter word for dreamer (somniari), as the two concepts are different. Erelan, however is most likely the word that Dalish would use for 'mage.'

Era'harel

The elvhen word for abomination is, Era'harel: Demon mage / Demon dreamer.

Era'elgar

The elvhen word for a vessel of a spirit (such as Wynne or Anders) would be Era'elgar: Spirit mage / Spirit dreamer.

I've'an'virelan

The Elvhen word for a dreamer (somniari) was I've'an'virelan: Fade walker.

Words for Others

Ghi'mya and Ghi'myelan

The elvish verb to hunt is Ghi'mya: to follow a beast. The elvhen word for hunter is ghi'myelan.

Arlise

The elvhen word for hearth is arlise: Warm house / Fire house. This should not be confused with arla'iseth, which denotes a house that is warm, not a home for said warmth. Arlise should also not be confused with isethan: fireplace. 

Arlise'sul'avelan

Hearthkeeper in Elvhen is Arlise'sul'avelan: Server of the warm house. This is not to be confused with arla'tuelan: home maker, which is actually someone who makes houses, i.e. builds them. It should be noted that arlise'sul'avelan does not mean someone who is a servant to the warm house, but rather someone who serves the warm house to others. 

The closest english definition would be homemaker, housewife, or hearthkeeper. But the full definition means something far more that is hard to put into english words. To give a better idea, arlise'sul'avenlanen could also be called diane'i'sylaise: One who embodies Sylaise. 

Chapter Text

SONG TO ELGAR’NAN

To The All Father / Su Ga’lenalin


(Audio )
Elgar’nan, sou’nin i tarasyl’lahn.
Sul’ama em’an leanathe.
Sul’ama em’an ena’sal’in, tarsul alas tem el’mor’vharlaan.
Dira verelanen i’mar soulean.
Nuisa alas dur mar ithast.
Sul’ema din’tarosal su esh’ala ehn durbor viraju.
Elgar’nan, lana em’an halani vaslana alas.

Elgar'nan, Wrath and Thunder,
Give us glory.
Give us victory, over the Earth that shakes our cities.
Strike the usurpers with your lightning.
Burn the ground under your gaze.
Bring Winged Death against those who throw down our work.
Elgar'nan, help us tame the land.

SONGS TO MYTHAL

To the Great Protector / Su Ir’Amelan



(audio)
Mar lahn elas tarosa su Mythal:
Sul’emalan or tunan, amelan or vun i alas aron


II 
(audio)
Ar’an dosan ehn varshiir; lahna su em, i jugaran
i’tel lanaste, i’tel geal
Irlahna veredhe in lea’vune
Lasa nan’ise nuis, tuaun leal

I
Let fly your voice to Mythal:
Deliverer of justice, protector of sun and earth alike

II
We few who travel far; call to me and I will come,
Without mercy, without fear.
Cry havoc in the moonlight,
Let the fire of vengeance burn, the cause is clear.

 

SONG TO FALON’DIN

To The Friend of the Dead / Su Falon’Din


(Audio)
Vhen unshivas es’var sal’shiralen su Falon’Din
Ehn venir banal ra harel
Ehnas banal’rasen is
Ehnas dhruathe sulen
Ehnas din’shathen emath ish
Mavar aron era’vun
Lethanavir, raj’varithelan, ea el’ghi’lan
Ove tel’run alas’enala, i tel’syl tarasylen

The People swore their lives to Falon'Din
Who mastered the dark that lies.
Whose shadows hunger
Whose faithful sing
Whose wings of death surround him
Thick as night.
Lethanavir, master-scryer, be our guide,
Through shapeless worlds and airless skies.

SONG TO SYLAISE

To the Hearthkeeper / Su Arlise’amelan


(Audio)
Sylaise, ehnas iseth palahn Elgar’nanes vun
Sylaise, ehnas dhru’anen palahn Mythalan mor’vharlaan
Sylaise, ehnas syl palahn Andruilan var’misu
Sylaise, ehnas eos palahn Junere aju
Sylaise, ehnas ise te’elan mathem
Lanir’sha var’lin’en su mar sul’anathe

Sylaise, whose heat rivals Elgar'nan's light.
Sylaise, whose temples rival Mythal's cities.
Sylaise, whose breath rivals Andruil's spear.
Sylaise, whose skill rivals June's craft.
Sylaise, whose fire cannot be quenched.
We give ourselves gladly to your service.

Chapter Text

I’m still writing a post detailing my personal headcanons on what Dalish Weddings and Elvhenan weddings would be like. In the meantime, I wrote out some Dalish Marriage Vows, which I based heavily upon some traditional irish marriage blessings. 

Women’s Vows:

 

Ara lethal'lin, lasan ara'lan sul saota
Lasan ara'sal, sule ha'lam'sal'shiral

Telas ema em, ar giran ara'lan
Y la'var nuvenir, sul'eman emma asahn sul'ema
Telas raja em, ame lan'revas
Y jusul'anan na i'viren isalas
I thai juem on'el rodhe, garal o emma da'lav

Ara dir'vhen'an

Ma juveremas sael'prear or emma dil
Sael davathe or emma hyn
Sasha mar melin julahnan fra nydha
Sasha mar inan juithan fra dhea
Juame mar shalasha, la ane emma
Telam'aven judirtha or em'an
Var vas druast i'em'an, i alinen tel'juhartha ebalasha
Juleanathan i myathan na ove min'sal'shiral, i su uth'then'era

 

Man’s Vows:

 

Ara lethal'lan, lasan ara'len sul saota
Lasan ara'sal, sule ha'lam'sal'shiral

Telas ema em, ar giran ara'len
Y la'var nuvenir, sul'eman emma asahn sul'ema
Telas raja em, ame len'revas
Y jusul'anan na i'viren isalas
I thai juem on'el rodhe, garal o emma da'lav

Ara dir'vhen'an

Ma juveremas sael'prear or emma dil
Sael davathe or emma hyn
Sasha mar melin julahnan fra nydha
Sasha mar inan juithan fra dhea
Juame mar shalasha, la ane emma
Telam'aven judirtha or em'an
Var vas druast i'em'an, i alinen tel'juhartha ebalasha
Juleanathan i myathan na ove min'sal'shiral, i su uth'then'era

Vows Without Gender:

 

Ara lethal'len, lasan ara'lin sul saota
Lasan ara'sal, sule ha'lam'sal'shiral

Telas ema em, ar giran ara'lin
Y la'var nuvenir, sul'eman emma asahn sul'ema
Telas raja em, ame lin'revas
Y jusul'anan na i'viren isalas
I thai juem on'el rodhe, garal o emma da'lav

Ara dir'vhen'an

Ma juveremas sael'prear or emma dil
Sael davathe or emma hyn
Sasha mar melin julahnan fra nydha
Sasha mar inan juithan fra dhea
Juame mar shalasha, la ane emma
Telam'aven judirtha or em'an
Var vas druast i'em'an, i alinen tel'juhartha ebalasha
Juleanathan i myathan na ove min'sal'shiral, i su uth'then'era

As you can see, the only thing that changed between bride and groom, is the gendered pronouns of lan, len and lin. 

The Translation

 

My clan mate, I give you myself to make one from two
I give you my soul, until the end of life's journey

You cannot have me, I own myself
But while we wish, I give what is mine to give
You cannot command me, I am a free person
But I shall serve you in the ways you need
And the fruit shall taste sweet, coming from my hand

My promise

You shall have the first cut of my meat
The first sip of my wine
Only your name shall I cry during the night
Only your eyes shall I see in the morning
I shall be your armor, as you are mine
No bad words shall be spoken of us
Our bond is sacred with us, and others shall not hear my grief
I shall worship and praise you through this life, and into uth'then'era

Chapter Text

The Elvhen Animals

There are a few animals that have Elvhen names already. Such as:

 

 

 

Hart - literally “Perceptive Thing”

Halla - literally “gentle greeter"

Varghest - literally “monster of great distance”

Ghast - Literally “ugly.”

Velghast - Literally “Ugly export.”

Velghastrial - Literally “Fat, ugly export.”

Varterral -  Literally “thing of rocks and trees from afar.” A condensed version of  var’ter’ra’adahl.

 

The Other Animals

 

 

 

fen - wolf

Iovro - bear

vher - cat

dhar - dog, hound

mol - mouse, rodent

taromol - bat, winged rodent

manean - fish

miol - insect

dahn - bee

haselan - spider

oinmun - nug

ean - bird

gaa - crow

dahabana  - crow, raven, the corvus genus

raag - raven

Tarlinydha - owl

haor - sheep, lamb

ishaor - ram, male sheep

dam - cow, ox, bovine

safal - horse

hale - fox, fennec

veth’lavin - bronto

dam’alha - druffalo

mun - pig

vheraan - lion

manvheraan - shark

ghiman - whale

lingrean - phoenix

natha - serpent, reptile

alasnatha - lizard

durnatha - snake

daurnatha - viper

daurnathaan - wyvern

felasnatha - gurgut

munvher - hyena

durnathamol - deep stalker

ghi’myashelan - lurker

veth’lavur - quillback

isenatha - dragon

morisenatha - high dragon

irmorisenatha - great dragon, ancient dragon

Chapter Text

I don’t recall being asked something similar, but my memory can be shoddy, especially as the number of asks I get continues to climb.

In terms of endearments, you have to remember that endearments are usually born from the language. For example, while you could translate darling or sweetie into Elvhen, it would be like translating ‘baby,’ into Portuguese. Calling your lover bebê or docinho in Portuguese would be just be weird. Instead, you’re going to be using things like chuchu, gato/gata, or meu querido/minha querida — just to name a few. Likewise, while querido translates back into English as ‘dear,’ or ‘darling,’ calling somebody chayote or cat in English would be just as weird as calling somebody docinho in Portuguese.

Also mind that some of the endearments on the Elvhen wiki page are unfortunately just plain wrong from a grammatical/linguistic standpoint.

With that in mind, onwards to Elvhen endearments:

For Anyone:

Da’assan: little arrow. An endearment used, usually for hunters, but can be used for anyone. Typically used to describe someone who is forthright, straight shooting, etc. Usually used by someone more experience/older towards someone less experienced/younger.

Da’mi / Da’mis : little blade. An endearment used, usually for hunters or warriors, but can be used for anyone. Typically used to describe someone who is stubbon, but effective. Someone who goes to get what they want, and someone who does something regardless of consequence. As with  da’assan, it is usually used by someone more experience/older towards someone less experienced/younger.

Da’lath’in: little heart. An endearment used to describe someone who is emotional, carries their heart on their sleeve, is very empathetic, or very sympathetic to the plights of others. Typically used to describe a young person, but can be used for people of all ages who meet the description.

Da Fen: Little wolf. An playful endearment for close friends, family and lovers. Used with those who are the same age or older.

Da Fenlin : Little wolfling. An endearment similar to  Da Fen, but used for those who are younger and/or less experienced.

Ara halla / ‘Ma’halla: My halla. An endearment for a very close friend that you trust implicitly.

Lethal'lan / Lethal'lin / Lethal'len: Clan mate. An endearment for either clan mates or friends who are so close to you, that they are like family. Literally: Kin blood. Lethal'lin is masculine, lethal'lan feminine and lethal'len is neuter. 

For Children

Ara iovru / ‘Ma’iovru: My bear cub, my baby bear.

Ara vherlin / ‘Ma’vherlin: Kitten, baby cat

Ara Dharlin / ‘Ma’dharlin: Pup, puppy, baby hound

Ara hallain / ‘Ma’hallain: My little halla calf, My baby halla

Ara da’adahl / ‘Ma da’adahl: My little tree

Ara da’ean / ‘Ma’da’ean: My little bird

Ara da’isenatha / ‘Ma’da’isenatha: My little dragon

Ara vherain / ‘Ma’vherain: My lion cub, my baby lion

In the above examples, the possessives are often omitted.

For Parents / Grandparents

Mae: Mommy, Mom, Ma

Bae: Dad, Daddy, Pop

Maela: Nana, Nona, Grammy

Baela: Popop, Nono, Grandpa, Poppy

Iovro’shan: old bear

Fen’shan: Old wolf

Isenatha’shan: Old dragon

Vheraan’shan: Old lion

Iovro’bae: Papa bear

Iovro’mae: Mama bear

Fen’bae: Papa wolf

Fen’mae: Mama wolf

Isenatha’bae: papa dragon

Isenatha’mae: mama dragon

Vheraan’bae: papa lion

Vheraan’mae: mama lion

For Lovers

Ara’isha / ‘Ma’isha: Husband/boyfriend. Lit. my man

Ara’asha / ‘Ma’ahsa: Wife/girlfriend. Lit. my woman

Ara’esha / ‘Ma’esha: Partner/lover. Lit. my person

Ara’len / ‘Ma’len: Husband/boyfriend. A much more poetic variant. Lit. Myself, my male person

Ara’lan / ‘Ma’lan: Wife/girlfriend. A much more poetic variant. Lit. Myself, my female person.

Ara’lin / ‘Ma’lin: Partner/lover. A much more poetic variant. Lit. Myself, my person

Ara sa’lath / ‘Ma’sa’lath: My one love

Ara lath / ‘Ma’lath: My love

Vhen’an’ara: Heart’s desire. Lit. journey of the heart

Arasha: My happiness

Ara blarteralas / ‘Ma’blarteralas: My mountain flower

Ara av’in / ‘Ma’av’in: My mouth. A very personal and slightly sexual endearment. The meaning is essentially, “I love you so much, and desire you so much, that my mouth tastes like yours.” But also means, “We understand each other on such a personal level, that you could talk for me.”

Ara haurasha / ‘Ma’haurasha : My honey. A very sexual endearment that essentially means “You make me wet,” or “You make me hard.”  Fyi: Haurasha (honey) is slang for precum, and the wetness of the vagina. 

Ara sal’shiral / ‘Ma’sal’shiral: My life. Essentially, “Love of my life,” or “You are my soul’s journey.”

Gaildahlas: The elvhen word for embrium. Similar to the english endearment ‘sweetie,’ or ‘baby.’

Fenor: Precious. Similar to the english endearment: Dear, or beloved.

Fenorain: Little precious. Similar to the english endearment ‘darling.’

Ara vhen'an / 'Ma vhen'an: My home/my heart. Similar to 'my love,' or 'my darling,' but signifying a much deeper connection. Essentially means, "Where you are, that is my home."

Chapter Text

On dhea!

This is treading into the territory of culture and Bioware’s own canon. So I want to express that I am by no means replacing any canon Bioware has on this subject.

Overview:

 

The Dalish would make all their own alcohol. They would not have beer.
The Dalish would drink ale regularly, similar to how we drink water.
The Dalish would only drink wine on special occasions.
The Dalish would drink liquor for the same reasons we drink beer.
Liquor would not be aged very long, resulting in a very young and light colored spirit. 
Ale would be served fresh and not fermented for more than a week. 
The Elvhen word for alcohol is Durlimun.
The Elvhen word for ale is Mavash.
The Elvhen word for cider is Sourvun
The Elvhen word for wine is Hyn.
The Elvhen word for liquor, whiskey or grain spirits is Manise.

Alcohol is usually very similar between different cultures, because it usually results from the same place: People leave bucket of something somewhere, either on purpose or by accident. It rains. Rain causes thing in bucket to ferment. People come back and out of curiosity taste liquid in bucket. Find out liquid tastes good and makes them feel warm and tingly. People try to replicate results.

Theoretically, alcohol can result from anything that has sugar in it. Usually, however, drinking alcohol results from grains, vegetables, or fruits. Why? Well because this is usually what was in the aforementioned bucket. Very few cultures are going to be carrying around a big bucket of flower petals, and then accidentally leave that bucket in the middle of a field somewhere for a week or two. Grains, vegetables or fruits on the other hand are common staples in both hunter gatherer and agriculture societies.

Logic follows that while Elvhenan may have had more impressive and esoteric alcohols, the Dalish most likely have wine made from fruit, liquor made from vegetables or grain, and ale made from grain.

 


 

 

Part 1: Ale

Notice how I didn’t say beer. In modern culture, ale is beer. That wasn’t always the case. In the middle ages, the major difference between ale and beer was twofold: 1. the type of yeast used, 2. beer contained hops.

The Dalish would most likely not have beer. Why? Simple: Beer takes longer. It’s important to note, that as brewing techniques became more efficient, less grain was needed to make the wort. Pasteurization wasn’t invented until the 1800s, and until that time, Ale and Beer usually only lasted about a week before it began to sour. Therefore, most ales served ‘fresh,’ (not yet done fermenting). Thus, most ales were weaker than modern ale. While stronger ales certainly existed, they were usually enjoyed by the aristocracy because of the cost required in making them (grain was 10 times more expensive in the middle ages than it is today).

Ale from the middle ages was described as ‘liquid bread,’ in taste and was described as being very refreshing. Many modern recreations have said the same. The average ale was fermented  for much less time than modern ales are. Modern ales are usually fermented for an average of 2-3 weeks. Ales of the middle ages, on the other hand, were usually only fermented for a few days. The aristocracy, as mentioned above, could afford to make stronger ales, and those would usually ferment for a time closer to modern times. There are stories of some aristocratic families aging their ales for a year, but most evidence suggests that ales were served fresh, so this seems unlikely.

Similar to many medieval cultures, it is likely that the Dalish drink more ale than water. Therefore, ale is of tantamount importance to the culture, and so grain is one of the things they will most likely trade for. Given the quality of Dalish crafts, while the racism is still strong, there are probably many human settlements that are willing – albeit grudgingly – to trade with passing Dalish clans.

Of course, some Dalish clans may do their best to gather only wild grains instead of “lowering,” themselves to trade with humans. Others may view stealing the grain worth the risk if humans refuse to trade with them. After all, the hatred of a human settlement is preferable to starving to death, or dying of dehydration (provided you vacate the area before they come with torches and pitchforks).

It is likely that malt would be made by the clan, and not traded for. Barrels would probably be of the clan’s own make, and each clan may have their own preference for the grains they use for the wort. Additionally, this grain preference would most likely change as they ventured into new territories. For example, the same clan may prefer oats while in Ferelden, but prefer Amaranth when in the Anderfels, wheat while in Nevarra, and wild rice while in Rivain. This would result in each clan’s ale having its own distinct taste.

Malt would most likely be created in larger batches, and then sealed somehow to use in ale, in order to save time and energy. Similar to most brewers of the time, each Dalish clan most likely cultivates their own yeast, a batch for bread and a batch for brewing (perhaps even two or three batches for brewing).

Dalish ale would most likely be allowed to ferment for a week at most, and served fresh and young (Not yet fully fermented). This means that the Dalish would probably drink just as much ale as humans, if not more, but their ale is most likely lower in alcohol content. They wouldn’t have access to stills or other methods of pasteurization aside from simply putting a large kettle on the fire.

Dalish ale would most likely not be as strong as human ale (making sure all the members of the clan have enough ale is more important than ensuring quality and alcohol strength). It would be lighter, more refreshing, and would most likely taste a lot more like liquid bread than its human counterpart. The Dalish would probably impact the taste of their ale with spices, fruits, or even other grains in addition to whatever flavor the wooden casks would add. Each clan would probably also have one batch and very good and very strong ale that would be used during celebrations.

Other clans may even have cider in addition to ale, although it’s unlikely that they would replace ale with cider, as that would require them to carry around a pretty hefty fruit press.

The Elvhen word for ale is Mavashmash or vash for shortLiterally meaning “drink.” Originally Soumavash - strong drink, but eventually condensed down to simply mavash.

The Elvhen word for cider is Sourvun. Literally ‘strong fruit.’ Similar to Mavash, it was originally Sourvunmavash - strong fruit drink, but eventually condensed down to Sourvun.

Part 2: Wine

Wine is something the Elves of Elvhenan would probably have consumed regularly, similar to how the Dalish consume ale or cider. Given that wine, however, is just as labor intensive as cider – if not more, but takes a lot longer to ferment, the Dalish most likely only use it for special occasions.

Similar to mavash, Dalish wine is most likely fermented and aged in casks of their own making, thus giving each clan’s wine its own distinct flavor on top of the fruits used in the wine. Wine is likely to change depending upon the area the Dalish clan is in. Sometimes it may be apple wine, sometimes grape, sometimes peach, etc. Some clans may even make wine from esoteric ingredients, such as rose petals, but this would be rare.

Dalish wine would be stronger and much sweeter than Dalish ale, but would be kept for special occasions. The Dalish are most likely unable to get sugar, as sugar would most likely be ingredient that was very expensive in Thedas. Therefore, they most likely take their sugars from more natural – and less plentiful – sources. Therefore, sugar would be a very valuable resource in the Dalish clans, and not something ‘wasted,’ on a drink that everybody drank during the day.

The Elvhen word for wine is hyn. Originally urvunlahyn - fruit syrup. Eventually condensed down to urvunhyn, and then eventually hyn.

Part 3: Liquor and Spirits

Liquor, for the Dalish, would be what wine, beer and ale would be to most other cultures: a drink enjoyed from time to time in order to get inebriated.

Similar to ale, Liquor would be made with a variety of grains depending upon the clan, and would be stored, fermented and aged in casks of the clan’s own making. Each clan would have their own whisky, which would most likely be as variant – if not more so – as the many whiskies you find throughout Scotland. Each clan is going to be using different word for their fire – therefore each clan will have different tasting barley due to the flavors imparting during drying.

Similar to ale, cider and wine, each clan would have their own methods. Some clans may impact the flavor of their whisky by adding spices, other grains, fruits, etc. Others may not. Each clan’s whisky would be different than another’s, even if just subtly.

Similar to ale, each clan will most likely have a preferred grain for their whisky. Each clan would probably have their own preferred strength and taste. One clan’s whisky might be far stronger, or far weaker, than another’s.

Given the nature of the Dalish, it is highly unlikely that their whisky would be aged for more than a few months, and so it would pick up far less color and flavor from the wooden casks than modern whisky or human whisky would. Thus, most Dalish whiskies would be very light in color, although not completely clear. They are also likely not to water their whisky down as much as humans would (since they don’t have to worry about selling it among other reasons). Therefore, Dalish whisky would probably be stronger than human whisky. The average human whisky would most likely range between 35-50 percent alcohol content (similar to modern whisky), with the average being between 40 and 45 percent. Comparitively, Dalish whisky is most likely between 60-85 percent alcohol content, with the average being 60 and 70 percent. Similarly, Dalish whisky would most likely be far more flavorful than human whisky as alcohol content = flavor when you’re talking about whisky.

Because of this stark contrast, most Dalish would probably call human whisky man’madh - piss water.

The Elvhen word for whisky, liquor, or grain spirit is manise. Literally: fire water.

Sathem.