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Katie's Best-Guess-At-Elvhen-Dictionary

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My guess is that Dalish/Elvhen is agglutinative, meaning that suffixes and prefixes can be stacked, much like German, to form incredibly long words.  For example:

da- little (prefix)

len- person

da’len- “little person,” child

-en- many/plural (suffix)

da’len’en- “little-person-many,” kids, or alternatively

da’vhen “little people,” children.

I’m sure there’s shades of meaning between da’len’en and da’vhen.  Given that da’len is also what Marethari affectionately calls Merrill as a pet name/slang, I’m sure that da’len’en is the more casual version, i.e. “kids” while da’vhen might be “children.”

“Viran se lan’aan?” would translate as “I go you people allow?” Since “you people” is the subject and the action they’re taking is “allow,” I infer that Elvhen is verb-final in its sentence structure, with perhaps some interplay as to whether subject or object come first in a sentence. This would be very similar to Japanese. The second person plural pronoun "se" would also imply reflexive verbs, as in Spanish, which I have listed on the Verbs page in parentheses as optional.



abelas- sorrow

adahl- tree

adahl’en- forest

alas- earth, dirt

an- place, location

anna/annar- year

annala- eons/centuries (from anna "year" and a suffix -ala meaning "many/large number"

ara- journey

ara’val- long journey

ara’vel- wagon (based on ara’val as “long journey,” ara is probably “journey”, with “wagon” being literally something like “journey-maker/box”?)

arla- home

asha- woman

assan- arrow

atisha- peace

bor’assan- bow (lit “arrow-thrower”)

da’len- child/sweetie/baby (lit. “little person”, also a term of endearment)

din- the dead (lit. “one who is not.”)

dirth- speaker, speech

durgen- stone

durgen’len- dwarf/dwarves (lit. “Person of the Stone”)

elgar- spirit

el’u- secret (based on el’u’vi’an, lit “our-alone”)

el’u’vi’an-  magical mirror portal/communicator (lit. “our-alone-go-place” i.e. “our secret transporter!” Damn those secretive elves and their technology XD)

ena’an’sal- blessing or gift (lit “again place come,” tying into the universal Dalish desire for a homeland or place to which they can return, the highest blessing.)

era- story, tale, dream.

eth- safety

falon- friend, guide

fen- wolf (probably the origin of Fenris’ name- the use of the elvhen word would then imply “little elvhen wolf.”  Would also probably be a constant insult given the view of elves and their “inferior” culture and language as perceived in Tevinter.)

ghi- beast, animal

ha’hren- elder (lit. “old respected person”)

ha’lam- the end

halla- intelligent deer-like creature that pulls the Dalish ara’vel.  Often killed by humans for the horns which are sold in Tevinter, an unforgivable insult to the Dalish.

ha’mi’in- rest (lit. “old blade inside;” fig. “sheath the old knife” or “let old conflicts go.”  Elves can’t even take a break unless they set aside the massive chips on their shoulders for a bit, hmm?  :P)

har- fear

hren- respected person.

in- dwelling

inan- eyes (lit. “inside place,” e.g. windows to the soul.)

lan/len- person

lath- love

lethal- kin (my best guess XD)

lethal’lin- blood-kin, a term of endearment for a male friend.  (Perhaps implies that ties of blood are counted in a patrilineal sort of way?  Considering that only elvhen fathers produce elvhen children, the question of “who’s the father?” might be a rather important one from a clan to their female members.)

lethal’lan- kinswoman, a term of endearment for a female friend.

lin- blood

mah’vir- tomorrow (lit. “ahead-way”)

mama- mother (mamae is the archaic form)

mana- era, eon

melana/melava- time

mi/mis- blade, knife.

na/nan- revenge, vengeance

nehn- joy

numin- tears (lit. “cry-many”)

nuven- wish

nuven’in-  wishes, wants (lit. “wish-many”)

rahn- thing

(from the phrase "Ga rahn s'dael!" lit. "All thing you (plural) ruin!")

revas- freedom

serannas- thanks

shiral- journey (see also ara)

sule’din- endurance (lit. “unto death”, my best guess for sule)

sule’vi’in- certainty (lit. “unto the way inside”)

than- tool

vallas- writing

vallas’lin- the Dalish system of tattoos (lit. “writing-blood”)

vel-???? (see ara’vel “wagon”)

vhen- people (this is plural; len is singular, “person”, and hren is an honorific version, “respected person.”)

vhen’an- home, heart (lit. “people place.”)

vi/vir- way, path


Proper Nouns:

Anaris- one of the Forgotten Ones.

Andruil- Goddess of the Hunt, creator of the Dalish credo Vir Tan’adahl.  The hawk is beloved to her.

Arlathvhen- Meeting of the Dalish clans, every ten years

Asha’bel’annar- The Woman of Many Years; Flemeth.

Daern’thal- one of the Forgotten Ones.

Dirth’am’en- Keeper of Secrets (lit. “Speech-keeps-many.”)  Twin brother of Falon’Din, child of Mythal and Elgar’nan.  Became separated from his twin Falon’Din when Falon’Din took a dying deer beyond the Veil, and wandered, meeting the ravens Fear and Deceit, who attempted to convince him that Falon’Din had abandoned him.  He defeated Fear and Deceit and is their master.  He gave each creature a secret to keep, and all revealed their secrets except for the bear.  Thus bears are beloved of Dirth’am’en.

Elgar’nan- Spirit of Vengeance- the Elvhen All-Father and god of vengeance/destruction.  He cast the sun from the sky when it grew jealous of the things of earth and burned them, only relenting when Mythal intervened.  Common curse (probably short for “Elgar’nan take you!” or something similar), especially when throwing/destroying things.

Ena’sal’in’abelas- Arcane Warriors that protected the burial grounds at Sundermount, to the death.  Lit. “Repeat-With-Sorrow,” perhaps a call the surviving Dalish to sing dirges in their memory as they sacrificed their lives in the futile attempt against the Tevinters.  Shortened to “Enasalin.”

Falon’Din- Guide of the Dead, elvhen god of death and fortune.  Twin brother to Dirth’am’en, child of Elgar’nan and Mythal.  Found a dying deer and carried her in his arms beyond the Veil, solidifying his role in the pantheon as the friend of the dying and dead.

Fen’Harel- the Dread Wolf.  Lord of Tricksters, bringer of nightmares, he betrayed the gods of good (the Gods) and evil (the Forgotten Ones) by tricking them into their respective realms and sealing them away there, nevermore to interfere in the affairs of mortals.

Geldauran- one of the Forgotten Ones.

Ghi’lan’na’in- Mother of the Halla, goddess of guidance and navigation.  Once an elf and the chosen of Andruil.  She found a hunter that had killed a hawk and cursed him so that he could never again kill, and in revenge he blinded, gutted and bound her, leaving her for dead.  She prayed to Andruil, who sent rabbits to chew through her bonds, but as she was still wounded and blind, Andruil turned her into the first halla.  (lan’na’in would translate as “person-revenge-inside... no reference to “ghi” but given that Ghi’lan’na’in was a human turned into a halla I’m guessing that it means something like “beast/animal,” thus giving us “animal-person-revenge-inside.”)

June- the God of Craft.  Taught elves how to make weapons, clothing, aravels, and leatherworking.

Mamae- Mother

Mythal- the Great Protector, who calmed Elgar’nan’s rage, the patron of motherhood and justice.  She also created the moon and is often invoked when asking for protection.

Sylaise- the Hearthkeeper, sister of Andruil.  Represented by the Vir Atish’an.  Patron of childbirth, the hearth, magic, medicine, and weaving.

Uth’then’era- the Waking Dream of the immortal elves of old.

Vir Tan’adahl- the Way of the Three Trees, the Dalish code/philosophy created by the goddess Andruil and consisting of:

            Vir Assan- the Way of the Arrow- “Fly straight and do not waver.”

            Vir Bor’assan- the Way of the Bow- “Bend but never break.”

            Vir Adahl’en- the Way of the Forest- “Together we are stronger than the one.”

This is recited as:  “Fly straight and do not waver, bend but never break, and together we are stronger than the one.  We are the last of the el’vhen’an, and never again shall we submit.”

Vir Atish’an- the Way of the Peaceful Place (the path of the healer, followers of Sylaise)