D. J. Scott
[Last Update: June 28th, 2018]


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D. Jon Scott’s WebsiteArtFiction ► Fantasy ► PalæoboreanicaThe Sovereignty CycleChaos & Virtue
D. J. Scott


The Old Fairish Tongue
Copyright © 1999 C.E. by Dustin Jon Scott
[Last Update: June 6th, 2018]


In the days when Humans had many different languages, the Faenaril tongue allowed the Elves to communicate with each other, to have a unity with one another that the Humans didn’t have. This sense of “unity” dissolved several thousand years ago when the common tongue began spreading and when the different races began mingling together. Today, most Elves, many Gnomes, Faeries, and Halflings, and a few Humans speak the Faenaril tongue as a second language. Only a few Elves and Halflings, particularly those that hide away together and shun the rest of society, speak Faenaril as a first language. There are still a few isolated pockets of Faerykin who speak Faenaril exclusively, but those are exceedingly rare.

Modern Faenaril, often called “Elvish”, is extremely formulaic in nature. Those who still speak Faenaril as a first language often complain that modern Faenaril is spoken “poorly” by most Elves. They claim that it has lost the fluid, poetic eloquence that once set it apart from the Human tongues. Even they, however, are at a loss as to how to remedy the situation, as they tend to know little more than one or two simple proverbs or sayings in ancient Faenaril and would have no idea who to apply it daily.

Presented here is modern “Elvish”, or Faenaril as it is spoken by the majority of modern Faenaril-speakers. Though it reputedly bears little resemblance to ancient Faenaril, this is the form that even most separatists have come to learn and speak.

As a side note, the so-called “Drow tongue” is said, by some, to be more in keeping with ancient Faenaril than modern Elvish is. Most speakers of modern Faenaril find this notion offensive, as the “Drow tongue” is reputed to be somewhat similar in structure to the common tongue.


The grammar of modern Faenaril, though complex, is strict and rigid enough to make it easy to learn. It’s consistency makes for a communicative medium with very little room for error in interpretation. Parts of speech, plurals, and other modifiers are so clearly defined that context is seldom the sole indicator of a word’s meaning (although this is sometimes inevitable in any language).

Interestingly, those who’ve been able to study ancient Faenaril say that this is a relatively modern invention, and that grammatical rules were often broken in the ancient tongue to allow for smoother, more fluid speech. It may be that as the common tongue began to spread throughout the continent of Borea (and the rest of Gaia), the Faenaril tongue underwent many intentional revisions to differentiate itself further from the more ubiquitous Mannish language. Many would argue that this has damaged the integrity of the language itself, causing it to lose its historicity, and that modern Faenaril has, ironically, degraded into more of a “code” to be used in substitution for the common tongue than a whole language unto itself.

Initial Word Modifiers

When the same word has different parts of speech, they are distinguished by suffix. The __ or “root words” are almost never used in modern Faenaril, except when a suffix needs to be dropped in order to make a compound word, which will be discussed later (or in the case that a ___ is completely unambiguous, such as with numbers, most pronouns, adjectives such as the and of, or copular verbs, to name a few).

Word Part of Speech Meaning
Rem (None) (None)
Remad Verb (To) burn
Remen Adjective (Is) burnt
Remil Noun (A) burn
Nyn (None) (None)
Nynad Verb (To) grow
Nynen Adjective (Is) green
Nynil Noun Greenness
Verb Participles Additional suffixes are added to verbs to denote participle. These never replace the basic verb modifier, as in some cases this might cause confusion (such as in identifying gerunds). Examples Verb Participle Meaning Remad (None) (To) burn Remadar Active/present (Is) burning Remadem Passive/past (Has) burned Remadis Emptive/future (Will) burn / (will have) burned Verb Modifiers Verb Meaning Remad First person (I/we) burn Remadi Second Person (You) burn Remadia Third Person (He/she/it/that/they/those) burn(s) Copular Verbs Copula Meaning An (To) do In (To) become Un (To) be Copular Verb Participles Copula Participle Meaning An (None) (To) do Anar Active/present (Is) doing Anem Passive/past (Has) done Anis Emptive/future (Will) do / have done Copular Verb Perspective Modifiers Copula Perspective Meaning An First Person (I/you) do Ani Second Person (He/she/it/that) does Ania Third Person (They/those) do Un First Person (I) am / (you) are Uni Second Person (He/she/it/that) is Unia Third Person (They/those) are Copular Verb Participle Modifiers Copula Pers/Participle Meaning An First Person (I/we) do Ani Second Person (You) does Ania Third Person (He/she/it/that/they/those) do Anar 1st Active (I am) doing Anari 2nd Active (You are) doing Anaria 3rd Active (He/she/it/that/they/those are) doing Anem 1st Passive (I/we) did / have done Anemi 2nd Passive (You) did / has done Anemia 3rd Passive (He/she/it/that/they/those) did / have done Anis 1st Emptive (I/you will) do / have done Anisi 2nd Emptive (He/she/it/that will) do / have done Anisia 3rd Emptive (They/those will) do / have done Un First Person (I/you) be Uni Second Person (He/she/it/that) is Unia Third Person (They/those) are Unar 1st Active (I) am / (you) are Unari 2nd Active (He/she/it/that) is Unaria 3rd Active (They/those) are Unem 1st Passive (I) was / (you) were Unem 1st Passive (I/you) has been Unemi 2nd Passive (He/she/it/that) was / has been Unemia 3rd Passive (They/those) were / have been Unis 1st Emptive (I/you will) be Unisi 2nd Emptive (He/she/it/that will) be / have been Unisia 3rd Emptive (They/those will) be / have been Adjectives Adjective Meaning Nymen (None) Quick Nymeneth Quicker Nymenaum Quickest Gorben (None) Large Gorbeneth Larger Gorbenaum Largest Verbs as Adjectives Meaning Remad Verb (To) burn Remen Adjective (Is) burnt Remadem Verb (Was) burned Remenem Adjective (Looks) burned Remadar Verb (Is) burning Remenar Adjective Burning, flaming, hot Adjectives to Nouns Meaning Lithen Adjective Any Lithil Noun Anything Nymen Adjective Quick Nymil Noun Quickness Gorben Adjective Large Gorbil Noun Largeness Verbs to Nouns Meaning Llinad Verb (To) sew, stitch, or tailor Llinil Noun (A) stitch or seam Llinadil Noun One who stitches or sews (a tailor) Nunad Verb (To) shoot Nunil Noun (A) bow Nunadil Noun One who shoots (bowman) Gerund Nouns Meaning Silinadar Active verb (Is) awakening Silinilar Gerund noun (An) awakening Remadar Active verb (Is) burning Remilar Gerund noun (A) burning, bonfire Noun/Pronoun Gender Modifiers Meaning Valila Priestess Valilor Priest Nala You (feminine) Nalor You (masculine) Pluralizing Nouns Meaning Valil 1 Priest/Priestess A’Valil 2 Priests/Priestesses Ai’Valil 3+ Priests/Priestess Nal You A’nal You two Ai’nal You all Supplanted Plural Prefices Occasionally, a plural prefix may be supplanted by the suffix Ki-, meaning “the”, but only in such cases as “the” might imply a plural. For example, “The Elf” might imply “Elf-kind”, in which case it would be written in a way that common-speakers might find akin to “The’Elf” rather than “The Elves (as a kind)” or “The’Man” rather than “Mankind”. This is the only case in which ki acts as a prefix, and in this case, it takes priority over the plural prefix because of its implicative plurality. Examples The Elf went to the market Ki Eldil noradem on ki nakunil The Elves went to the market Ki Ai’Eldil noradem on ki nakunil The Elf is different than the Human Ki Eldil unari nonen ly Ki Manil The Elf (kind) is different than the Human (kind) Ki’Eldil unar nonen ly Ki’Manil Elves are different than Humans Ai’Eldil unar nonen ly Ai’Manil The Elves are different than the Humans Ki’Eldil unar nonen ly Ki’Manil Plural prefixes may also be supplanted by adjectival prefixes that imply type. Whereas a common-speaker might say “many a green frog”, the Elvish-speaker would phrase it more along the lines of “many green’frog”. While context here tips off the meaning due to the word “many”, this may also be done if “green’frog” is the first word in a sentence; “green’frog is” implies singularity, while “green’frog are” implies plurality. Although, this unfortunately does not differentiate between a plural of two, or a plural of three or more. This is one of the few cases in modern Faenaril that overall structure becomes secondary to ease of speech. Though, this is hardly a fatal flaw, as the number itself will still precede the word in cases where an entire type is not being referred to. Examples A green frog (if frog is green) Li nynen crikil A green frog (if type of frog) Li nyn’crikil Two green frogs (if frogs are green) Qui nynen a’crikil Two green frogs (if type of frog) Qui nyn’crikil Many green frogs (if frogs are green) Kanen nynen ai’crikil Many green frogs (if type of frog) Kanen nyn’crikil Irregular Words Common Phrases Common Compliments Elvish Faenaril Translation You are a good seamstress Nala unar li kilen Llinadila You are an excellent bowman Nalor unar li kuvoren Nunadilor You are very beautiful Nala unar nolenir valen You are very handsome Nalor unar nolenir valen You are extremely sexy Nala unar ilithenir vithadyn You are an excellent lover Nala unar li kuvoren Vithadila Common Insults Elvish Faenaril Translation I hate you Ni ranen nalor You are an idiot Nalor unar li orgenil Your head is ugly Nalor’n naupil unari orgen Your heart is evil Nala’n dunil unari drowen You smell like an Orc Nalor gorad niven li Orgil You make love to Orcs Nalor vithad on Ai’Orgil Common Questions Elvish Faenaril Translation Are you okay? Unar nala lloken? Do I know you? An ni lolad nalor? Do you need anything? An nala nerlad lithil? Do you speak Elvish? An nalor narad Faenaril? Don’t you have anything better to do? An nala non nithad lithil luleneth on an? How are you? Ka unar nalor? How are you two? Ka unar a’nal? How is she? Ka unari nila? How much is a mug of ale? Ka kanen unari li domil la aelil? What did you say? Di anem nalor narad? What for? Di nu? What if I am? Di la ni unar? What’s his problem? Di’nari nilor’n anyndil? When do we eat? Ul an a’ni kirad? When is breakfast? Ul unari engoril? Where are they? Lla unaria ai’tal? Where is the latrine? Lla unari ki latrinil? Who are you? Ar unar nalor? Who is that? Ar unari il? Why not? Si non? Why are we here? Si unar a’ni voril? Will you be okay? Unis nala lloken? Common Exclamations Elvish Faenaril Translation Be gone! Unis noradem! Come here! Vorad’il! (vorad voril) Don’t! (do not) An’on! (an non) Help! (help me) Yia! (yia ni) I’ll kill you! Ni viladis nalor! I’m coming! Ni voradar! I’m okay! Ni unar lloken! I want you to leave! Ni nysad nala on norad! I will make you dead! Ni odadis nalor morten! I will destroy you! Ni nonadis nalor! Oh! Aiya! That hurt! Il turadem! That is that! Il unari il! (Il’ari il! or Il’il!) That’s it! Il’ari il! or Il’il! You’re a liar! Nala unar li thilila! You will die! Nalor mortadis! Some Professions Elvish Faenaril Translation Archdruid Quain’Nyd’Valil Assassin Queth’Viladil Bard (type of Druid) Nulam’Nyd’Valil Bard (type of musician/poet) Nulamadil Bard (type of Witch) Nulam’Valil Cleric Valil Druid Nyd’Valil Paladin Paladil Priest of Aradia Valilor al Aradia Priestess of Aradia Valila al Aradia Priest of Mortifer Valilor al Mortilor Priestess of Mortifer Valila al Mortilor Prince Nanilor Princess Nanila Slave Runil Slave Master Runadilor Slaver Mistress Runadila Tailor Llinadilor Tailoress/Seamstress Llinadila Thief Thynadil Warrior Grunadil Witch Valil (All occupational nouns are subject to gender modifiers unless plurality or hypotheticism necessitates ambiguity.) Body Parts Elvish Faenaril Translation Arms A’neimil Breasts A’dwelil Eyes A’zymil Feet A’fitil Legs A’gamil Waist Twithil