[Last Update: June 28th, 2018]
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).
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).
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
Remad First person (I/we) burn
Remadi Second Person (You) burn
Remadia Third Person (He/she/it/that/they/those) burn(s)
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
Nymen (None) Quick
Gorben (None) Large
Verbs as Adjectives
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
Lithen Adjective Any
Lithil Noun Anything
Nymen Adjective Quick
Nymil Noun Quickness
Gorben Adjective Large
Gorbil Noun Largeness
Verbs to Nouns
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)
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
Nala You (feminine)
Nalor You (masculine)
Valil 1 Priest/Priestess
A’Valil 2 Priests/Priestesses
Ai’Valil 3+ Priests/Priestess
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.
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.
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
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!
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
Bard (type of Druid) Nulam’Nyd’Valil
Bard (type of musician/poet) Nulamadil
Bard (type of Witch) Nulam’Valil
Priest of Aradia Valilor al Aradia
Priestess of Aradia Valila al Aradia
Priest of Mortifer Valilor al Mortilor
Priestess of Mortifer Valila al Mortilor
Slave Master Runadilor
Slaver Mistress Runadila
(All occupational nouns are subject to gender modifiers unless plurality or hypotheticism necessitates ambiguity.)
Body Parts Elvish Faenaril Translation
|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|