Thursday, March 13

Diel (travel) into the Thalassian language

Yesterday I became interested in the Thalassian language (the language of Blood Elves in World of Warcraft), as I had opened the page about it on WoWWiki.com while exploring the lore. I don't mean the language that is interpreted from the text written by the player in Thalassian to those who can't that language. But I mean the language that the NPCs use, the language from the lore.
Today I Googled a bit to see if anyone else have found something interesting, but in my 15 minute search, I didn't find anything new - no personal articles or thesis about the language. (Except for one user, who had posted some ideas here)

I started by writing down the phrases that already had translation, as well as the translated words, so I could easier remember them as well as mark my ideas about the possible translations and language structure.

Al diel shala - Safe travels
Anar'alah belore - By the light of the sun
Anaria shola - Speak your business
Anu belore dela'na - The sun guides us
Bal'a dash, malanore - Greetings, traveler
Bash'a no falor talah! - Taste the chill of true death!
Doral ana'diel? - How fare you?
Kim'jael - Little Rat
Medivh - Keeper of Secrets
Quel'dorei - high elves
Quel'Thalas - High Kingdom/High Home
Quel'Zaram - High Blade
Quel'Danil - High Peak
Ronae - Peaceful
Selama ashal'anore - Justice for our people
Shindu fallah na! - They're breaking through!
Shorel'aran - Farewell
Sin'dorei - Children of the blood
Sinu a'manore - Well met
Sunstrider - "he who walks the day"
I also wrote down the translated words to start with.
Anar/Anu - Sun, light
Belore - Sun
Dal - mage
aran - city
Danil - Peak
Diel - Travel
Dorei - Born, Children, or Elves
Malanore - Traveler
Quel - High
Lithian - Lodge
Serrar - Blade
Shala - Safe
Sin - Blood
Shindu - Failing
Thalas - Home or Kingdom
Zaram - Blade
Shan'dor - honored teacher
Note: my translations might not be correct, but as my research in Thalassian language continues, I'll add new entries to my blog with corrections and new translations.

One of the things I worked out was that the word 'Thalas' is included in the name of the language - 'Thalassian'. Not so hard to mention it, but anyway, I guess noone mentioned it. Why? Because...
If 'Thalas' in the word 'Thalassian' is translated as 'home', then 'Thalassian' means 'the home language'. With 'Thalas' as 'kingdom', I don't think the meaning would fit in that well.
Thalas - home or kingdom
Hmm... even writing down some expressions I thought I know the meaning of brings new ideas^^
One quite disturbing thing is that most of the people are used to the English words and gramatics, that they think it's same in Thalassian. But most likely it's not. Also I've found out that the word 'belore' could mean a couple of meanings, mostly used as a metaphor connected to their belief in sun. For example, I think 'belore' shouldn't be translated as 'sun', but as 'shine'. Also the word 'shine' can be used as a metaphore for the word 'go', as Sin'dorei (blood elve) belief is based on the sun (as you can see from the many expressions connected to the sun).
Belore - sun shine
Ok, maybe it's a bit too hard to describe every thought I have gotten within the past 24 hours about Thalassian and the translation and meaning of the words, so here's the list of words I think they should be translated as*:
al - you, to you
alah - light
anu - sun
ana - shine
anar - sun
aran - city
belore - shine, 'shine' as metaphore for the word 'go'
dal - mage
danil - peak
diel - travel
dore - one
dorei - ones, born, children, elves
fallah - through
lithien - lodge
malanore - traveller
na - we, us
quel - high
serrar - blade
shala - safe
shan'dor - honored teacher
shindu - failing, breaking
sin - blood
thalas - home
Thalassian - the home language
zaram - blade
* note that I haven't checked the meaning of all the words, there are still a few words that I think might be translated wrong.

The nouns ending with 'ore' or 'orei' probably mean a humanoid creature, as in 'dorei', 'anore' etc. Not sure yet how it connects with the word 'belore'. Also it's possible the word 'manore' translates as 'friend'.
Singular and plural: the words ending with 'ore' are in singular 'dore' - one, 'anore' - people, folk (as a single group), 'malanore' - traveller; adding an 'i' to the end of these words makes them plural: 'dorei' - ones, 'malanorei' - travellers. (At least I think it is like this).

If you have any questions, suggestions or anything else, feel free to leave a comment. I'd be happy to know if there's someone interested in this.

I'll be adding my updates, as well as my thoughts about why it is so and why not etc.

36 comments:

Sempermaria said...

I'm surprised this entry didn't have many comments to show interest or amazement.

Here, i show both.

*comments*

=D

Denmad said...

Hehe :)
I guess that's just because there aren't that many visitors yet. But the site gets more and more visitors now though there's nothing new I could post...

Actually, recently I've been looking through Darnassian language, which is the root of Thalassian. Maybe I come up with something new :)

Kolby said...

I would like to know...
How would you say "I"
So that when one asks;
"Doral ana'diel?"
One may reply. Also, if you know where to look for information on this language, I'd gladly help!

If you would like my email, I'll check back for a comment. :P Don't want to just throw it out there.

Denmad said...

I don't know how to say "I" in Thalassian yet =/

I used www.wowwiki.com/Thalassian to find the phrases and their translations. I also used the Blizzard's website to confirm the translations.

Sure you can try to help, if you want. You can just post your findings in the comments, and, if they'll be reasonable, I'll make a new post and give the credits to you :)

Michael said...

I haven't found a word for 'I' yet but in my guild which is for Blood Elves only - we simply answer 'diel' to "Doral ana'diel?". This is making the assumption that diel (travel) used here to mean fare, could also mean 'go'. Therefore "Doral ana'diel?" could be translated 'How goes it?' and the reply simply 'it goes' can imply everything is OK or good.

I would love to hear other people's thoughts on this.

I am currently trying (with great diffciulty) to put together a basic Thalassian grammar. Like some romance languages, I have made the assumption that the personal pronoun such as 'I' can be ommitted if the context makes it clear who the person is. Perhaps a bit of a cop out but it solves some problems.

Quel'Dal Sin'Dorei (High Mage of the Blood Elves)

doqunbop said...

Well, that's something interesting. I assume it could work great in that way. And it's amazing for me that there's a Sin'Dorei-only guild and that you guys are speaking Thalassian too! :D

In Latvian (my mother tongue) we tend to skip the word 'I', as verbs in Latvian already include the personal conjugation (meaning that the word "go" is different when meant "I'm going" or "you're going") so it's quite unnecessary to point out the person at some times.
It doesn't seem like Thalassian would use this kind of complicated conjugations, but, depending on context, I think some words can be skipped in every language (mostly used in poetry, though).

Michael said...

Firstly, it's great that this blog is starting to happen - when I stumbled across it there was only the original comment and now some thoughts are coming through. And Doqunbop has sent me a reply. Fantastic!

Sorry if I have misled about my guild - it is for Blood Elves only and I am frantically trying to get members to use Thalassian - I have even created very simple macros which will put up key phrases to make it easier for members. Natuarlly at this stage, communication in Thalassian is very limited. A few new enthusiatic members on Sporeggar (Europe) would be very welcome (hint! hint!)

To reply more specifically to Doqunbop, yes I agree there are no identified verb conjugations in Thalassian so yes my method does rely heavily on context to establish the person. Also there do appear to be pronouns for 'you' which appear to be governed by case so one can only presume that the same would be true in the first person. But if only to identify it!

My guild website is www.sindorei.guildomatic.com - please feel free to visit though you will have to register to view some pages (I don't think you have to be a guild member to register). We are very new and still developing.

This could be such an exciting project if there is enough interest out there!

Quel'Dal Sin'Dorei

Michael said...

This might provoke a heated discussion. As a Sin'Dorei guild, it was necessary to have a guild banker. I wanted to give the character a banking name. I decided in the end that 'bank' in one version or another is the virtually the same in every langauge (at least the ones I know). I then borrowed Doqunbop's thought that 'ore' seems to be used to represent a humanoid, so invented the word 'bancadore' to mean banker and so become a character's name.

It's possibly open to some criticism but I will enjoy your comments!

Quel'Dal Sin'Dorei

doqunbop said...

I checked your guild's website a bit, Michael :) Seems like you're against Kaldorei.. too bad, I'm enjoying playing with both - Kaldorei and Sin'Dorei :P Just that I'll try to work out some new phrases and words in Darnassian too - it's the language which Thalassian was derived from, so there should be pretty many similarities, which could be used to find even more translations. Like for the word 'enemies' in my 2nd latest entry, I used a phrase from Darnassian and a phrase from Thalassian.

It's an interesting thing about this banker :) You're right that in most, if not all languages, bank is translated similarly to the English word. However, when you added -ore to the end, you actually added o and dore, which, I think, would be a mistake. 'Banc', however, could be correct - I checked the words and phrases on WoWWiki and couldn't find any 'k' letter in any of the words, but there was a 'c' letter in the word 'dracon' (which might, but is not guaranteed to mean dragon).
'Bancore' is the way how I would have translated the word 'banker', I guess.

Michael said...

Thanks for your comments.

Sporeggar is an RPPVP server so it's a part of our roleplay to 'hate' the Kal'Dorei. But I agree, if we are to develop Thalassian as a language we will need to look at Darnassian. I have tentively made some moves in that direction. I am hoping to find a way of making distincitions in spelling and pronunciation between the two languages so that new words can be 'evolved' from the Darnassian rather than just merely borrowed. For instance, the 'sh' sound seems to occur in the middle of Darnassian words but not in Thalassian words (although it is used at the start of words). But I haven't really been very systematic in following that one through yet.

How clever of you to check to see if there are examples of words with certain letters. That never occured to me. Perhaps we need to go through the offcial phrases and names and devise a Thalassian alphabet.

As it happens, I did spell bancadore with a 'c', but I think that was instinct more than anything else. Similarly, adding the 'ad' to my mind made the word sound more Thalassian. But I fully accept your point.

There is one point, however, that what is true for languages of planet Earth, may not be true for Azeroth! However, many Thalassian names are English - Sunstrider, Dawnrunner not to mention Sunwell!! LOL

Quel'Dal Sin'Dorei

doqunbop said...

About the words in Common (English) - I guess the creators were just too lazy... shame on them :)

However these words in Common might give a sense on how the other words in Thalassian are built - maybe even more, such as the spiritual world of Sin'Dorei. You surely would have noticed Sun among the Sin'Dorei as a kind of deity, maybe.

Michael said...

It is interesting that you equate Common with English. I don’t think this is strictly true. If you were playing on the French, Spanish, or German server, then Common might equate to one of these languages or, I assume, if you were playing on the English server but had you own personal language setting to the language of your choice then Common would equate with that language. I am guessing this is the reason it is called Common.

Moreover, when a Horde character sees a /yell from an ally character then this is immediately translated into Common which has no resemblance to English. You may argue here that it is simply to give the illusion of appearing to be a foreign a language to character who does not speak it. And sadly it also appears to be a random collection of sounds or else we could then /yell Thalassian to ally ‘friends’ who could then give us the translation (and of course vice versa for Darnassian). What a lovely idea!

With regard to the lazy creation of names – Blizzard also appear to dip into Greek and Latin – Captain Helios springs to mind – which of course brings us back to the ‘Sun’ theme.

I do agree that names in Common/English may give additional clues to the construction of the language.

Incidentally, following on from that point I have concluded that ‘Anu’ in ‘Anu belore dela’na’ means ‘eternal’ as some NPCs use the expression “The eternal sun guides us”. This means I disagree with your thoughts on the meaning of ‘belore’. I take it to mean sun and of course it is used with this meaning in the Lament of the Highbourne which is endorsed by Blizzard.

Quel'Dal Sin'Dorei

Michael said...

I have just noticed the blog archive and see that you have come to the same conclusion about the meaning of 'belore'. Sorry I missed this.

I agree also with the concept that the Sin'Dorei would personify the sun - hence the 'ore' ending.

Anonymous said...

thanks for the thalassian language and the translation now i know 4 languages:)

i wrote it all down:-P

Kalla said...

I had no idea someone had been doing this, but man am I glad I've stumbled onto this. You've done some wonderful work, and have helped me in huge ways in writing my character's story.

I think it's time I did some research.. and I will try to offer contributions when I can!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for share this with us and you've done a really good work!

A friend and I is trying to see if we can find something new and then post it here :D

/cheer -=Remy=-

doqunbop said...

Hi! :) I'm glad you enjoy it. I haven't played WoW much for the last year, nor have I read the lore that much either, so there might be many things that have been added to Thalassian since the last time I checked. If you try hard enough, then you should find at least some things to add ;)

Chris said...

I started with the idea for a story, which turned me to research for lore consistency. In the midst of finding myself frustrated over finding a concrete date by date timeline of the events following the First War, especially concerning the Quel'Dorei I stumbled on this page and thought, "Hey, it'd be really cool if I could actually make my character speak Thalassian and not take the cheap IGL (In-game language) route. I'm not sure what all I can do or where to start, but you have a major enthusiast more than willing to become a part of the project.

doqunbop said...

Hi Chris :) It's nice to hear someone's making a story based on the WoW lore :)

As for both the lore and language - they're incomplete, not being given concrete dates, not having all the words translated. As much as I know Thalassian now just lets me use some simple phrases (most of which are already in-game used by NPCs) and form some additional words, but nothing more. Speaking only Thalassian is impossible as of now, with my knowledge.

Of course there're words and phrases not yet translated, which could reveal more, but I doubt it'd be enough to speak the language.

What I might suggest is that your story is based on the WoW lore, not trying to reflect them 100% accurately. Doing so you could fill in the places you're missing with something you feel suitable, and even edit some parts to fit the story, as well as avoid being criticised for things that aren't fully accurate if you claim the story to be 100% accurate. Just my opinion. The choice is yours :)

If you want to contribute to this project, I'd be glad to have someone besides myself trying to translate some of the not-yet translated phrases.

You can add me on MSN if you want to talk to me directly, if so, specify "Thalassian Language" in the invitation details (otherwise I have too many contacts already xD): deadlyak@gmail.com

manofthewell said...

Im very interested inmaking this a possibilty but i truly believe that blizzard did not provide enough information to create a whole new dialect. but till then GL and keep on going!!

Updates? email at manofthewell@hotmail.com

Klaus said...

http://thalassian.pbworks.com/Thalassian-Basics

Work with this guys. I'm sure you two could make out a great lot together.

With all this said... Seeing as all tiny glimpses of Thalassian has already been scavenged, when will we see another Tolkien go "Let's create a new language" out of it?

.. I sure as heck would love to :P

doqunbop said...

Thank you for the link. It does provide quite a lot of ideas new for me, concerning Thalassian. However, what I see is just a theory without relying on already known phrases and words, thus without confirmation shouldn't be taken as granted.

If I'll have time, I'll continue my study using that information, and try to confirm or disprove it based upon the known phrases and words. ;)

Matt said...

Just a simple jest here, and if I'm wrong I would LOVE to here the correct verison and my error.
First off, I want to write a drama about the nobles of Silvermoon, before and after "The Splintering of Silvermoon" (I could not find a title for the event myself, so I created one).
So here's my question; would "Quel'sin" be equivelent to "noble" or "High blood"?
Also, is there any way to create a Thalassian name for Arthas' attack on Silvermoon id there isn't one already that I jsut couldn't find?

doqunbop said...

Quel'sin translates directly as High Blood, though metaphorical translations might be possible.

I can't help you much, as there're not many phrases I've successfully translated, thus the Thalassian language known by me is still very limited.

If you surf around WoWWiki.com, you might find some more information and specific Thalassian names for events etc.

Regards,
doqunbop

Matt said...

Wow. That was quicker that expected, haha. Mostly when I ask a questio I have to try in the next few days for an answer. I commend your readiness to respond!
As for the question, I think I might have found something to help. The link in Klaus' post has a very in-depth translation codex and mentions that 'Noble' is omsh, and from there I should be able to find a title for the event in Thalassian. If you want, I can post it, as well. ;D

Matt said...

I found and decided to post this:

"Daand'elore Aranothu" should roughly translate into "Fall of Silvermoon", where "Daand'elore" is Silvermoon.
Using the grammar rules I read from both you and Vintago (which are pretty much the same, might I add), I was able to change "Silvered Moon" into Silvermoon (hopefully correctly) and put the verb in correctly.
I am so glad I've found this site! It's given me a basic outlook to understand that language and lead me to another one which goes in depth.
/highfive

doqunbop said...

Hehe ^^ Well, I just happened to be around, besides I receive email notifications of the comments.

Anyway, I'm glad you found what you were looking for. What I do look critically upon when seeing other suggested translations and language rules is that many of them lack the examples to prove them true, and so they're just simple assumptions without proof. Just a tip when you look for translations - to be critical ;) You wouldn't want to use a wrong translation, would you? ^^

Though indeed, you can find a lot of information on other sites as well, since I've not worked much on this research during the past year. Sadly, I've had other concerns at a higher priority.

killers sd said...

can u help me?i m writting this novel and i need translation,in thalassian,for the word HUNTER.pls help ! :)

doqunbop said...

Hi! There's no Thalassian text that includes the word Hunter, as far as I know. Same goes for Darnassian, which is a sister language, and has many similarities. However, I found on WoWWiki (http://www.wowwiki.com/Darnassian/speculation) that Mush'a means Hunter in Darnassian (official translation), however, there's no reference or anything confirming the "official" translation.

Jason said...

What you guys are doing is awesome!

http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/info/encyclopedia/576.xml

Dunno if you've been there but in case you haven't I thought it might help.

If you need any advice or wanna run an idea by me, just comment here and I'll post back.

Keep up the good work! :)

doqunbop said...

Hello and thank you for the tip. I have, however, long ago been on that page. Also, it's contents are included on WoWWiki page.

I, however, do not continue this work anymore due to lack of free time. Also, last time I was working on this, there were not enough phrases and translations for them to decrypt the other phrases and words.

If you, however, want to continue the research that I've started, you're welcome to do so ;)

Kulain said...

Hi,

This is my first post so please don't laugh if you see something wrong.

I don't know if anyone else saw this and posted about it, and I don't know if I am right, but I've noticed that scentences in Thalassian are turned upside down e.g. I fell good - good feel I.

Is that right or wrong?

doqunbop said...

Hello and thank you for your comment!

I doubt that you're right, actually. Do you have any real examples of where that would be the case, and if it is always the case? Besides, looking at the phrases available, I don't see the same that you are telling.

Best regards,
doqunbop

Caboose said...

Why don't you take a look at the language of the titans? Since their the creators, wouldn't traces of all languages be in theirs? Its atleast worth a shot.

Anonymous said...

Hi i have a little question;
how do you say 'water'?
I wanted to give a city the
simple name 'watercity' in thalassian but i could only find 'city'('aran').

an anonymous blood elf with a really bad english...

Anonymous said...

If you play World of Warcraft you can make a Blood Elf and have another person make a Human and talk to each other and the in-game translator [language parser] will give you the transliteration of the Thalassian words into Common [English]. It works I've done it with a friend on World of Warcraft.