Draconic

as taken from Dragon Magazine #284 "Dragontounge: A Draconic Language Primer" by Sean K. Reynolds with a Draconic lexicon by Author: Owen K.C. Stephens.

Compiler's Note: As a service to D&D players, Dragon Magazine fans, conlangers and fantasy role-playing gamers everywhere, I have codified and reduced the article that introduced this language into the basics. This is not my original work, but a presentation of just the bare essentials and mechanics of this fantasy language.

Alphabet and Punctuation

Mr. Reynolds theorized that Draconic was one of the earliest languages, influencing, or creating the language of kobolds, lizardfolk, and troglodytes. The script is believed to have been influenced by the Dwarven runes, but Dragons themselves are unwilling to admit this connection. Draconic script is also used to write the elemental languages of Auran and Ignan.
Punctuation is the same as English, with the exception of a special character consisting of six lines radiating outwards, similar to a fireburst (*). When this character is written, the word is spoken with both the first and last syllable stressed. Dragons often use this when referring to themselves, for example, the dragon Karajix would be written *Karajix* and pronounced "KA-raj-IX".

Basic Grammar

Draconic is a language of hard consonants and sibilants that usually sounds like hissing when spoken. It inculdes sounds that sound very snake-like to humans, including: sj, ss, and sv. It also includes a sound similar to a creature clearing its throat, like the German "ach".
Mr. Reynolds wrote that words which modify other words can be place before, or after, the words they modify, however the most important word is always placed before, and sometimes, for added emphasis, might be added after, as well. So, a dragon that wanted to say a big, black, evil dragon was coming near, but wanted to emphasise might say:
Malsvir darastrix turalisj vutha gethrisj leirith
[evil dragon big black go near]

or, Malsvir darastrix turalisj vutha malsvir gethrisj leirith
[evil dragon big black evil go near]

Genrally, the Draconic sentence follows the order of Subject Verb Object, though the Subject may be omitted if it is understood or part of a command. Also, if a sentence is a command, and written, is will often include the previously mentioned "fireburst" symbol (*).
Draconic has no word for "my" or "mine", but uses a series of prefixes, depending on the exact meaning. An object that is claimed a dragon speaker would begin with "veth" or "vethi", a being with a relationship to the speaker, such as friend or relative, begins with "er" or "erthe", and all other forms of the possesive begin with "ar" or "ari". For example, for a dragon to say "my sword", or "the sword is mine", he only needs to say "vethicaex". Or, to say "my enemy", he would say "arirlim". To indicate possession by another, the name of the possessor is combined with the object into a single word and prefaced with "ar" or "ari". For example, to say "my enemy's sword" he would say "arirlimcaex".

Other notes:

Mr. Reynolds wrote in his article that Draconic is one of the oldest languages, according to the Dragons, second only to the language of the "outsiders". Also, he speculated that the reason so many reptilian races spoke a form of Draconic was not because they were related physically to dragons, but because at some point early in their history the dragons had enslaved them.
There are dialects of dragon for each of the various species of dragon, but the differences are very small and can often only be heard by dragons themselves. So, someone who learns Draconic from a red dragon will be able to understand, and make themselves understood by, a blue dragon or gold dragon.
Draconic itself, he wrote, has not changed in hundreds of years.

Sample phrases:

The elf says the magic sword we want is in the lich's tomb.
Vaecaesin ner levex caex levex yth tuor persvek arikaegrowaere.

A red dragon! Scram!
Charir *darastrix*! *Osvith*!

Gimli, hit the orc with your axe!
Vargach *ghik* mrith arigimligarunt!

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Word List:
Author: Owen K.C. Stephens

Draconic English Part of Speech
svern above prep
ghent after prep
thrae air n-element
vur and conj
baeshra animal n-creature
litrix armor n
svent arrow n-weapon
vignar ash n
garurt axe n-weapon
waeth bag n
vargach battle n
vorel beautiful adj
aujir bronze n-wealth
ghoros before prep
zara behind prep
vhir below prep
unsinti beside prep
turalisj big adj
vutha black adj-color
valeij bleed v
iejir blood n
ulhar blue adj-color
vaex bow n-weapon
valignat burn v
sveargith bravery n
maurg breed v
durah bribe v
shar but conj
waere cave n-place
athear celestial n-creature
ierikc century n-time
sunathear cleric n
gix claw n-weapon
rach copper n-wealth
rhyvos cow n-food
faessi coward adj
thurgix crippled adj
vaeri dance n, v
korth danger n
sverak darkvision n
kear day n-time
loex dead adj
urathear deity n-creature
kothar demon n-creature
loreat die v
gixustrat disembowel v
darastrix dragon n-creature
tundar dwarf n-creature
edar earth n-element
vaecaesin elf n-creature
levex enchanted adj
irlym enemy adj, n
malsvir evil adj
sauriv eye n
karif far adj, adv
haurach fate n
lauth few n-number
ixen fire n-element
osvith flee v
austrat fly v
achthend food n
ihk for prep
caesin forest n-place
hurthi fortress n-place
thurirl friend adj, n
kethend gem n-wealth
majak give v
terunt gnome n-creature
gethrisj go v
aurix gold n-wealth
bensvelk good adj
achuak green adj-color
rauhiss halfling n-creature
jhank hammer n-weapon
dartak hate n, v
irisv heal v
okarthel home n-place
munthrek human n-creature
sjek if conj
persvek in prep
usk iron adj
svent kill v
maekrix leader n
arcaniss magic n
sthyr man n
throden many n-number
rhyaex meat n-food
verthicha mountain n-place
ominak name n
leirith near adj, adv
thurkear night n-time
thric no adv
thur nor conj
ghontix ogre n-creature
shafaer on prep
ir one n-number
usv or conj
ghik orc n-creature
martivir peace n
thadarsh pillage v
ux platinum n-wealth
oposs rain n
charir red adj-color
ssifisv rest v
sjir scroll n
irthos secret adj, n
ocuir see v
sjach shadow n
orn silver n-wealth
molik skin (hide) n
kurik slaughter v
kosj small adj
othokent smart adj
zyak so adj, adv, conj
hysver soar v
miirik song n
vorastrix sorcerer n
renthisj speak v
ner spear n-weapon
isk star n
vyth steel adj
ternesj stone n
pok stop v
kepesk storm n
versvesh strong adj
pothoc stupid adj
caex sword n-weapon
clax take v
ukris talk v
virlym thief n
erekess through prep
ekess to prep
earenk tomorrow n-time
ossalur travel v
rasvim treasure n-wealth
oth tooth n-weapon
nurh ugly adj
kaegro undead n-creature, adj
onureth under prep
arux valley n-place
vivex victory n
tuor want v
aryte war n
hesjing water n-element
yth we pron
noach wealth n-wealth
laraek weapon n
ausir white adj-color
mrith with prep
levethix wizard n
aesthyr woman n
grovisv wood n
eorikc year n-time
yrev yellow adj-color
axun yes adv
sjerit yet adv
wux you pron

 

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