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The Languages of Dirt

Written by Tooker

There are two main languages of Dirt that are used on the continents of Bind and The Preland; Adelan, which is the common tongue and the language of the dragons which has no formal name.

Both languages are thought to derive from a much more ancient language that is now mostly forgotten, though some, like Eafa, had knowledge of it. In modern times, the language of the Pharsil-Hin is thought to have many elements of an earlier language.

Adelan has changed form over the millennia with some words falling out of fashion and the origin of many words long lost, their meaning corrupted many times. 

Some of the oldest words are found in some of the proper names of places, inns and personal names. 

Dirt has long been a fragmented society with a low population and even in the times of the great empires, the influence of rulers was not strong enough to create any sort of consistency.  Literacy is generally low to almost non-existent in many communities.  Despite that, the common tongue is known everywhere and some alternate, older languages have died out completely.

Even within the dragon peoples it is unheard of for any not to speak Adelan and draig will use it frequently amongst themselves.  The dragon language is mostly found either in writing or in song.  The main language of the Neauth, the meeting place of the dragons, was Adelan.


Generally speaking Adelan is pronounced pretty much as read, however, the E when used in open context on its own is pronounced AY.

So, Lena is pronounced LAY-ner.  Heinela is pronounced hay-in-AY-ler, and so on. 

The dragon language can be a little more complicated and we have given pronunciation guides where appropriate in these articles. 


The history of both languages has proved difficult to research and much is lost in time.

However, it is certain that both oral languages have a common ancestor, though the written languages vary considerably with the dragons using a pictorial based script.

Early records indicate that there was a shift in the language some three thousand years before the time of Farthing and the Adelan became very much more settled with the widespread teachings and writings of Oran Helting about 2000 years before Farthing.   It should be noted that Eafa commented that Adelan in the time of his youth was noticeably different, both in accent and in some words.  Anything before the -3000 year mark he generally referred to as Ancient Adelan.

The word Adelan itself comes from the ancient word for Dirt which was Adela.

Open if you have read "The Fight for Dirt"

In Angyn the common tongue is a language that probably is closer to an original language as it seems to incorporate a far greater mix of words used both in dragon language and in Adelan.

It includes certain archaic forms of words, for instance Biel- instead of Be- and Maeb- instead of Mab.  These sound like Bee-AYL and Mah-AYB.

The Draig Dechrun are titled by a far older Bell- prefix which has no indication as to gender, since both Bell-Sendinar and Bell-Sarinar are male. 

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To help with pronunciation of unusual or unfamiliar words, I have decided to not use the International Phonetic Alphabet as I suspect many like me do not understand it!

Instead, I have used a respelling guide that is similar to that used on Wikipedia.  I have taken it from the Golden Gate Graphics website.

I have copied it here.