How do you "hear" the various fantasy languages in your head?
Here's a random question for everyone who plays D&D/Pathfinder (or in fact, any other system with fantasy languages that don't have actual references to see how the word or grammatical structure works)... how do you "hear" various languages in the D&D/Pathfinder world that don't have references on how they are supposed to sound or how words in those languages are formed? Languages like Dwarven and Elven have enough other media representing them that there's likely a general consensus on how they're "supposed" to sound... but what about stuff like Infernal, or Aquan, or Draconic? Here are my personal views on those I've "figured out a sound" for... I'm interested to see what others say.
Infernal: Reverse Latin
Celestial: Gregorian Chanting
Ignan: Burning fire (I once had a bored Ifrit character rearrange the logs in a fireplace so that the crackling of the fire sounded like dirty words in Ignan :D)
Aquan: Gurgling and bubbling (I figure it's hard to speak this language intelligibly without a source of water to blow bubbles into)
Auran: Whistling and blowing wind
Terran: Grinding rocks/stone (probably hard to speak Terran without an accent unless you have a mouth full of pebbles)
Abyssal: Death metal vocals
Draconic: Growls, roars, and reptilian hisses
Orcish: Kind of like Klingon, very guttural with lots of "hard-edged" words
Well, I had a chance to use Auran recently (and in pbp with "recently" we mean, quite a few months ago), and I described it like this:
"Figuring that he has nothing to lose, he scratches his head and deciding that the famous and very popular language of Auran being as good a bet as any, he begins imperceptibly changing the efficiency of his wings making a new subtle buzz. Sometimes loud and sometimes quieter. Quieter. Louder. A tone formed of air, and vortexes breaking with each other. Auran being the language of many flying things and air elements, sometimes shared between things with beaks and things without a mouth, there was only one thing all flying things had in common, and that was... air."
Orcish: Blah blah blah, grah, hurrah! Zug zug and daboo, loduk, eekdork and yodai. Rahaha.
Kobold: Yip yip kiyyip. No take candle.
Gnoll: Arrrrr rarf! Jibber jabber.
Dwarves: German and/or Russian.
Common: French. :O Or possibly latin. Could also be english.
Half-elf: Spanish and/or french. Yep, it's an excuse to include the romance culture.
Elf: Stupid sing songy language.
Auran: Um. Humans can't pronounce this language. It's why wind likes to howl sometimes or whatever.
Draconic: Latin again, or possibly greek since that's even more eldritch, somehow.
Infernal: Dunno what reverse latin would sound like, but you could make it sound druidic too, if you like. Or whatever sounds evil. Language that sounds like something out of Cthulu mythos works too.
Terran: American south. ;)
Goblin: Sounds exactly like orcish, because all those creatures pretty much fulfill the same purpose as humanoids. Somehow though, it's not orcish. Sorta like how the aliens in that first halloween special of the simpsons speak a language that sounds like english, entirely by coincidence.
Abyssal: Slipknot magically starts playing whenever they speak. Gets annoying after awhile.
Aquan: The most exotic language of them all! You have to fill your lungs with water to understand it, meaning you have to be dead. Needless to say, it's also the least interesting language.
Celestial: Latin again. Why? Because gregorian chant is in latin. Also, angels have sing songy voices, because they're angels.
Ignan: Sharp and angry spiting. It's basically any language you like, but you have to accent it with ANGER, otherwise no one will understand that you are speaking in Ignan. It's a weird culture.
Okay, language break down of how I hear things
Aklo: That really high pitched miget dude who was in the 3rd Pirates of the Carabian movie who said 'And so, we shall go to war!'
Aquan: Have you tried talking underwater lately?
Auran: A mix of body luanguage and bird song.
Common: English, and by that I mean real English, not our strange American English
Ignan: the crackling of a bonfire
Infernal: American English
Orc: North Korean
Sylvan:a mixture of body language and barks and growls
Terran: It sounds like an avalanche!
Like I said, this is how I hear them in my head. <.<'
Here's my listing of how I hear these in my head:
Abyssal: Nathan Explosion of Dethklok (Metalocalypse)
Aquan: underwater, gurgly
Dwarven: Scottish (cliche, yes I know) or Scandinavian
Common: British English, or 19th Century New England
Draconic: I wish I could describe what I hear for this one.
Elven: Gaelic - French if it's a Drow
Halfling: British Cockney
Gnome: High-pitched American English on crack
Infernal: Again, Nathan Explosion from Dethklok
Orcish: Latin spoken by a Russian
Common: english with a basic voice tone
Orcish: angry klingons
Halfling: French that is less fancy
Elvish: french with extra L's
Gnomish: really rolling gaelic (think leprechauns that don't sound high 24/7)
Dwarven: rough gealic or less chunky german
Auran: whistling music or a nice breeze
Ignan: spitting and hissing, or angry incoherent noises
Auran: bubble noises?
Terran: breaking a chunk of concrete or chalk on a chalk board.
Goblins/kobolds/lizardfolk: hissing and annoying grating noises, maybe some real words here and there
Infernal: the deep grating voice that death metal bands use for vocals
Celestial: the chanters from church masses that actually sound good
You guys do realize that you don't need to guess on several of the languages, right? Draconic has a primer in the Draconomicon, I'm fairly certain Celestial is at least described in the book of exalted deeds (that or possibly complete divine or champion) and several of the others are most likely in other sources. (I know I've seen one book covering both abyssal and infernal, I just can't remember which.)
And by the way, orish is clearly just really, really drunk klingon. :p
Dwarves are Scottish. Elves speak posh English. Halflings speak with a Yorkshire accent. Humans possess an American accent, unless suitably "exotic" (non-Caucasian based). Orcs are Cockney.
I don't know (or care) about anything else, but Orcish has a lot of F-Bombs in it.
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