Common (language)

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Common writing inside a human book

Common (or the Common tongue)[1] is the native language of the humans.[2] It is mostly spoken by the members of the Alliance. Dwarves and gnomes learned it for trade purposes with the humans. Their children learn Common alongside their respective native languages.[2] Although the language is mostly affiliated with the human race, Common has been spoken as far back as the War of the Ancients, before humans even had a society.[3] Some blood elves find Common to be a crude language.[4] Gutterspeak is derived from Common. It is assumed that when Horde and Alliance figures speak with one another, they speak in Common. In-game, all Alliance characters understand Common,[2] and its counterpart for the Horde is the Orcish language.

Murlocs can understand Common.[1] The arakkoa Grizzik could speak Common.[5] The furbolg Unng Ak could speak a broken form of Common.[3] Garrosh Hellscream and Perith Stormhoof also can speak Common.[6]

Common primer

Common for "Trol'Kalar" with Elder Futhark letters)

Official translations

Common with Latin letters
  • Esarus thar no'Darador = "By blood and honor we serve."[7] (in the Valley of Heroes)
  • Thrall = "Slave"[8][9]
  • Trol'kalar = "Troll slayer" in the ancient tongue of Arathorian Empire based in Strom.[10]
  • O Laras, soranok agar'nethal no shalas ve'ran ardor. = "O Light, bless your son on this joyous day." Part of a song that was performed during the Lordaeron king's coronation ceremony.[11]

Untranslated words or phrases

Common in Warcraft II with Cyrillic letters.

In-game parser

This is the list of words created by the in-game language parser for the Common language, which is listed as language number seven (word range 423-546) in the Language text file. In the in-game translator, the language parser for Common shares similar words with Gutterspeak and Gnomish. The parser is used to mask both npc and players that speak "Common" when encountered by the Horde.

Note: The language algorithm used by the in-game "translator" merely makes the words look like Common. It does not actually use a specific dictionary. Therefore, translated in-game speech isn't true Common.

Number of letters in word Word List
One-letter words A, E, I, O, U, Y
Two-letter words An, Ko, Lo, Lu, Me, Ne, Re, Ru, Se, Ti, Va, Ve
Three-letter words Ash, Bor, Bur, Far, Gol, Hir, Lon, Mod, Nud, Ras, Ver, Vil, Vos
Four-letter words Ador, Agol, Dana, Goth, Lars, Noth, Nuff, Odes, Ruff, Thor, Uden, Veld, Vohl, Vrum
Five-letter words Algos, Barad, Borne, Melka, Ergin, Eynes, Garde, Gloin, Majis, Nagan, Novas, Regen, Tiras, Wirsh
Six-letter words Aesire, Aziris, Daegil, Danieb, Ealdor, Engoth, Goibon, Mandos, Nevren, Rogesh, Rothas, Ruftos, Skilde, Valesh, Vandar, Waldir
Seven-letter words Andovis, Ewiddan, Faergas, Forthis, Kaelsig, Koshvel, Lithtos, Nandige, Nostyec, Novaedi, Sturume, Vassild
Eight-letter words Aldonoth, Cynegold, Endirvis, Hamerung, Landowar, Lordaere, Methrine, Ruftvess, Thorniss
Nine-letter words Aetwinter, Danagarde, Eloderung, Firalaine, Gloinador, Gothalgos, Regenthor, Udenmajis, Vandarwos, Veldbarad
Ten-letter words Aelgestron, Cynewalden, Danavandar, Dyrstigost, Falhedring, Vastrungen
Eleven-letter words Agolandovis, Bornevalesh, Dornevalesh, Farlandowar, Forthasador, Thorlithtos, Vassildador, Wershaesire
Twelve-letter words Golveldbarad, Mandosdaegil, Nevrenrothas, Waldirskilde
A Gilnean poster warning citizens of the worgen.

In the RPG

The RPG Icon 16x36.png This section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft RPG and is considered non-canon.

Dialects or languages derived or related to Common include Low Common, Gutterspeak, and Nerglish. Common is known by many races, and it is used as a universal language by most members of the races of Azeroth and Draenor.[12] Most if not all races have at least some understanding and speak some dialect of Common.

Because Common is a universal language known by many races, characters that have never had contact with other races are often able communicate with each other on their first meeting. Other racial languages (Orcish, Taur-ahe, Gnomish, etc,) are normally limited to their specific races, but are often learned by races that are most likely to encounter those races or read their language.

The modern "Common" seems to share words with the English language, mixed with words from an ancient tongue (actually some Welsh, Latin, and other historical languages). For example, half-ogre is the Common term for the race that is a mixture of ogre and orc ancestry, whereas mok'nathal (lower-case) is the Orcish term for the same race.[13] At least two known dialects of true Common exist, a modern dialect, which relies more on English, and the "ancient tongue", from which the modern Common is derived.[14]

Translations

  • Azeroth = Word derived from the name of the ancient human ancestors; Azotha.[15]
  • Daer = "People"[16]. (Has English roots.)
  • Dwarf = "Diminutive"[17]
  • Half- (or Half) = A prefix that denotes the mixed ancestry regardless of percentage of ancestry the individual has, see also Half-breed.
  • Half-ogre = A race that is born of mixed ogre and orc blood.[13], or in some cases, mixed human and ogre blood, see Half-human half-ogre.
  • Rain Dance = The term in Common for a festival held in Darkshore (the elves have a different name for it).[18]
  • Trol'kalar = "Troll slayer" in the ancient tongue, the ancient dialect of Common used in the Arathorian Empire based in Strom.[14]

Human names

Human parents grant a child its given name at birth, while its family name has a long history and usually speaks something of its bearer’s ancestry. Some humans change their family names to emphasize their own accomplishments.

  • Male names: Merander, Gyram, Darrick, Hebry.
  • Female names: Lilla, Merian, Richelle, Ammi.
  • Family names: Renn, Townguard, Silversmith, Runetouch.[19]

Speculation

Questionmark-medium.png
This article or section includes speculation, observations or opinions possibly supported by lore or by Blizzard officials. It should not be taken as representing official lore.
  • Common may be a universal language as a variety of races speak it with one another in-game.

Word speculation

  • "Goibon Uden Lo" = "Guards!" or "Guards help me!"
  • "Uden" = "Help!"
  • "Bur" = "lol" (When an Alliance player says "Lol" it will appear as "Bur" to Horde players. This is similar to how "Lol" in Orcish translates to "Kek" for Alliance players. When a horde talking in Orcish tells an Alliance player "bur", they get back "lok". Regardless, it has now been referenced as an official term.[20]
  • "Landowar" = "Alliance"
  • "Lordaeron" = "Peaceful land of the people" (rough translation)
  • "Or'Kalar" = Orc Killer, like Trol'kalar, the name shares the same word kalar, implying it is from the same ancient tongue used in the Arathorian Empire and Strom. As it is a ogre name it could be a form of Low Common.
  • "Or" = Orc
  • "Trol" = Troll
  • "Kalar" = Killer
  • "Deo Gracias" = Interestingly, the church building's sound in Warcraft II is "Deo Gracias", a transliteration of the Latin term "Deo Gratias" meaning "Thanks be to God", which is also the name for several different traditional cathedral hymns. The reason for using pseudo-Latin as a spoken language is not clear. It is possibly a use of stock sound effects, an easter egg for those who know of the hymn, or an attempt to include a foreign sounding language for the humans. Although Latin plays a partial role in the Warcraft universe, as seen in the RPG with "Spiritus Mundi" and with some names as part of languages such as Kalimag, Latin and other languages derived from it are used in the universe in a few other places such as: in Warcraft II with the church building's sound, in Warcraft III's Altar of Kings with "Amen", and in The Frozen Throne with the order acknowledgment sounds of the troll batrider unit. Other languages derived from Latin are also used for terms like "En Fuego" (literally "On Fire" in Spanish, although the correct form would be "Sobre el Fuego" or "Prendido Fuego") , as well as El Pollo Grande.
  • "Caer Darrow" = The Welsh word Caer means "fort". Darrow may be derived from the word "daer" meaning "people" in the RPG.[16] This would mean Caer Darrow may mean People's Fort or Fort of the People.
  • "Spiritus Mundi" = Spirit of the world
  • "Thanagor" = King
  • "An Karanir Thanagor" = Long live the King
  • "Mor" = May
  • "Ok" = His
  • "A'l" or "Na" = In

Trivia

English
  • Four different alphabets have been used to write Common in-game. Elder Futhark, Faux Cyrillic, Latin, and an unknown original alphabet.
  • In pre-release World of Warcraft, all races could speak Common[citation needed] but many players in the game's beta phase showed a lack of maturity in communication during battles. This caused Common to be the primary Alliance language and Orcish to be the primary Horde language. The Forsaken were given Common as a secondary language, but again, players showed a lack of maturity and this was taken away.
  • In the Dungeons and Dragons roleplaying game, the Common tongue is a lingua franca, or a universal language, spoken natively by humans, and bilingually by other races. It is the language of humans, halflings, half-elves, and half-orcs.[21] The Common tongue also has great hints of the Icelandic tongue. The concept is derived from Westron, the "common tongue" of Tolkien's Middle Earth, hence the name.
  • "Deo Gracias", from the hymn sung in the church in Warcraft II, is Latin for "Thanks [be] to God".

References